Lemon, Sage and Asparagus Rigatoni

On February 17, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Fresh pasta is one of those things that sounds time consuming, especially on a work day evening. It certainly can be but there are ways to reduce the time and my secret weapon is the KitchenAid mixer with the pasta extractor accessory.

The pasta dough is simple to make and then a small ball of pasta dough is placed in the extractor and in seconds beautifully shaped rigatoni (or 8 other shapes.)

This recipe is a great use for fresh pasta and yes even on a work night it is possible.

Lemon, Sage and Asparagus Rigatoni 

Prep Time: 30 Mins Cooking Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced into thin slivers
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 4 leaves of sage, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh rigatoni pasta

Directions:

  1. Heat a pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, fill a saute pan with water and add asparagus once it begins to boil.  Drain after 3 minutes of boiling. Wipe pan dry and add bread crumbs heating on medium-high heat for 4 minutes tossing to brown all of it without burning. Remove bread crumbs, set aside.
  2. Pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and then heat garlic slivers for about 4 minutes then add  butter, sage and parsley. Let it all combine for a minute then add lemon juice.
  3. Cook pasta for about 2-3 minutes, if freshly made (follow instructions on package if using store bought.) Drain pasta and then add to saute pan.  Return the asparagus and bread crumbs.  Pour in the remaining olive oil and parmesan cheese.
  4. Toss it all together and serve.
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Bacon and Beet Fettuccine

On December 28, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This recipe is a bit of an adaption from a favorite Mario Batali recipe from Mario’s before The Chew Molto Mario show. Molto Mario was a great show that showcased how simple it is to make amazing Italian pasta that often featured a couple key tips:

1.) Use fresh pasta not dried

2.) Don’t over sauce

Mario’s Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Parsnips is a great recipe and one I’ve modified before. This version uses bacon and golden beets with a sage butter sauce. It also gave me an opportunity to break-in some new bowls I bought at the Ranch 99 Market last week after spending sometime in Torrance, California taking a Lexus LFA for a spin on the LA streets.

Bacon and Beet Fettuccine
Serves 2

Fresh Fettuccine past noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh sage, rough chop
3 slices bacon, diced
2 golden beets, diced into small cubes
fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano

Make your Fettuccine noodles using one recipe of basic pasta dough. Set aside pasta and start boiling some water with a dash of salt.

Add bacon to a medium-high heat saute pan. Cook bacon and remove from pan when done. Leave the bacon grease in pan.  Add the diced beets and cook for about 5 minutes turning often.

Cook your pasta for about 2-3 minutes and drain from water. Add the bacon back to the saute pan and the 2 tablespoons of butter and sage. Cook for 1 minute then add the cooked pasta. Toss and serve immediately adding some Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish.

Serve.

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Pappardelle in Red Wine Beef Ragu

On August 20, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Sunday night is always a special evening when it comes to cooking.  Not only is it the last evening before the work week where I can spend more time preparing and cooking a meal.  It is also a time to enjoy some twitter chat with fellow foodies on #SundaySupper chat. Tonight they were doing recipes made or paired with wines.  I had been planning on making a Korean beef dish with rice, but switched after seeing a Pappardelle dish my friend Chuck Hemann posted to his Facebook page yesterday and after noticing it was a wine theme on #SundaySupper.

Today’s Studio City Farmers’ Market had the pasta vendor there selling some freshly made Pappardelle noodles. There were also some amazingly beautiful organic local carrots too. In case you haven’t seen what a real carrot looks like; instead of all the perfectly colored and shaped carrots at the typical grocery store, here you go.

I modified a couple Pappardelle ragu recipes.  Most called for a combo or some version with beef, pork, veal and even ground boar.  I would’ve loved making something with all four, but I only had some grass-fed ground beef.  I also went with a California Red Wine blend that added a nice rich flavor to the ragu.

Pappardelle in Red Wine Beef Ragu
Serves 4

1 lb Pappardelle noodles
1 lb ground beef
2 cups red wine
1 cup vegetable broth
28 oz can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 carrot, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly slided
4 Sage leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large stockpot add the olive oil and heat on medium-high until hot then add the ground beef.  Add the dried oregano, basil and some salt and pepper to taste mixing it into the ground beef in the pan.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes stirring often to evenly cook and get some browning of the meat. Set cooked beef aside in a separate dish.

Do not clean the stockpot and return to the heat adding the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and chopped sage. Cook on medium-high heat for a minute then cover and cook on low heat for another 7 minutes.  After vegetables have cooked return ground beef to pot.

Crush the canned tomatoes in a bowl with your hands.  Pour tomatoes into pot with vegetables. Add the red wine and vegetable stock. Heat the pot to a boil and then cover reducing heat to a simmer cooking for 1 1/2 hours.

In the final 20 minutes of cooking the ragu, start the water for your noodles.  When ready, add the Pappardelle noodles to the boiling water and cook accordingly. About 5 minutes for fresh and follow the directions on the package for dried noodles.

Serve with large shavings of Parmesan Reggiano cheese.

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Orecchiette with Kale and Cherry Tomatoes

On August 6, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is a very simple dish and a great way to put some fresh kale to use. It’s likely even people who do not normally like kale will find it enjoyable in this dish.

Best part this dish takes less than 15 minutes including preparation.

Orecchiette with Kale and Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4

1 lb Orecchiette pasta
1/2 bunch of kale, cut into large pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 tablespoon butter
4 leaves of fresh sage

Cook pasta according to directions, most likely around 8-9 minutes.

Add garlic and a about a table of olive oil to a saute pan. Cook garlic for about 2-3 minutes making sure not to burn on medium heat. Add butter and hand tear small pieces of fresh sage into pan. Cook for about 1 minute then add kale. Cook kale for about 4 minutes turning frequently. Remove everything from the pan to a small bowl. Do not rinse saute pan.

Pasta should be done. Drain. Once pasta is finished, add remaining olive oil to saute pan. Add kale mixture and tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes then add pasta. Stir everything together and add Parmesan Reggiano mixing it so everything is coated.

Serve with a chunk of bread.

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Homemade Ravioli with Ricotta and Asparagus

On March 27, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This dish was requested by my wife. Years ago before we had our twin boys I had made this dish one evening in Northern Michigan staying at my in-laws cottage in Lake Leelanau. It was in my Mario Batali phase where I was watching his cooking show on FoodTV and had even had a few meals at his restaurant Babbo’s in New York City.

Two key things I learned from Batali during this phase. One, don’t over-sauce your pasta. Just gently coat the pasta. Two, use fresh pasta because dry pasta just doesn’t make a great pasta dish.

I took a course at William-Sonoma’s at the Somerset Collection a couple years ago that showed me how to make great homemade pasta using our Kitchen Aide mixer with the optional pasta attachment.

Basic Pasta Dough

2 1/3 cups flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs olive oil
4 eggs
2 Tbs water, plus more as needed

Combine the first three ingredients in the mixer and mix for 30 seconds on a low speed. In a separate bowl, combine the last three ingredients using a whisk to combine.

Pour the liquid mixture slowly in phases to the flour mixture with the Kitchen Aide using the flat beater to combine. Do this until the dough can be formed, but not sticky. Add a little extra water, 1 tsp at a time as needed to get right consistency.

Separate into two balls then wrap in plastic and flatten into discs (see image below.) Let them rest room temperature for 30 minutes.


Dust a cutting board lightly with flour. Cut off a 1/4 of a piece from the wrapped discs of pasta dough and roll out with a rolling pin in a rectangular shape until flat enough to go through the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment on setting #1 (thickest setting.)

Have the pasta pass through the extractor each time lessening the number by one until you pass it through on #7. Fold the pasta over two times and then repeat the process two complete times and now you should have a long, almost see-through piece of pasta. Cut and set aside.

Repeat this process with remaining pasta dough.


Cut each pasta sheet so that you can fold over a piece with a dollup of the ricotta mixture. To make the ricotta mixture combine 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and blend with a fork. Place 1 teaspoon of mixture on each pasta square. Wet the edges with a little water and seal each ravioli.


Bring a pot of water to boil, salt, and cook the pasta for about 5 minutes until tender.

In a separate saute pan make the sage butter sauce.

Sage Butter Sauce

5 Tbs of butter
3 Tbs of chopped fresh sage (do not use dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Add the butter and brown it on medium-high heat. Once all melted and getting a dark color add the sage and cook for 15 seconds and then add the cooked ravioli. Toss in some cooked asparagus too (optional) and serve immediately with some grated Parmesan.

Enjoy!

 

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