ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Perfect Pasta

All credit for this one goes to my fabulous friend and college roommate, Carol, who gave me this recipe when I asked her what she does with truffle oil. My suggestion is to buy the smallest bottle of truffle oil you can find because you only need a very little bit (and it’s pricey) but it’s the truffle oil that really finishes this dish perfectly. If you are lucky enough to have whole truffles, even better but not necessary. The range in amount of mushrooms, pasta and butter relate to each other and to how saucy you want the final product to be. Using olive oil and vegetable broth in place of butter and chicken broth will make this dish vegetarian but the flavor will be a bit different. This is one of the few savory dishes I find merits real butter. 

Pasta with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil

20-24 oz sliced mushrooms, any variety (my favorite – Baby Bellas)

1/2-1 stick lightly salted butter (can substitute olive oil but the dish will not be exactly the same)

1 large onion, sliced or chopped

3-4 cloves garlic (depending on size of cloves and your love of garlic), pressed

1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer)

1/2 cup dry white wine such as chardonnay

salt and pepper to taste (as I recommend salted butter, be sure to taste before you add further salt)

1/2-1 lb. wide pasta such as fettuccine, pappardelle, preferably packaged as “nests”

1/2 tsp-1 tsp (at most!) truffle oil

1 truffle, sliced as thin as possible (optional)

chopped fresh arugula as a garnish (optional)

Melt butter in very large skillet (one large enough to hold the cooked pasta if you have one). Saute onions until they begin to caramelize. Add pressed garlic and saute for <1 minute more. Add sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have given up all their liquid and begin to caramelize. 

Add wine and broth and lower heat. Cook until a good amount of liquid has evaporate and you are left with a saucy consistency. If you go too far and you no longer have a sauce, just add more wine and or broth. 

Meanwhile cook desired amount of pasta as package directs to “al dente”. Drain pasta and add to skillet combining sauce with pasta. Drizzle truffle oil on top. Garnish with sliced truffle and arugula if desired. If you have a bit of leftover veggies such as broccoli or peas you can throw those into the mix with the mushrooms towards the end of cooking the sauce. 

Serves 4-6 

Serve with an arugula (or other green) salad and crusty bread

 


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Orchard and Farm Salsa

It’s harvest time. While I am all for canning, freezing, dehydrating to save your veggies to use all winter, I am savoring the fresh flavors that we can still enjoy and so I offer you…

Apple and Tomato Salsa

1 small red onion

1 large apple, cored and cut into chunks, skin left on

1 sweet red pepper, seeds and core removed

1 habanero pepper, seeds and core removed

1 large ripe tomato, core removed

Start by chopping the onion in the food processor using the pulse button, then add each vegetable in order listed and pulse as you go. The tomato should be added last so that the salsa does not get too gushy. Pulse to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste if you’d like. 

This salsa is very fresh tasting and is great as a dip or as an accompaniment to mild fish such as talapia, mahi mahi, sole. If you’d like a hotter salsa, use hotter peppers. 


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Easy as Tomato Pie

Got an abundance of tomatoes? Try this very easy and delicious baked tomato salad pie.

Tomato Salad Pie

6-8 plum tomatoes or the equivalent of other tomatoes, sliced no thicker than 1/4″ thick

1-2 onions, preferably Vidalia, sliced no thicker than 1/8″ thick

1 small head of fennel, sliced no thicker than 1/8″ thick

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a shallow baking dish (stoneware works best) (either 8″ x 8″ or pie plate) start with tomatoes, then onions, then fennel, layer single layers of the slices of each vegetable ending with onion. Bake for approximately 1 hour until onions on top start to crisp up. 

Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4-6 as a side dish. 

Note: If the tomatoes you have are very juicy, you may want to seed them to maintain the integrity of the pie.