-“Dad, I really didn’t like that Alfredo sauce you bought in the store….Can you prepare a fresh white sauce for me?”
Good morning. Yesterday we were hoping not to dabble in the kitchen, except to just boil some pasta and serve it. We were counting on the leftover pink sauce we had prepared the weekend before last with that a small addition. However, life is never that easy, as you may all well know. Faced with the request of our son Gian Luca (the very best friend that we could ever have in Life) we started to rummage our freezer for alternatives and some inspiration. When we spotted two bags with some enticing sweetbreads, we casually asked Giani: “Have you ever tasted this?” You know the answer, don’t you? As proud Italian-Americans, we heard the commanding clarion call from Antiquity.
Rimboccare le maniche! (roll up your sleeves)
In order to tenderize the sweetbreads, first you must boil them in a thick broth with veggies for at least one hours.
The second step is to grill the sweetbreads for at least half an hour in our homemade rotisserie machine. Great buy.
The sweetbreads should have a crispy exterior, while maintaining its inner juiciness. This is how they will look like.
With our Japanese knife, we sliced the sweetbreads into smaller pieces, as well as the grilled sausages (chorizo)
Now we are ready to prepare the Bechamel sauce, for which you should consult our previous article on this process. After adding the sweetbreads, sausages and walnuts, the sauce should look like this: creamy but without clumps.
We boiled the pasta separately and then laid it on La Bestia, before slowly adding the sauce and parmesan cheese.
Allow us to introduce you a dish fully imagined and conceived in our humble kitchen: Pastaciutta alla Gian Luca.
Our son said that it was one of the best pasta dishes he tasted. As he wolfed down two full plates, we believe him.
Good evening. It was time to prepare dinner and we had little time before hungry stomachs would start demanding some comfort at home. So we took advantage of the left-over DottaPellegrina sauce that we invented last week (please see the blog) and we boiled some rottini. As we had some cooked chorizo, we added it to the sauce to spice it up. Here is our concoction.
Of course we added a little ball of burrata cheese in the middle to make it super-duper cheesy.
After we melt the burrata cheese, this is how the dish is going to look like. Does it suit you?
Recently we saw Lina Wertmüller’sPasqualino Settebellezze again, to enjoy the great acting of Giancarlo Gianinni in the role of an Italian prisoner of war that has to court a disgusting Nazi commander to survive in a concentration camp. It is a tragi-comic story with a sour ending.
Vedete qui la pastaciutta alla Pasqualino Settebellezze. Andiamo tutti subito a mangiare.
As we said in our previous article, we are preparing today a pasta with a mixed Bechamela-Pomodoro sauce, which we will dub as Dotta Rossa because the addition of meat (turkey in this case) qualifies it as a Bolognese sauce. You surely already know that the city of Bologna is known as “La Dotta” in Italy due to its prestigious university, which is the second oldest in the Western Hemisphere, after La Sorbonne in Paris. Moreover, for many decades. almost all the local administration was dominated by leftist parties, which added the “Rossa” (red) soubriquet to the name.
Very important concept – This simple utensil is perhaps the most important one for healthy cooking: the colander. Early on in our cooking adventures, we learned that many residues of cooking oil tend to accumulate in sautéeing. We try to use only olive oil , which has the lowest proportion of polyunsaturated fats (the good guys) However, after they reach the cooking point, all oils start to degrade and produce toxic residuals. Therefore, you must get rid of it.
The choice of turkey (tacchino in Italian) instead of beef was done because it has less calories with a lot of proteins. The first step is to cut all the veggies, including the ginger, on our cooking board and have it ready for sautéeing. Put a dollop of olive oil on the skillet and dump the veggies; carefully stir the whole mixture with a wooden spoon.
In order to counteract the acidity of the juice coming out of onions, we recommend adding a little sugar or honey.
After the onions turn slightly brown, it is time to dump all the veggies on our loyal colander to drain the residues.
Now we repeat the same procedure with the minced turkey. This is the roster of seasoning we use. Little or no salt.
After putting a thin film of olive oil on the frying pan, we put the meat; we season it and stir with a wooden spoon.
Once it is well cooked, we repeat the same cleansing procedure with our loyal colander. Do not cut any corners!
Set aside the veggie and the turkey meat in different bowls and proceed to prepare the sauce. We already carefully explained how to prepare a Bechamel sauce (salsa blanca) in a previous article and we encourage you to review it. In order to jazz our sauce a little bit more, we added some of a dehydrated mix with four cheeses made in Argentina.
Don’t forget to grate a little bit of nutmeg on top of it (this is a Brazilian brand I love) which gives it a unique flavor.
Once the Bechamel sauce is ready (fluid and without any lumps) it is time to add the tomato sauce. Slowly!
Once you add the tomato sauce, you will have a white sauce “laced with red streaks”. Just like this picture shows.
Slowly whisk the mixture until you arrive at a nice, uniform pinkish color like this picture shows.
Once you feel confident that the sauce does not have any lumps, you can add the veggies, like this picture shows.
And finally it is time for the meat of the precious birds that fed those hardy Pilgrims in the harsh winter season.
You can add nuts on top of it; we chose to add shaved almonds. Do you like the looks of our Dotta Rossa sauce?
Now we will cook the pasta separately (always) and once it is ready, we will start layering everything on The Beast.
Note– There is nothing than enrages us so much than watching cooking TV programs and videos where the cook nonchalantly dumps all the elements of a pasta dish on the pan, without taking the time to use the colander. They claim it’s “the tradition.” Of course Italians used to cook like that. But thankfully, they (specially the ladies) are slowly changing their habits to take into consideration the toll that Atherosclerosis and Heart Disease take on their health. Altri tempi!
Now it is time to turn the heat at medium intensity and to prep the ball of Burrata by slicing it cross-like so it melts. Once the Burrata cheese melts and you mix everything well, turn the heat off and let it stand for a few minutes.
Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served. Please join us at our humble table for a nice dish and plenty of chit chat.
Good afternoon and Happy Sunday. Today we prepared a very simple dish of fettuccine with a San Marzano tomato sauce with veggies, minced meat and walnuts galore. It is just a variant of the famous Bolognese sauce that we nicknamed as “alla Dotta” because that is how the city of Bologna is referred as in Italy: it has the second oldest functioninguniversity in the Western Hemisphere after Paris) Besides, it has some of its very best cooking with big variety of meat, sausages and pasta. To study well, you need to eat well.
What you see in the middle is a big ball of Burrata cheese, which will implode as we heat the dish for a few minutes and deliver all its creaminess to turn it into really sublime.
Just imagining what a delicious dish it will be, has made our spirit (and the picture) turn on its head…Being mindful of your feelings, we will not post the final product’s view.
Good evening. As you can see, not even today Father’s Day will my children permit us to escape from the “bondage of the kitchen.” It is a joke of course as we love to cook pasta dishes with fresh ingredients especially for them. They always like the combination of ravioli, tomato sauce and shellfish. In honor of Gian Luca, we prepared this dish with cheese and spinach ravioli, San Marzano tomatoes, shrimp and scallops galore. We obtained these nice yet affordable ingredients from our local Whole Foods store.
After patiently cooking the tomato sauce and the shellfish in separate batches (never mix the two as the shellfish always oozes some stinking liquid that has to be drained with a colander), we finally put everything together in “La Bestia” with the freshly cooked pasta. Voilà!
Good afternoon. Today the sky has been stubbornly grey and rain pouring intermittently in this “Banana Republic of South Florida”, for which we decided to prepare a hearty pasta. What’s better than cheese-filled agnolottis with a Bolognesa sauce with the plum San Marzano tomatoes and Burrata cheese? We used a few elements that we had bought in the Whole Foods supermarket of Downtown Miami; with just a few bucks you can eat like a prince. The forced Social Isolation has made caged tigers in the kitchen out of us.
The most important thing is to prepare all the major elements of the sauce-(veggies and meat-s) separately and not dump everything in the tomato sauce to cook slowly; we must avoid the burned fatty acids that are inevitably formed when you sauté on the pan. The colander is the best safeguard for your family’s stomachs and arteries. Use it in earnest.
What do you think, folks? Would you care for a little tasting of this homemade dish?
Good afternoon and Happy Sunday. Today we prepared one of our favorite pasta dishes with the unique Rana agnolottis and Bel Gioiso burrata cheese. Of course this is what we usually call “bolognese asauce” that bears the name of the prestigious university town: Bologna (the second oldest college in the Eastern Hemisphere, after La Sorbonne) But as we are inveterate snobs, we used its Italian nickname: La Dotta, the Doctoral one.
We used these articles from our latest visit to the Mary Brickell Village Publix, which amounted to approximately U$ 50, which is quite reasonable for a Sunday dinner for 4. Cooking healthy and delicious dishes at home is not only entertaining but also thrifty.
The burrata cheese is in fact a ball of traditional mozzarella that contains cream inside (see the elongated ball on the left hand side of this picture) When the dish is ready, you must put one or two balls in the middle to heat it up; once it bursts open ( the one on the right hand side) it spews all that delicious cream all over your pasta.
Isn’t this luxuriously, impossibly, guiltily decadent? Well, we only live once, folks.