Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Pasta With Beans and Greens Recipe

Pasta With Beans and Greens Recipe

Pantry and budget-friendly meals are always good to have in your cooking repertoire. This recipe, which features humble ingredients but standout flavor, is a great example. Beans and greens are a classic pairing in Italian peasant cuisine (as well as in many other cuisines from around the world), known as cucina povera (“poor cuisine”).

Creamy beans and hearty greens are the perfect pairing for pasta.

  • Serves 4
  • 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves (20g), thinly sliced
  • 3 anchovy fillets (5g) (optional; see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine
  • 1 pound 5 ounces (3 cups; 600g) cooked dry white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern) or two (15-ounce; 425g) cans low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed (see note)
  • 1 cup (240ml) bean cooking liquid, homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, or vegetable stock (see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces (350g) short tubular pasta, such as paccheri or rigatoni
  • 1 bunch (8 ounces; 225g) lacinato kale, tough stems removed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces (see note)
  • 2 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup; 65g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a large straight-sided sauté pan or skillet, combine olive oil, garlic, and anchovies (if using). Cook over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up anchovies occasionally with a wooden spoon, until anchovies have dissolved and garlic has softened and is just beginning to turn lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Bring to a simmer and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any stuck-on bits with a wooden spoon, until wine has emulsified with olive oil and mixture is slightly reduced, about 30 seconds.

  2. 2.

    Add beans and bean cooking liquid (if using cooked dry beans) or stock (if using canned beans), and, using a wooden spoon, crush roughly one-quarter of the beans against the sides and bottom of pan. Stir well, season lightly with salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until bean mixture is thickened to a creamy, saucy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until softened on the exterior, but well shy of al dente and still uncooked in the center (about 3 minutes less than the package directions). Right before the pasta reaches this level of doneness, add the kale to the pan with the beans. Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pan with beans and kale along with 1 cup (240ml) pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 2 cups (475ml) pasta cooking water.

  4. 4.

    Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. At this point, the sauce should coat the pasta but still be loose enough to pool around the edges of the pan; because of the starch in the beans and pasta water, the sauce will continue to tighten up in the time it takes to plate and serve, so make sure it’s a little looser than you would normally serve a sauce. Remove from heat, add 3/4 of grated cheese, and stir rapidly to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing remaining grated cheese at the table.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Creamy Pasta With Mushrooms (Pasta ai Funghi) Recipe

Creamy Pasta With Mushrooms (Pasta ai Funghi) Recipe

Even though mushrooms are generally equated with the cool months of autumn, there are plenty of wild mushrooms that hit their seasonal peaks at other times of the year. Plus, modern cultivation methods have made a variety of fresh ‘shrooms available year-round, which is great news for those of us who love cooking and eating them all the time.

Shallots, garlic, white wine, and Parmesan bring out the earthy flavors of mushrooms in this comforting all-weather pasta.

  • Serves 4
  • 30 minutes

  • 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240ml) homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4g) powdered gelatin, such as Knox
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (675g) mixed mushrooms (such as shiitake, oyster, maitake, beech, cremini, and chanterelles), cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced or torn by hand (see note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium shallots, finely minced (about 3/4 cup; 120g)
  • 2 medium (10g) garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (4g) chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine or 1/4 cup (60ml) dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 pound (450g) short dried pasta (such as casarecce or gemelli) or long fresh egg-dough pasta (such as tagliatelle or fettuccine)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces; 85g)
  • 3 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup; 85g)
  • 1/4 cup (10g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions

  1. 1.

    Pour stock into small small bowl or liquid measuring cup and evenly sprinkle gelatin over surface of stock. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    In a large 12-inch cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are deeply browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Add shallots, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and shallots are softened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add wine or sherry, and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any stuck-on bits with a wooden spoon, until wine is reduced by half, about 30 seconds.

  4. 4.

    Add chicken stock mixture, season lightly with salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, add fish sauce (if using), and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushroom mixture is thickened to a saucy consistency, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

  5. 5.

    Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta. If using dry pasta, cook until just shy of al dente (1 to 2 minutes less than the package directs). If using fresh pasta, cook until noodles are barely cooked through. Using either a spider skimmer (for short pasta) or tongs (for long fresh pasta), transfer pasta to pan with mushrooms along with 3/4 cup (180ml) pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 2 cups (475ml) pasta cooking water.

  6. 6.

    Heat sauce and pasta over high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente (fresh pasta will never be truly al dente) and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. At this point, the sauce should coat the pasta but still be loose enough to pool around the edges of the pan. Add the butter, and stir and toss rapidly to melt and emulsify into the sauce. Remove from heat, add 3/4 of grated cheese and all of the parsley, and stir rapidly to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing remaining grated cheese at the table.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Quick And Easy: Creamy Sea Urchin (Uni) Pasta Recipe

Creamy Sea Urchin (Uni) Pasta Recipe

Sea urchin is pricey stuff, but a little goes a long way, and this dish delivers the sort of briny, mineral, sweet, and sophisticated flavor you’d typically expect to find only in a great restaurant. It’s bright and fresh, with a mild heat that cuts through the creamy richness—perfect for pairing with Champagne.

Fresh sea urchin, Mexican crema, and Calabrian chili join forces in this quick and creamy pasta.

  • Serves 4
  • 20 minutes

  • 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 ounces fresh sea urchin (uni); see note
  • 1/3 cup (80g) Mexican-style crema, or crème fraîche
  • 10 ounces (300g) dried long pasta, such as spaghetti or bucatini
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Calabrian hot chili spread (see note)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry sake or dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Small handful finely minced fresh chives, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    Set aside 4 tongues of sea urchin to use as garnish. Combine remaining sea urchin and crema using a blender, immersion blender, food processor, or mini chopper. Blend until completely smooth. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Place pasta in a 12-inch skillet or a saucepan and cover with water. Season with salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook until pasta is just shy of al dente and retains a small chalky core.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned (lower heat if the aromatics threaten to brown), about 2 minutes. Add Calabrian chili spread and stir until homogeneous. Add sake or wine and cook until liquid is reduced down to less than 2 tablespoons, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and set aside until pasta is cooked.

  4. 4.

    When pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer the noodles directly from the boiling water to the pan with the garlic/oil mixture. Scrape uni purée into pan and add a few ounces of starchy pasta-cooking water. Set pan over high heat and cook, stirring and swirling constantly, until the sauce comes together and develops a creamy consistency and the pasta is fully cooked, about 1 minute. Add more pasta water as necessary to thin the sauce if it over-thickens. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

  5. 5.

    Divide pasta between warmed serving bowls, drizzle each portion with more extra-virgin olive oil, garnish each with a whole sea urchin tongue, sprinkle with minced chives, and serve.

Categories
Easy Recipe

Pasta With Vodka Sauce Recipe

Pasta With Vodka Sauce Recipe

A staple of Italian-American red-sauce restaurants across the United States since the 1980s, vodka sauce has a history as opaque as its densely creamy orange hue. Was it a famous Italian actor who invented it? A ’70s restaurant in Bologna? A Columbia University student? Or did it come from Russia? Meh, as much as I love delving into the history of famous dishes, I can live with this mystery remaining unsolved.

Frequently served with penne, positively magical with rigatoni, this vodka sauce is is a powerhouse of tomato flavor smoothed over with the silky richness of heavy cream.

  • Serves 4
  • 40 minutes

  • 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium (8-ounce; 225g) yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • One 4 1/2-ounce (130g) tube concentrated tomato paste or 6-ounce (170g) can tomato paste
  • One 14 1/2-ounce (411g) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1 pound (450g) short tubular pasta, such as rigatoni or penne
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vodka, plus more if desired
  • 2 ounces (55g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a large (3- or 4-quart) saucepan or small Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft but not browned, about 15 minutes; lower heat if needed to prevent browning.

  2. 2.

    Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until tomato paste is fragrant and thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in canned tomatoes with their liquid. Bring to a simmer, then cook, stirring often and crushing the whole tomatoes roughly with a spoon, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Add cream, and stir to incorporate. Transfer sauce to a blender, and blend until very smooth (you may be able to make an immersion blender work, but in our tests the sauce level was too low to safely avoid splattering). Wipe out pot, then return blended sauce to it. Season lightly with salt.

  4. 4.

    In a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until just shy of al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package directs. About 1 minute before you transfer pasta to sauce, add vodka to tomato sauce and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

  5. 5.

    Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer pasta directly to sauce pot along with 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta water (alternatively, reserve 2 cups pasta water, then drain pasta in a colander, then add to sauce with 1/2 cup of the reserved water). Increase heat to high, and cook, stirring constantly, until pasta is well coated in sauce and reaches the al dente stage, about 3 minutes. If sauce thickens too much before pasta is ready, add more pasta water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. [Shown here with one serving size.]

  6. 6.

    Remove from heat and stir in cheese until thoroughly incorporated into a smooth and creamy sauce. Taste for salt, and season with more if needed. If you can’t detect the vodka at all, you can add a few drops more and stir it in before serving; exactly how boozy you want the sauce is a question of taste, but be careful because a heavy hand will ruin the dish. Spoon pasta and sauce onto warmed serving plates and top with additional grated cheese. Serve immediately.