I was already in love with farro but this dish made me love it even more. This is another wonderful meal from one of my favorite chefs, Sara Moulton. Yes, I saw her prepare it on her PBS show, Sara’s Weeknight Meals. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Sara mouton.com. I modified the proportions and used Trader Joe’s farro. I also used 25 count large shrimp but would use true jumbo shrimp next time to make sure they are perfectly tender in the finished dish. Fast and Fabulous!
Yield: Serves 4
For the Farro:
1 1/2 cups farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro)
3 cups chicken stock
For the Dish:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound peeled, and deveined jumbo shrimp
1 yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
10 ounces baby spinach, torn kale, or torn mustard greens
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups cooked farro
1 tsp dry oregano or 1 T chopped fresh oregano
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup chicken stock
Make the farro according to the package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the prepared farro to incorporate into the dish, keeping the rest for another use.
Preheat the oven to 400 F, preferably on convection.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet with a heatproof handle over high heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pan.)
Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, undisturbed, until the shrimp turns golden 1 minute. Turn them over and cook them until they are barely golden, about 1 minute more (they should not be cooked through). (If using smaller shrimp, decrease the cooking time to 30 seconds per side.)
Transfer the shrimp with tongs to a colander set over a bowl.
Add another tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion along with a hefty pinch of salt.
Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it is golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the colander with the shrimp.
Increase the heat to high, add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil and half the greens and cook, stirring until they start to wilt. Add the remaining greens, and continue cooking until all the greens are wilted.
Add salt and pepper to taste and transfer the greens to the colander that the shrimp are in and shake it to get as much cooking liquid from the colander into the bowl as possible.
Add the wine and the reserved cooking liquid from the colander to the skillet and boil until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons.
Add 2 cups of cooked farro, the oregano, half the feta and the stock to the skillet and bring the stock to a boil.
Stir in all the ingredients in the colander and push the shrimp down slightly into the farro.
Top the shrimp with the remaining crumbled feta and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve right away.
The first time I made a one-pan pasta dish, I was skeptical about the results. Now I know that this technique is absolute genius. Cooking the pasta in the pan results in fabulously creamy sauce. The bonus is the ease of producing a great dish with minimal cleanup.
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s book, Cook It in Your Dutch Oven, via Cups and Spoonfuls.com. I literally started making the dish within an hour of reading the post. 🙂 It’s a perfect quick dinner made with pantry items- all in a single pot. Great!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 ½ ounce of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, about ¾ cup, divided
extra virgin olive oil, for toasting the bread crumbs
freshly grated zest from one lemon, divided
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices of thick-cut bacon or 2 ounces of pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 ½ cups water, more as needed
2 cups chicken stock
12 oz (3/4 pound) bucatini
5 ounces of mixed baby greens (baby chard, kale, & spinach), about 5 cups
1 cup frozen peas
Toast breadcrumbs in a small skillet with a bit of olive oil until golden brown.
Next, mix together toasted breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of Parmesan, 1/2 of the lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of coarse salt, and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cook bacon or pancetta in your Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside until ready to serve pasta.
Add garlic and remaining lemon zest to Dutch oven and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
Add wine, scraping any browned bits and cook until the wine is almost evaporated, about 4-5 minutes.
Add water and stock and bring to a boil.
Stir in pasta and return to a strong simmer. Cook pasta, stirring often until the pasta is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add greens and peas. Stir and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
Add remaining Parmesan and stir until pasta is creamy and completely coated about 30 seconds.
Add extra hot water if pasta seems too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve and sprinkle each serving with crispy pancetta and lemon panko breadcrumbs.
I love using a rotisserie chicken short cut to make a delicious weeknight meal. This sauce in this wonderful dish reminds me of another one of my favorite weeknight dishes using gnocchi.
It was recommended to eat this meal with crusty bread to sop up the sauce (yum!) so I made Portuguese rolls– a great choice. 🙂 I also served it with roasted potatoes which was completely unnecessary, but pleased my husband.
This recipe was from From COOK90: The 30-Day Plan For Faster, Healthier, Happier Meals By David Tamarkin, via Bon Appétit. Fabulous!
4 oz bacon (about 4 slices), sliced crosswise ¼” thick
2 shallots, thinly sliced
⅓ cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock, plus more, as desired to adjust sauce consistency
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 rotisserie chicken, cut into 8 pieces (breast meat halved)
1 bunch curly kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (I used a 10 oz bag of kale)
crusty bread, for serving, optional
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet with a lid over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.) Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened and bacon is brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes.
Add wine, garlic, and rosemary to pot. Cook, stirring, until wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes along with their juices, broth, salt, and red pepper flakes and bring liquid to a boil.
Nestle in chicken, skin side up. Top with kale, cover pot, and cook until kale is wilted, 5–7 minutes. (I added the kale in 2 batches, adding the second layer after 5 minutes.)
Stir kale into sauce and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken is warmed through, about 5 minutes more.
I am in love with kabocha squash- it is just so creamy and sweet. This dish may be the ultimate autumn casserole. It was a little bit involved to prepare but the results were worth every minute.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I slightly modified the proportions and method. Fabulous!
4 to 6 servings
1 small to medium kabocha squash
7 large garlic cloves
3 6-inch-long rosemary sprigs
½ cup heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch Tuscan kale (I used a 10 oz bag), ribs removed and torn into 1-2″ pieces (about 8 cups)
2 medium shallots
1 pound fresh pork sausage, such as sweet Italian (about 4 links)
2 cups crumbled cornbread, from a 6×4 inch piece
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
Bake cornbread. (I used Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix.) Set aside to cool.
Position a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°, preferably on convection.
Cut off stem end of kabocha squash and rest on cut side. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy innards with a spoon; discard. Cut squash into 1″-thick slices. Using your knife, slice off the tough peel and layer of light green flesh beneath.
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of the knife and remove peel.
Combine squash, garlic, rosemary sprigs, heavy cream, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer until squash is tender and easily mashes when pressed with the back of a spoon, 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, grasp stem end of each kale leaf. Starting at stem, slide your other hand along length of leaf to strip leaves. Repeat with entire bunch; discard stems. Tear leaves into 1″–2″ pieces (you should have about 8 cups).
Peel 2 shallots and thinly slice crosswise.
Use the tip of your knife to prick the sausages all over in several places.
Crumble cornbread into coarse crumbs (you should have about 2 cups).
When squash is tender, remove saucepan from heat. Uncover and pluck out rosemary sprigs, leaving leaves inside pot. Transfer entire mixture to a medium bowl (reserve saucepan) and mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher until no distinct pieces of squash remain. Season with salt and pepper.
Wipe out pot with paper towels and heat over medium. Add butter and heat until melted. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add kale to the pot, a couple of handfuls at a time, stirring to wilt between each batch, and cook until leaves are dark green and wilted, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to kale to the bowl with squash, then fold to incorporate.
Heat the olive oil in the same saucepan over medium and add sausage. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides (they won’t be cooked through), about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool for a few minutes (reserve saucepan again and do not pour out fat from sausages–you’re going to use it one more time).
Meanwhile, using a rubber spatula, scrape squash and kale mixture into a shallow 2-qt. baking dish and smooth top. (I coated the baking dish with cooking oil spray.)
Cut sausages crosswise into 2″ pieces and nestle into top of squash mixture, spacing evenly.
Heat the drippings remaining in the saucepan over medium and add cornbread crumbs. Cook, stirring, just until crumbs are evenly coated in fat. Scatter cornbread crumbs over squash mixture; season with more salt and pepper.
Bake gratin until crumbs are toasty and brown and sausages are cooked through (you can insert an instant-read thermometer into center of sausage to check if registers 140°, or just cut into one with a knife), about 15 minutes.
This dish could or should be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen called the dish “pizza beans” to make it more appealing to her kids- so I did the same. 😉 She also had the genius suggestion of serving it with garlic bread, giving it even more appeal. Perelman described it as “a mash-up of a giant-beans-in-tomato-sauce dish from Greece and American-style baked ziti, with beans instead of noodles.” Heaven!
My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. We are already big fans of Greek Gigante beans, by the way. 🙂 With the name “pizza beans,” my kids were expecting pizza, but the flavors in the dish were more like minestrone soup. It may have been more well-received if I had simply called it by the original title, Tomato & Gigante Bean Bake. 😉
This dish would also be wonderful as a cold-weather comfort food casserole. The recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman, via smitten kitchen.com. I used a pressure cooker to cook the dried beans, incorporated the pressure cooker bean liquid as well as beet greens, and increased the amount of garlic. I plan to make it again in the winter and give it a different title. I’m sure it will be more well-received. It will be served with garlic bread, of course.
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large or 2 regular carrots, diced
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
To use a Pressure Cooker to “Soak” the Beans: Place 12 cups of water, 3 tsp of coarse salt and the dried beans in a pressure cooker. Raise to high pressure (2nd ring) for 2 minutes. Release pressure using the natural (water) method. Drain the beans.
Cook the Beans in a Pressure Cooker: Place the drained beans with 9 cups of fresh water in the pressure cooker. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cook on low (1st ring) for 3 minutes. Release pressure using the natural (water) method. Drain the beans reserving the bean liquid.
Heat the oven to 475 degrees, preferably on convection.
In a 2 1/2-to-3-quart (ideally oven-safe) deep sauté pan, braiser, or shallow Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Season well with salt and black or red pepper. Cook, sautéing, until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck bits, then simmer until it disappears, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the kale/greens, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until collapsed, then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Add the beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick (canned tomatoes range quite a bit in juiciness), add up to 3/4 cup broth/bean liquid, 1/4 cup at a time.
Simmer the mixture together over medium for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.
If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a 3-quart baking dish.
Sprinkle the beans first with the mozzarella, then the Parmesan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper color, you can run it under the broiler.
Finish with parsley, if desired. Serve with garlic bread.
This quick weeknight dish makes kale a crowd-pleaser. 🙂 It was fabulous.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Latt. I used my CSA red kale instead of black kale and I doubled the mushrooms and the garlic. I also modified the cooking sequence. This recipe could easily be adapted to make a vegetarian version by omitting the sausage.
1bunch red or black kale, washed, ribs removed
1 poundsweet or hot Italian sausages
8 oz (½pound) shiitakes mushrooms, washed, thinly sliced
8 oz (½pound) cremini mushrooms, washed, thinly sliced
8garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
4shallots, peeled, finely chopped
1tablespoon olive oil
2cups chicken stock or pasta water
1 T unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1pound pasta (spaghetti, ziti, penne, or fusilli) (I used La Molisana Pantacce Toscane, 106)
1 T Kosher salt for the pasta
Sauté with olive oil or grill the sausages to put a crust on the outside, drain on a paper towel, cut into 1/4-inch rounds, then set aside.
In a hot pan lightly brown the kale with the olive oil and remove.
Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic; sauté until lightly browned.
Turn down the heat to medium. Return the kale to the pan along with the sausages, stock, and butter. Braise for 15 minutes. The liquid should reduce by half.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, make the pasta in boiling salted water, drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water, drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, toss.
Add the cooked pasta to the sausage mixture, toss to coat with the sauce. Serve with grated cheese.
My husband is not partial to brothy soups. Making this one required some convincing, but I was able to win him over by the inclusion of pasta and potatoes. By the way, he loved it. 🙂
This wonderful soup recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I increased the onions, garlic, and kale, and added fresh lemon juice. I also used my homemade turkey stock. We ate it with a green salad, of course, and sliced sourdough baguette. It was surprisingly filling! Absolutely delicious too.
Yield: 8 servings
3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
2cups+ diced onion (I used 1 1/2 large onions)
1cup diced carrot
1cup diced fennel or celery
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1large thyme sprig or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2tablespoons tomato paste
parmesan rind, optional
3quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used 2 quarts of homemade turkey stock and 1 quart of chicken stock)
2pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled (if desired) and cut in 1-inch chunks (I skipped peeling the potatoes)
6 to 8ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into 1/2-inch ribbons (about 6-7 cups total)
½pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta
juice of 1 lemon
1tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and fennel, stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika tomato paste, and parmesan rind (if using), and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
Add the fresh lemon juice and stir to incorporate.
Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil, if desired. Pass extra Parmesan at the table.
Note: If making ahead of time, do not add the pasta until reheating.