Happy Monday great foodie friends!
It has been far too long since my last blog post!
This dish is a classic and tasty flavor pow for all who like a little kick of spice.
This dish is one that I have loved for years from a favorite restaurant of mine. Quattro’s or Gusto Di Quattro now.
The dish is known as Spaghetti for Italians only. I used fresh linguine but either Will work.
What you need:
1/2 cup of good olive oil
1 lb Ground Chicken (I like dark meat- so much more flavor!)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp of chili peppers
Salt to taste
4 oz Black beans or black turtle beans
1 tsp of Italian parsley funky chopped
1 cup of tomato sauce – ours was chicken based.
Parmigiano cheese to serve with
What you will do:
Heat up the oil on medium high heat & then add the chicken and start to brown.
At the same time heat up your pasta water and make sure to salt the water! The fresh pasta cools quickly, approx 6-8 mins.
Add in the salt, garlic, parsley and chili flakes and stir to incorporate
Then add in the tomato sauce & stir. Cook for another 5 mins on medium low to blend all the flavors.
Now top with your fresh grated parmigiano cheese (to love cheese is to love life for me!)
This pasta is also great to make your own- you can adjust your spice level or garlic to your liking.
You gotta try this!
No Knead Dutch oven Italian 00 Flour bread!
Happy Sunday great long lost foodie friends! It’s been far too long since my last post!
Ever since we got our new Staub Cocotte I have been literally been dreaming about making bread.
I did have some criteria that were a must and 00 flour from Italy was the “Must Have” in the recipe!
I have loved everything we have used this Cocotte pot for and expect it to perform equally in every way making perfecto italiano no knead bread.
I used Molino Favero 00
Why 00 flour? I’m looking for a similar feel to the bread that any Italian would have grown up eating and expect. Typically 00 is best for pasta and cakes.
To better explain:
The names 00 and 0 Flour refer to specifically Italian milled flour that is used for pasta making. You will find that this is also called Doppio Zero just meaning double zero. The grading system is 2, 1, 0 or 00 and indicates to how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ has been removed. 2 for instance is a wholemeal flour while 00 is the most refined of the three and has the lowest level of bran. It is similar to unbleached all purpose/plain flour, which is a mix of hard and soft wheat, and though while finer, it creates a dough that is silkier and maintains a chewiness when the pasta is cooked.
If you are looking for pasta, bread flour or baking flour, 00 will work for all and you can substitute 00 flour if you run out mid way through pasta making with just plain old high-grade flour. Again this has been refined more so than standard flour making it higher in protein. Pizza dough is perfect with single 0 flour but again it is interchangeable.
Grading systems for flour are used elsewhere in the world as well so the Italian system is not unique. The French have a grading system that is similar but it seems most recipes will call for the Italian 0’s.
To make life more confusing the terms hard and soft get used to also explain flours so to try and put it simply:
Low Protein + Low Starch + Low Gluten = soft flour – 00 flour or high grade flour – use this for pasta, pizza and cakes as you would any high grade flour
High Protein +High Starch + High Gluten = hard flour – semolina flour or standard flour – perfect for bread doughs and most other uses.
In basic the 00 will likely make my loaf not quite as tall and a little more silky and chewier.
I have no doubt that the taste and texture will be good but I may experiment with a few different Italian flours until we find that “just right bite”
What you will need:
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp organic sugar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast
1 to 1 1/4 tsp of sea salt
3 cups 00 (Doppio zero) Italian flour or 01 or 02 semolina flour
1 cup warm water
What you will do:
Stir yeast and sugar into the 1/2 cup warm water & let sit 5-10 mins or so or until you see a foamy cream start to form.
In your favorite mixing bowl add the flour and salt and stir to mix up.
Add the yeast mixture and the cup of warm water and mix well to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together – this is “no knead” so we want to make sure all of the ingredients are well integrated.
When you have finished mixing ensure all of the dough is together in the bottom of the bowl. No cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and place somewhere that is draft free.
When the dough has approx doubled in volume it should be ready to bake. I have learned that this is not the time to rush but instead patience is in order. It could take approx 5-6 hours BUT here’s a bonus, if your not ready to bake it then you can leave it proofing over night and bake the next day, the dreamy bread will be the same either way!
Place your Staub or le Creuset Dutch oven into the oven and pre-heat the oven to 450 F
Now place some parchment paper on your work surface, flour it AND your hands and gently work the dough into a large round ball, tuck in the sides if needed.
When the oven has come to 450, carefully remove the Staub from the oven and equally carefully take off the lid (Hot is an understatement)
Now carefully lift the parchment and place the loaf into the Staub pot and put the lid back on.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 mins.
After 30 minutes, take off the lid and bake for another 15 mins or so until the bread gets a nice golden brown.
Now remove the pot from the oven and the bread from the Cocotte Dutch oven and place your Golden magical loaf on a cooling rack.
Allow the loaf to cool (at least a little) now cut and enjoy anyway that you desire!
I like to cut fresh and dip in olive oil and balsamico or toast and have with butter and jam.
Feel the accomplishment of making something with so few ingredients and so tasty! You might never go back to store bought! Come to think of it, that’s why I love all things Italian… they make magic out of only a few perfect ingredients not to mention real food!
The Italian flour was truly a game changer! Use different Italian flours to receive different textures like more crisp or more chewy (00 makes it nice and chewy with). That said I am sure to try Italian Semolina flour next time to test out the difference.
The Staub Cocotte performed just as expected, Perfecto.
“You Gott Try This”
Happy Sunday great foodie friends,
This is a great short piece but long enough to make your mouth water and remind you how Italians influence (and beautifully by the way) the culinary world!
Happy Friday great foodie friends.
As fall arrives so does the memories of comfort foods & fall flavors. From savory soups, braised ribs and of course filled pastas.
Today we look at a perfect heartwarming filled shell pasta!
Makes 24 stuffed shells
1-16 oz box jumbo shell pasta
Your favorite tomato pasta sauce
2 – 15 oz containers ricotta cheese
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rustically chopped.
1/2 lb lean browned ground beef (I also love to use ground veal mixed in with my ground beef, it makes it extra rich and flavorful)
1 cup diced red or sweet onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Mix the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl.
Fold in the artichoke pieces and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Boil the jumbo pasta shells following the directions on the box. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Now mix the ricotta mixture with the cooled ground beef and set aside.
Spread 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Repeat until you run out of ricotta/beef mixture.
Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the stuffed pasta shells.
** A little added fun! Make your favorite garlic parm cream sauce and drizzle over the top as well for some added flavor!
Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the ricotta filling is heated through and the sauce is bubbling.
Remove baking dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 to 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells and dust with Parmigina cheese.
Serve this perfect fall dinner with your favorite garlic bread and salad and maybe even the perfect sip of vino.
You Gotta Try This!