In Venice, this classic dish is traditionally served on April 25th, St. Mark’s Day. This version was adapted from Michela Tasca, owner of Ca’ de Memi Farm and Bed and Breakfast in Piombino Dese, outside of Venice, Italy, via 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Diane Unger.
The recipe is similar to risotto in its cooking method and because it incorporates arborio rice, but this dish is much more fluid and soupy. It is definitely for pea lovers! Whole peas and puréed peas are mixed into the creamy rice. I loved the vibrant, beautiful color of the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 4
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, half thinly sliced and half finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 quart chicken stock or broth
2 cups frozen peas, divided (1 cup frozen, 1 cup thawed & at room temperature)
2 cups lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces pancetta, cubed or finely chopped (I used uncured pancetta)
4 T salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces, divided
1 cup arborio or vialone nano rice
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
In a medium pot, combine the carrot, sliced onion (reserve the chopped onion), celery, fennel seeds, stock (or broth), and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables have softened, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the solids to a blender, draining as much of the liquid as possible. (It’s okay if some of the fennel seeds remain in the pot.) (I used a Vitamix.)
Add 1 cup of the stock to the blender along with the parsley and the still-frozen peas. (The frozen peas cool the mixture so that it remains a brilliant green.) Leave the remaining stock in the pot, covered, so that it remains warm. (I kept the pot over low heat.)
Blend the solids, parsley, frozen peas, and cup of stock until the mixture is completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside. (You should have about 3 cups of purée.)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the reserved chopped onion, pancetta, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and pancetta are lightly browned and the pancetta fat is rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. (I used a low, wide, enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated with fat, about 1 minute.
Stir in 1 cup of warm stock. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle in additional stock to barely cover the rice, about 1 cup at a time, and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes per addition.
Repeat the addition of stock, about 4 or 5 times, until the rice is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let stand uncovered for 5 minutes.
Add the thawed, room temperature peas and the reserved purée; stir into heated through, about 1 minute.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir until melted.
Stir in the Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with additional grated Parmesan, as desired.
Full-flavored sheet pan dinners are a dream. I loved that this one was seasoned with smoked paprika- it has such a fabulous depth of flavor. The “jammy” roasted tomatoes were sweet and delicious. I served the chicken and sauce over a bed of brown Basmati rice to soak up every last drop.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I incorporated broccoli florets and increased the amount of garlic. In addition to rice, I served this dish with sautéed spinach and roasted potatoes. Wonderful.
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
1 T sweet or smoked paprika
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp light brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1pint cherry tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved
2 cups broccoli florets, optional
2ounces diced pancetta or bacon
1/4cup torn fresh dill, parsley or other herbs, for serving (I used cilantro)
freshly ground black pepper
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
Season chicken all over with salt, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Smash all the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and peel them.
Finely grate two of the garlic cloves into a small bowl. Stir in the 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, oregano, brown sugar, and cumin. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.
Add tomatoes, broccoli florets (if using) and remaining smashed, peeled garlic cloves to baking sheet, spreading them out around the chicken. Season tomatoes and broccoli lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil.
Scatter pancetta on top.
Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir the tomatoes and pancetta, but don’t disturb the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Stir the tomatoes, broccoli, and pancetta around in the pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides, and stir in the herbs and black pepper to taste.
Taste and add salt, if needed, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if you like.
Place a bed of rice on a platter, if desired. Transfer the reserved chicken to the platter.
Spoon tomatoes, broccoli, garlic and pancetta over the chicken to serve.
More meatballs! This is an updated version of the classic British dish. Ottolenghi describes the key elements as “well-cooked meat, crisp pancake and velvety gravy.” He modified the popular dish by using ground pork in the meatballs. It was very hearty and rich.
The complete dish was time consuming to prepare, but the components can be made separately and ahead to save time, if desired. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yotam Ottolenghi. I modified the baking times.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Time: about 2 hours
For the Batter:
1cup/240 ml whole milk
2/3cup/160 ml India pale ale or another pale ale (I used Sierra Nevada)
2T Dijon mustard
1 3/4cups (225 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
1tsp kosher salt
For the Gravy:
2 T sunflower or canola oil
1 T (15 g) unsalted butter
2small onions (about 12 oz (350 g) total), halved and thinly sliced
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T all-purpose flour
2cups/480 ml chicken stock
1/3cup plus 1 T/100 ml India pale ale
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs:
7oz/200 g sourdough bread, crusts discarded and bread cut into 1/4-inch (1/2-centimeter) cubes
3/4cup/180 ml whole milk
1 1/2pounds/700 g ground pork
4oz/115 g pancetta, very finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1/2 onion or 1very small onion (about 3 oz/80 g), grated
1/3packed cup/20 g roughly chopped parsley
4garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 T/90 ml sunflower or canola oil
Heat the oven to 475°F/240°C, preferably on convection.
Prepare the batter: Add the eggs, milk, beer and mustard to a large bowl, and whisk vigorously until foamy, about 1 minute.
Add the flour and salt to a separate large bowl, making a well in the center, and pour the egg mixture into the well, in about four increments, whisking lightly each time until the flour is just incorporated. Whisk until there are no lumps and the ingredients are just combined, taking care not to overwork the batter.
Set batter aside for at least 30 minutes, or while you continue with the next step.
Prepare the gravy: Add the oil, butter, onions, rosemary and vinegar to a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-centimeter) baking dish (tin)(Do not use pyrex/glass). Bake, stirring a couple of times during cooking, until the onions are thoroughly collapsed and browned, about 20 minutes.
Whisk together the flour, stock and beer in a bowl until smooth. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper, then pour flour mixture into the baking dish.
Return gravy to the oven and bake, stirring twice throughout, until the gravy is thick and rich, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs and keep warm.
While the gravy is cooking, prepare the meatballs: Soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl and set aside until the liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes. Use your hands or a fork to break apart the bread into a lumpy mash.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, pancetta, onion, parsley, garlic and lemon zest with 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of pepper. Add the bread and use your hands to knead the mixture until it is very well mixed. Shape into 12 large meatballs.
Spread 2 tablespoons oil across the bottom of a large roasting pan (tin), about 9-by-13-inches (23-by-33-centimeters) in size. (I used an enameled cast iron baking pan.)
Add the meatballs and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until some of their liquid has been released. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet (tray) lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Pour the liquid released from the meatballs in the roasting pan directly into the gravy, and then wipe the roasting pan dry.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil to the meatball roasting pan and return to the oven until very hot and beginning to smoke, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Working as quickly as possible, pour the batter into the pan (it should bubble around the edges) and then add the meatballs and 2 rosemary sprigs. Return to the oven immediately and bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 400°F/210°C (don’t open the oven!) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until golden and well risen. (If you want, near the end of baking time (when the custard is set), you can sneak the gravy into the oven to rewarm during the last 5 minutes of baking.)
Brussels sprouts are an essential part of my Thanksgiving weekend menu because my mom and mother-in-law are here to gobble them up with me. 🙂 In this dish, they are sweetened- and darkened- with balsamic vinegar.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Amanda Hesser. I significantly reduced the amount of breadcrumb topping. It was a nice side dish to serve on Thanksgiving because it comes together quickly and requires minimal oven time.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1/2cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh
1tsp thyme leaves
4 T extra virgin olive oil
4 T unsalted butter
2 lbs baby Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed (cut larger ones in two)(I used an entire stalk of sprouts)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6ounces pancetta in small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 T minced shallots
1 T minced garlic
1/2cup balsamic vinegar
1/2cup veal stock or rich chicken broth, more if needed
2 T chopped parsley, for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
In a bowl, mix bread crumbs and thyme with 2T olive oil, and spread on a cookie sheet. Toast, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Heat butter and remaining 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy.
Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add diced pancetta, and sauté, tossing frequently, until sprouts are well browned and softened slightly, and pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes more.
Reduce heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.
Increase heat to high, add balsamic vinegar and stock, and cook, tossing frequently, until sprouts are glazed and tender, about 10 minutes; add more stock if needed.
Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary.
Transfer to a warm serving bowl and scatter bread crumbs and chopped parsley on top.
Wow. I absolutely loved this earthy, rich, and full-flavored soup. I doubled the recipe to freeze a batch to serve for lunch on Thanksgiving Day. (I trusted Ina Garten enough to double the recipe the first time I made it!) 🙂
This recipe is from Ina Garten’s Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, via thekitchn.com. I increased the amount of garlic and incorporated homemade turkey stock. I served it with sliced sourdough baguette and green salad dressed with mustard vinaigrette. Wonderful.
Yield: Serves 6
1 1/2 oz dried wild mushrooms, such as morels or porcini
3 T good olive oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups (1/4-inch-diced) peeled carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
2 cups (1/4-inch-diced) celery (3 to 5 stalks)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup pearled farro (5 ounces)
12 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, 1/4-inch-sliced
1/2 cup plus 2 T dry Marsala wine, divided
1 quart chicken, turkey, or beef stock
3 large sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T all-purpose flour
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz crème fraîche
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the dried mushrooms and 6 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, and celery and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
Add the garlic and farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cremini mushrooms and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms have released some of their liquid.
Meanwhile, strain the dried mushrooms through cheesecloth, reserving the liquid.
Coarsely chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with the strained soaking liquid, beef broth, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, until the farro is tender. Discard the thyme bundle.
In a small bowl, mash together the flour and butter and stir into the hot soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the crème fraîche and remaining 2 tablespoons of Marsala, and taste for seasonings.
Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.
Note: Be sure to buy “pearled” farro; regular farro takes much longer to cook.
Make ahead: Prepare the soup completely. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat before serving.
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 have a couple of fast weeknight pasta dishes to share. Classics. Both are served with bucatini, a house favorite. 🙂
This amatriciana sauce has rich and meaty flavor from the pancetta which balances nicely with the spiciness from crushed red pepper flakes. The flavors really come together as the sauce simmers. Simple and delicious.
This recipe was adapted from a “staff-favorite” Food and Wine recipe, contributed by Hugh Acheson. I omitted the marjoram.
5 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium carrot, grated
One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in juice, preferably San Marzano, coarsely pureed
1 pound bucatini
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, cook the pancetta over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the onion, marjoram and crushed red pepper and cook until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the carrot and tomatoes, season with salt and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the bucatini until al dente. Drain and transfer back to the pot.
Stir the butter into the tomato sauce and add to the bucatini. Toss to coat, season with salt and serve.