Tag Archives: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Orecchiette with Broccoli

Photo Credit: http://www.emikodavies.com

Orecchiette originates in the sunny southern province of Puglia, Italy, where the weather is warm and the crops plentiful. This pasta’s round, concave shape led to its name, which means “little ears” in Italian. The ridged exterior and cup-like interior captures chunky sauces and scoops up small vegetables, making orecchiette perfect to serve with sautés—sautés that begin, of course, with extra virgin olive oil, of which Puglia is the largest producer of in Italy.

This is a simple dish from Puglia in Southern Italy, traditionally always prepared with orecchiette and broccoli rabe. We prepared this dish using the more commonly found vegetable, broccoli. When buying broccoli, choose vegetables that have a uniform green color with no major brown or yellowing spots. The broccoli stem should feel firm and the crown should be tight and springy; soft stems or limp florets are a sign of old broccoli. Store broccoli in the crisper drawer in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Broccoli should keep fairly well for at least a week.

Orecchiette also makes a nice soupy pasta when cooked in the same water with potatoes and a big handful of arugula, and garnished with garlic and chili in olive oil. When you yell “Dinner!” your family and friends will be all ears.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head broccoli,  trimmed and cut into florets
1/4 cup water, or as needed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A squeeze of fresh  lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
1 pound dried orecchiette pasta

Directions:
To blanch the broccoli: Prepare a bowl of ice water and have it next to the stove. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a heaping teaspoon of salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately in the ice water.If you would like softer vegetables, cook for an additional 30 secondss.

Saute the garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli and a little water and cook,  stirring occasionally,  until the broccoli is bright green and soft, but still a little crunchy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of cheese. Stirring and cook until cheese is melted. Add a  squeeze of lemon juice and set it aside until the pasta is ready.

Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

Add the pasta and 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to  the saucepan with the broccoli and toss until combined then serve immediately with a handful of grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

 

Cook’s Notes:
Pecorino cheese can be substituted for the Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.

If fresh broccoli is not at hand, frozen broccoli that has been thawed and drained can be used in this dish. A 10 ounce bag will do.

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Lobster Fettuccine

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There is nothing like the simplicity of bringing together fresh ingredients for a spectacular meal.

We served this up, today, for Sunday Brunch.

All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

Protected by Copyscape

Spaghetti with Arugula and Mint Pesto

Here is a peppery update to a classic basil pesto: arugula and fresh mint are combined to create a sprightly, fragrant pesto that’s wonderful with spaghetti. Add a salad and some crusty bread for an easy vegetarian supper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
5 cups packed arugula
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shaved aged hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound spaghetti

 

Directions:
In a blender, combine the arugula, mint, olive oil, the 1/2 cup cheese, the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the pesto until ready to serve.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente , tender but firm to the bite,  10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the empty pot.

Toss the pesto with the spaghetti. Thin it out with a small amount of reserved cooking water if needed. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Divide among warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle cheese over each portion and serve immediately.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Asparagus Ravioli in Parmesan Sauce

 

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Do not let the title of this recipe fool you. This dish is really a soup that brings out the best flavors of a homemade stock. You can serve it as a light lunch or it  can start off your dinner menu as a first course.

Serves  4 to 6

Ingredients:
Green Pasta Dough (Click Here for the Recipe)

For the Broth:
1 pound  white asparagus, trimmed
5 cups rich chicken stock
One 3-inch rind from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1 large bay leaf

For the Filling:
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
A pinch of salt

Special Equipment:
A pasta machine

Directions:
Make broth and filling while dough stands, coming to room temperature.Cut off asparagus tips, then halve each tip lengthwise and reserve.

Bring stock, cheese rind and bay leaf to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then add asparagus stems and cook, uncovered, until stems are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer stems to paper towels and cool slightly. Reserve the broth and set aside.

To make the filling: Purée asparagus stems in a food processor with grated Parmesan, Mascarpone, bread crumbs, parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Place the filling in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the ravioli:Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Cover 3 pieces with plastic wrap, then pat out remaining piece into a flat rectangle and generously dust with flour.

Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Feed rectangle, a short side first, through rollers. Fold rectangle in thirds, like a letter, and feed it, a short side first, through rollers. Repeat 6 or 7 more times, folding dough in thirds and feeding it through rollers, a short side first each time, dusting with flour to prevent sticking.

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Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding, a short side first. Continue to feed dough through without folding, making space between rollers narrower each time, until the second- or third-narrowest setting is used. Do not roll too thin or pasta will tear when filled.Mario Batali's Green Pasta Dough Recipe Text | Rouxbe Cooking School

Put the pasta sheet on a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) with a long side nearest you. Drop 6 rounded teaspoon-size mounds of filling 10 inches apart in a row down center of right half of sheet. Brush pasta around mounds of filling lightly with water, then lift left half of sheet and drape over mounds.

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Press down firmly but gently around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.)  Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, or a cookie cutter, cut the pasta between mounds, roughly 2-inch squares. Line a large shallow baking pan with a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth), then arrange ravioli in 1 layer in it. Make more ravioli with remaining pieces of dough and remaining filling, transferring to lined pan.

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To cook the ravioli and asparagus tips:Bring a pasta pot of salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle boil. Bring reserved broth to a simmer, then simmer asparagus tips, uncovered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season broth with salt, then divide broth and asparagus tips among 6 shallow bowls, discarding cheese rind and bay leaf. Add half of ravioli to gently boiling water, carefully stirring to separate, and cook, adjusting heat to keep at a gentle boil, until pasta is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

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Lift the cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well over pot, then transfer to  serving bowls  filled with  the broth. Repeat with remaining ravioli Garnish with shaved Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, if desired and serve immediately.

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Cook’s Notes:
The filling and broth, without asparagus tips, can be made 1 day ahead. Chill separately, uncovered, until cool, then covered. Wonton wrappers can be used instead of fresh pasta, if time is of the essence.