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Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions

Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions

 This was supposed to be yesterday’s Friday meatless pasta but yesterday was spent cleaning the house and prepping for a small dinner party.  Just in case you were wondering  what I served and I hope you are, I made Chicken with Lemon and Olives and Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula.  I will post the chicken dish sometime soon. 

Back to today’s pasta – This dish is not a quick weeknight meal BUT certainly if you have about an hour and half  you will be rewarded with one delicious pasta dish.  We have to caramelize the onions first, so let’s start there with the Caramelized Onions.

INGREDIENTS:

6 TBS unsalted butter

15 medium yellow onions (about 6 lb), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 tsp coarse salt or 1 tsp table salt

1 TBS sugar

DIRECTIONS:

In a 8 quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium-high.  Add onions and salt.  Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, 35 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add sugar and cook, stirring often to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of pot, 35 -40 minutes (lower heat if bottom of pot begins to scorch).

When done, onions should be deep golden brown and have a jam-like consistency.  Remove from heat; season with salt.  Let cool completely.  (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks)

INGREDIENTS:

Coarse salt and ground pepper

9 oz pappardelle or wide egg noodles

2 TBS EV olive oil

1 cup Caramelized Onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet (braising pan) over medium-high.  Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, 1 minute.

Remove 1 1/2 cups pasta water from pot and to skillet.  Drain pasta and add to skillet.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until liquid reduces to create a sauce that coats pasta, 3 minutes.  Add lemon juice and toss.  Serve pasta topped with parsley.

Recipe from Martha Stewart EveryDay Food

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You know it’s winter in our home when the chief cook (me) turns to all forms of comfort food. We have hearty soups and stews and when we have pasta it’s often with vegetables that are plentiful in the grocery store.  I’m talking root vegetables, onions, carrots, pumpkin and beans.  And usually these vegetables leave a smaller carbon footprint!

Nigella Lawson's Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese

Nigella Lawson’s Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

1 large butternut squash (2 3/4lb – 3 1/4lb or 1 3/4 lb of ready-cubed  (6 cups)

1 large onion finely chopped

2 TBS olive oil

3/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1 TBS unsalted butter

3 TBS Marsala

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup pine nuts

1 lb of pappardelle or rigatoni

6 fresh sage leaves

5 oz of soft blue cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the butternut squash into 1″ cubes.  Cook onion in olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan that can accomodate the pasta later – I would use my braising pan.  When the onion turns golden, add the paprika.

Stir butter and squash into the onion mixture.  Add Marsala and water.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat.  Simmer about 10 minutes or until the squash is tender but holds its shape.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boiling, add a hefty pinch of salt.  Cook according to package directions.  Toast the pine nuts in a hot dry frying pan on the stove top until dark gold.  Pour them into a bowl or onto a plate to cool. 

Lightly season season squash mixture to taste with salt ( the blue cheese will add additonal saltiness).  Remove from heat.

Finely chop the sage; Sprinkle over the squash, reserving some for serving.

Reserve 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water; drain pasta and add to the squash mixture.  Gently stir to combine.  If sauce is too dry or mixture won’t come together, add some of the reserved pasta water;  the starch encourages the sauce to emulsify and cling to the pasta.  Stir in most of the pine nut and the  blue cheese.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Sprinkle  with the remaining sage, pine nuts and cheese.

Recipe from  Kitchen by Nigella Lawson,  featured Better Homes And Gardens, October 2010

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