Italian


And so we return to Italy for My Kitchen My World . But instead of JUST Italy, we could choose a region of Italy to cook from. I have been wanting to make a Bolognese Sauce for some time. Perfect timing.

    The first recipe for a meat sauce characterized as being Bolognese came from Pellegrino Artusi and was included in his cookbook published in 1891. Artusi’s recipe, Maccheroni alla bolognese, is believed to have originated from the middle 19th century when he spent considerable time in Bologna.

Bologna is in Northern Italy (specifically Emilia Romagna) so I guess that is my region!

Bolognese Sauce

    2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 onion, chopped
    4 garlic doves, minced
    1 1/2 tsp fresh basil
    1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano
    1/4 cup shredded carrots
    2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite diced toma oes
    1/4 cup tomato paste
    1/4 cup white wine
    1 cup milk (not all at once)
    1/2 teaspoon salt

In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add the beef and cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and any liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Stir in onion, garlic, oregano, and basil. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add carrots. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add milk. Stir in salt.

Gnocchi

    1 1/2 lbs Washington Russet potatoes
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 egg yolks

Scrub potatoes with vegetable brush under cold running water. Prick potatoes with fork in several places. Microwave potatoes until done. {I used 6 potatoes and microwaved for 6 minutes.} Cool 10 minutes. Peel potatoes and while still warm shred potatoes on a box grater over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread potatoes out ‘and cool completely.
When potatoes are cooled, in a large bowl combine potatoes, flour and salt and toss well to coat potatoes with flour. Add egg yolks and stir with fingers or a fork until evenly moistened. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to form a dough. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece with your palms on a work surface to form a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1 /2-inch pieces.

Hold the tines of a fork at a 45-degree angle to the table with the concave part facing up. Dip the tip of your thumb in flour. Take one piece of dough and with the tip of your thumb, press the dough lightly against the tines of the fork as you roll it downward toward the tips of the tines. As the dough wraps around the tip of your thumb, it will form into a dumpling with a deep indentation on one side and a ridged surface on the other.
Repeat with remaining pieces.

What is even more fun is to use a Gnocchi Board

Over high heat, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. In batches, add gnocchi to the pot and cook until gnocchi rise to the surface. Carefully
remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to serving bowls. Serve with Bolognese Sauce . Garnish with freshly shredded Parmesan Cheese.

B really liked this so now this is now my basic go-to sauce.

The gnocchi recipe appeared originally on Washington State Potato Commission Page but it is no longer there.

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I like a nice light pasta. Especially in the summer. Heavy sauces just will not do when it is hot outside. Like today. So this was just the right pasta. I had been holding off on this one for a while because I wanted to use really fresh tomatoes. Fresh from our garden. And basil. It is so exciting to snip my own leaves from the plant on the back porch to include in summer dishes. Exciting!

Spaghettini al Pomodoro e Basilico

As is usual these days I made only 1/2 of the total recipe. Simple ingredients: fresh tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, basil, and Olive Oil. Simple. Perfect. Delicious.

Look on page 62 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pasta for the recipe.

And check out Kayte’s page to see if she made pasta.

Simple. Delicious. Easy. All of these are the hallmarks of most of Hazan’s pastas in his Thirty Minute Pasta. And for those reasons it is exceptionally easy to quickly (DOH! 30 Minutes) have pasta any time you want.

      Spaghetti with Olives, Capers, and Anchovies

All the ingredients are listed in the title. All good! All simple!

I used 5 ounces of pasta {recipe calls for 16} and made 1/2 of the sauce. It was so very tasty. But….I would make the full amount of sauce next time.

The recipe is on page 121 of Hazan’s book.

Do not hand me a raw tomato and expect me to eat it. Yes, I know, I am weird, but there is just something about the texture of a raw tomato that I just cannot handle.

But believe it or not I am anxious to be abee to pick the first tomato off one of your plants. Why? Hand me a plate with fried green tomatoes or cooked tomatoes however and I am all over it. It’s just the raw thing…. blech!!

This week’s pasta dish HAS a fresh tomato, but cooked, not raw. And Basil {and it is so much fun to step out my back door and cut my own!}. And red and yellow sweet peppers. My favorite things every one!

    Penne with Peppers, Fresh Tomato, and Basil.

Only one difference between his dish and mine – I didn’t peel the peppers. Mine were young and small and the skin was very tender. If you don’t have those you really will need to peel them as they can give the dish a bitter taste.

If you have sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes, and basil you really should make this one. Really!!

You can find the complete recipe on page 63 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pastas but I also found it on the Hazans’web page.

Have you ever had a cookbook where every recipe was a winner? I haven’t. Until now. Thanks to Kayte I have Hazan’s 30 Minute Pastas and I have yet to make one of his pastas that wasn’t good. Including this one

    Fusilli alla Salsiccia e Zucchine

Good stuff, Y’all, good stuff. A mixture of onions, sausage, zucchini, and tomatoes tossed with fusilli was just right for dinner.

I only made one change. Hazan calls for fresh tomatoes but I didn’t have any so I used some fresh canned peeled tomatoes from the garden. Just as good.

You can find the recipe on page 150 of Hazan’s Pasta book.

And please excuse the photos. Gets dark early these days.

Mac and Cheese! The Ultimate Comfort Food! All American!


Well, Maybe!!

    Shells Rigatoni with Butter and Cheese

It was supposed to be Shells, but I discovered I didn’t have any. Hazan says he has made this dish with rigatoni or maccheroni. Rigatoni it was!

THIS is Mac and Cheese – Italian Style. Creamy. Cheesy. Delicious. Simple. Quick. And quick is good because I haven’t been home much lately.

Instead of the regular cheddar or **GASP** Velveeta (YES! I do like it this way!!) this recipe uses Parmigiano-Reggiano.

No meat in this one. Makes a really good side. Or just by itself! Try this one…..

This is on page 95 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pasta.

Go by and check out Kayte’s selection for this week, too.

If there is one thing I love, it is any type of seafood. If there is one thing I don’t love, it is cooking for one. Just me. Alone. By myself. But that is where I find myself right now. Not for long, but long enough.

What’s the easiest thing to cook just for one that is quick – PASTA!! And since I’m not getting home until later I really have to rummage to find something to cook with pasta. I was excited to find a single Salmon fillet in the freezer which meant I could make this….

    Farfalle with Fresh Salmon.

Since I only had one 4 oz salmon fillet I made about 1/3 of the recipe. And it was super simple. Saute garlic with red pepper flakes. Add chopped fresh tomatoes (which I did not have so used some frozen whole blanched I had put up early this summer) Add sliced salmon and fresh basil. throw in some cream and toss with the pasta. Super Simple and Super Tasty.

And if you want to know what pasta for one looks like –

A litle pile of pasta. Dang but I’ll be glad when The Hubs is home again.

Check out what Kayte made for 30 Minute Thursdays. Why don’t you join us? The recipe is from Hazans 30 Minute Pastas on page 118. If you like super simple you will LOVE this book.

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