Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Ramps!

April 29, 2009

Farfalle Primavera with Ramp Pesto

Well it looks like today is going to be another double post day, because I’ve been meaning to throw this one up since I made it the day before yesterday and I wanted to post it before I wrote about the soup I made this morning.  This one is another super-trendy entry, by my estimation at least, judging from all the stuff I’ve seen on Taste Spotting and Foodgawker with ramps in it, but oh well.

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The gnocchi experiment

January 19, 2009

Gnocchi Carbonara

I was actually thinking of naming this blog Big Gnocchi Plates at one time, the idea being that is in the same hypothetical Ghostface song name vein, but I had never made gnocchi before, and haven’t even liked it much in the past.  Anyways, I got to thinking about gnocchi lately (after hearing an anecdote about a woman at the nursing home where my friend works who was convinced that her family had been there and made gnocchi and sang songs and from seeing Tyler Florence do it on TV), and so I decided to give it a go.  I’ve also been thinking about carbonara lately, and an eggy, bacony, cheesey sauce seemed the perfect breakfast for dinner-y accompaniment to a potato pasta.  Besides bacon, potatoes, and eggs are all things that I have and the idea of getting my mom to eat raw eggs is extremely appealing to me.

In the end, the whole thing was pretty lackluster.  The gnocchi were a little tough and a lot misshapen, and I didn’t have enough cheese so the sauce was thin and sort of eggy.  The taste wasn’t bad, just a little bit bland.  I think if I were to do it again in the same proportions, I would use an egg less in the sauce and one and a half times the cheese.  Also, some fresh herbs like basil or parsley in the gnocchi would really knock this out I think.  I’m going to post the recipe as I did do it,  rather than how I would next time.

Gnocchi all formed up

Gnocchi Carbonara

Ingredients

Gnocchi:

4 small potatoes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs beaten

Carbonara sauce:

1/4 lb. bacon cut into lardons (you can use pancetta or guanciale if you are the kind of person that has these things)

3 eggs beaten

1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese

freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 450.  Wash the potatoes and prick them all over with a fork.  Bake them for an hour.

Halve the potatoes and scoop out the insides and run them through a ricer onto a marble surface or into a bowl.  Allow to cool for about a minute and then add 3/4 cup flour, eggs, and salt.

Work the potatoes, flour, eggs, and salt together into a sticky dough and knead in pinches of flour until it is dry and smooth.  Make the dough into a ball.  Don’t knead them too much though or they will become tough and dense.

Gnocchi dough

Pull off handfulls from the dough ball and roll them into long snakes.  With a fork, cut off bite-sized pieces and holding it by the small sides, roll the tines of the fork over it to make it look like gnocchi.  This is hard to get down and only about a third of mine ended up looking right.  The rest were like little buff turds.  Lay them all out on a piece of parchment paper until they’re all formed.

Little buff turds

Set a big pot of salted water on the stove to boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, render the bacon and crips up the bits in a skillet and then remove the pan from heat (I took it outside and stuck the bottom in the snow for a couple seconds to really cool it down).

When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the gnocchi in batches.  Fish them out with a slotted spoon once they start to float and put them in a bowl.

Reheat the bacon and add 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Toss in the gnocchi, the cheese, and the eggs.  Toss it all together until it’s warmed through and incorporated and add plenty of pepper.

Serve in warmed pasta bowls with more pepper and cheese to taste.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Gnocchi Carbonara

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“College” Pasta

January 12, 2009

Lemon Tarragon Pasta

I basically lived on this stuff for the last two years of college.  It is super easy to prepare, and can be made on a college kid’s  budget in even the tiniest of kitchenettes.  All you really need for this is a stove and a couple of pans, one to cook the pasta and broccoli in and one to make the sauce in.  I guess you could say that this is my own recipe (you can barely call it that, it’s so simple), and it perfectly demonstrates my philosophy that even with the extremely limited means of a college student, one can make healthful, delicious meals for oneself.  There is no need for the Easy Macs and scrambled eggs for dinner you think of when you imagine the dietary habits of off-campus collegians.  I have liked it so much that I still make it even when not limited to it by my budget.  This makes a huge bowl of pasta in a light, garlicky lemon sauce and can easily be halved or modified or substituted.  I have made it with lemon juice out of a bottle, fresh tarragon, shrimp, chicken, and asparagus before.  Even the bumblingest of amateur cooks can whip this together in only the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta.  My personal preference is to make this with fresh lemon juice and zest, dried tarragon, broccoli, and whole grain thin spaghetti.

Lemon Zest

Lemon Tarragon Pasta

Ingredients:

4 oz. whole grain thin spaghetti

1 crown broccoli, broken into bite-sized florets

juice and zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 – 4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons dried tarragon

1 tablespoon romano cheese

crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook.

When there is 3 minutes left for the pasta, saute garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil until it just starts to brown.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice and cheese to the oil, and stir until it’s melted.  Stir in tarragon.

When there is 2 minutes left for the pasta, stir the broccoli right into the water with the pasta.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and toss with the sauce and lemon zest.  Serve with additional cheese and red pepper to taste.

Serves 2 or 1 really hungry college guy (or 1 really hungry alumnus)

Lemon Tarragon Pasta

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