CATEGORIES: Baking, Breakfast, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Pasta, Pork, Ramen, Vegetarian

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Pasta

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Classic Mac and Cheese

From "The Mac + Cheese Cookbook - Homeroom"

INGREDIENTS:

For the Bechamel:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Mac & Cheese:

  • 1/2 lb dried elbow pasta
  • 2 cups Bechamel
  • 1 1/2 cups grated 2-year-aged, extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Make the bechamel sauce: Heat the milk in a pot over medium heat until it just starts to bubble, but is not boiling, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a separate, heavy-bottomed pot. When the butter has just melted, add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Slowly pour the warm milk, about 1 cup at a time, into the butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly. It will get very thick when you first add the milk, and thinner as you slowly pour in the entire 3 cups. This is normal.

Once all the milk has been added, set the pot back over medium-high heat, and continue to whisk constantly. In the next 2 to 3 minutes the sauce should come together and become silky and thick. After conducting the spoon test, add the salt.

Make the mac & cheese: Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until a little less than al dente. Drain, rinse the pasta wiht cold water, and drain it again.

Add the sauce and both cheeses to a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cook over medium heat. Stir until the cheese is barely melted, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the cooked pasta, stir, and continue cooking while stirring continuously until the pasta is hot and steaming, another 5 minutes.

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Baked Pasta with Sausage Ragu

SERVES 4 FOR 2 DINNERS, WITH PLENTY OF EXTRA RAGÙ SAUSAGE RAGÙ

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds (900g) your favorite sausage (chicken or pork, sweet or hot), removed from the casings
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 cups (1.4kg/ 2.5kg) fresh or canned chopped tomatoes (preferably Pomi)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves

BAKED PASTA

  • Soft butter, for the baking dish
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (110g) grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup (50g) grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup (60g) fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound (450g) short pasta (such as penne or small shells)
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 To make the ragù, warm the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes.

2 Clear a spot in the middle of the pan and add the onion and a couple pinches of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3 Stir in the tomatoes and basil and simmer until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, at least 45 minutes. (Add a little water if the sauce looks dry.) Taste and adjust the seasoning and discard the basil. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

4 The day of: Heat the oven to 500 ° F (260 ° C). Butter a shallow 2-quart (1.9L) baking dish and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

5 In a large bowl, combine the 4 cups (950ml) ragù with the heavy cream, mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, and salt.

6 Cook the pasta for 3 minutes, then drain and run it under cold water to stop the cooking. Add the pasta to the bowl, tossing gently to combine.

7 Spread the pasta evenly into the baking dish. Scatter the cubed butter over the top. 8 Bake until bubbly and brown, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. Reserve half for later in the week— right in the baking dish, or transfer to a container.

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Noodles with Tuna and Peas

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Noodles with Tuna and Peas

Serves 8

  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 pint morel mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 ounces fusilli or other short pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups peas (frozen, or fresh peas that have been shelled and blanched)
  • Two 5-ounce cans good, olive-oil packed tuna, drained and flaked into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Stir together the breadcrumbs, olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until breadcrumbs are fragrant and golden brown. Set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add shallot, celery, and mushrooms with a generous pinch of salt and cook until the vegetables soften and start to brown, about 5 minutes. If they start to brown too quickly, add a little water to the pan.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until the flour softens and melts. Turn up heat to medium and add the milk, whisking to break up any flour lumps. Stir constantly until sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Turn heat down to low and season well with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon zest, nutmeg, cream, and Parmesan and stir well. Keep warm.
  4. Next, cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, add the peas and tuna to the cream sauce and stir through. When the pasta is al dente, drain it, saving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir. If the sauce seems thick, add a little of the reserved cooking water. Taste for seasoning, then add lemon juice and parsley and stir again. Serve immediately, sprinkling each plate with some of the breadcrumbs.

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Orecchiette with Merguez and Ramps

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Orecchiette with Merguez and Ramps

You can easily substitute another type of sausage (hot or sweet) and any greens you like, such as leeks, broccoli rabe, kale, or spinach. Just toss in a little garlic or onion right after you brown the sausage if you’re not using something from the allium family.

SERVES 4, WITH LEFTOVERS

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound (340g) Lamb Merguez or any loose sausage
  • 6 ounces (170g) ramps (about 15 large), cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 pound (450g) orecchiette or other short pasta
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)
  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the merguez, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks
  2. Meanwhile, slice the white bulbs of the ramps finely and coarsely chop the leaves, keeping them separate. Add the bulbs to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and start to brown, a few minutes. Add the leaves and cook until just wilted, another minute or so. Turn off the heat and set aside. 
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sausage and ramps and cook briefly over medium heat, stirring through an using some of the cooking liquid to losen things up and create a silky sauce. Serve immediately, with Parmesan.

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Swedish Meatball Pasta

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Swedish Meatball Pasta

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 finely minced onion
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt (for meatballs)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (for meatballs)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups beef broth
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt (for sauce)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (for sauce)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups egg noodles
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, salt, and pepper, mixing until evenly combined. Heat the canola oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Take about a golf-ball size of the meatball mixture and roll it into balls. Place the meatballs into the pot, cooking for one minute. Flip the meatballs.

Add the beef broth, milk, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and give it a stir. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the egg noodles. Stir constantly until the pasta is cooked and the liquid has reduced to a sauce that coats the noodles, about seven to eight minutes. Add the parmesan and the parsley, stirring until the cheese is melted. Serve!

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Pasta Risotto with Peas and Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. garlic-flavored oil
  • 6 oz. cubed pancetta
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen petits pois
  • 8 oz. orzo pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. soft butter
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Warm the oil in a heavy pan that will hold everything later; a Dutch oven or saucepan of 10 inches diameter should be big enough. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until it becomes crisp and bronzed, then add the peas and stir for a minute or so until the frozen look leaves them.

Add the pasta and turn it about in the pancetta and peas, then pour in the boiling water. Add salt (cautiously, especially if this is for children—the pancetta is salty, as is the Parmigiano-Reggiano later); then turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, though check on it a couple of times and give a stir or two, to stop it from sticking and to see if you need to add a little more water from the kettle.

When it’s ready, the pasta should be soft and starchy and the water absorbed. Beat the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano into the pan, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in warm bowls.

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Mushroom Pasta with Halloumi and Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1⁄4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g haloumi, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup (50g) walnuts, roughly chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 300g field mushrooms, sliced
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper 
  • 250g sour cream

Cook the pasta in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1⁄3 cup (80ml) of the cooking liquid. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the haloumi and walnuts and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until golden. Set aside and keep warm. Add the remaining oil, the garlic, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes. Add the cream and reserved liquid and cook for 3 minutes. Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Top with the haloumi, walnuts and pepper to serve. Serves 4.

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Mushroom, Sundried Tomato, and Chicken in a Cream Sauce

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Mushroom, Sundried Tomato, and Chicken in a Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

2 pieces, chicken, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup, sun-dried tomatos, sliced into thin strips
1.5 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb, ziti or penne
3 tbsp, olive oil
1/2 cup, light cream
1/4 cup, grated pecorino romano
1 tsp, dried basil

Directions:

Get started by cleaning off the mushrooms and slicing them into nice thin pieces. Throw these into a non stick skillet with olive oil and a touch of salt, and start to simmer gently. They'll start to release their fluid after a few minutes, just keep on cooking them down until they are nice and soft and slightly caramelized.

Once the mushrooms have softened, throw in the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes. Cook together until the garlic and sun-dried tomato have infused their flavor into the olive oil. Then add in your basil, and stir together.

Once the garlic and sun-dried tomato have cooked together, add in your chicken strips and cook at high heat until they get a nice light brown sear to them. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the chicken has cooked about 80% of the way through (chop open a piece with your spoon, it should be almost completely white inside), add in your cream, lower the heat to medium, and stir together.  Let the cream start to bubble a bit, then reduce the heat and let everything simmer together while the pasta is cooking.

Cook the ziti or penne in salted water until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Once cooked al dente, throw your grated pecorino cheese into the mushroom and chicken mixture, and then take a small ladle of the pasta water and ladle it over the cheese. This will melt the cheese and help it to incorporate into the sauce. Stir together to incorporate.

Drain your pasta, and add it to the creamy chicken mixture. Toss together over medium heat for about 30 seconds to finish the cooking of the pasta and let all the flavors incorporate.

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