ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Ragout for You

Leave yourself a few hours to get this on the table. It doesn’t require a lot of “babysitting” but time to let the ingredients to cook down and the flavors to develop. If you have a food processor, mince the veggies easily all at once.

Ragout with Sausage and Broccoli

1 lb sweet or spicy Italian sausage (turkey sausage works very well as well as a vegetarian sausage)

1-2 T olive oil

1 large onion, minced

1 carrot, minced

1 celery stalk, minced

1/4 C Italian parsley, minced*

28 oz can of whole tomatoes (do not drain the juice)

1.5 t thyme

1.5 t rosemary

3 T tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup hot water

black pepper to taste

1 lb pasta, cooked to al dente

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets and coarsely chopped stems

Parmigiano-Reggiano & extra parsley for garnish

Remove the sausages from their casings and cook the loose meat in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil as needed if the meat is sticking. Saute till meat is cooked but not  browned.

Add the fresh veggies (mince them in the food processor for easiest prep). Cook over low heat, stirring as needed until the veggies begin to caramelize; approx 30-40 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, use a kitchen shears to break up the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium.  Once simmering add the rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Continue to simmer about 20 minutes until almost no liquid remains. Add the dissolved tomato paste, reduce the heat to low and cook about 10 minutes more.

Cook pasta per package directions for al dente.  About 5 minutes before the pasta is set to be done, add the broccoli to the pot to cook. Before you drain the pasta/broccoli, remove about 1-2 cups of the cooking water and reserve. Drain pasta/broccoli, return it to the cook pot and add the ragout and as much pasta water as needed for desired sauce consistency.

Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serves 6

*I have just come across frozen chopped parsley. I am loving the flexibility of having parsley pre-chopped at my finger tips at all times. http://www.daregalgourmet.com

 

 

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Pasta me a second helping

Fettucine with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Salmon

12 oz semolina fettucine

2-4 T olive oil

3 large scallions, sliced into small pieces

1 garlic clove, put through a press

2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

1 medium sized zucchini cut into small dice

~ 1 1/2-1 tsp hot chili pepper of your choice and to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

8 oz salmon fillet

Heat oil in very large skillet on medium high heat. Add scallions and saute until they start to brown, lower heat to medium and add garlic. After about 30 seconds more add tomatoes in stages so that some of the tomato pieces will retain more of their texture and shape. Add zucchini and hot pepper, s & p to taste. Keep in mind that the salmon will add some saltiness to the dish. After the sauce reaches a slightly thickened consistency, add the cheese and cook about a minute more. Put skillet to the side off the heat and add the salmon fillet, cut into 2-3 pieces. Don’t worry about the salmon skin, it will easily peel off once salmon is cooked.

Meanwhile fill pasta pot and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as package directs. Once pasta is ready, drain it and put the skillet with the sauce back on high heat for about 4 minutes. Peel off any salmon skin and discard, break up the salmon into bite sized pieces, add pasta into sauce, combine and serve.

Serves 4.


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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