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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Paglia e Fieno

2014-10-04 18.01.09

Better known as Straw and Hay, Paglia e Fieno is a pasta dish for the record books. The spinach pasta mixed in with the standard semolina white-colored pasta makes for a beautiful dish.

What makes this dish so delicious is the crunchy salty bite of the Prosciutto with the creaminess of the sauce. Let’s start with the Prosciutto.

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I’m using Bavette-style pasta which is a different name for a style of Linguine.

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Onions

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Olive Oil

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Mascarpone Cheese

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 26 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large deep-sided frying pan (rondeau), 6-quart saucepot, tongs

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of linguine
1/2 pound of spinach linguine
4 slices of Proscuitto, julienned
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) container of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Start by rolling up the Prosciutto like a cigar, then slicing it into very thin strips or julienne. To a large cold sauté pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced Proscuitto. Turn the heat to medium and start rendering the fat from the Prosciutto by allowing the sliced Proscuitto to cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until it becomes nice and crisp. Using a slotted spoon transfer to crispy Proscuitto to a plate lined with a paper towel, set aside.

In the sauté pan with the drippings from the Prosciutto melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add the diced onion, diced, stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stir to combine, cook for 1 minute more. Next, add the heavy cream, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine.

On the back burner, have a large pot of salted boiling water ready.

Reduce the heat to medium-low add the softened mascarpone cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens 3 to 5 minutes.

Drop the pasta and stir. Add the thawed peas to the sauce, stir the peas into the sauce. Turn the heat off, before adding the Italian flat-leaf parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese, stir to combine.

In a large pot of boiling salted water drop the pasta. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the pasta directly into the cream sauce. Gently stir the pasta through.

Ladle a good helping of pasta into a porcelain serving bowl. Top with a garnish of the crunchy Prosciutto and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano. There you have it, Paglia e Fieno, a traditional Italian pasta dish.

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Hearty Ragu With Rigatoni

2014-03-28-17-05-52

A great pasta dish starts with a hearty ragu. I like to choose a style of pasta I know is going to work well with the type of sauce I’m making. Rigatoni will be perfect. This is my Heary Ragu With Rigatoni.

Olive Oil

Cheese

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Roasted Red Peppers

Piquillo Peppers (2)

Piquillo Peppers (1)

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Fennel

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Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 2 (6-quart) saucepots, 10-cup food processor, rondeau (deep-sided braising/frying pan)

Ingredients:
1 pound of ground chicken (substitute ground turkey)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
1 large carrot peeled and chopped into thirds
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of pinenuts
1 (12-ounce) jar of roasted Piquillo peppers
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of chicken broth, low sodium
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly ground
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, julienned

Directions:
Process the Pecorino Romano cheese. Transfer to a container set aside.

Start the *sofrito.
Prepare the vegetables for the food processor. Next, process the onion, carrot, and garlic cloves until finely minced then transfer to a medium-size bowl. Finally, process the almonds and roasted Piquillo peppers together until puréed. Add the Piquillo pepper purée to the same bowl, stir to combine. Set aside.

In a large deep-sided pan (rondeau) over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ground chicken, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook, breaking the meat up with the back of a wooden spoon, stirring frequently until chicken is fully cooked and brown in color, about 12 to 15 minutes.

In a large saucepot over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the prepared *sofrito, dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the chicken broth, cook allowing the liquid to reduce by half, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Next, add the cooked ground chicken to the pot, stir to combine. Bring up to a bubble reduce to medium-low heat, simmer for 1-hour stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour, have a large pot of salted boiling water on the stove ready to go. Drop the pasta. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente. Using a colander spoon (or a colander, drain first) transfer pasta to the pot containing the ragu. Gently stir to combine.

Remove from the heat, add fresh basil, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

To serve, ladle a good helping of my Hearty Ragu With Rigatoni into a porcelain bowl. Grate more Pecorino Romano over the top.

*Sofrito: A fragrant blend of vegetables, herbs, and spices used to season countless dishes, such as stews, beans, rice, and sauces.

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Cast-Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

2014-01-17-18-21-54

This Cast-iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza was as easy as shown on TV.  I picked up some pizza dough from the local pizzeria. Your local pizza parlor is happy to sell pizza dough and it’s really convenient especially for a weeknight meal. I believe most grocery stores carry pre-made pizza dough in their bakery department too. Either way, it’s a win-win!

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sweet Basil (2)

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (27)

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Onions

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Pizza Filling (2)

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Pizza Filling (3)

Pizza Filling (4)

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Ricotta

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Cheese

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 47 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 (12-inch) deep-dish pizzas
Equipment: 2 (12-inch) cast-iron skillets, 4 medium-size mixing bowls, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, rolling pin

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.

Ingredients For Blackened Chicken:
8 chicken cutlets, 1/4-inch thick
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
2 tablespoons of blackened seasoning
2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes

Ingredients:
Canola oil to grease cast-iron skillets
all-purpose flour
2 (16-ounce) balls of store-bought pizza dough
8 chicken cutlets, blackened and grilled, sliced on the bias, divided
5 tablespoons of olive oil
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 green bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus, 2 teaspoons, divided
1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese, divided
1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, divided, extra for the top
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, freshly grated and divided, reserve a little back for the top
2 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, divided
4 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, divided, extra to garnish the top
1 (24-ounce) jar of marinara sauce, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 225-degrees F.
Start by adding the cutlets to a large mixing bowl. Add blackened seasoning, dried parsley and olive oil. Using your hands toss until all the cutlets are evenly coated.

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place three chicken cutlets into the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Some of the cutlets may be slightly thicker and may need a little longer. Transfer to a meat-safe cutting board, slice the chicken on the bias and transfer to an oven-safe platter. Repeat this process 2 more times until all the culets are cooked.

Note: Cover the platter with foil, place it into the oven to keep warm.

Adjust oven temperature to 400-degrees F.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sliced onions, bell peppers, minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until vegetables soften and become slightly brown in color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar. Continue stirring and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Divide evenly between two mixing bowls.

Add the blackened chicken divided evenly between the two bowls containing the onion and pepper mixture, mix to combine

In another two bowls, divide evenly the ricotta, grated Pecorino Romano, mozzarella, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, basil, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Mix to combine and set aside.

Dust a flat surface and rolling pin with all-purpose flour. Roll the first pizza dough ball out into a circle, 14 and 16 inches in diameter.

Liberally oil both cast-iron skillets. Transfer the skillets to the oven until the pans begin to smoke. Immediately move the pans to the top of the stove, arrange the pizza dough in the bottom of both skillets allowing the sides of the dough to hang over the rim.

Start by ladling the one-quarter of sauce into each skillet covering the pizza dough, next, add 1 bowl of the ricotta cheese mixture spreading that out evenly, then arrange half the blackened chicken, pepper and onion mixture, finishing with another quarter of the sauce to each skillet. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Carefully tuck the dough inwards around the rim of both skillets. Brush each pizza crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer both skillets back into the oven for another 30 minutes. Oh WOW!, How great does this pizza look? Garnish with a sprinkling of finely chopped Italian parsley.

Allow the Cast-iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza rest for 15 minutes. Cut and serve.

A Good Tip: You can definitely make the filling for your pizza in advance.

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