Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Pasta Carbonara Souffle

2015-05-01 17.06.16

2015-05-01 17.06.19

Eggs and bacon mixed with pasta that dates back for many years. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Making Pasta Carbonara into a casserole, even better. This is my Pasta Carbonara Souffle. Let’s get started.

eggs

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 48 to 50 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 3-quart baking dish (15″ x  9 1/2″ x  2 1/2 “high), 6-quart saucepot, 3-quart saucepot, colander, 10-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, hand-held electric mixer, Microplane.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 pound (1 box) of Barilla Cellentani (corkscrew pasta) slightly undercooked, rinsed and cooled (substitute gluten-free pasta)
3 cups of whole milk, room temperature (substitute 2%)
1 cup of half and half, room temperature
1/2 a stick (4 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, plus 3 tablespoons for the top (extra for greasing the baking dish)
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, (substitute gluten-free flour)
5 ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
4 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley plus 2 tablespoons for garnish, finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) package of the Italian blend shredded cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
First butter the bottom and sides of the baking dish.

Start with a small cold sauté pan add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and diced pancetta. Cook over medium heat allowing all the fat to render out and the pancetta to become crisp, around 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crisp diced pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any extra grease. Set aside.

Place 4 egg whites in a clean glass bowl. I’m looking for them to be nice and frothy. With the mixer on low, beat the whites until they become frothy but not quite to the soft peaks stage. At this point, add the cream of tartar. Continue beating the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted add the flour (optional, gluten-free flour). Continuously whisking until the raw flour is cooked out and becomes blonde in color and paste-like forming a *roux.

In a 3-quart saucepot bring milk and half-and-half (*scald) up to temperature. Pour the hot milk mixture into the *roux all at once. Add 1 teaspoon each of Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Double-check the thickness by dipping a wooden spoon into the sauce. Take your finger and make a line down the back of the spoon, if the sauce stays separated and doesn’t run together. Turn the heat off.

Remove the pot from the heat, then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Switch to a spatula, stir to combine. Next, gently *fold in the egg whites.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta one-minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions for about 8 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Drain the pasta into a large colander. Rinse the pasta under some cold water to stop the cooking process for just a minute before adding it into the casserole dish. Once the pasta is somewhat cooled, it’s time to put this together.

To assemble, add half the cooled pasta, then half of the cheesy souffle sauce. On top of that, sprinkle half of the cooked Pancetta. Repeat this process one more time. Now for the topping, add the finely shredded Italian cheese blend, a little more of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. *Dot the top all over with butter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes. You want the dish to rise beautifully like a souffle should.

Allow the dish to rest for 15 to 20 minutes to set.

*Dot is to place little pieces of butter on the top of a casserole dish or pie.

*Fold or folding is a very precise term in cooking and baking. It meat that you have to carefully combine two mixtures of different thickness and weight into one (relatively) smooth mixture. This is accomplished by a specific technique of using a spatula to lift the two mixtures together, turning them over so they combine.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

*Scald is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the inner rim of the pot.

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Spinach And Feta Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage

 

Spinach Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage

Spinach And Feta Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage

This savory Greek-style pie is traditional, #spinachandfeta. Getting Steve to eat any dish that’s filled with only spinach and cheese wouldn’t pique his interest so I thought I’d add sweet Italian sausage to this recipe. This is my Spinach And Feta Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage.

This recipe can totally be vegetarian by just leaving out the meat. You could even substitute mushrooms, that would be delicious too.

Dealing with phyllo dough may have you saying, that’s too much work. Yes, it can seem a bit overwhelming, trust me, it’s not hard at all.

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The next step is to prepare the savory filling for this pie.

Onions

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thyme (2)

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Oregano

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Feta

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Score the Phyllo dough before baking.

Spinach And Feta Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage

Spinach Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage

 

 

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes for the filling
Prep Time: 30 minutes, assembling the dish
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Cooking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 25 hours 50 minutes
Yields: 12 Servings
Equipment: 9″ x 11″ baking dish, paring knife, 2 large mixing bowls, mesh sieve, 12-inch sauté pan, small bowl, microwave-safe bowl, pastry brush, Microplane

Note: if you’re making this dish meat-free, substitute another 5 (10-ounce) boxes of frozen leafy spinach for a total of 8.

Ingredients:
2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
3 (10-ounce) boxes of frozen leafy spinach (thawed and all excess water removed)
1 diced onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
3 sprigs (2 teaspoons) of fresh marjoram or oregano, finely chopped
3 sprigs (2 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 fronds of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
4 ounces of Goat cheese, crumbled
7 ounces of Feta cheese, cubed
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 box of Phyllo dough sheets (yields 2 rolls approx. 20 sheets of Phyllo total)
1 1/2 sticks of butter, unsalted and melted
1/4 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven 350-degrees F.
Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 11 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Defrost and drain the frozen spinach overnight. The picture above shows the frozen spinach sitting in a mesh sieve over a large mixing bowl. Since the spinach is frozen solid it’s best to leave it out on the counter overnight. The next day, remove the bowl discarding the liquid. Using your hands, wring out any remaining water from the spinach.

If you were going to do this on the same day, defrost the spinach in the microwave, then let it cool down to where you could handle it, and squeeze the water out by hand. You could even place all the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring it out that way. Most importantly, get as much of the water out of the spinach as possible. Transfer the spinach to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large dry sauté pan over medium-high heat, add sweet Italian sausage. Start breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon. Once the sausage is browned, about 10 to 15 minutes, add the diced onion, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, freshly grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Continue cooking until the onions soften, another 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, leave as much of the grease behind in the pan, transferring the sausage mixture into the bowl containing the spinach. Let the sausage mixture cool completely before adding the cheese and eggs.

In another large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper together. Add the beaten eggs to the sausage and spinach mixture. Add the Goat cheese, grated Parmesan, and cubed Feta to the sausage and spinach mixture. Gently stir to combine not to break up the cheese too much. The filling is done. Set aside.

Next, the Phyllo dough.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. In a small bowl add the bread crumbs. Set the two bowls in hands-reach when layering the phyllo dough.

Note: When working with Phyllo dough you need to move fairly quickly. to prevent the dough from drying out causing it to break or crack.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lay the Phyllo dough sheets out onto a flat surface covered with a damp towel.

Start by laying one sheet of Phyllo dough in the bottom of the baking dish. Liberally brush the sheet of Phyllo dough with melted butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Continue this process until the first roll of Phyllo dough is complete, about 10 sheets.

Next, spoon the filling spreading evenly over the top of the Phyllo. Repeat the dough process with the remaining roll of Phyllo sheets for the top.

Finish the top layer with a final brushing of melted butter and breadcrumbs. Using a paring knife score the dough down the middle lengthwise, then twice in the opposite direction. Finally, score each square diagonally (refer to the picture above) forming triangles.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the dough, is flaky and golden brown. Allow the dish to rest 15 to 20 minutes giving the filling a chance to set before slicing.

There you have it, my Spinach And Feta Pie With Sweet Italian Sausage.

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Pappardelle Alfredo With Blackened Chicken

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I love 💗Pappardelle. Those wide pasta noodles grab onto the sauce perfectly. For my Pappardelle Alfredo With Blackened Chicken, I start with the chicken.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Colander-Style Spoon

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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2014-12-26 18.40.33

 

 

 

Prep time: 10 minutes (make sure you have all the ingredients prepped and measured in advance, for ex., cheese grated, and the chicken seasoned)
Cook time: 30 minutes (time may vary depending on the amount of chicken)
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: cast-iron skillet, 6-quart saucepot, 3-quart saucepot, deep-sided frying pan (rondeau), 10-cup food processor, large oven-safe serving platter, Microplane

Ingredients:
8 chicken cutlets, 1/4-inch thick
6 tablespoons of olive oil
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
1 package (1 pound) of Pappardelle (substitute Fettuccine)
1 bunch (1 pound) of fresh asparagus (blanched and cut on the bias into 2-inch pieces), optional
1/4 cup of blackened seasoning
1 quart of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated, extra for garnish
1/4 cups of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients For Blackened Seasoning:
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions For Blackened Seasoning.
In a small mixing bowl, add all the spices along with the Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, stir to combine. Store in an air-tight container in a cool dry place.

Directions:
Sprinkle the blackened seasoning on both sides of the chicken cutlets.

In a preheated cast-iron skillet over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Start with 3 cutlets in the skillet, cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. You want to make sure they are cooked all the way through. Some of the cutlets may be slightly thicker so those may need a little longer in the skillet. Once the first batch is finished, slice the chicken on the bias, and transfer to an oven-safe platter. Repeat the process two more times until the remaining chicken cutlets are cooked and sliced. 

Note: Cover with the platter foil, place it into a 225-degrees F. oven to keep chicken warm while finishing the remaining chicken cutlets.

Next, *blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for just a minute or two. Using a large hand-held strainer or slotted spoon, transfer the blanched asparagus right into a bowl ice water to shock them and stop their cooking. Once the asparagus has cooled down, remove the asparagus from the water and slice the spears on the bias, 2 inches in length. Set aside.

In a large deep-sided pan(rondeau) over medium heat melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the heavy cream, freshly grated nutmeg and garlic powder, whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to low, add the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stirring occasionally, until sauce comes to a simmer and begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat off before adding the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Stir to combine.

At this point the Alfredo sauce and chicken are done, next, is to cook the pasta.

While making the Alfredo sauce, have a large saucepot of salted boiling water ready on the back burner. Now all you need to do is to cook the pasta (Pappardelle or Fettuccine) according to package instructions, 8 to 12 minutes. Do Not discard any of the pasta water.

Note:  If the sauce needs thinning out ladle small amounts of the starchy pasta cooking water and toss. Add the pasta water only after you’ve combined the pasta and sauce.
Reserve the rest of the hot pasta water on the back burner.

After I’ve tossed the pasta through and made any adjustments needed to the sauce, add the blanched asparagus tips into hot the pasta water to heat through before adding it to the finished Pappardelle Alfredo, toss to combine.

Finish the dish by arranging the sliced blackened chicken on top of the pasta alfredo. Garnish with more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley. This dish is so delicious and comforting that I’m sure once you try it, you’ll be making Pappardelle Alfredo With Blackened Chicken again and again.

Serve immediately.

*Blanch: Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling salted water for a short time) cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retain the vitamins. Transfer the blanched vegetables into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and lock in the color.

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