This past weekend one of our dearest friends turned 50 so we threw a surprise party for her. She is Italian and I had the chutzpah to prepare my favorite pasta dish for her and a bunch of other Italian friends even though I can’t claim any Italian heritage. Luckily it was a hit. I have been making Anchovy and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta for almost 20 years and I think it is the reason that Arié married me! The kids now love it too. I discovered recently that it pairs fabulously with Twelfth Night Sauvignon Blanc so Cheers and Buon Appetito!
Anchovies and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
6 red bell peppers
½ cup olive oil
5-6 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
3 2-oz cans anchovy fillets
¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
Grated parmesan cheese
Cracked black pepper
12 oz spaghetti or linguine
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stems and place on a baking sheet skin side up. Roast under the broiler for about 12-15 minutes until the skins are blistering and starting to blacken. Cool and then peel off the skins. Cut the roasted peppers into ¼ inch strips.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate to high heat. Throw in the oil from the anchovy cans as well to add flavor. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the anchovies and mash them with a spoon into the oil. Add the peppers and sauté another 2 minutes.
Toss in the parsley and stir briefly. Serve over cooked pasta with plenty of parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.
I love pasta with wild mushrooms – it is one of my favorite dishes. The problem is that my kids hate mushrooms so I never make it. Last night, Passover had ended so pasta was back on the menu, the kids are visiting their grandparents for spring break and I had a bottle of Twelfth Night Pinot Noir leftover from a tasting that just so happens to pair perfectly with mushrooms. The stars were aligned so I whipped up this delicious dish for a tasty dinner after a chilly, rainy spring day. Perfect!
Wild Mushroom Pasta
- 2/3 oz dried morel or porcini mushrooms
- 1 3/4 cups boiling-hot water
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3/4 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as oyster, chanterelle, or porcini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 lb dried egg fettuccine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Soak dried mushrooms in boiling-hot water in a bowl until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain in a paper-towel-lined sieve set over a bowl and reserve soaking liquid, then rinse soaked mushrooms. Pat dry and finely chop.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté fresh mushrooms with garlic, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chopped soaked mushrooms and reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and simmer 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Ladle out and reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander, then add it to mushrooms in skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook over moderately high heat, tossing and adding some pasta-cooking liquid if necessary to lightly coat, 1 minute. Add chives, parsley, lemon zest, and juice, then toss well. Serve immediately with cheese and pepper to taste.
Gourmet – September 2006
It’s the second night of Passover and we are hosting the Seder. I just finished making the best part of the meal – these Amazing Passover Chocolate Toffee Matzo. I’ll be surprised if anybody eats anything else! Hag Sameah! Happy Passover!
For 30 servings
6 whole matzos
1 cup salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
20 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line baking sheets with foil and pinch the edges into a lip to contain drips. Grease the foil well with butter. Place the matzos onto the baking sheets, breaking them in half if needed.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the brown sugar over medium heat; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer the mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes. Ladle the hot sugar mixture over the matzos, spreading the mixture over the matzos with a rubber spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven until the sugar mixture is bubbling and thick, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool until the toffee coating is firm, about 15 minutes.
Place the semisweet chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on Low until the chips are just melted (do not let the chocolate overheat or scorch). Spread the melted chocolate over the toffee-coated matzos; sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Place the baking sheets into the refrigerator until the treats are cold, about 30 minutes. Remove the matzos from the foil, break up into pieces, and store in an airtight container or plastic bags in refrigerator or freezer.
I was away this weekend and did not return until late Sunday afternoon. Since I didn’t have time to make a big Sunday dinner, I turned to my favorite quick, healthy meal – a frittata. I took a look in the fridge and came out with broccoli rabe, tomatoes, a bit of basil and some feta cheese. Voila! The makings of a yummy frittata. The acidity of the tomatoes and the feta made it the perfect pairing with the 2013 Twelfth Night Sauvignon Blanc. A crispy green salad, some crusty bread and dinner was on the table. Elsa had dibs on the leftovers for lunch this week. Bon Appétit!
Frittata with Broccoli Rabe and Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion finely diced
1 small bunch broccoli rabe chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes halved
¼ cup basil chiffonade
½ cup Feta or fresh goat’s cheese
½ cup Gouda or other mild cheese
8 large eggs
Salt & pepper
Preheat broiler to high.
Heat the olive oil in a 12” sauté pan and add the onion. Cook until translucent – about 3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli rabe and cook about 5 minutes. Add grape tomatoes and basil and cook another 3 minutes.
In a bowl, beat the 8 eggs with salt and pepper. Pour gently into the sauté pan with the veggies and cook over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the two cheeses over the top and put under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the top of the frittata starts to turn golden. Remove from pan onto a large plate and cut into wedges. Serve with a green salad, crusty bread and of course a nice glass of 2013 Twelfth Night Sauvignon Blanc.
A bonus mid-week recipe from Vela’s secret chef – Edouard. The calm before the harvest. Click on his picture and enjoy!
Starting this week, we will be posting a new recipe each Sunday that will pair well with one of our wines. For the Dahan family, Sunday is always a family dinner night and I always try to go that extra mile and make a really nice dinner. This week I made a fabulous “Chicken Fricasée à la Grecque” which pairs perfectly with our 2013 Twelfth Night Riesling. Don’t be scared by the recipe – you might think that putting lettuce into a hot dish is quite strange but I guarantee that it is delicious. Even my 12-year old son thought it was fab and asked for the leftovers in his lunch tomorrow! Bon Appétit!
– Beth Ann
Chicken Fricasée à la Grecque
- 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in skinless chicken pieces (thighs, breasts, and/or drumsticks)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch green onions (scallions) green and white chopped
- 3-4 large heads romaine or cos lettuce, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 3 eggs
- Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
- Extra dill and scallion for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large 6 qt. pan. When very hot and shimmering, add the chicken. Brown well on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
Once browned, add the green onion and cook for a minute. Start adding handfuls of the chopped romaine. You won’t be able to fit in all the romaine at once, but don’t worriy Add as much romaine as you can, cover and wait until he romaine in the pan has cooked down. Add the remaining romaine, along with the fresh dill. Do not stir; leave the chicken at the bottom of the pan.
Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, till the chicken is done and nearly falling off the bone and the romaine is tender. Taste the juice in the pan and add more salt if desired.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the eggs and lemon juice.
Take the chicken off the heat. Tilt the pan to catch the juices at the bottom of the pan with a ladle. Pour the hot juices into the egg mixture in a slow and steady stream while beating vigorously. Continue this process until you’ve used most of the juice in the pan.
Pour all of the egg mixture into the pan and place over low heat. Do not stir; shake the pan in a circular motion to evenly distribute the egg lemon sauce. Keep over a low heat until the sauce just barely comes to a simmer. Watch intently and remove from the heat as soon as you see the first one or two bubbles rise to the surface.
TIP: never cover the pan after adding the egg lemon mixture; the condensation promotes separation of the sauce.
Makes 4 servings. Garnish each portion with more fresh dill and chopped scallion. Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.