Monday, October 26, 2009

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Zucchini Rolls

what you need
2 large zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or substitute domestic parmesan)
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped thyme

what to do
Preheat a grill pan. Brush both sides of the zucchini slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the hot grill pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until the grill marks show.If you do not have a grill pan, brush zucchini slices with olive oil, salt and pepper and sauté in a skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned and just tender (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the goat cheese wih the Parmigiano, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.Remove the zucchini slices from the grill, and set aside to cool slightly. Spread goat cheese mixture over one side of the zucchini slices, roll up, and arrange on a platter. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

pepperoni calzone

what you need
2 x 250gr pizza dough balls
1/2 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 ounces sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

what to do
Punch dough down.On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 14" circle .Place one circle on a greased baking sheet. Spread spaghetti sauce in a strip down the center. Sprinkle with oregano, pepperoni,and mozzarella cheese.Fold over dough and seal edges; repeat for other circle

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.Bake at 350° F. for 30 minutes or until golden brown in a traditional oven.

For party food make the circles about 4"round and fill as above. fillings can be varied like spinach & cheese, ham & mushroom or what ever you like to try.

chicken marsala

what you need
3 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbls unsalted butter
2 cups fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbls olive oil
1 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup fresh cream

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place the breasts between layers of plastic wrap, and pound until thin. . Clean and slice the mushrooms.

Dust the chicken with the flour. Shake off excess flour.

Heat the oil and butter to medium-high temperature in a large saute pan. Add the chicken, and brown on one side. Turn over, and add the mushrooms.

Pour in the wine, and reduce to half the volume, add cream and cook till reduced and thickened

Great served on mash with fresh steamed beans with the sauce poured over.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

rigatoni with Italian sausage

what you need
500gr rigatoni pasta
1/2 onion finaly diced
1 glove garlic chopped
500gr Italian sausage (with fennel if possible)
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup tomato passata or canned tomatoes
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper
freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley leaves

what to do
Place the sausage in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Cover, bring to a boil and turn heat down to low. Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sausage cool to room temperature. Remove casings from sausage and chop finely.

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic, turn heat to low and cook till softened, Stir in tomato passata, sausage, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.

Cook pasta in a large volume of boiling water with 1 tbsp salt until al dente. Drain in a colander, transfer to a bowl . Mix 3/4 of the sauce with the pasta and spoon remaining sauce and sausage on top.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese.

Monday, October 19, 2009

spaghetti carbonara

what you need
4 ounces spaghetti (or other pasta like fettuccini, linguine, or tortellini)
4 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 green onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/8 to 1/4 cup pasta cooking water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

what to do
Add olive oil to a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add diced pancetta and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and onion and continue cooking and stirring until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (just tender).
In a small bowl mix together egg yolks, cream, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Just before the pasta is finished cooking, remove 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and slowly whisk into the egg yolk mixture (to temper eggs), beating vigorously to prevent eggs from scrambling.
Quickly drain the pasta in a colander and return to pot. Immediately toss in the egg and pancetta mixtures, stirring the spaghetti continuously to both cook the eggs and coat the pasta. Serve immediately in heated bowls with a healthy grind of black pepper and season with salt to taste.
Top with grated Pecorino Romano, if desired