Archive for November 2007

Arugula Pasta

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Cook whole wheat spaghetti according to directions.

In the meantime, make sauce: Saute lots of chopped garlic in olive oil. Add chopped red peppers (mine were Thai bird peppers from our plant), then add Morningstar farms sausage crumbles and brown the whole mess. Wash and chop Italian parsley and 1/2 bag of arugula. Add the vegetables to the saucepan, with salt, pepper, and fennel seed. When the pasta is done, add it to the sauce, and dress with a dash of toasted sesame oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.


Written by orata

November 8, 2007 at 7:14 pm

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Butternut squash risotto

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An oldie but goodie. Jeanne and I had a squashy evening last night eating this and pumpkin cheesecake and drinking the white wine she brought over.

Butternut Squash Risotto

The way I learned to make this in Italy,  you peel and cut up the raw squash and saute it with the onions and garlic so it cooks along with the rest of it, but this is the lazy woman’s recipe–it takes more time total, but less active time, and far less effort.

Poke the butternut squash all over with a knife and roast it for about half an hour at 425 degrees, depending on the size and your oven.  Make sure you put it in a dish (I put it in a casserole dish lined with a Silpat) because it will ooze sticky juice.

Cut it open, discard the seeds (or roast them separately for snacks) and scoop out the flesh in large chunks into a bowl.

Put a large pot of broth on the stove to heat up. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to keep it at a simmer.

Chop up a white onion and two ribs of celery and saute in olive oil in a heavy pan. If you have carrots, use them here as well–I only had two tiny, shriveled carrots and just threw them away. I used my thrift store $5 Le Creuset pot and was very happy with it!

After the vegetables are cooked and ever-so-slightly browned, add Arborio rice. (I want to say I added about a cup and a half, but I really have no idea.) Stir it in and saute for a while. This either has something to do with helping it release the starches later, or helping it absorb the flavors of the soffritto… in any case, I’m told you’re supposed to do it, but I haven’t experimented with leaving this step out.

Begin to add the broth, a cup or two at a time, stirring continuously, and add more broth a cup or two at a time to replenish as the broth in the pot is absorbed. Add a few glugs of white wine, too. Make sure you stir continuously to release the starch and keep the rice from sticking and burning. You might want to add salt at this stage, depending on how salty your broth is. I don’t usually add it till the end because the broth is pretty salty. Add a few teaspoons of dried sage leaves.

When the rice is almost fully cooked, add the squash and stir it in. When the rice is fully cooked (creamy and al dente), season with salt, black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley, and, if you want to be really authentic, stir in a big piece of fresh butter. This action is called mantecare.

Written by orata

November 3, 2007 at 10:33 am

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