Posts tagged ‘pasta’

June 3, 2012

Goat Cheese Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce

Goat Cheese Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce

This recipe comes from a local restaurant Lucy’s Table, in Portland, OR.  Unfortunately, the restaurant was a casualty of the economy and closed last year.  It was sad to see a local favorite go, but luckily their wonderful ravioli recipe will live on.  It is amazingly simple to make and utilizes wonton skins in place of the traditional pasta dough.  Before you pass judgement on the nontraditional approach, you have to try it.  It allows this to be made on a weeknight, in no time at all.

Ravioli


  •  2.5 lbs. goat cheese (Chèvre)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 1 package of fresh wonton skins
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, blend goat cheese, egg, bread crumbs and salt and pepper.  Spoon 1 Tbsp. of stuffing onto wonton wrapper. Brush edges with beaten egg.  Fold over to form triangle. Press with fork to seal edges.

Drop raviolis into boiling water. When ravioli floats, they are done.  Drain and serve with Brown Butter Sauce and toppings.

Brown Butter Sauce


  • 1/2 lb. salted butter
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1.5 qt. heavy cream

Over medium heat, cook butter until light brown. Whisk in heavy cream and 
continue cooking until sauce thickens.

Topping


  • 1/2 lb. parmesan reggiano – shredded
  • 1/2 lb. pancetta – diced into 1/4-inch cubes and rendered in olive oil over low heat until crisp
  • 1 small shallot, diced and carmelized
  • Equal parts chopped italian parsley and chives for topping/garnish

ravioli assembly line

cooking the shallots and pancetta

dinner time!

The richness of the dish is amazing.  It’s not at all heart healthy and is truly a splurge. Enjoy!

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September 12, 2011

Pappardelle alla Bolognese

Pappardelle alla Bolognese

Ingredients

2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3   tablespoons butter

3   carrot, finely, diced

2   medium onions, diced

4   rib celery, finely diced

5   cloves garlic, diced

1   pound ground beef

1   pound ground pork

1   pound ground lamb

¼   pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground

9   oz. tomato paste

3   medium tomatoes, roasted and diced

1   cup milk

1   cup dry white wine

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating

Wide noodle pasta, cooked and drained

Directions

In a large 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the beef, pork, lamb, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.

Add the tomato paste, roasted tomatoes, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 ½ hours.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

Mix a little sauce with cooked and drained pasta and toss gently.  Serve in large bowls and add additional sauce as necessary.  Top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Pasta has long been near the top of my favorite comfort foods list.  There is something about it that just makes me feel so satisfied after a nice bowl of tasty pasta.  I don’t make pasta dishes nearly as much as I should at home and I am always browsing restaurant menus for my favorite combination of pasta and sauce….a wide noodle Bolognese.  I love meat…and by definition, Bolognese is a meat sauce.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

I have had many different versions of Bolognese and they all seem to be a bit different; mostly all good, but just different.  With a little time in front of the computer with my friend, Google, I set out to find out what a real Bolognese sauce was.

From what I was able to gather, Bolognese is a simple, hearty meat sauce in every sense of the word , that dates back at least to the 5th century.  The meat is usually comprised of beef and pancetta and sometime pork as well.  It is mixed with very few other competing ingredients, such as the traditional mirepoix (a mix of diced carrots, celery, and onions), garlic, tomato paste, wine, and milk.  It really is a very simple mix that yields a very meaty, thick sauce.  Some add tomatoes, including myself, giving it more of a red color.  The traditional recipe, without the tomatoes, yields a much more brown colored sauce.

With my admission of adding tomatoes, I guess the word is out that I am not a cooking purist, so I might as well divulge my other straying’s in the Bolognese world.  I have been experimenting with the different meats included and have found that mixing several types yields a much more complex, deeper taste.  In this recipe, I used, beef, pork, lamb, and pancetta.  That should be enough meats!

It should be noted that the Italians do not pair a Bolognese sauce with the pasta shape spaghetti. Wider shaped pastas are thought to hold up to the heavy sauce better and provide the right balance of noodle to sauce.  To each their own though…

August 26, 2011

Roughin’ it!

Expeditions can take you many places.  You can journey to a far off place.  You can find yourself trying a new cuisine or preparation.  In this case, Margie and I journeyed to Hosmer Lake in Central Oregon to go camping and enjoy the bounty of outdoor opportunity that Oregon provides.  Margie is still relatively new to the “camping” thing and we are still sorting out just how much we “rough it” in the great outdoors.  I like to keep things simple and pack fairly lightly for overnight camping trips, while Margie still enjoys the comforts of a very nicely padded sleeping surface.  We both agree, however, that there is no reason camping food has to suffer at all.  We take a lot of pride in our meals while camping. With a little extra forethought and planning anyone can still make some tasty (some might even say fancy) meals with simple camp cookware.

On this particular three day camping trip, we were well equipped with plenty of food and beverage for our expedition into the great outdoors.  The car was filled to the brim and we were off to enjoy ourselves and do a little fly fishing, relaxing, and mostly just escaping from the normal day to day life.  In past camping trips, we have been known to make such meals as chicken or beef fajitas, or fish tacos, or steak and potatoes.  All very good camping meals, by the way, and not all that difficult to prepare and cook outdoors.  On this particular trip, we were going to make Pesto Linguine with Sauteed Chicken and Artichokes.

First things first….a little wine.

Nothing but the best while camping 😉

Laugh all you want, but it’s not as bad as you think.  Wine Spectator agrees….they gave it a whopping 87 points.  More than you would have guessed, huh?

This meal isn’t about making every component ourselves or even using the freshest, hand selected ingredients.  It’s more like what one would make at home for a convenient, but enjoyable weeknight meal.  We purchased dried pasta, pre-made pesto sauce, canned artichoke hearts, and pre-shredded parmesan cheese.  We weren’t quite ready to go all Pilgrim and make all that out there.  Perhaps at a later time…

The chicken was one component that we spent more time with.  The chicken was cut into smaller pieces to make it cook faster and also to give more surface area for the spices to adhere to.  I like spiced up food!  After marinating the chicken for awhile, it was time to cook.

Since the meal really is simple, i’m not going to spend time talking through each step.  We got a late start that evening on cooking, so you will notice that it started out nice and light, but by the time everything was ready to eat, we had lanterns going and were squinting to see our food!

Uh oh! It's getting kinda dark out.

Yes, that is a camping wine glass!

Almost ready!

It may not be the prettiest meal we have ever made, but on this night in this place, it tasted REALLY GOOD!  We’re pretty certain our meal was the best in the campground that night!  For us, the extra effort to cook fun and unusual camping food is enjoyable and it makes the trip even more memorable.

Does anyone else have some favorite camping meals that they want to share?  We are looking for new meals to try on the next trip…

May 9, 2011

and we’re off…

Welcome to the blog!!!  This is our first attempt at joining the blogging world, so this may start out a bit rough, but hopefully will improve over time.  We really wanted to be able to document our fun, culinary expeditions in the kitchen, around town, and on our travels.  Cooking and good food is a passion of ours that we thought we could share.  We hope you enjoy riding along with us on our expeditions.

First up…

Linguine with clams

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb           littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • A few tablespoons flour
  • 2               tablespoons olive oil
  • 3               cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3               slices on bacon, chopped (or pancetta)
  • 1/2 t.        chili flake
  • 1               lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup        white wine
  • 2 T.           parsley, finely chopped
  • 8 oz          linguine, cooked al dente
It is important that you find fresh clams for this recipe.  We are firm believers in fresh, high quality ingredients, not only for how they taste, but for our health.
You want to purge the clams first, which just means you’re making them spit out whatever sand they have left in them. Put the clams in a large bowl, cover them with cold water, and add a few tablespoons of flour. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
Change the water once or twice more.
Rinse them off, drain them, and set them back in the fridge.  (I had never done this before, but I didn’t taste any grit in the meal, so I guess it worked!)

ingredients are ready for cooking (clams are purging in the fridge)

Mmmm, bacon.

In a large pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until almost crisp.Add the garlic and chili, and lightly toast them.  Make sure not to burn the garlic, as it will take on a bitter taste.
Add the lemon zest and clams, followed by the lemon juice and white wine.

Cover the pan, and cook until clams open. It should only take a couple of minutes for clams to open, so watch carefully.  Discard any unopened clams.

Clams are ready! Only a couple didn't open...throw those out.

Add the linguine to the pan and mix it in with the clams.

Drizzle with olive oil, add parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

Everything is ready to go.

After everything is assembled in the pan, it is time to plate.  I used some new, large bowls that Margie got for us recently and their large sized really helped.  Time to eat!

Dinner is served!

Overall, I think this is a really simple recipe to make and it is a nice, refreshing choice.  It can be made on a weeknight and not take up too much of your evening and really looks fancy for the time you spent on it.  The chili flakes really bring a nice heat to the dish that was surprising.  Make sure not to over-do them, as I think it can get too spicy very quickly.

I paired the meal with a nice NW Pinot Gris From Sass Vineyards.