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Posts Tagged ‘marsala’


Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage - Meatballs&Milkshakes

I love making homemade ravioli because the process is so relaxing. It’s also fun to do with other people, and if you’re just getting into cooking, it’s very gratifying to see the final product that YOU made. It’s a time commitment, but you can make any kind of ravioli you feel like. I once made some with leftover short ribs braised in red wine that were memorable enough to remember years later. These might rival those for my favorite ravioli.

Delicata Squash Filling

1 pound delicata squash, large dice

1 cup grated fontina

1 cup grated pecorino

1 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup ground hazelnuts

4 tablespoons finely chopped sage

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons Marsala or white wine (optional)

Roast the squash with a couple tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until it starts to brown. Remove to a food processor  and add the rest of the ingredients. I use the Marsala or wine to thin it out if necessary. The honey gives it a slight sweetness, but you could tweak the filling ingredients to taste.

Make one recipe Basic Pasta Dough. Let it rest for a few minutes in plastic wrap in the fridge and then run it through your pasta roller in batches.

Basic Pasta Dough - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Brush the dough all over with water to help seal them. Spoon the filling into about 1 teaspoon-sized balls onto one side of the pasta sheet so that you will be able to fold them over.

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesSquash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesFold the dough over, making sure to seal in the filling and push out air bubbles. Make sure to press the dough down between the filling to make them closer to single-thickness so that the edges will cook at the same rate as the layer covering the filling. (If you do not do this, the edges will be twice as thick as the center, and will be chewy.)

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Cut the ravioli out with you ravioli cutter. You could also use a cookie cutter or knife if you don’t have one. I was finally able to use the new one I picked up in Rome.

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesSquash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesThey will keep in the fridge for a couple days, or preferably, in the freezer for a while. Make sure to coat them in flour or they will stick. I also recommend using parchment paper to separate layers, because any that touch will stick. They are best immediately after making them, however.

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Delicata Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter and Crispy Sage

6-8 ravioli (per person)

6 sage leaves

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Cook the ravioli in salted, boiling water for about 4 minutes, until they start to float. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the olive oil and add the sage leaves. They will spatter when they hit the oil, so be careful. They will crisp up and the butter solids will start to brown. Add some of the pasta cooking water (about 1/4 cup) and allow to come together, about 1 minute. Add the ravioli and toss in the sauce. Grate some parmesan over the top and serve with the crispy sage on top.

Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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I had a bunch of the Italian ladyfingers used for tiramisu, but no time or mascarpone to make the original. This is a pretty Americanized version, but I could just call it Lemon Pudding or Lemon Trifle and that would be fine too. No matter what you call it, it was a lovely end to the meal and I would make it again.

Lemon Tiramisu

1 box vanilla pudding, cooked to box instructions

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup Limoncello

1/4 cup Marsala

16 Italian ladyfingers

Combine the cooked vanilla pudding with half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and vanilla extract. In a bowl or container big enough to fit the ladyfingers (one at a time), combine the rest of the lemon juice, Limoncello, and Marsala. Dip the ladyfingers one at a time into the mixture, long enough to absorb some liquid but not so long that they get soggy. Place in a single layer in your baking dish or cups. Spoon a light layer of the pudding mixture on top. Alternate layers until you’ve filled your dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but it’s best if you can wait at least a couple.

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I love mushrooms. Except for shitakes and button mushrooms. More often than not, I pair them with marsala and thyme or rosemary. They just go so well together and give everything a nice meaty, earthy flavor.

Occasionally I treat myself to some beautiful varieties at the farmers market, and this week I got some hen of the woods, oyster, and crimini mushrooms. Since I’m trying to keep from eating pasta this week, which would be my natural go-to with such lovely mushrooms, I decided to make some crostini. The bread was from the bread-making class I took at Le Pain Quotidien last week, and it was airy and delicious. A perfect little appetizer.

Wild Mushroom Crostini

1 pound assorted mushrooms

1 shallot, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 cup sherry or marsala wine

1 tablespoon minced rosemary

baguette slices (toasted or untoasted, your choice)

extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil for drizzling

Saute the shallot in a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened and add the mushrooms. Allow them to caramelize and develop some color before moving them. Once they are cooked through, add the garlic, rosemary, and marsala. Let the liquid cook off and them spoon over baguette slices. Drizzle with olive oil or truffle oil and enjoy!

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I love making lasagna when I’m going to have people over because I can hang out with people instead of standing over the stove the whole night. It’s also just great comfort food, and it makes me feel better whenever I’m a little down (almost as much as a delicious grilled cheese, especially when it’s made for me….). I’ve made roasted carrot and butternut squash lasagna and regular meat lasagna but mushroom lasagna is the most likely to make everyone happy. And it’s just so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Who doesn’t love a good make-ahead pasta?!

Mushroom Lasagna

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Marsala wine (you can substitute Sherry or any other wine, but Marsala is best)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

2 cups grated Italian fontina

1 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella

1 cup basil leaves

1 package lasagna noodles

1 tablespoon truffle butter (optional)

Butter a lasagna pan and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water about half the time specified on the package. They should be pliable but not cooked through. Remove to a sheet tray with some olive oil so they don’t stick.

Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a frying pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Once everything has softened, deglaze the pan with the Marsala. You can leave a little liquid and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour in a sauce pan and allow to brown. It will start to look like sand. Add the milk and whisk together. Add the chicken stock and allow to thicken. You want it slightly thick but not so much that you can’t pour it. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the parmesan and stir to combine and melt.

Start to layer the lasagna with a layer of noodles, then a layer of the mushrooms and then a layer of the bechamel sauce. These should be thin layers. Add a sprinkle of the fontina cheese and a couple basil leaves.

Continue with the layers until you use everything up and make sure to finish with a layer of pasta. I like to reserve a little bechamel to pour on top so that the top layer stays nice and soft. Sprinkle with the remaining fontina, parmesan, basil and the mozzarella. If you would like, you can add some pieces of truffle butter to the top to help it brown and enhance the mushroom flavor.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until it starts to brown on top and get bubbly. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before eating so that they layers can cool a little and set up.

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I always thought I didn’t like tuna noodle casserole until college. We had a wonderful southern cook for a few weeks who introduced me to this delicious variation on mac and cheese. I like to think the tuna gives it more nutritional value, but this dish is not about being healthy. I go to this when I’m in need of some cheesy comfort food, like I was this week. The creamy, cheesy sauce along with the flavorful mushrooms and crunchy crust on top make this one of my favorites. There’s truly nothing better.

I like to use Italian tuna in olive oil– it’s generally about twice as expensive as the American kind, but it’s so much more tasty. And the texture is more like actual fish. Try it if you haven’t, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1/2 box small pasta such as egg noodles, mini ziti, mini shells, etc

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1/4 cup Marsala wine or white wine

1 jar or can tuna in oil with oil drained out

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 cup cheddar, grated

1 cup parmesan, grated

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

truffle butter (optional)

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to box instructions but stop about 5 minutes early and drain.

Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they have softened. Add the rosemary and toss through. Add the wine and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Combine the flour and butter in a separate pan and cook until the paste starts to brown. Add the milk and whisk so that there are no lumps. Add the chicken stock and whisk again. Add the mushroom mixture, the tuna, nutmeg, and about 3/4 of the cheeses. Reserve the rest of the cheese and combine with the breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir through. Pour into a baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs mixture. If you have some truffle butter, you can dot the top with little bits of it. You may want to reserve it and add before serving as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to get bubbly and browned on top.

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Tiramisu has been one of my favorite desserts for…well…about as long as I can remember. My favorite is at a restaurant on the upper west side called Celeste. This is more of a traditional tiramisu, but I’m still working on their secret….I think some chocolate chips is part of it, but I’m not sure what else….stay tuned…For now, here’s a really yummy, traditional version.

Tiramisu

3 eggs, separated and at room temperature

1 pinch salt

3/4 cup sugar

8 ounces mascarpone

1/2 cup cold heavy cream

1 1/2 cups strong freshly brewed coffee

3 tablespoons marsala

22 savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)

1 teaspoon cocoa powder or 1 tablespoon shaved semisweet chocolate

Combine the coffee and marsala in a dish. Beat the egg whites and salt to stiff peaks. Beat the heavy cream to soft peaks with cleaned beaters. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick. Add in mascarpone and combine. Slowly fold in the whipped cream and then the egg whites until just combined.

Dip the savoiardi one at a time in the coffee mixture for 1 second on each side. They soak up liquid quickly and you don’t want them to fall apart or make the tiramisu too soggy. Fill the bottom of a dish with half the savoiardi. Spread half the cream mixture over the savoiardi. Add another layer of the savoiardi and the rest of the cream mixture. Dust the cocoa powder on top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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A couple years ago I came across a recipe for savory bread pudding and tried it out. Ever since, it’s been my go-to dish for using up leftovers in the fridge. There are endless varieties that you can make, and it’s actually better if you make it the night before and let it sit. All you have to do is pop it in the oven and breakfast is ready. It can easily be made in large quantities for groups, and it’s always a big hit. You can use whole eggs, egg whites, or a mixture depending on what you have. I had a couple egg whites leftover from making ice cream so I threw those in. You can also use any hard cheese, I happened to have some leftover manchego from the grilled corn I made earlier this week. And you can always add bacon to take it over the top.

Mushroom and Spinach Bread Pudding

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 eggs and 3 egg whites

2 cups crusty bread, cubed

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon rosemary, minced

1/2 cup frozen spinach, drained by squeezing in towel or paper towel

1/4 cup Marsala

1 tablespoon marjoram or oregano, chopped

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

1.5 cups grated cheese (cheddar, manchego, and parmesan)

salt and pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook until softened.

Add the spinach and cook through a minute. Add the Marsala and continue to cook until the wine has cooked away.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and add salt and pepper. Add the bread and allow it to soak in. Once the mushrooms have cooled a little, add them to the mixture along with the rest of the herbs and a cup of the grated cheese.

Stir to combine and pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until the top gets browned and crusty.

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