Recipes

Enjoy Italian Cooking at Home

15

Apr 2019

Spaghettini with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Toasted Garlic, Olive Oil and Breadcrumbs

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Italy, Recipes /

Val likes to clean out the fridge when I’m gone. So it was not really surprising that when I arrived home hungry  after my long trip to Italy, I found only a few tidbits in the kitchen–just a cup of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, a little bread, a chunk of cheese, a bit of wilted parsley and some imported spaghettini. Fortunately, in my suitcase I had packed a bottle of newly pressed extra virgin olive oil from a farm in Umbria, a bottle of “Colatura di Alici” ( a subtle almost buttery tasting anchovy extract) and a bottle of Sicilian capers from a specialty food store I visited in Rome. I was going to save these expensive treats for a special occasion, but I realized there was no time like the present. I was  already missing Rome and feeling as tired as the parsley.  And so I did what any good Italian would do. I made do.  And I  prepared everything with care.  Frankly, I was a little shocked the pasta dish that I made up as I went along turned out so well. I loved it so much that I wanted to write it down and share it with you. Sometimes a humble meal made with the right attitude and just a few excellent ingredients is all you need to satisfy your soul.

Spaghettini with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Toasted Garlic and Breadcrumbs
Serves 2
An improvised pasta dish that is soul satisfying
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
  2. pinch of red pepper flakes
  3. 1/2 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  4. 1/2 cup Reggiano Parmesan
  5. 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
  6. 2 tablespoons capers
  7. 1 cup of slow roasted cherry tomatoes in olive oil
  8. 2 teaspoons "Colatura di Alici" (anchovy extract)
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  10. Kosher salt for pasta water
  11. 1/2 pound of spaghettini
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat (The water should taste like the sea).
  2. Meanwhile, add the oil to a 12 inch skillet, add the slivered garlic and turn the heat up to medium low. When the garlic is golden brown, remove the garlic to a paper towel to drain. Turn up the heat to medium and add the breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes. Stir until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden brown. Remove breadcrumbs with a slotted spoon and place in a medium bowl.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and make sure there are no burnt crumbs left in the pan. Rewarm the clean pan and add the capers, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and accompanying olive oil. When tomatoes have warmed through, remove from heat.
  4. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of salted starchy pasta water and drain the pasta. Immediately return the pasta to the pan of warm tomatoes and capers, turn on the heat to medium, add 3-4 tablespoons of salted pasta water and finish cooking the pasta. When pasta is done, remove from heat. Add breadcrumbs, toasted garlic, grated parmesan and a drizzle of anchovy extract. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Notes
  1. You can use fresh cherry tomatoes for this dish, but it's better with slow roasted tomatoes. To roast cherry tomatoes, slice 10-12 of them in half, place on pan lined with tinfoil. Sprinkle tomatoes with a little sugar, salt, and olive oil. Roast in a 250 degree oven for 60 -75 minutes. Scrape roasted tomatoes into a small condiment jar and barely cover with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. If you don't have anchovy extract, you can leave it out or add an anchovy filet to the skillet and dissolve before you add the roasted tomatoes.
Jillyanna's Cooking School http://www.jillyannas.com/

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11

Feb 2019

Borlotti Bean Soup (Pasta e Fagioli)

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Recipes /

Here’s what I love about this simple winter soup: it contains almost no meat product and only a few vegetables. You can even leave out the pasta and no one will miss it. You can make it the day before you entertain and the soup will be even better. Pasta e Fagioli is a classic Italian peasant dish, but it is so sumptuous, that after one sip of the soup, your dinner guests will feel like royalty. Simple dishes shine if you use only the best ingredients so if you want to do justice to this soup, start with homemade brown chicken stock. You will need a big batch of  stock since this recipe calls for two quarts. Also, please use dried borlotti beans otherwise known as cranberry beans. The bean is tan, fairly large and streaked with red. I purchase my beans either from Rancho Gordo or Whole Foods. These beans are the star of the soup. You will be the star of the evening if you serve this main dish with warm crusty sourdough bread, a bit of butter, a simple salad and a bottle of good chianti.

Borlotti Bean Soup
Serves 6
A rich bean soup that is most appreciated on a wintry evening.
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small chunk of pancetta (about 1/4 pound), cut into one inch cubes'
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  4. 1-2 teaspoons dried hot pepper
  5. 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  7. 2 quarts chicken stock, preferably brown chicken stock (see notes)
  8. 1 pound dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight in large glass bowl
  9. 1 3 inch square Parmesan rind
  10. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven (I use my Le Creuset 6 quart Dutch oven) heat the pancetta and olive oil over high heat until it is almost smoking and the pancetta is nicely browned. Add the onions and parsley and hot pepper and cook over medium heat until the onions are golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook over medium heat about 8 minutes. Do not let the paste mixture scorch. Add most of the chicken stock (one-and-a-half quarts) and the swollen beans and the parmesan rind and simmer 20 more minutes. Taste soup, adjust seasoning. If soup is too thick, add more stock. Before serving, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Notes
  1. This soup is starchy and does not really need pasta. But if you truly want to call your soup, "Pasta e Fagioli," add a few pre-cooked pasta rags to your soup, just before serving.
  2. Shortcut for making light brown chicken stock: Buy two already roasted chickens from the supermarket (If you like, remove some breast meat for sandwiches). Toss the two chickens in a tall stockpot with 2 carrots, 1 parsnip, 1 coarsely chopped leek, two coarsely chopped medium Spanish onions, 3 ribs of chopped celery, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 bunch of parsley stems, 1 bay leaf, 1 heaping tablespoon of Kosher salt. Cover with 6 quarts of water. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer, skimming occasionally until stock is reduced by half. This should take about two hours. Remove from heat, strain and cool the stock (In the winter, when temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit or below, I put the stockpot on a tray in the snow or by the front door and let the stock quickly cool down). After your stock has cooled down, refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, skim off the congealed fat. Refrigerate stock in 1 quart containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.
Adapted from Mario Batali
Adapted from Mario Batali
Jillyanna's Cooking School http://www.jillyannas.com/

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19

Dec 2017

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Streusel

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Recipes, WCSH6 /

A rich holiday bundt cake laden with semi-sweet chocolate and toasted almonds. With a short prep time this cake is perfect for the busy holiday season. This cake can be made 3 days ahead and can be stored tightly covered at room temperature.

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WATCH JILLYANNA’S APPEARANCE ON WCSH6 BELOW OR CLICK HERE

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Streusel
Serves 12
A rich holiday bundt cake laden with semi-sweet chocolate and toasted almonds
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Chocolate Streusel
  2. 1 cup chopped toasted almonds
  3. 1 cup semisweet chocolate bits (I prefer 64% Valhrona chopped chocolate.)
  4. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. Pinch kosher salt
  7. Cake and Assembly
  8. Canola spray
  9. 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  10. 4 cups all purpose flour + 2-3 Tablespoons for dusting the pan
  11. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  12. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  13. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  14. 2 cups granulated sugar
  15. 4 large eggs
  16. 2 cups sour cream
  17. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray oil into bundt pan and using a pastry brush, thoroughly coat all crevices of the pan. Add a few tablespoons of flour to the pan, shake and tap out excess flour.
  3. Whisk 4 cups all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar and 2 sticks softened butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time beating to blend and scraping down sides alternating with sour cream. Add vanilla and beat just to combine.
  5. Transfer half of batter to prepared pan, smooth surface. Sprinkle half of streusel evenly over batter, Scrape in 1/4 batter, smooth surface, and sprinkle with remaining streusel. The dough should fill 2/3 of the pan. (The remaining batter is enough to fill a mini bundt pan if you want to bake it and give it as a small gift!)
  6. Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  7. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool in pan 20-30 minutes before inverting onto wire rack. Let cool completely. Then reinvert cake onto cake plate.
Notes
  1. You will need a 12-15 cup nonstick Bundt pan. Mine is made made by Nordic Ware. Be sure not to overfill your bundt pan. And do check it after 45 minutes with a toothpick.
  2. After you remove the cake from the oven, remember to wait no longer than 20-30 minutes before inverting the cake onto a rack to cool. Some of the topping will fall off. Don't worry. Most of the streusel will stick. After the cake is cool, reinvert it onto a cake stand. If not using immediately, wrap the cake thoroughly with plastic wrap. Cake can be made 3 days ahead and can be stored tightly covered at room temperature.
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Jillyanna's Cooking School http://www.jillyannas.com/

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