Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

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Orecchiette from the Italian orecchia, meaning ‘ear’ and -etta, meaning ‘small’ is a pasta typical of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. their names comes from their shape which resembles a small ear.

“My Lemon Ricotta Pasta can be done and on the table in under 30 minutes. Perfect for weeknights or to serve when entertaining. Quick and easy using a few simple ingredients. Let’s get started.

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Olive Oil

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Starchy Pasta Cooking Liquid

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 (4-quart) sauce pot, hand-held juicer, Microplane, hand-held lemon zester, chef’s knife

Note: First, zest the lemons and use a lemon zester for the thin peels. Set aside.

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) box of Orecchiette
2 cups of good ricotta cheese, double cream (substitute whole milk)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 cup of starchy pasta cooking liquid
4 lemons, 1 juiced, 3 zested, plus the fine curly peels of 1 lemon for garnish
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pecorino-Romano cheese, freshly grated

Note: I’m only using 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt in the lemon ricotta cream sauce because Pecorino-Romano cheese is a bit saltier than let’s say Parmesan, and you don’t want the dish to be too salty, plus I added salt to the pasta water so the pasta is already good and seasoned.

Directions:
In a large saucepot of boiling salted water, drop the pasta. Give a good stir and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 12 minutes. After 8 minutes test for doneness. The pasta should be al dente.

In another saucepot over medium-low heat add olive oil, grated garlic, lemon juice, the zest of 1 lemon, and red pepper flakes, stir to combine. Cook until the garlic is fragrant 1 to 2 minutes. Add ricotta cheese and 1/2 a cup (add another 1/2 cup if needed to achieve a smooth creamy consistency) of the hot starchy pasta cooking liquid. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley. Stir to combine.

Using a large slotted spoon, transfer pasta into the sauce. Add another 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, and the remaining Italian flat-leaf parsley. Stir to combine.

Ladle a good helping of the pasta into a porcelain serving bowl. Top with freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese. Garnish with a few thin ribbons of lemon peel and lemon slices. Serve immediately. There you have it my Lemon Ricotta Pasta.

 

 

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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

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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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