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Posts Tagged ‘pecorino’


Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Meatballs&MilkshakesThis may be the last pasta post for a little while, as I’m going to try to be a little healthier for as long as I can stand it. Sweet potatoes are a favorite around the apartment, and they make light and fluffy gnocchi with more depth of flavor than regular gnocchi. Combine them with some crisp sage and pecorino, and they become truly delicious little clouds.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

1 1/2 pound sweet potato (1 large sweet potato), pricked with a fork

8 ounce container of fresh ricotta, preferably local

3 ounces grated parmesan

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups flour

Roast the sweet potato in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or microwave on high for 4 minutes a side until soft. Let cool. Meanwhile, let the ricotta drain in a sieve or coffee filter for two hours to remove some of the extra liquid.

Scrape the flesh from the potato skin and mash, it should be about 2 cups. Add the ricotta and combine. Add the salt, brown sugar, nutmeg, and half the flour. Combine well. Add the rest of the flour in parts until the dough becomes a ball. You may not need it all.

Dump it onto a board and form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour up to a couple days.

Cut pieces off the ball and roll into ropes about a half inch thick with plenty of extra flour. Slice into inch long pieces. They can be kept in a single layer and frozen, store in some flour.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Pecorino

2 cups gnocchi, made as above (1 cup per person)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves

6-8 sage leaves

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the gnocchi in heavily salted water for 2-3 minutes, until they aggressively float. Meanwhile, Saute the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat until it starts to brown. Remove the garlic and add the sage. Be careful, because they will pop a little at first due to the water content. Add the gnocchi along with a little pasta water and swirl to combine. Allow to cook for a minute together, and then off the heat, add the parmesan. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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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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This dish is named for a small town in Italy called Amatrice. It’s base is a pork product called guanciale, which is pig jowl, and it tastes like a porkier version of bacon or pancetta. The traditional noodle for this is bucatini, which is a thick spaghetti with a hole like a straw. It’s a messy one to eat, so don’t wear white! It’s a treat to find some guanciale, and I always have to make this when I see it at the store. You can certainly substitute pancetta or bacon, but if you can find guanciale you should try it. This dish is delicious and so easy.

Bucatini al’Amatriciana

1/2 pound bucatini

1/2 onion, chopped

1 can San Marzano tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (I prefer)

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8- 1/4 pound guanciale, diced

Cook the bucatini in well-salted water a minute less than the package instructions. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, render the guanciale in a frying pan for a few minutes. I like to leave it a little soft, so I don’t wait until it gets crispy. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add the red pepper flakes and stir to infuse the guanciale fat. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add the bucatini and some of the reserved pasta water and cook for the final minute together. Grate some parmesan or pecorino over the top and enjoy!

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This is another recipe that I thought needed some new pictures. Crepes aren’t much more effort than pancakes, but I like them so much more. You can fill them with whatever you like; my favorite is nutella and strawberries.

I thought we needed something special for breakfast over the weekend, and crepes immediately came to mind. I’ve never made them before, but I’ve definitely made a lot of pancakes. I pulled out my copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and I took Julia’s basic dessert crepe recipe.

Crepes inspired from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons Triple Sec or Grand Marnier

1 1/2 cups flour

5 tablespoons butter, melted

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until combined making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours if possible, up to a day.

Using a little butter or vegetable oil, just enough to very lightly coat the pan, pour a 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and swirl it into one even layer. This must be done quickly before the batter sets, and you need to have the heat down pretty low. I pick the pan up off the heat when I do it so that I can tilt to swirl. Once it starts to bubble up and become slightly browned on the bottom, it’s ready for a flip. 1 minute on the other side and it’s done. Fill with anything, we used nutella, peanut butter, nutella with strawberries and bananas, and lemon curd. And we even tried 2 with cheddar and pecorino and they were fantastic!

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I have been making this recipe for almost 10 years, which says a lot. It’s simple enough that I never have to look it up, and it’s always delicious. You could riff on it and add things like chicken or red pepper flakes or anchovies and it would totally work, but I like to keep it simple. I sometimes pair it with some chicken or veal saltimbocca and a side salad, but the options are endless.

Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe

1/2 pound spaghetti

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 bottle of a big red wine like primitivo or zinfandel

1/2 cup grated pecorino

2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil

Blanch the broccoli rabe in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes and then remove to a frying pan. Saute the broccoli rabe in a little olive oil. Add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute or two. Remove to a bowl for later.

Meanwhile, start cooking the spaghetti in the salted, boiling water. Start reducing the wine in the frying pan. About halfway through the spaghetti cooking, add it to the wine with a little of the pasta cooking water. Continue to cook in the wine until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has cooked away. If you need more liquid to finish the pasta, you can add more of the pasta cooking water. Add the broccoli rabe back in and the pecorino and stir through. Serve with a little extra pecorino and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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I suppose the most memorable recipe I’ve posted in the first year of Meatballs & Milkshakes has to be my Shaved Asparagus Salad because it won Best Spring Vegetable recipe on Food52 at this time last year. They have been nice enough to spotlight me here and I can’t say enough good things about their wonderful site.

For Christmas, the Feast of the Seven Fishes was definitely another memorable moment– I made seven fish dishes in one night! And we had delicious chocolate pudding to end the night, it doesn’t get much better.

Some of the recipes that really stick out in my mind over the year are obviously pastas. This linguine bolognese that I made for Valentine’s day was unbelievable and it still makes my mouth water.

This tagliatelle with shrimp and cabbage was a recreation from one of my favorite restaurants, and it got some press over on Serious Eats, another of my favorite blogs.

Of course, it all started with my homemade pappardelle with duck ragu. You can see that hopefully my pictures have improved a bit…the recipes were yummy even then though!

And of course, I made my first pork shoulder, slow roasting it and shredding it for tacos which were a big hit. Who knew pork could be so good!

While we’re talking meat, I can’t forget this beef stew that I made…it was by far the tastiest beef stew ever with amazingly delicious carrots. They soaked up the beef juices are were almost better than the beef itself. Almost.

And of course we can’t forget my obsession with the Flour cookbook this year. I made all sorts of cookies from it, including these yummy oatmeal raisin cookies

and chewy chocolate cookies. I’ve almost baked my way through all the Flour cookies, and they’ve all been amazing. Definitely a go-to cookbook that I recommend buying.

As far as other desserts go, there were a lot of pies but the ones I’m looking forward to again most are these: the mini strawberry rhubarb pies that were great for individual servings straight from the freezer, and the quick berry pie. Both are great for summer and I’m hoping it will be another good one!

I’m off to Italy for a week, but I’ve left a couple posts for you while I’m away….and hopefully I’ll bring back some new Italian inspiration! Bring on the broccoli rabe and orecchiette!

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Spring is definitively here, and maybe we’re already into summer with temperatures hitting close to 90 degrees today. It’s time for some no-cook or quick cooking recipes so that I don’t overheat the apartment with the stove. One of my favorites from the cleanse earlier this year was this salmon with pepita pesto. The pesto is really quick and just requires a food processor, and the salmon cooks in less than 10 minutes. It’s delicious and very healthy…perfect for a day like today!

This wonderful fava bean and pecorino salad with mint would pair nicely with the salmon, and it’s a light and refreshing salad for warm days.

A quick and simple pasta is also a good bet when I want dinner in 10 minutes. This spaghetti with cherry tomatoes tastes like spring, with the first good tomatoes of the season. Cherry tomatoes usually have more flavor early in the season than other tomatoes, and when you can get delicious ones, the simplest recipes will show them off the best.

A spring menu would not be complete without a fruit dessert, and this berry pie is so quick and easy.  No need to have the oven on as long as you would for a crisp or regular fruit pie, this flavorful pie is one of my summer night favorites!

And if you absolutely need some chocolate, these broiler s’mores are done in 2-3 minutes and you’ll wish you made more!

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