Friday, February 20, 2009

campanelle with sweet peas & italian sausage

Spicy sausage and sweet peas gives this pasta great taste. i love campanelle here because they curl around and hold this hearty sauce, but you can use other large pasta shapes; orrechiete, shells, rigatoni- whatever. p.s. this is even better the day after...double the recipe if you like.

1/2 lb. campanelle or shell pasta
1/2 lb. hot italian fennel sausage
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
32 oz can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 c. sweet frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp each: dry oregano, marjoram, thyme
fresh grated parmesan 
salt & pepper

Heat olive oil and cook onions & garlic until soft. Squeeze sausage from it's casing and add to pan, breaking up the pieces with a spatula. Now add the tomatoes, herbs, salt, pepper. Cover and simmer on low 15-20 minutes. In a separate large pot, bring salted boil to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and return pasta to pot, keeping a little of the cooking water to coat.
Add the cream and peas to the sauce, stir and cook one minute more, then add sauce to pasta pot. Toss, and serve sprinkled with some fresh grated parmesan. Serves 2.

Friday, February 13, 2009

swedish pea soup

this is a smoky, winter soup that is a meal in itself. swedish peas are available in the dry goods section of the supermarket; they are yellow and have a richer flavor than their green cousins. 

2 c. dry yellow split peas
7- 8 c. water
1/2 lb pork shoulder/ canadian bacon
1 large onion, thinly sliced
dash gound ginger and thyme
salt & pepper

Rinse peas and place in large saucepan with 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, add onion & herbs, then simmer 1 hour. Rinse and chop salt pork into slivers. Add to soup and simmer 1 hour more, or until peas have softened into a thick puree. Check seasoning, add a little extra water if desired, and salt & pepper. Delicious served with pumpernickel bread and butter.

Monday, February 9, 2009

shish kebob and pilav rice

my husband's mother makes the most delicious rice; this is her recipe.          the shish kebob marinade is adapted from 'Simply Armenian' By Barbara Ghazarian. p.s. there are no leftovers 
2-3 lbs. lamb, cut in 1-2" cubes *
2 red onions, quartered
2 yellow bell peppers, cut in 1-2" pieces
6 cherry tomatoes
wooden skewers (soaked in water 1/2 hour) 
1 onion, quartered 2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 c. parsley, chopped 2 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar 1 T. salt
dash black pepper dash cayenne /red pepper flakes

*check your grocer for lamb cuts labeled "stew", or "leg steak". these are very tender cuts trimmed from a leg of lamb that are very reasonable & and can be easily sliced for kebobs. ( or you can always substitute beef sirloin.)
In a large bowl, mix marinade ingredients above and toss with lamb cubes. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, if you prefer. Turn on the broiler and line top rack with aluminum foil. Prepare kebabs by alternating lamb and onion, about 5 cubes per skewer. The vegetables cook more quickly, so I make a separate skewer alternating yellow pepper & cherry tomatoes. Place the lamb kebabs on the foil and cook under the broiler 3-4 minutes. Open, turn lamb and then add vegetable skewers, close and cook another 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them since ovens vary; lamb should be med-rare, and vegetables should begin to split & blister. Serve over rice with warm pita and cooled yogurt sauce, "cacik". 

1 c. rice (Uncle Ben's or similar long grain)
2 1/2 c. salted water, or chicken stock
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced

Heat oil in a saucepan and simmer onions low until lightly brown. Add rice and water to onions; bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until all water is evaporated, about 2o minutes. Turn off heat and place a paper towel between pot and lid to retain moisture. Season with salt & pepper.

yogurt sauce "cacik"
1 c. plain yogurt
1/2 lemon or lime juice
1 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed
dash of dill, mint, or parsley- dried herbs are fine

Mix all ingredients well and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

avgolemono & spinach pita

this is a favorite sandwich from a still beloved, and regrettably closed, little restaurant in warren, r.i., called 'bullock's'.  the delicate, creamy lemon-chicken soup (avgolemono) is a perfect compliment.

4 c. (32 oz) chicken broth
1/2 c. orzo
3 eggs, seperated
2 lemons, juice
salt & pepper

Boil stock, add orzo, and simmer 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until peaking. Slowly add yolks, then lemon, whisking continuously. Slowly drizzle 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk so mixture is smooth. Turn off heat and add lemon-egg mixture to broth, stirring to blend. Serve with fresh black pepper. (*Do not reheat)

spinach pita
1 pita per sandwich, white or whole wheat
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 c. frozen or 2 large bunches fresh spinach
1/4 lb. greek kasseri cheese, (or provolone)
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper

Simmer garlic in a warm pan with olive oil. Add spinach and saute until bright green & soft, about 10 minutes. Slice pita in half (if it's not packaged that way) and toast lightly. Layer 2 slices of cheese, and spread hot spinach on top. Close pita, return sandwich to pan, and brown lightly, melting cheese. 

cock-a-leekie soup

from as far back as 1598, this traditional scottish soup of chicken and leeks is a great way to use up last night's leftovers. 

6 c. (42oz) chicken broth
6 green onions, or small leeks, sliced every 1" 
2 carrots, halved lengthwise then chopped
2 c. cooked chicken, torn in small pieces
1/4 c. cooked barley/ bulgar 
4 whole peppercorns
1 clove
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
* add a dash of cream if desired