Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gramigna con la Salsiccia



Emilia Romagna is known in Italy for its strong culinary tradition. This dish exemplifies all that is delicious about the region, and it's rustic comfort food. It is most typically found in or around the countryside of Bologna. Gramigna literally means "little weeds", it is a curly looking kind of egg pasta that is not easily found outside of the region, but you can substitute dried cavatappi or casarecce with good results if you need to. The nice thing about the sausage ragu is that it can easily be prepared in advance and reheated. Perfect for a cold winter evening, it never disappoints.

Ingredients:
1 lb. gramigna or 1lb. dried cavatappi or casarecce

For the sauce:
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 carrot minced
1 clove minced garlic
 2-3 sage leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb. roma tomatoes chopped or 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes with their liquid
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

In a large skillet, brown the sausage meat which you will remove from its casing. As the sausage is browning, break it apart into small pieces as you stir with a wooden spoon. This should take about 15 minutes. Then, remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave the drippings in the pan. Next add the olive oil to the skillet keeping the heat to medium. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, and parsley, and saute for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown and become golden.

  Next, add the sausage back into to pan with the sage, stir for a few minutes. Then, add the tomato paste and the wine. Bring to a low boil, stirring often for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and leave the sauce mostly unattended for another 10-15 minutes. Stirring  occasionally. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes (either fresh or from a can), and bring the sauce back to a boil. Return to simmer and stir often for about 5-10 minutes. You probably don't need to add salt, but do taste to check for seasoning.

  While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a strong boil. Drop in the pasta, and cook according to package directions or desired doneness. It should be al dente.  When pasta is done drain it in a colander. 

Once the sauce is ready, Add the pasta to the skillet along with about half of the grated parmigiano reggiano cheese. Toss to combine completely. Then serve your pasta family style in a large serving dish, or in individual pasta bowls, with the remaining cheese dusted on top. Serve with a nice warm baguette to enjoy with any remaining sauce, and a nice bottle of red wine such as a sangiovese or chianti.
Buon Appetito! Enjoy!



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Zucchine ripiene



This recipe is somewhat hard to define,because it contains meat and vegetable and it could either be an antipasto or an excellent main course. Zucchini is another incredibly versatile vegetable. I can think of at least five or six different ways of cooking them in an exquisite and tasty way. You can obviously fry zucchini, saute   them, you can mince them and make an incredible risotto, the possibilities are endless. I wanted to introduce this specific recipe because I thought that the combination on vegetable and meat has always given me great satisfaction.

Ingredients:

5 medium size zucchini
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
10 ounces of mix of ground veal and pork
3 tbsp of fresh Parmesan cheese
1 whole boiled potato
Nutmeg
Salt
Pepper

For the tomato sauce:

1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 onion
1 tbsp oil of olive
Salt
Pepper






The first step is to hollow the zucchini with a sharp knife. Make sure to make the hole inside a good size, so the meat filling can fit well. Then, in a bowl, combine the ground veal and pork, eggs, boiled potato, Parmesan cheese, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Next we will stir the mixture. Meanwhile you need to prepare the tomato sauce in a pan. First  put a little olive oil, then add the finely chopped onions and the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt. Th final step is to stuff the zucchini with the mixture of meat and add it to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.