Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pasta ai Quatttro Formaggi

Another quick & simple recipe!
Ingredients for 2 people!

250g penne rigate, or spiragli
100ml milk,
30ml creme fraiche, or pure cream
Salt & black pepper to taste
Optional: Nutmeg (only if you grate it yourself)

The cheeses I like: (you can use others as listed at the end of this recipe)
1. 40g Emmental
2. 40g Taleggio
3. 40g Gorgonzola dolce
4. 40g Parmigiano Reggiano

While waiting for pasta to cook in plenty of salted water:

Cut soft cheese into cubes, grate harder cheese
Mix milk, cream & all the cheese into a large saucepan
Cook (warm up) at extremely low temperature until all cheeses have melted
Season with salt, pepper & optional grated nutmeg.

Drain the pasta al dente & add it to the sauce.

Buon appetito!

Alternate cheeses:
1. Gruiere
2. Fontina, or Mozzarella
3. Gorgonzola piccante, Provolone Piccante
4. Grana Padano

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spaghetti alle Vongole

This dish is so simple, and so tasty!

Ingredients for 2 people:
1 Shallot
1 Clove garlic

1 sharp knife
Olive oil
400g can Italian chopped tomatoes
1 small jar Italian clams (vongole) in brine (appx 150 grams)
Chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: 2 good quality anchovy fillets
Optional: Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Cooking time:
Pasta, 15 minutes
Sauce: 15 minutes
Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water "al dente" then drain.
In a saucepan, on low heat, warm up some olive oil
Add optional anchovy fillets
Add garlic and finely chopped shallot and cook until transparent
Turn up heat, add clams , cook for 1 minute
Add chopped tomatoes, remove garlic

Add optional cherry tomatoes
Bring sauce to boil, and then turn down heat to a minimum
Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes (until pasta is ready)
Add salt & pepper to taste.

Drain pasta, & toss it into the sauce, garnish with chopped parsley & serve.

Wine: Any dry White, any light Red

Photo pinched from the internet (sorry, the food was snapped up before i could take a pic):

Buon Appetito!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pasta all'Amatriciana

Quick, Easy, Tasty.

Ingredients for 4 people, or 2 people plus 2nds, 3rds
- 500g Bucatini, or spaghetti (400g is enough, but what do you do with the remaining 100g?)
- Olive oil (Optional)
- 180g flat fat pancetta (or guanciale if you can find it)
- 2 X 400g cans of italian chopped or peeled tomatoes (preferably neopolitan)
- 100ml dry white wine (Frascati is best, but any dry white will do)
- Good quality Pecorino cheese
- Salt
- Fresh chili or chili flakes (optional)

Ok, lets get started, this will be ready in 15 minutes:

- Boil pasta in salted water until "al dente" then drain
*Add the salt to the water before the pasta so will absorb a bit of the salt while cooking*

While waiting for the water to boil & the pasta to cook:
- Using a knife, cut pancetta into pieces the size of a matchstick, (these will stick to the cooked pasta)
- Heat a large pan, add pancetta & optional chili flakes, and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes
- Add the white wine, let simmer until wine evaporates. Remove the pancetta from the pan & cover
- Pour the tomatoes into the pan with the pancetta juices and cook for 5 minutes

- Chefs Note: How to get someone to grate the pecorino for you:
   Offer one of your guests some wine, and ask them to grate the cheese while you pour it for them

When pasta is ready:
- Scoop the pancetta back into the pan, & mix in 1/2 the grated pecorino
- Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce
- sprinke with remaining pecorino & serve it from the pan at the table

Really, this is so tasty, and so simple, so no variations, can't think of any!

Complimentary wines:
- White: Frascati, Red: Sangiovese
- Any other wine of your choice, really, any will do as long as you like it!

This is what its supposed to look like:
(Photo being developed)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Penne al Tonno

Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Ingredients for 4 people:

500g Penne
1/2 cup olive oil
1 brown onion
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
3 anchovy fillets
salt & black pepper
500g plain Tomato Sauce (or 2 x 400g cans chopped or peeled Italian tomatoes)
300g Tuna in oil (Sirena, or any Italian brand)
fresh parsley

Prep/cook time: Sauce: 30 minutes, pasta: 20 minutes, (make sure sauce is ready before pasta)

Finely chop onion, lightly crush garlic. Sauté in the olive oil on low heat until onion is translucent
Add the anchovy fillets and gently stir until they disappear into the mix
Add the tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat
Add the tuna and simmer for 10 minutes (leave the tuna chunky, it will tend to fall apart on its own)
Remove the garlic

Cook the penne in boiling salted water.
Drain the penne while slightly undercooked, stir into the sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Not supposed to, I know, but grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano goes a gem with this dish.

Complimentary wines:
- White: Any, Red: Any Medium bodied wine, say Chianti

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pasta alla Carbonara

This dish is smooth, creamy, full of flavour  **NO CREAM**!

Ingredients for 4 people, or 2 people plus 2nds, 3rds, (don't kid yourself, you will want more)

- 500g spaghetti, or penne, or rigatoni
- Olive oil
- 120g pancetta
- 50ml dry white wine (from a bottle)
- 4 free range 70g eggs
- Pecorino cheese (Good quality stuff) (or Parmigiano Reggiano, or Grana Padano)
- Salt, black pepper, nutmeg (optional)

Now to the fun part:
- Boil pasta in salted water until "al dente" then drain, save some liquid when draining.
  * Add the salt to the water before the pasta. Why? Just do it! *

While waiting for the pasta:

- Using a knife, cut pancetta into pieces the size of a matchstick.
- On low heat, cook pancetta in a large pan with a dash of olive oil.
   Add wine, let simmer until wine evaporates. Remove from heat.
- Break eggs individually, put 4 yokes and 2 whites in a bowl, beat lightly

When pasta is ready:
- In the pan with pancetta, mix the drained pasta, egg mixture, grated cheese.
  Fold with a wooden or plastic ladle/spoon.
   If mixture is  too WET, heat it slightly, if it's too DRY, add some liquid the from cooked pasta.
 - Season with black pepper, nutmeg (optional)

Tasting/smelling note:
Pecorino smells, alot, really, it does. Make sure people eating this recipe are already in the house before grating the cheese. Better still, ask one of them to grate it for you, preferably outdoors.

- For a tinge of garlic, lightly crush 1 garlic clove, add to pancetta when frying.
   Remove garlic just before adding white wine.
- If you want to add cream, my advice is to go and cook someting else!

Complimentary wines:
- the rest of the white wine not used in the recipe!
- Any other wine of your choice, really, any will do as long as you like it!

This is what its supposed to look like:

Buon Appetitio!