Wednesday, May 18, 2011
My changes were simple. I swapped chicken tenders for the whole chicken, swapped linguine for papparedelle (only because I forgot to buy it when I went to the supermarket), Added a little more sage (and I still think it could have used more), added stock for more sauce and added butter and cheese to the pasta (a trick for a silkier sauce thatI picked up last month in bon appetit magazine). All very minor changes nothing life changing except for the vinegar. I really wanted to add it but I forgot. It smelled soo good that I just thought I was all done! This was a fantastic meal and I highly recommend it!
Linguine with chicken, mushrooms and wine
Adapted from Maryann Esposito
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
4 oz pancetta or bacon, diced
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
½ pound fennel (bulb only), sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chiffonade
½ cup all purpose flour
Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces, tendon removed
4-6 Tbsp unsalted butter
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound linguine
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, optional
1. Sauté mushrooms in 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Don’t stir until the mushrooms begin to brown. Stirring them will prevent them from getting color and building that extra level of flavor. Once they start to soften, season with salt and they give off liquid. Cook until liquid evaporates. Stir in ½ cup of wine. Increase the heat to high and boil until most of the wine evaporates; remove and set aside. Wipe out pan and return it to stove top.
2. In a large plastic food storage bag combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add the pieces of chicken, close the bag and shake to coat in flour.
3. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of oil in the sauté pan. Brown the chicken in batches (if necessary) over medium heat; remove; set aside.
4. Sauté the pancetta in the pan drippings until it begins to brown. Add the onion and fennel and cook until the onion softens and fennel begins to brown. Stir in garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more. Increase heat to high and stir in remaining wine and sage. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that have stuck to the pan. When wine begins to evaporate add about ½ cup of chicken stock. Let sauce reduce and add more stock if you want more liquid. Return the mushrooms and chicken to the pan and stir. Lower heat to medium-low and cover. Let chicken simmer for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, cook linguine in a large pot of salted boiling water. When pasta is al dente drain and add the remaining butter to the pot (optional) toss pasta in butter to coat and add about ½ cup romano cheese and toss. Toss pasta with half the sauce and chicken and add the remaining chicken and sauce to top the pasta in each plate.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
My Grandmother would be proud. Every time I use her cavatelli maker I feel like she is there with me. I remember making them with her on her wood dining table. She let me turn the handle of the machine and I got a big kick out of watching the pasta turn into cavatelli. I wish we thought of taking pictures or videos then. When I use the machine and get stuck I think of her saying, "I told you, you have to you a lot of flour!" I try to remember that and flour it up really well.
Sometimes it makes me really sad because Nanny isn't around to see how she influences every meal I make. Even when I make something I knew she really wouldn't like, I am still thinking about her.
She had no idea how much she meant to me. Even if it seemed like she did, she just didn't. Hopefully she's looking down at me and she's happy to see what I've been doing.
I can't believe it took me so long to post this but I actually lost the recipe and couldn't remember where I found it. Well it finally occurred to me and this post was all set up and ready to go. The credit for the recipe goes to Deborah Mele of Italianfoodforever.com. Check out her website for some great authentic Italian recipes!
To make the dough for the Cavatelli:
4 Cups All-purpose Flour (or 2 cups tipo "00" & 2 cups tipo "0")
1 Pound Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
Place your flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add your other ingredients into the well and stir until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. You may also wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it until needed. This rest period is necessary to obtain the right texture of the dough.
To form the Cavatelli:
When ready to cut the cavatelli, first cut the dough in half and place one half on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/3 of an inch thick and cut into strips about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Flour a strip well, and using one hand, pass it through the wooden rollers, turning the crank clockwise with the other hand. The cavatelli will drop onto the counter after they are cut. Place the cavatelli on a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook. Cook cavatelli in large pot of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Like gnocchi, cavatelli will rise to the surface when cooked. Drain and top with your sauce of choice.
Pictures by Salvatore Corso. Click here to see his amazing website.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Gwyneth's recipe was published in Food and Wine Magazine April 2011.
1 pound small zucchini, very thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound spaghetti
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
- In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the flour and a pinch of salt. In a very large skillet, heat half of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the zucchini and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a paper towel–lined wire rack and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining oil and zucchini.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the 1 cup of cheese, the basil and a generous pinch of pepper. Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time, tossing well to coat. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and top with the crispy zucchini. Serve right away with lemon wedges and additional cheese.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Hey everyone! This post is a little different from what I usually post here but I thought it would be a great way to help out all my fellow bloggers. Take a few minutes to check this out and maybe you'll sign up. I'm excited about trying this for Willow House, my business and for this blog as well.
Ever notice that some blogs get all the action? They always have amazing gifts to give their readers and get to try out brand new products. I've done the occasional review (which I like to keep related to Italian Cooking) but there are some blogs that are always introducing us to some new things. I just discovered an awesome tool for both bloggers and businesses, it's called Business 2 Blogger. Business owners understand the influence that bloggers can have on their business and this site hooks businesses up with bloggers for FREE! So whether you are a blogger looking to make a few bucks on your writing or you have a business (such as an etsy store owner) that you are trying to advertise, this is the place for you!
I'm going to give this website a chance and see how I like it. Let me know if you decide to give it a shot and we can share our experiences!
On another note, there are new recipes to come! I get so wrapped up in my busy life sometimes and I thank you all for being so patient. :-)