Tuesday, October 14, 2008

pasta e fagioli

pasta e fagioli

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

Servings: Makes about 3 cups, serving 2 as a main course.


2 slices of bacon, chopped

1 small onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
a 16-ounce can white beans, rinsed well and drained
a 16-ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/3 cup tubetti or other small tubular pasta
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
freshly grated Parmesan as an accompaniment


In a heavy saucepan cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, and in the remaining fat cook the onion and the garlic, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the celery, the carrot, and the broth and simmer the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes. In a bowl mash 1/3 cup of the beans, stir them into the bacon mixture with the remaining whole beans and the tomatoes, and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tubetti, simmer the soup, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente, and if desired thin the soup with water. Let the soup stand off the heat, covered, for 5 minutes, stir in the parsley, and serve the soup in bowls sprinkled with the Parmesan.

wilted greens with garlic and anchovies

Reprinted with permission from Molto Italiano | October 2007

Editor's note: The recipe and introductory text below are adapted from Molto Italiano by Mario Batali. It's part of a special menu created by Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali for Epicurious's Wine.Dine.Donate program.

Scarola alle Acciughe

There are basically two ways of cooking greens: the long, slow method, and this one, where much of their water content is still present, leaving the leaves with a definite chew.

Servings: Makes 6 to 8 servings


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 head escarole or 1 head or bunch other sturdy leafy green, such as dandelions or turnip greens, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons, washed and spun dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon


Heat a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, anchovies, and garlic and cook just until the garlic is light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the greens and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze the lemon juice over, and serve.

farfalle with sausage, tomatoes, and cream

Bon Appétit | January 2006

Cara Brunetti Hillyard, Hamilton, VA


Cara Brunetti Hillyard of Hamilton, Virginia, writes: "I come from a long line of great cooks. My father owns an Italian market in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where my mother gets a lot of the ingredients she uses in her wonderful dishes. My mother-in-law is a recipe developer, and I've been known to sit next to my great-aunt Stella with a pen and paper as she details her amazing recipes. I live far from home now, but I reconnect with my family traditions every evening when I make dinner."

Prep: 30 minutes; Total: 30 minutes

Servings: Makes 6 servings.

subscribe to Bon Appétit


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/2 cup whipping cream

1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and crushed red pepper. Sauté until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender and sausage is browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add sausage mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Sprinkle with basil. Serve, passing cheese separately.

prosciutto and goat cheese strata

Most of the work on this dish is done the day before, leaving plenty of time in the morning for opening presents or simply sleeping in.

Servings: Makes 6 servings.

subscribe to Bon Appétit


18 slices firm white bread (such as English muffin bread), crusts removed
6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
4 ounces provolone, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

5 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted


Line bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish completely with 1 layer of bread, cutting some slices to fit. Arrange half of prosciutto evenly over bread. Sprinkle half of goat cheese and half of provolone over. Sprinkle with half of green onions and half of basil. Top with second layer of bread. Layer remaining prosciutto, goat cheese, provolone, green onions, and basil atop bread. Cut remaining bread into 1/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle over top.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, and salt in bowl. Season with pepper. Pour egg mixture over strata; press down on bread with spatula. Drizzle melted butter over strata. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover strata and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake until center is set, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Place strata under broiler until top is golden, about 30 seconds. Cut into large squares and serve.

linguine with walnut sauce

Linguine with Walnut Sauce

The texture of mixed nuts and bread crumbs makes this an ethereal pasta. When the noodles are cooked and then dressed just right, they taste great even at room temperature.

Servings: Makes 4 to 8 servings.


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted hard bread crumbs
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
1 pound linguine
1/2 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated caciocavallo cheese or pecorino romano


Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt.

In a 14- to 16-inch fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat till smoking. Add the garlic and cook until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the bread crumbs, the walnuts, and pepper flakes and cook until lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until 1 minute short of al dente. Just before draining the pasta, add 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan with the walnut mixture.

Drain the pasta in a colander and pour the pasta into the pan with the walnut mixture. Place the pan over medium heat and continue cooking the pasta with the walnut mixture until the pasta is lightly dressed with the condiment, about 1 minute. Add the parsley and grated cheese, stir through, pour into a heated bowl, sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs, and serve immediately.

suzanne goin's english pea puree

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 whole dried chile de árbol*
1 fresh mint sprig
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups fresh or frozen peas
Generous pinch of sugar


Heat oil, butter, chile, and mint in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Stir in peas and sugar; cook until peas are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Discard chile and mint sprig. Transfer pea mixture to processor and puree until almost smooth (some texture should remain). Season puree to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let puree stand at room temperature. Rewarm in microwave oven on high about 2 minutes.)

*A small, bright red chile that's available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores and at Latin markets.

parmesan stuffed dates wrapped in bacon from aoc


We modeled these hors d'oeuvres on the little bombs of flavor that Suzanne Goin invented for her Los Angeles restaurant A.O.C. Each bite delivers a huge range of tastes — sweet, salty, and smoky — all at the same time. They're easy to make and completely irresistible; I can't think of a more appealing tidbit to nibble on.

Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 25 min

Servings: Makes 6 hors d'oeuvre servings.

subscribe to Gourmet


18 (1- by 1/4-inch) sticks Parmigiano-Reggiano (from a 1/2-lb piece)
18 pitted dates (preferably Medjool)
6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thirds

Special equipment: 18 wooden picks


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with a pick. Arrange dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.

Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper bag or parchment. Serve immediately.

Cooks' note:
Dates can be stuffed and wrapped in bacon 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.

giada's dirty risotto

Dirty Risotto
Recipe by Giada de Laurentiis, adapted
Serves 4-6
Total Cook & Prep Time - about an hour

5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP butter
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
6 oz Italian turkey sausage
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used a mix of red & green)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 TBSP chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat. I'm not sure this was necessary, as I started with room-temperature broth.

In a large heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sausage and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the rice and stir to coat.

Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat.

Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.

not yo' mama's banana pudding


When it comes to a good dessert recipe I usually don’t need any excuse to make it I just do. So when a dessert pops up in my house any day of the week it’s never a surprise. This recipe is really easy to prepare so my kiddos will be doing most of the work, but they never mind that. I prepared a half recipe and used a 8 x 8 inch pan instead of making a whole recipe so I cut the following ingredients in half. (cookie’s, bananas, milk, cream cheese and for the pudding I used a 3.5oz box and a 10 oz carton of cool whip) The recipe turned out perfect.

This is not a DIET FRIENDLY recipe at all!!!!
It’s loaded full of fattening ingredients that we all LOVE!!!

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies.

Good Job Mackenzie!

Put a even layer of bananas on top of the cookies.

In a bowl combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.

Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture and blend.

Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended

Yummo! we know this because my little taste testers have already dug a spoon in the pudding mixture Ü

Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mackenzie is so proud that she made this almost all by herself. It sure turned out pretty.

Goodness we couldn't wait any longer before digging in. All I can say is Yummo Good!!!!!!

Yield: 12 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Kid Easy

Adapted from: Paula Deen Online

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 - 5-ounce box instant French vanilla pudding
1 - 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 -14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 - 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping thawed
or equal amounts sweetened whip cream.

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, October 06, 2008

pastel vasco with blackberry compote and greek yoghurt

from http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/04/more-sunday-suppers-at-lucques-pastel.html

Pastel Vasco with Blackberry Compote and Greek Yogurt

Pastel Vasco
Pastel Vasco is a Basque dessert, known in France as "Gateau Basque." This recipe pairs the traditional rich buttery pound cake with a berry compote made with caramel. The compote sounded delicious, but I found it way too sweet, and I didn't like the sticky thick texture from the cornstarch. Assuming your berries aren't terribly sour, I think a simple lightly-cooked misture of berries with a little sugar, water and lemon juice, would work just as well, so that's what I've included here.

After baking, the cake is lightly buttered and toasted in a skillet, then served with more of the compote and some poured cream. Trying to be at least a little bit nutritionally responsible, I used a bit of stirred Greek yoghurt instead of the cream. It's not exactly low fat, but certainly better than straight cream - and the tangy flavor reminds me of creme fraiche. I didn't toast the slices, since it was just fresh from the oven and still warm when I served it - but I am sure that would be fantastic since toasting pound cake to serve with berries always improves the flavor ten-fold.

The cake itself was the teensiest bit dry, but with the compote and the yoghurt, it was delicious. I wonder if taking out that last little bit of flour (the 1/4 cup called for in the book) would solve that problem. I may try it on my next go round. Here is the recipe as I adjusted it for my loaf pan, which I believe is about 10 cups. The recipe in it's original form can be found in the book - which I highly, highly recommend. Especially as we head into summer, when the recipes are perfectly tuned to the luscious ingredients showing up in our local farmers' markets.
Pastel Vasco - Sunday Suppers at Lucques
Pastel Vasco with Blackberry Compote and Stirred Greek Yoghurt
adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin

3 1/3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

5 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons
2 and 1/2 sticks of butter, melted (oof!)
3 Tablespoons of Dark Rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

Blackberry Compote:
2 pints blackberries
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of water
3 Tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

For the compote:
Place berries in a medium non-reactive saucepan, sprinkle with sugar, and add lemon juice and water. Cook berries over medium heat, until the berries start to soften and break down, but don't completely lose their shape. Scoop out about half the whole berries, and mash the remaining berries in the pan with a potato masher. Place the contents of the pan and the whole berries in a bowl and set aside to cool.

For the cake:
Sift the baking powder and flour together and stir in the salt

Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl, whisk in the sugar, melted butter, rum, extracts and orange juice. Fold in the dry ingredients and let the batter rest in the fridge for thirty minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400, and lightly butter a loaf pan. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the pan and add just over 1 cup of the berries, spreading along the batter. Top with the remaining batter, allowing some of the berries to show through. Bake for about one hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To toast the cake, wait until it cools completely, and cut into 3/4 inch slices. Butter lightly on both sides and toast in a cast iron skillet until golden brown. Arrange the slices on a platter, and spoon the remaining compote over the top. Pass a small pitcher of cream or bowl of stirred Greek yoghurt around the table.