Friday, July 11, 2014

Orecchiette with Fresh Broccoli Florets and Sausage

Just because Broccoli Rabe is out of season, doesn't mean you can't have Pasta with Broccoli . This recipe serves 6. 
Sauté about 1/2 pound of pork in a little olive oil.   Add 1/2 cup wine and cook until evaporated. Remove from pan and set aside. Sauté some garlic, add additional oil if necessary. Put your pasta water to boil, add salt, then about a pound if Broccoli florets. Cook until Broccoli is soft. Sautéed garlic in several tablespoons of olive oil, drain Broccoli directly Into the pan. Cook until broken down and soft. Add the browned pork back to the pan. Cook your pasta, drain, reserve some cooking water. Toss and serve! How easy is that? Buon Appetito!

Special Note:  This method of cooking above is referred to as "a occhio."  With your eyes or senses.  Much in the style of experienced Home Cooks in Italy.  Getting a "feel" for the kitchen is an important fact when one is learning to Cook Italian.  
I had my neighbors drop in tonight unexpectedly and a good Home Cook knows how to feed a crowd.  Buon Appetito!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pasta alla Boscaiola (Mushrooms, Pancetta)

I love it when my friends get all excited over traditional recipes.  This recipe is usually made in the Fall, when Porcini Mushrooms are in Season and readily available.   I had some sliced baby Bella's out of California as well as some dried Porcini to use up and you all know how how frugal I am.    No better way to cool off this hot Summer day than a dish of this hearty pasta, even if it's out of season.   I have been told it was also called "Lover's Pasta" in some Regions.  I am sure it was because when one was out foraging Mushrooms all day, you really missed them when they got back.  No better way to end the meal with a little dessert, right? Well, at least it's what I have been told.  
Forget the BBQ, this is all you will need.  Enjoy!   Buon Appetito!
Ingredients:  Serves 6 people
One pound of Penne or Rigatoni (Any Tubular pasta will do nicely)
4 ounces of sliced (unsmoked) pancetta or salt pork cut into small cubes.
One medium onion diced
One clove of garlic diced
8 ounces of mushrooms
2 or three pieces of dried Porcini (If you are making this out of season).
3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Pot of boiling water for your pasta with 2 tablespoons salt.  
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
One handful of pitted oil cured olives (optional)
one handful of ripe Cherry tomatoes (optional)
One cup of green peas (optional)
One cup of white wine
Method:  In a large saute pan, heat your oil to medium.  Saute your onion and garlic.  Add your pancetta and saute in the pan until brown (not crisp).  Add your tomato paste and mix. Be careful not to burn or you will have to start over.   Add your mushrooms.   Mix well and keep mixing until well coated.  Add your wine, salt, pepper and let cook.   At this point if you would like to add peas and black olives, do so.  Otherwise, when your liqiud has disappeared, take it off the heat.  Cook your pasta, drain, reserve about a half a cup of the starchy water to add back to the mushrooms, if it looks somewhat dry. 
Toss your pasta right in the pan.  Buon Appetito!

 Buon Appetito!