Sunday, September 14, 2014

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Ylenia Sambati contributed this recipe to Food and Wine and it's a winner. As I said to my wife, "This is real Italian food." From the Puglia region (south eastern Italy), the simplicity of the dish highlights the contrasting notes of bitter broccoli and salty anchovies. The dish is reminiscent of many other southern Italian dishes like Aglio e Olio and Linguine alle Vongole. 

While a short pasta like orecchiette (little ears) or conchiglie (shells) is better, long pastas like spaghetti or linguine can be used.

2 pounds broccoli rabe, trimmed
1 pound orecchiette
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
6 anchovies in oil, drained and finely chopped
Kosher salt

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the broccoli rabe until just tender, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the broccoli rabe to a work surface and let cool slightly, then coarsely chop.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and anchovies and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped broccoli rabe, pasta and reserved cooking water, season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring, until hot, about 2 minutes. Serve right away.

Zucchini Latkes

This recipe comes from Einat Admony via Bon Appetit. I really like latkes which are small grated potato pancakes. I know them from the Jewish tradition but people from many parts of Europe (mostly central and eastern) make versions of them. This is a new version of the classic. I imagine cooking them in schmaltz (chicken fat) would make them even better.

3 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 1½ cups)
Roasted Red Pepper Labneh

Mix zucchini, onion, and 1 tablespoons salt in a medium bowl. Let sit 10 minutes, then wring out as much liquid as possible from zucchini and onion in a kitchen towel. Mix with leek, egg, panko, cilantro, and thyme in a clean medium bowl; season with pepper.

Pour oil into a large skillet, preferably cast iron, to a depth of 1/2" and heat over medium heat until oil bubbles when a pinch of zucchini mixture is added.

Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of zucchini mixture into skillet and gently flatten with a spatula into 2" patties. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels; season with salt. Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Labneh.

DO AHEAD: Patties can be made 30 minutes ahead. Keep warm in a 300 ° oven until ready to serve.

Pasta with Guanciale, Tomato, and Chile

This recipe comes from Tosca in San Francisco and was published in Bon Appetit. It's very good. I upped the amounts so I could cook a full pound of pasta which really just amounted to adding more rosemary and 5 ounces of crushed tomatoes. I've made this with and without garlic and personally I like it a little better with some garlic (just 1 large clove). 

1 sprig rosemary
4 ounces guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl) or pancetta, very thinly sliced
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces bucatini
Kosher salt
1 ounce Pecorino, finely grated
Olive oil (for serving)

Microwave rosemary on high in 20-second intervals until leaves are brittle, about 60 seconds. Remove leaves and grind to a fine powder with a spice mill or mortar and pestle; you should have about 1 tsp. (Alternatively, very finely chop leaves.)

Cook guanciale in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until guanciale is browned and crisp, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Cook onion in same skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Return all but 2 Tbsp. guanciale to skillet and add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and rosemary powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 5–8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.

Serve pasta topped with Pecorino and remaining 2 Tbsp. guanciale and drizzled with oil.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Linguine with Burst Tomatoes and Chiles

Carlo Mirarchi contributed this recipe to Bon Appetit.

You can use pre-made bread crumbs if necessary and since I cook gluten free most of the time because of my wife, I typically have a stash of gf bread crumbs ready to use. The concept of using bread crumbs in pasta dishes seems to be a predominantly southern Italian idea probably originating in the deep south, most likely Calabria.

2 slices ¼"-thick crusty bread, well-toasted, broken into pieces
12 oz. linguine
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped drained oil-packed Calabrian chiles
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
1 pound small tomatoes
1 oz. Pecorino, finely grated (about ½ cup)
Freshly ground black pepper

Pulse toast in a food processor to fine crumbs; set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat chiles and 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, turning tomatoes occasionally, until blistered in spots, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, lightly crushing tomatoes, until beginning to break down, about 3 minutes.

Add pasta, 1 cup pasta cooking liquid, and ¼ cup Pecorino to skillet and cook, tossing and adding more liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Serve pasta seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with remaining Pecorino and reserved breadcrumbs.

Garlicky Runner Beans

Mona Talbott submitted this recipe to Bon Appetit. It's nice and easy and tastes good. :)

¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1½ pounds green and/or yellow runner beans, trimmed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. 

Add beans and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook, tossing occasionally, until beans are crisp-tender and lightly browned, 8–10 minutes. 

Transfer beans to a platter and squeeze lemon over.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sangria and Cherry-Apple Juice

Sangria is just about the best thing ever. Therefore, I have a sangria recipe. 

Cherry juice is expensive in Denver. I always get a medium-size bottle of apple juice when I make this recipe and then mix the leftover cherry juice with the apple juice. The cherry-apple juice tastes like fall.

1 750 ml bottle rosé wine (prefer 2 rosé instead of 1 and 1 rose/red)
1 750 ml bottle red wine
1 L club soda
2-3 c cherry juice
2 c amaretto (traditionally brandy but the amaretto goes nicely with the cherry)
1/2 c simple syrup (optional - prefer not to use it)
2 apples sliced
3 oranges sliced
2 limes/lemons sliced
large bunch of cherries - pitted (optional)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sprouted Mung Bean 3 Bean Salad (making it a 4 bean salad)

Everybody does recipes nowadays and Yoga Journal gets the props for this recipe. I like the good old fashioned 3 bean salad. I've always thought of it as an Italian American dish since I learned how to make it from my father, but I guess it has merged into the larger American culture. That's a good thing in my opinion because this 4 bean salad is a nice change of pace with the vinaigrette dressing and the sprouts. 


1 cup sprouted mung beans
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
4 oz crumbled feta cheese


1. Sprout in advance

Sprout mung beans following directions here. (The website is missing the link. I was able to buy sprouted beans from a grocery store called Sprouts.)

2. Make dressing

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and mustard until creamy. Add minced tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Prepare salad

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; blanch green beans for 1-2 minutes. Dunk in a bowl of ice water to cool; drain, chop into short lengths, and place in a serving bowl. Add sprouted mung beans, red beans, chickpeas, and scallions. Dress, season with salt and pepper, and toss to mix. Chill in the refrigerator. Just before serving, gently fold in tomatoes and feta.