Category Archives: Pasta

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Orange, Recipe

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Back in December I posted about this Linguine with Prosciutto and Orange recipe I made. It was before I had my fancy new iPhone with flash so my photos were extra terrible but as the dish is extra delicious I had to remake it so here’s an updated photo (and recipe is re-posted below for you)! I love this recipe, its so easy, quick, and requires so few ingredients and tools. Its a great weeknight meal  as well as special enough to share.

Obviously, you can make it with whatever pasta you would like but I prefer a fettuccine or linguine myself. Buon appetito!

Linguine with Prosciutto and Orange

12 oz linguine (or tagliatelle or fettuccine)
1.5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into small pieces
zest and juice of one orange
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook pasta according to directions, drain about 1 minute before al dente. Reserve 1/4cup of the cooking water.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add prosciutto, saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of zest, and cream. Bring to a boil. Add pasta, cook stirring until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper (taste first, the cheese and prosciutto already make it very salty – I didn’t need to add any). Stir in cheese, serve and garnish with remaining zest.

Spinach Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce, Recipe

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My dad surprised me with a 20120122-122338.jpgsomewhat last minute trip down to see me this past weekend. There are a few things I can always count on when he visits – good food, a glimpse into my family’s history, and him razzing me for not wanting to take his dog for a walk in the “feels like 4°F” Boston weather. He has a lot of great family stories that I need to start writing down so I can pass them along to my imaginary children one day.

For this visit we decided to make homemade Spinach Ravioli with a Sage Butter Sauce. I found the recipe on Memories in the Baking’s blog and, boy, am I glad I did. This one is a keeper! For the pasta I decided to use Tyler Florence’s recipe as I didn’t have semolina (which Memories in the Baking’s recipe called for) and hate buying something just to use a half cup of and then letting it take up precious cabinet space.

The spinach raviolis with sage butter sauce came out much better than I ever would have thought. Don’t get me wrong, knowing what went into them I realized they would taste good but I had no idea HOW good. They were cheesy but light, filling but fluffy, creamy but fresh. I could have eaten another half dozen without thinking twice (if I knew I didn’t have dessert in the oven). We’ve had so much fun making ravioli together I think it’s becoming our “thing”!

Over wine and raviolis I got to dig around my dad’s brain for memories of our family in Malta, where my grandfather, Horatio Emmanuel Luigi Plant, was born. My grandfather didn’t stay long in Malta once he was born but the entire side of his mother’s family remained. He had gone back as an adult for some paperwork (and maybe business?) and taken my father with him. My dad was maybe 11? They took a boat over to Sliema which is where my grandfather believed he had an aunt living. They stopped into a little convenient store on a cobbled street and asked the shopkeeper if he knew of any Cesares (my great grandmother’s surname) living in the area and he was told that Connie (Consuela? Concetta?) lived a few doors down. They headed to her house not knowing what to expect and how they would be greeted as my grandfather hadn’t seen her since he was a toddler. When they got to her door she opened it knowing it was my grandfather on the other side and greeted them warmly. When Horatio was a boy he had been in an accident which he needed surgery for which left him with one leg shorter than the other. His walk had a distinct melody to it and Aunt Connie, knowing this through letters from my great grandmother, could hear the rhythmic tap of his shoes echoing through the cobbled streets towards her door. She was so excited to see the two of them she called up other family members, about 70 of them, to get together later that evening.

Stories like these have me dreaming about going to Malta and looking up the Cesare family. My family.

Until then, here are some recipes.

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Pasta Dough for Ravioli
Adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions
To make the pasta dough: In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook*, combine the flour and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to mix. Drizzle in 1 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

*Alternatively if you don’t have an electric mixer: Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Continue as directed above.

Cut the ball of dough in 1/2, cover and reserve the piece you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at widest setting. Pull and stretch the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue tightening until the machine is at the narrowest setting; the dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick (you should be able to see your hand through it.). Dust the sheets of dough with flour as needed.

Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta, and drop tablespoons of your favorite filling on 1/2 of the pasta sheet, about 2-inches apart. Fold the other 1/2 over the filling like a blanket. With an espresso cup or fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife or ravioli press to cut each pillow into squares and crimp the 4 edges with the tins of a fork to make a tight seal (I didn’t do this, they will stick if you just press them down tightly but softly). Dust the ravioli and a sheet pan with flour to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest.

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Ravioli Filling
Adapted from Memories in the Baking

10 ounces of spinach, washed and stemmed
1 pound whole milk ricotta
3 ounces of mascarpone
1 large egg
3 ounces of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Pinch of nutmeg

Cook the spinach in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 30 seconds. Drain thoroughly. Set aside to cool a bit. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach, and finely chop.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, mascarpone, egg, Parmigiano Reggiano, and nutmeg, until smooth. Fold in finely chopped spinach. Season with salt to taste.

Fill ravioli with filling and set aside until ready to cook! Freeze any leftovers that are not being used immediately.

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Sage Butter Sauce20120122-122346.jpg
Adapted from Memories in the Baking

3 tablespoons shallots, minced
½ cup dry, white wine
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
Salt & Pepper to taste

Sauté shallots in 2 tablespoons of butter, about 3-5 minutes. Add white wine, heavy cream, chicken stock and lemon juice. Simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Gently whisk in remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. Adding butter only until the previous addition has completely melted. Add sage. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the ravioli in a large pot of boiling, salted water, about 5 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Drain well. Transfer ravioli to a serving bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pour the sage butter sauce over the ravioli and sprinkle with as much Parmigiano-Reggiano as your little heart desires. Serves 6 (Yeah, right).

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20120122-122354.jpgOh, and what’s this? I couldn’t resist making this Molten Chocolate Cake again as it’s my new favorite thing ever. It’s so easy to make, you can prepare it in advance, and it’s completely decadent and fancy! A little scoop of vanilla FroYo on the side rounds it out as the cake is still warm and gooey from the oven. I can’t get enough of how you just pull it open ever so delicately and the insides just melt all over the plate. Yes! I may soon turn into a little chocolate cake if I am not careful.

Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Creamy Mixed Mushrooms, Recipe

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I pulled this recipe thinking it would be fun to make fresh ravioli with my dad in town last winter (I’m a little slow with getting around to posting this). It turned out to be some of the most fun I have had in the kitchen in a long time (and I have a lot of fun in the kitchen). My dad and I work well together, even in my 4×6 shoebox of a kitchen. I accredit this to my excellent communication skills and patience but my dad says its because I am bossy and just tell him what to do. Whatever, same thing.

I had made fresh pasta before but never thought of it as a team sport until Mr. S and I were invited over to a dinner party where we all helped prepare dinner. I love the idea of working together to create something and then being able to enjoy it together. Love it. My dad really enjoyed working the pasta machine, which he coincidentally got me for Christmas years ago. We had a great time.

Apart from all the fun we had, this recipe is fantastic. The filling is so good and the sauce pulls it all together. Butter. Wine. Cream. Mushrooms. You can’t go wrong. If you have a little time and are looking to cook as entertainment and not just to put something in your mouth I recommend bookmarking this one.

I can’t wait to make it again!

Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Creamy Mixed Mushrooms
Recipe from Former Chef

Ravioli Filling
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz fresh ricotta
1 egg
3.25 oz cooked spinach (5 oz raw)
.25 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper

Cook the spinach and squeeze out the excess water. Chop into small pieces. Combine with the rest of the ingredients.

Pasta Dough Recipe
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Many recipes call for putting the flour in a mound on the counter, making a well, and mixing in the egg. I prefer to do it in a bowl because I think it’s a bit easier to control the egg and keep it from spilling out the sides.

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Mix the egg with the olive oil in a small bowl and then pour into the flour well. With a fork, gently start to incorporate the flour into the egg. As the dough comes together, use your hands to gather it into a ball. Once you can get it into one mass, knead it on your work surface for about 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1/2 an hour.

Roll out the pasta dough, either by hand or in a pasta machine according to directions. I rolled mine out to the last setting, #8. Do it in small batches because the pasta dries very quickly. Roll out a few strips of dough, put on the filling, cut the ravioli and repeat. I used about 1 tsp of filling per ravioli and cut them with a ravioli cutter like this Round Ravioli Stamp which I’ve had for years. You can use a biscuit cutter, small glass, or knife to cut them as well. Make sure you pinch the edges closed and try to push out any air bubbles. Place the ravioli on a floured sheet pan, dust with flour, and cover with a kitchen as you work.

To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt. Add the ravioli one by one to the pot and stir gently to keep them from sticking together. They will take about 4-5 minutes to cook and generally, when done, will float on top of the water. Remove with a large slotted spoon, or pour (gently) into a colander.

Mixed Mushroom Cream Sauce
4 oz white mushrooms, sliced
3 oz oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
6 oz cream
fresh thyme (about 1 Tbsp)
salt and pepper

Heat a large sauté pan on medium and add the butter. Let it melt and add the mushrooms. If your pan is not large enough, you may want to do this in two batches so as not to crowd the mushrooms. You want them to cook, not stew and they will let off a lot of water. When the mushrooms are dry and starting to brown, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and allow it to reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by one third. Add the thyme and salt and pepper.

Linguine with Prosciutto and Orange, Recipe

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I can’t remember where I got this recipe from but recently found it in my handy recipe box. Typically, indulgent cheesy creamy pasta dishes are saved for company to minimize leftovers but with a cold in full brew I needed some comfort food stat. I can never remember how the saying goes about starving a cold or fever but even sickness doesn’t seem to affect my appetite, sadly.

I loved this dish. It was really easy to throw together and very comforting. It would be great for a weeknight meal as it only took maybe 20 minutes to make (not counting boiling water). I love the combination of the saltiness of the prosciutto and the citrus from the orange. I cut down on the butter a little (knowing I would be eating leftovers for 3 days) and think it worked just fine (below is the modified recipe). I’m keeping this one on standby for the next time I need an easy but impressive dish. Hope you like it!

Linguine with Prosciutto and Orange

- 12 oz linguine (or tagliatelle or fettuccine)
– 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter
– 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into small pieces
– zest and juice of one orange
– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook pasta according to directions, drain about 1 minute before al dente. Reserve 1/4cup of the cooking water.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add prosciutto, saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of zest, and cream. Bring to a boil. Add pasta, cook stirring until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper (taste first, the cheese and prosciutto already make it very salty – I didn’t need to add any). Stir in cheese, serve and garnish with remaining zest.

Side note: if you save about a tsp of orange juice and zest you can add it to your french toast batter in the morning which I think makes it extra delicious.