Pasta

Pasta E Fagioli By Annie Copps

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
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bowl of pasta e fagioli

When the stars make you drool, just like a pasta fazool, that's amore… Or so the big Dean Martin song goes. Once you try this recipe for pasta e fagioli, a hearty and delicious soup made from pasta and beans, I think you'll find some love in a bowl.

This take on the classic soup comes from by dear friend Anthony Giglio, who is a bit of a renaissance man with an encyclopedic knowledge of wine, story telling abilities of a bard, and the generosity of a saint. His recipe comes from his Neapolitan grandmothers who made this cucina povera staple when cranberry beans were fresh in the markets, or for Friday suppers that weren't during meatless Lent.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4 pork spare ribs
1 cup crushed plum tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
2 8-oz cans cranberry or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth (low sodium)
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound tubettini or small shells pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
Garnish

Directions
In a large soup or sauce pot over medium high heat, saute onion in olive oil until golden, then add carrot and celery, stirring to coat well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Push vegetables to the edges of the pan and add pork chops, browning them gently on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir well, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.

Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add beans, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to gentle simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove meat from bones, roughly chop, and return to soup.

Scoop out half the beans and pass through food mill over the pot, or pulse in blender and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Before adding pasta to soup, make sure soup is liquid enough to handle the pasta (if somewhat thick, add a half cup of water, bring to boil), then add pasta and stir frequently to prevent sticking. (Soup will thicken as pasta absorbs the liquid). Remove from heat just before pasta is cooked through, al dente—about 6 minutes.

Add butter and cheese and stir well. Ladle soup in to warmed soup bowls and let rest at least five minutes; it will thicken more as it cools.

Swirl olive oil in a circle over each bowl and served with a pepper mill and bowl of cheese to pass at the table.
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annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Spaetzle by Annie Copps

Monday, January 24, 2011
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spaetzle

If you are on your way home tonight and tired of pasta, I have a new idea for you—spaetzle! Spaetzle is a cross between a dumpling and a noodle and it's a fast weeknight side dish that is fun to make. You can buy a spaetzle makers, but a colander with large holes works just fine.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Place flour in mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix until blended.

Slowly add milk, mixing constantly, to form a stiff dough. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Fill a soup kettle full of water and bring to a boil. Hold colander over kettle (wear heavy, long mitts to avoid burns from steam), pour spaetzle dough into colander, and press through the holes with a rubber spatula, forcing spaetzle into boiling water. When noodles rise to the surface, they are done.

Drain, spoon into a bowl, top with butter, and serve with stew or goulash.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Chicken Fusilli with Edamames and Shiitakes
By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Chicken Fusilli with Edamames and Shiitakes

This dish combines the wonderful and healthy flavors of edamames and shiitakes with chicken and fusilli pasta to make a delicious good-for-you dinner.

Ingredients
8 naturally raised chicken thighs, skin-on
v 2 onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 cups sliced shiitakes
4 stalks celery, 1/4-inch dice
2 cups peeled edamames
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
1/2 pound cooked fusilli pasta
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to cook

Directions
Have a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Season the thighs and sear in hot pan until both sides are nicely colored. Remove chicken thighs to a plate. Pour off 50% of the chicken fat and add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Saute onions and garlic for 1 minute.

Add shiitakes, then celery and edamames. Deglaze with wine, reduce by 25%, add stock and naturally brewed soy sauce, check for flavor.

Add back chicken thighs and cook through, another 15-20 minutes.

Add pasta to heat through and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Serve in pasta bowls.

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chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

Pesto Alla Anna
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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You're hungry! You just don’t feel like cooking — but you love pasta, right? Although the pasta in this recipe does have to be cooked, the pesto sauce does not!

Most of you know the traditional basil pesto: a paste of basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. Make it in  the blender, and voilà! The pesto is ready! But don’t stop there. That’s not enough. Let me give you another one of my favorites — pesto alla anna — which I recently learned about in Sicily and featured in my cookbook, Lidia’s Italy.

Ingredients
About ¾ pound sweet cherry tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
2 plump peeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup of whole toasted almonds
A pinch of salt
A pinch of peperoncino
Half a cup or more of extra virgin oil

Directions
In a blender, drop in all ingredients.
Blend until it’s nice and smooth.
Toss this fresh and delicious pesto with cooked and drained spaghetti.
While still hot, add some pasta cooking water if it’s too dry and finish with grated cheese.

Buon appetito!
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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

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