Pasta con zucchine e pancetta e ricotta

Adapted from Cooking with Rosetta and Il Cucchiaio Argente and Giallo Zafferano

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Farfalle
  • 2-3 Zucchini
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 100 g pancetta, cubed
  • salt, to taste
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • parsley, to taste
  • 200 mL (3/4 cup) ricotta, plus more for garnish
  • some fresh basil
  • 1 small fresh green or red chili, minced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil 4-6 qts. water (for pasta) in a 8 qt. pasta pot, then add salt.
  2. In the meantime, wash and dry the courgettes. Trim them and then grate them with a grater with large holes, or slice into thin (⅛ inch) rounds. Salt lightly and toss.
  3. In a fairly large pan, pour the olive oil and heat it over low heat together with whole clove of garlic. Brown the pancetta.
  4. As soon as the oil is hot, add the courgettes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally; then remove the garlic. Fry until golden on both sides. Fry the basil a few minutes with this to infuse the flavors.
  5. In the meantime, boil the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain it, keeping a little pasta water.
  6. Add the pasta directly into the pan with the zucchini, together with a little cooking water. Cook for a few moments, stir and then turn off.
  7. Top with some ricotta salata and pasta water, to make a sauce.

I couldn’t find ricotta salata at the local Whole Foods, although I have seen it in DeCicco & Sons in Westchester, of course. Next time I wouldn’t mind subbing with creme fraiche or mascarpone for the fresh ricotta, although the flavor was good. I halved the amount of pasta and zucchini, to make half as much. I used jalapeno pepper, although now my left pointer finger is numb from touching it. I would also be willing to try dicing the zucchini, while julienne sounds like a tad too much work..

~Jessica

Burrata on salad

Adapted from Joy Food Sunshine

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz arugula mix
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup Fresh basil, torn in shreds
  • 8 oz Burrata cheese
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Put all the dressing ingredients (balsamic, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside but do not chill.
  2. Place the arugula in a salad bowl
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half, and place them on top of the spring mix. Add the burrata cheese on top of this.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt and fresh black pepper on top of each burrata cheese round, to taste.
  5. Drizzle with your desired amount of dressing. Serve.

Jesse had never tried burrata before, whereas I considered it one of the great salad toppers. We picked up all of the ingredients from the Roosevelt Island Farmers’ Market, including good ($13 eek) burrata from Hoboken Farms, and used fresh basil from our basil plant.

Chicken pot pie

Adapted from smitten kitchen & One Dad’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs and drumsticks are ideal)
  • 1 to 2 glugs olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (no need to defrost)
  • 2 large carrots, diced small (about 1 cup carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pie crust

Directions:

  1. Generously season all sides of the chicken parts with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If your chicken breasts are particularly large, I find that halving them can ensure they cook at the same pace at the other parts.
  2. Heat first glug of olive oil over medium-high heat in the bottom of a large Dutch oven (minimum of 4 quarts; mine is 5). Brown chicken in two parts, cooking until golden on both sides. Transfer to a plate and repeat with second half of chicken. Set aside.
  3. Heat second glug of olive oil in the same pot. Add onions and leeks, season with salt and pepper, and saute them until softened, about 7 minutes. If using, pour in sherry and use it to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer until mostly cooked off.
  4. Add milk or cream, chicken broth, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
  5. Nestle the browned chicken and any accumulated juices into the pot. Cover and gently simmer to 30 minutes, after which the chicken should be fully cooked and tender.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool slightly. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon; reserve it for another use, or this:
  7. In a medium bowl, mash butter (feel free to replace any part of it with skimmed chicken fat) and flour together with a fork until a paste forms and no flour is still visibly dry.
  8. Pour one ladleful of filling over it, and whisk until smooth. Add a second ladleful, whisking again.
  9. Return this butter-flour-filling mixture to the larger pot, stir to combine, and bring mixture back to a simmer for 10 minutes. The broth base should thicken to a gravy-like consistency. Adjust seasonings, if needed.
  10. Add carrots and peas to stew and simmer for 3 minutes, until firm-tender. Shred or dice the chicken, discarding the bones and skin or saving it for another use. Return chicken to stew and re-simmer for 1 minute. Stir in parsley.
  11. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  12. Roll the dough up, and unroll it over the baking dish, so it rests evenly on top of the filling. Fold the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the tip of a knife through the crust to create 3 vent holes near the center.
  13. Egg wash (optional): Whisk the egg with a teaspoon of cold water. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the entire crust with egg wash. Place the pie pan or baking dish on a cookie sheet, and place it in the oven.
  14. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents. Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.

We had tried that super easy sausage pie from before, and so had one pie crust left over (it was a 2 pack from Pillsbury). We both really like chicken pot pie, and had never attempted it before. Jesse thus felt obliged to attempt it (with delightfully fresh marjoram, thyme, rosemary from our “garden”), despite the fact that it was more work than our usual one-pot-meals. We didn’t have small “pot pie” dishes or any tarragon, so we used the filling ingredients from smitten kitchen, but then followed the heating instructions from the NYTimes “Julia Child” recipe, which was for just one big (normal) pot pie.

~Jessica