Tag Archives: Pasta

Not Your Spring Spiral

Not Your Spring Spiral

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Summer Pasta with Onion, Bacon and Tomato

During this heat wave, a light dinner showcasing fresh ingredients is ideal.  This pasta with onion, bacon and tomato is simple enough to prepare while enjoying some Olympic events.

Ingredients:

1/2 sweet onion, diced

Extra virgin olive oil

2 slices slab bacon

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes

Fresh ground pepper

6 to 8 ounces egg capellini

Fresh basil

Sauté the onion in several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent, about five minutes.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Slice the bacon into 1/4 inch strips, then halve each strip.  Add the bacon to the onion and sauté until lightly browned, about seven minutes.  Keep stirring the onion and bacon with a wooden spoon, and season with pepper to taste.  Stir in the tomatoes and sauté for several minutes until they “pop”.

Throw the pasta into the boiling water and stir.  The pasta is so delicate that it should only take about two minutes.  When al dente, remove the pasta with tongs and add to the onion, bacon and tomato mixture.  Also, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan to help the sauce stick to the pasta.  Using a wooden spoon, coat the pasta with the sauce, and toss in some fresh basil.

Pasta!

Serve with grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.  Enjoy with a light red wine, such as a Grenache.

(Extra)ordinary – Chicken Livers

Transform ordinary chicken livers into an extraordinary sauce with this recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, authors of The Silver Palate Cookbook – two of my favorite cookbooks!

“Pitti Palace Pasta”

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken livers, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

4 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

8 ounces wide noodle pasta (such as tagliatelle)

If the chicken livers are large, cut them in half.  Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a mixing bowl.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Dredge the livers in the flour mixture, and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.  Raise the heat slightly, and add the tomatoes, vinegar, chicken stock, wine, and rosemary.  Simmer until slightly thick, 5 minutes.

Chicken liver sauce

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta, and cook at a rolling boil just until tender.  Drain, and toss with the sauce.  Add the remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and serve immediately.

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

Black Pepper Pasta

This weekend I was reminded how simple it is to make fresh pasta.  As I was flipping through Mario Batali’s The Babbo Cookbook for inspiration, I decided to use his recipe for a variation on a basic pasta dough.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

4 extra large eggs

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper

Mound the flour in the center of your work surface.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs, olive oil and black pepper.  Beat the eggs, oil and pepper together with a fork, then incorporate the flour starting from the inside rim of the well.  Expand the well by continuing to incorporate flour while making sure to retain the shape of the well.  As the dough comes together, knead with the heels of your hands.  Push aside any floury bits that do not incorporate, sprinkle more flour on your work surface and knead for about 5 minutes.

Pasta Dough

The dough will be slightly sticky but should not stick to your hands.  Place the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Pasta Drying

Roll out the dough into your desired shape…We rolled the dough through the thinnest setting on our pasta machine and then rolled it through the fettuccine attachment.

This recipe makes about one pound of pasta.  Half of this recipe was more than enough to serve as a side to a braised rabbit for two.

My new goal – enjoy a homemade pasta once a week.  Abbondanza!

Jersey Tomato Sauce with Shrimp and Fettuccine

Now is the time to savor Jersey tomatoes, from a tomato salad to a marinara sauce.  Last night I prepared fettuccine tossed with shrimp in a Jersey tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced

3 medium tomatoes (I used 2 red and 1 yellow), cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Chiffonade of fresh basil and parsley

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

6 to 8 ounces fettuccine

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat until the garlic is pale gold.  Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the basil and parsley and stir with a wooden spoon.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer.

Allow the sauce to simmer while bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt and 6 to 8 ounces of pasta.  I used a combination of Antica Pasta’s peperoncino fettuccine and spinach fettuccine – one of my favorite new finds (flavored pasta that actually has a flavor!)  Add the shrimp to the sauce, cooking about two minutes per side or until they become opaque.  Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve.

Shrimp in Sauce

I was so eager to take the first bite, that I neglected to photograph a freshly plated dish!

Shrimp in Pasta

French Women Love Les Pâtes

Everyone knows that French women love wine and cheese, but did you know that they also love pasta?

French Women Pasta, a mother and daughter team based in Newark, Delaware, is a  local distributor for Pappardelle’s Pasta produced in Colorado.   You may have spotted French Women Pasta at local farmers’ markets during the summer months along with their over fifty flavors of pasta.  Although most farmers’ markets have ended for the year, French Women Pasta will participate in several fall and winter events as listed on their website at www.frenchwomenpasta.com (and will accept orders!)

My husband and I have tried several flavors, including the Lemon Chive Angel Hair, Orange Szechuan and Spicy Thai Linguine.  The pasta is packaged in eight ounce containers, ideal for serving three or four.

Pasta

The Lemon Chive Angel Hair had a subtle, fresh flavor – a perfect pairing for shrimp and scallops.  To prepare, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta and stir.  While the pasta is cooking (which will only take a few minutes), heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add several tablespoons of butter.  Allow the butter to foam, and tilt the pan around so that the butter coats the bottom.  Place the shrimp and scallops in the pan, cooking for about two minutes per side until opaque.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water and add the pasta to the sauté pan of seafood. Using a wooden spoon, blend the pasta and seafood and coat the pasta with the butter and oil.  You will likely need to add additional butter.  Plate the shrimp and scallops atop the pasta and season with freshly squeezed lemon juice, ground pepper and sea salt.  If you would like additional heat, try a dried red pepper!

Pasta and Seafood

Look for French Women Pasta and their unique flavors this fall…from Lavender to Porcini Mushroom to Lime Cilantro.

Make the Most of Your Favorite Summer Herb with a Basil Pesto

During my Italian Lunch cooking class today, we made ricotta gnocchi with three sauces – marinara, pesto and butter sage.  While the marinara and butter sage sauces were quite delicious, the pesto made me appreciate the abundance of basil this time of year.  So, I share my recipe for basil pesto.

DSCN4030

Ingredients:

½ cup pignoli (pine nuts)

10 stalks of fresh basil

3 cloves of garlic

½ cup parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons of softened butter (yes, this recipe is a rich one!)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Remove the basil leaves from the stalks and place them in a food processor.  Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and butter and blend until it forms a paste.  Add the olive oil little by little as well as the salt and pepper to taste while blending the other ingredients.  Be sure to use a spatula to push down any ingredients stuck to the sides of the food processor in between your processing.  Toss the pesto with gnocchi or your favorite pasta – a little goes a long way!

DSCN4044

Heat Up the Kitchen with a Shrimp Fra Diavolo

If you’re in the mood for a seafood dish with a kick, I recommend a Shrimp Fra Diavolo.  It is a simple preparation yet an interesting alternative to a regular marinara sauce.

Begin by heading to your local seafood market for jumbo shrimp (I suggest four per person).  Then select your pasta.  This weekend I found an excellent egg pasta made in Italy by Bartolini called “Cirioline All’Uovo”.  The package contains eight nests of long squared pasta, adding more surface area for the sauce to adhere, and two nests per person seems to be the perfect amount to allow for seconds.

After you clean the shrimp, prepare what I refer to as a “fast sauce”.  This involves slicing three cloves of garlic and sautéing the garlic in olive oil.  Do this in a sauté pan that has a lid, and then add a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes.  Add salt to taste and stir.

The “Fra Diavolo” begins by adding several dashes of red paper flakes as well as a dried chili pepper.  Also include fresh herbs, such as basil and/or oregano.  (I am growing a hot and spicy oregano plant, which was an ideal pairing!)  When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover.

Sauce

While preparing the sauce, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  As the water comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt and then the pasta.  Stir the pasta periodically.  When about six minutes remain to cook the pasta, add the cleaned shrimp to the sauce.  Adjust the heat to medium and cover.  Turn the shrimp once while cooking so that each side becomes opaque.  This will take about three minutes per side.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan, tossing it with the shrimp and sauce.  Serve the Shrimp Fra Diavolo in pasta bowls…with extra red pepper on the side.

Final Sauce

 

Not Your Spring Spiral

Please enjoy my April edition of The Judicial Palate!

Not Your Spring Spiral

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

 

Pasta with Asparagus and Prosciutto

The perfect way to celebrate the mild weather today was serving pasta with two springtime ingredients – asparagus and prosciutto – for dinner.  The pink and green in this dish signaled the upcoming change in seasons.

Proscuitto

To prepare this dinner for two, thinly slice five asparagus spears on an angle and cut five prosciutto slices into strips.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt when the water comes to a rolling boil.  I used egg spaghetti that cooks in six minutes, so as soon as I put the pasta in the water, I melted several tablespoons of butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick pan.  I added the asparagus and prosciutto to the bubbling butter and oil and stirred while sautéing.   Depending on the pasta you choose, you may want to start sautéing the asparagus and prosciutto later to prevent overcooking it.

Pasta

When the pasta is ready, transfer it to the pan, adding several tablespoons of the pasta water and more butter if necessary.  Stir the asparagus and prosciutto into the spaghetti, and add freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice.  Serve with some fresh cracked pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta and Asparagus

Happy Daylight Saving Time!