Sunday, February 15, 2009
Macaroni and cheese again, but this time I threw in some broccoli spigarello, which I bought at the local farmer's market because it looked interesting. I've never had this green, but I was intrigued since the sign said it was "great with pasta". I actually really like it--it tastes like the best parts of broccoli or brocoli rabe, is sort of kale-like, but its sweet and not bitter, and it seems to hold up well to being cooked. The latimes says it's actually heirloom broccoli rabe which is relatively difficult to find.
To make this dish, I followed the recipe here, except before cooking the sauce or the pasta, I cut the stems off the greens (because they are fibrous) and then blanched the broccoli spigarello for 5-6 minutes, and then rinsed it with cold water to set the color. I then made the sauce, while the pasta was cooking in the same water that I had blanched the greens. I finished the sauce before the pasta had finished cooking, and in the very last 30 seconds of cooking the pasta, I threw the greens in the boiling water to reheat them, drained the pasta and greens, and mixed everything into the pasta. The other change that I made is that I increased the ratio of sauce to pasta, and decreased the amount of cheese. The greens are tasty and go well with the sauce.
Friday, February 13, 2009
1 kabocha squash
1 Parmesan rind
Cut the kabocha into pieces, and remove the seeds. (I used an orange skinned squash and left the skin on, and this worked out well). I tossed the pieces with curry powder, olive oil, and salt and followed the recipe for roasted kabocha squash. When the kabocha have roasted until they are meltingly soft, add cold chicken stock to a large pot (I used about 1.5 cans). Add roasted kabocha (I couldn't resist eating a few pieces, so I didn't use the whole squash in my soup), and Parmesan rind to the soup. Heat until just boiling. Partially cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Either let cool for several minutes (to reduce the danger of boiling hot soup exploding accidentally from your blender) and blend until smooth (including the Parmesan rind), or use an immersion blender. If the soup is too thick, then thin with water (or chicken stock if you prefer). If the soup is too thin, then you can let it simmer uncovered, until some of the water evaporates. When the soup is the consistency that you want, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot; It could be topped with some grated Parmesan cheese; I like my soup with a bit of pesto swirled in the top.