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Recipes that include parmesan

Lamb Pizzaiola

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inspired by a recipe for Wine-Braised Lamb Shanks on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (prepared at Giusti’s Place), I created this recipe for lamb shanks. A little bit of spice and acid go a long way in my version. Their idea to serve the lamb with sauced, wet polenta inspired me to serve with a grilled polenta cake.

Lamb Pizzaiola over Grilled Polenta 1

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Deep Dish Pizza

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jessica has been wanting to make pizza all week. We stopped by Home Depot to buy some quarry tile to use as a pizza stone, but go figure, the Manhattan HDs don’t stock tile. So she decided on deep dish, as we don’t need a stone and because neither of us had really experimented much (at least in recent years) with deep dish.

CU on Baked Crust

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Italian Wedding Soup

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A week ago my mom picked up four pounds of lamb for me at a butcher in Long Island. Because he butchered an 8-pound piece for me, I ended up with two beautiful shanks. After attending my cousin Riva’s wedding last night, and because our brunch plans fell apart, AND (for the real reason) because Jessica wasn’t feeling well, I decided to make some lamb stock, which would end up in homemade (the best kind) Italian Wedding Soup.

First I sauteed the shanks with salt and pepper in extra virgin olive oil in a large stock pot. I let them go for a good 15 minutes, during which time I added 1.5 roughly chopped onions and 3 cloves of garlic. I then caramelized half a can of tomato paste before deglazing with low sodium College Inn chicken broth. I filled the pot with water and added two roughly chopped carrots; two bay leaves (broken in halves), a tablespoon of peppercorns, and a large handful of fresh dill.

After bringing it to a boil, I let the stock reduce for about three hours. Towards the end I started making the soup: first I cooked some pasta and made the meatballs. While the standard pasta for this soup are elbows, I used a great variation on elbows, Barilla’s pipette rigate.

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • 0.5lb Ground Beef
  • 0.5lb Ground Pork
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or more, as necessary)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped, flat leaf, Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4lb of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Black Pepper (to taste)

I rolled the meatballs into 3/4″-round balls and cooked them for 3 minutes in unseasoned, boiling water (the same water I used to cooked the pipettes).

Before assembling the soup, I pulled the shanks out of the stock pot and pulled the meat off them. Then, I strained the stock and saved the carrots as a snack for Jessica later. In the mean time, I finely diced half an onion into a two-quart sauce pan, and added the stock. I also added a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, two cloves of garlic diced, lots of dried oregano, and adjusted seasoning (a little salt was necessary). In the mean time I rinsed some baby spinach and gave it a very coarse chop.

Just before serving the soup, I added the spinach and some more parsley to the soup, along with the meatballs and pulled lamb meat (to reheat). I served with the pasta in the bowl.

The overall flavor was phenomenal. The stock had a rich flavor and the soup had just a bit of heat from the cayenne in the meat and the red pepper flakes in the soup. The spinach was also cooked perfectly.

While this soup does take a bit of work, it is worth every second. A lot of love goes into making soup like; and it can’t be rushed. Perhaps that’s the reason it has magical curative powers?

See more pictures of the soup and the cooking process in our Flickr set.

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Fresh Ravioli

Saturday, March 10, 2007

For lunch today, I scrounged through the fridge and found three leftovers: the sauce from some spicy dduk bok-kee from Korean Grandma; tomato chutney (sweet & tangy from ginger and vinegar) I made to top some tilapia last Sunday; and plain macaroni I boiled a few days ago for my inside-out meatball experiment (which didn’t go very well). I combined it all and added some garlic and mozzarella. It was a delicious lunch.

However, I broke the cardinal rule and had pasta again for dinner! This time I went all out with home-made ravioli. I picked up some spicy Italian sausage from Garden of Eden along with some washed spinach leaves. I didn’t write down the exact recipe, so here goes my best guess (particularly for the filling). In other words, this is a completely unrefined recipe.

Makes about 32 ravioli (~5 servings)

Ingredients: Pasta

  • 2 cups of A.P. Flour + extra for dusting
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • warm water as needed

Ingredients: Filling

  • 2 links of spicy, Italian sausage (skins removed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5oz spinach leaves (pre-cooked weight)
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan-romano
  • dried basil
  • black pepper

Ingredients: Sauce
This is enough for three portions.

  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium, chicken stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch

Instructions: Pasta

  1. In a broad mixing bowl, pour in 2 cups of flour and create a well, into which crack two eggs.
  2. With a fork, wisk the eggs, slowly widening your mixing bringing in the flour, until the mixture is getting dry (about one minute). Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, and warm water as necessary to just bring dough together.
  3. Continue turning and kneeding dough for three minutes, a little flour may be necessary to keep it from sticking. Over time it will not stick. Once basically smooth, flatten into a round and place on your counter, under the bowl you used to mix the flour and eggs. Leave it for at least 15 minutes– this is the perfect time to make the filling (see below).
  4. Once the dough has rested, cut it in half with a large pastry scraper (Jess likes the OXO pastry scraper), and wrap half in plastic wrap.
  5. Flatten the dough with your hand until it’s less than an inch deep. In most cases you do not need a special machine for this, but rolling ravioli dough by hand is insane. We use a pasta/noodle machine (the common Imperia model). Standard approach here: roll the dough through on the widest setting (#1 on ours); dust the dough with flour and brush (with a pastry brush) the extra off, then fold it over itself in half until, when turned 90 degrees, it will fit back through the machine’s width. Repeat this three times, turning 90 degrees each time. Remember to use a little flour between each fold, but not too much.
  6. Then begin reducing the machine’s settings, one step at a time, passing the dough through each time, until you get to the thinnest setting. By this time the dough is unwieldy! I tend to ribbon fold the dough on itself to help manage it while feeding it. Kind of like an S-shape.
  7. Finally lay out the dough, so that half of the length is flat (I keep the other half folded, but you could cut it off and reserve it). Quadrant off 2″ square sections and put a 1 tsp. dollop of the filling into each square.
  8. Prepare an egg wash (equal parts egg and warm water). Brush (I used the great silicone brush
    /> Carol got us) the edges of each square. Then cover the filling/bottom layer with the other half of the dough that was folded off to the side. Carefully push all the air out and try to seal the dough flat. Cut the ravioli squares with a pizza wheel. Scrape them off the counter with your pastry scraper, and place them on a baking sheet and cover with a towel. If they’re a bit wet, dust with some bench flour. We’ll talk about final cooking below.

Instructions: Filling

  1. In a large skillet, sautee the sausage over medium heat in a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil with the diced garlic. Break up the sausage as it cooks into the smallest pieces possible. When done, reserve in a bowl on the side.
  2. In the same skillet (no need to wash), cook the spinach with the basil and black pepper. No additional oil or water is necessary, just cook over medium heat and cover the pan, cook about four minutes.
  3. Chop the cooked spinach into a dice and put in the bowl with sausage.
  4. Once cooled a bit, add an equal amount of ricotta to the bowl, doubling the volume. Then add the parmesan

Instructions: Sauce & Final Prep

  1. In salted, rapidly boiling water, cook ravioli in portions (about 4-6 at at time), for one minute, then reserve in a colander.
  2. In the same skillet where the filling was prepared, still uncleaned, sautee over medium-high heat, the garlic in the olive oil. Then deglaze with white wine.
  3. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to heat; then stir in the corn starch as a slurry (add enough cold water to liquify starch). Finally stir in ravioli and bring back to temperature and serve.

Bon Appétit!

Check out Flickr for more pictures of the ravioli.

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