Tag Archives: Italian

Fettuccine with Peas Asparagus and Bacon

29 Mar

This one’s for all you pasta lovers out there (myself included). If you are looking for the ultimate comfort meal, this is it. It’s that time of year when the weather is changing every other day – one day you’re sitting outside drinking beers out of a growler, the next, you’re bundled up under the blankets in your living room wondering what you should order for delivery, because there’s no way you’re going grocery shopping in these frigid temperatures. So pick up these ingedients on a warmer day and make it when its -1000 degrees out a day later. Its the perfect “I’ve-had-such-a-long-day-and-I just-want-to-binge-on-comfort-food-but-I-should-really-eat-my-veggies” kind of meal.

I used bacon because I couldn’t get any pancetta that day, but you can use either one. I found the pea level in the original recipe to be a little high, so I’ve cut it down a bit for you in this recipe. I also cut out the cream from the original recipe to make it a bit less heavy. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Fettuccine with Peas Aspargus and Bacon

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

12 ounces fettuccine or penne

3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped

1 1/4 lbs asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces (cut diagonally for fatter asparagus)

1 1/2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched one minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts only

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup finely crated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, dark green parts of green onions, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Prosciutto Flatbread

17 Dec

I’m finally back to cooking again after the Chaos that was the last two weeks. There’s no big grocery stores near us, so it looks like this year I am going to be doing a lot of shopping at Farmer’s Markets or small specialty shops, which I think will be fun! We are also going to join a CSA when June rolls around. My friend Zoe used to work at Hearty Roots and recommended that one to me (who better to trust that a trusty farmer friend!). Others I’ve been looking into are Southside CSA and Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA. Anybody who has experience with any of these, I would love to hear your feedback!

As you know, I was somewhat-recently gifted “New American Table” with recipes by Marcus Samuelsson. I love this cookbook so much. First of all, he organizes it in such a cook-friendly way, making separate sections for ‘Everyday’ and ‘Weekend’. There’s an amazing section of sauces and rubs. And I absolutely love the photographs he uses. Photos of restaurants and scenes around small towns in America and images of his family cooking various dishes give you a feeling of really being part of a great food culture and also tell the story of his personal journey. He was actually born in Ethiopia, his mother passed away from tuberculosis when he was 3 years old, and he and his older sister were adopted by a Swedish couple.  The book includes everything from comfort food and Southern cooking to new twists on Middle Eastern and Japanese. Its an amazingly eclectic collection of recipes and you can find something in there for almost any occasion. I haven’t had a failed recipe yet. Marcus Samuelsson has 3 restaurants in New York: AquavitRiingo, and Red Rooster . He was named Best Chef: New York City by the James Beard Foundation in 2003.

So the other night I flipped through his cookbook to make my grocery list for the week. And the other night, I made his Prosciutto Flatbread. This is like PIZZA times WHOA. The crust itself its shoved with spices. And the topping is a mixture of cooked and raw ingredients. Almost every time I follow a recipe, I use more of everything that adds flavor. One clove of garlic means 2-3. 2 shallots means 3. A pinch of paprika often means a large pinch, or a couple small pinches. I just generally find a lot of recipes to be on the bland side, and its better to add some extra zing with spices than to pile it with some condiment or sauce or salt and pepper later.

I never have to do that with these recipes. Marcus really knows how to make a dish that is full of flavor, and doesn’t skimp on anything. This recipe is absolutely no exception. It’s great for both dinner or cutting up into little bite-size pieces and serving as an hors d’oeuvre.

Prosciutto Flatbread

Adapted (just slightly) from New American Table

 

For the topping

Ingredients

3/4 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves

4 shallots

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Flatbread recipe (see below)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 12 slices

5 basil leaves, chopped

1/4 cup baby arugula, chopped

1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped

8 thin slices prosciutto

Preheat the oven to 400°. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, 1 teaspoons of the red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the baked flatbread. Season with salt and pepper and top with 6 slices of the mozzarella. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

While the pizza is baking, toss the basil, arugula, and olives with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove the pizza from the oven. Place the remaining 6 slices of mozzarella on the baked pizza and top with the basil-arugula mixture, then the prosciutto slices.

Flatbread

(makes 1 flatbread)

Ingredients

2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed

2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a small saute pan over low heat. Add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and oregano and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons water. Let cool slightly.

Lightly whisk the egg yolks and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in the spiced milk and set aside.

Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the center. Using a fork or your hands, slowly gather the flour into the liquid, adding more flour as needed, until a dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for another 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Using a fork, prick holes all over the surface of the dough. If using a baking stone, place the dough directly on the stone. Otherwise, place the dough on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

 

 

Eataly

19 Oct

So I finally got around to checking out Eataly, Mario Batali’s brainchild of a grocery store – restaurant – wine bar – cafe.  I’m not even sure what to call it. It’s everything, really.  They have a wine store (separate from the rest of Eataly), a humongous grocery store with everything from fruits and veggies…

…to imported hand-twisted pastas to a massive selection of Italian EVOO.

And did I mention there is a meat and cheese deli with prosciutto and salame and mortadella and every type of Italian formaggio you can imagine?

Everything comes directly from Italy, with the exception of the fish, which is caught locally.

There’s even a section of the store where you can order fresh homemade pastas.  One corner is devoted entirely to desserts – baked goods, tiramisu and mousse, and sorbet & gelato. In the middle of the store is an atrium filled with high tables to stand at, where there are cocktail waiters coming around to take your order from a selection of wines, Italian beers, meats, breads, cheeses, and Crudo. It’s the perfect spot (although I hear EXTREMELY busy) for a lunch break outing or happy hour drinks and snacks with a friend.

Finally, scattered throughout the grocery store itself are restaurants. There is one for fish (” Il Pesce”), one for pasta and pizza (“La Pasta”), one for vegetables (“La Verdure”), and one for meat (“Manzo”,) that is considered their most “general” restaurant.  You cannot get meat at Il Pesce. You cannot get fish at La Pasta. You cannot get pizza at La Verdure.  I didn’t go to Manzo, but I’m pretty sure you might be able to get some of those things there. Each restaurant is open on every side so you can see shoppers walking by. Great for people-watching, but not the best for quiet dinner conversation, if that’s what you’re looking for. We ate at Il Pesce.

(Show me your teeth, Branzino.)

There’s also a rooftop beer-garden, but I’m not sure if its open yet.  If I haven’t sold you on this place yet, there’s no point in continuing to try.

Baked Chicken Meatballs

16 May

When our friend Jill came to New York from Oregon to visit us a few weeks ago, we took her on a (mini) food tour of New York. She is 14 weeks pregnant, so no drinking for her!! Instead, we did our best to fit in some good eats in the short time that she was here. In the middle of a day of shopping, we stopped at Momofuku Milk Bar in the East Village for some Cereal Milk Ice Cream, got brunch another morning at Clinton Street Bakery (gahh Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes w/ Maple Butter), and went to lunch at The Meatball Shop.

The Meatball Shop opened within the last few months, and I hadn’t been yet. But my friend Sam, a native New Yorker turned Berliner, told me she heard great things about it (even in Germany she’s the first to know all the great stuff in NY), so I decided to go, and I’M SO GLAD I DID. Wow wow. These meatballs were uncomprehensively moist, I don’t know how they do it. I would love to get my hands on their recipe.

Well I couldn’t find that, but eating there inspired me to find my own meatball recipe. The ones I had at The Meatball Shop were beef, but I went with a bit of a healthier chicken meatball.

Baked Chicken Meatballs
Adapted from Gourmet

Ingredients

3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided*
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly.

Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley. Form 12 meatballs and arrange in another 4-sided sheet pan or roasting dish.

Stir together remaining tablespoons of tomato paste and oil and brush over meatballs , then bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.