0

Truffle Pasta- 3rd Attempt for my parents

12484799_10153539616759024_1017435500656375024_o

The third time’s a charm- found a nice egg pasta- FINALLY- that was perfect for this dish.

It was Delallo Egg Fettuccine… the noodles were tender and delicate. They were the perfect foil for the truffle/cream/parm sauce…

FettucineEggPastaPROD14.jpg

best egg pasta I could find locally

Maisie and her ever-present piggie handbag- on our pasta hunt

My folks enjoyed their pasta and truffles… after this, I had a huge white truffle left to use up and I suddenly found myself sick to death of pasta.

my dad and his plate full of truffle-liciousness

 

 

 

0

In Which I Attempt Marc Vetri’s “Most Famous Pasta Dish”: Pasta with Chicken Livers recipe

it looks nothing like the pic on the website, but that is my fault

it looks nothing like the pic on the website, but that is my fault

I have no idea who Marc Vetri is, nor had I ever heard of his “most famous pasta dish” before I found the recipe on Google. I *did* know about my cousin Rubeli in Italy’s famous chicken liver pasta dish, but didn’t have her recipe. Even my mom raved about it and she HATES liver.

That is how Marc Vetri’s recipe stumbled into my life. I am so glad that it did.

It was SUPER simple and I barely took liberties with the recipe, which is rare for me.  I added some squashed and minced garlic to the onion frying stage.  That’s IT.  I didn’t use quite as many sage leaves, because I am always highly suspicious of recipes with sage.  I think I picked 7 out of my garden instead of the 12.  I ALSO did not use any rigatoni, as I used all of boxes I had a few days ago.

My version had a mix of spiral pastas and shells, because I needed to use them up and thought I’d be the only one eating them.

I loved it- even if it wasn’t as pretty as the original.  Maisie loved it, too.

Maisie loves chicken livers

Maisie loves chicken livers

Marc Vetri’s Most Famous Pasta Dish: Pasta With Chicken Livers Recipe (with my tweaks)

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Level of Difficulty: Easy Serving Size: 4
Ingredients
1 (14-ounce) box dried spiral and other shaped pastas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for sauce
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic, squished and minced
7 fresh sage leaves
salt
freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces chicken livers, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Drop in the pasta, quickly return to a boil, and cook until the pasta is tender yet firm, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.
While the pasta boils, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, garlic, and sage and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chicken livers, cooking for 1 minute.
Add a splash of pasta water, scraping the pan bottom.
Add the drained pasta to the pan.
Toss with the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and additional butter and/or pasta water as needed to make a creamy sauce.
Divide among warm pasta bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese to serve.

0

Dinner Tonight: Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Fresh Ricotta, and Wild Arugula- plus a Zuppa Toscana with Turkey Sausage and Turkey Bacon

the finished products

the finished products

Starting these recipes was a NIGHTMARE. Maisie is going through a horrible separation anxiety stage– I waited until she went down for her usual afternoon nap before starting to cook.  She is usually asleep for 1-3 hours after lunch, so I figured I had ample time to get dinner started.  SO wrong.  Not 10 minutes after I’d snuck away, I hear a piercing shriek from her pack n’ play… ah, the joys of motherhood!

ANYWAY, the same friend who sent the fresh ricotta idea, also sent this delicious looking recipe for a summer pasta.

Right now the basil growing in my garden is kinda skimpy.  I have a couple of varieties, which I started late in the season: sweet basil, cinnamon basil, and (I think) a Thai basil.

As fortune would have it, I DO have an abundance of wild arugula growing out of control in every nook and cranny of my yard- and I LOVE it for pestos and salads. This is the same arugula that I mentioned in an earlier post.  My mom smuggled it from Italy in her underwear (the seeds, not the plants). I am sure she probably violated a ton of laws, but now she has dementia, so they probably won’t throw her in the slammer.

I really love this variation of this plant more than the standard ones you find at the market. It has a sharper, cleaner ‘zing’ than the (legal) garden varieties you find commonly in the US. It also NEVER dies and never needs replanting. It’s as prolific as a dandelion, except easier to remove from the lawn and sidewalk.

More about this renegade version of arugula (also called ‘wall rocket’) here.

From this article on Wall Rocket:

“Unlike cultivated rocket, wall rocket is a perennial. The flavour is different, too: it has the spicy notes that salad rocket hints at, but they punch through with a powerful heat. By August, the leaves are so peppery they are best cooked for 30 seconds in boiling water, or a few chopped and added to a salad. I like the leaves torn on to a pizza just out of the oven as an alternative to chillies. The young leaves I like in warm salads with strong flavours – chorizo, parmesan or goat’s cheese; it also goes well with oily fish.”

this wild arugula was smuggled to America (by seed) about 14 yrs ago in my mother's underwear. It came from somewhere near Florence, Italy- where my cousin lives.

the renegade wild arugula was smuggled to America (by seed) about 14 yrs ago in my Filipino mother’s underwear. It came from somewhere near Florence, Italy- where my cousin lives.

At the local farmer’s market, while raiding my favorite Swiss baker’s stall for fresh quiches and Cannelés Bordelais, I was lucky enough to score some fresh zucchini (2 for a buck) from the next stand over. I had no idea then what I was going to do with zucchini, but it seemed like a good idea at the time to buy it. I am now so glad that I did.

gratuitous food porn shot of Cannelés Bordelais from Marianne at the Chalet Suisse Bakery here in SW Michigan.  They are one of maybe FIVE PLACES in the entire Midwest to even bake these morsels of sweet perfection- Eat your hearts out!

gratuitous food porn shot of Cannelés Bordelais from Marianne at the Chalet Suisse Bakery here in SW Michigan. They are one of maybe FIVE PLACES in the entire Midwest to even bake these morsels of sweet perfection-
Eat your hearts out!

When my son tasted the following recipe, he said: “Wow, this is like pesto and alfredo mixed together!”- it was!  I was very pleased with how this turned out.  The freshly made ricotta (I made a new batch this afternoon) really makes this dish. So creamy and garlicky and rich.

when I say I 'squish' the garlic, I mean I use the mortar and pestle- Filipino style

when I say I ‘squish’ the garlic, I mean I use the mortar and pestle- Filipino style

Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Fresh Ricotta, and Wild Arugula

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices (a mandoline works great for this)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, squished and chopped
  • 2 cups of wild arugula
  • 1 box of Ziti pasta
  • 8 ounces ricotta, about 1 cup (see earlier post for recipe)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan, pecorino or a mixture, about 1 cup, plus more for serving
  1. Put a pot of water on to boil. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat as necessary to keep onions from browning. Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until rather soft, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.

    sautéing the onions and zucchini

    sautéing the onions and zucchini

  2. Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, arugula and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Salt the pasta water well and put in the pasta, stirring. Boil per package instructions but make sure to keep pasta quite al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
  4. Add cooked pasta to zucchini in skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup cooking water, then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to distribute. Check seasoning and adjust. Cook for 1 minute more. Mixture should look creamy. Add a little more pasta water if necessary. Add the arugula paste and half the grated cheese and quickly stir to incorporate. Spoon pasta into warm soup plates and sprinkle with additional cheese. Serve immediately.

    aa

    YUM

I’ve been wanting to make a Zuppa Toscana for the longest time.  I am almost embarrassed to admit that the first one I ever tried was from the chain Olive Garden, but I loved it.  It’s probably the only thing on their menu I actually liked. We have a ton of Tuscan kale growing in the garden right now, which is a major ingredient in this soup. I am a kale freak- I like it juiced, fried, in soups, in salads (especially the raw vegan massaged kale salads- yum), you name it.

Kale fresh from my garden

Kale fresh from my garden

I don’t eat pork, so I had to substitute turkey Italian sausage and turkey bacon for the regular versions.

Jess’ Zuppa Toscana

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely diced
  • 2 Sweet Italian turkey sausages, chopped
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, squished and chopped
  • 2 cups of tuscan/black/dinosaur kale, sliced/chopped
  • 3 Idaho potatoes, roughly chopped.
  • 2 boxes chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • Pinch of saffron (I used Persian saffron)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add a little olive oil to a soup pot and use to fry the sausage and bacon, crumbling even further as you fry. Cook until well browned then drain any excess oil. Add garlic and onions and fry til soft.

2. Add the water, stock, pinch of saffron, and potatoes to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes). Add the kale. Cook for 10 minutes then stir-in the cream and season to taste.

3. Remove half of the soup to another large bowl. Puree half of the soup with an inversion blender. Return reserved soup to pot to combine.  Simmer for 5 minutes longer and then ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve.

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana