Saturday, September 27, 2014

Black Tagliolini with Calamari, Roasted Bell Peppers and Spicy Squash Sauce

Very eye-catching dish due to the way the colors are put together, but interesting also because of the combinations of flavors and textures.

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Brush squash and bell pepper (cut into strips lengthwise) with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake until squash is soft and pepper is roasted, about an hour. You might have to remove the peppers from the oven before the squash.
In the meantime, prepare the dough gathering flour, eggs and squid ink in a food processor and working it in impulses until you get a medium cous-cous texture. Pour the mixture onto floured counter and knead until you get a smooth feeling ball. Wrap in kitchen wrap and rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then roll the dough and cut the tagliolini.

In a large skillet heat up oil on medium heat, with minced garlic and shallot, cooking for about a minute, without browning. Add calamari rings and halved tomatoes, salt and pepper, sprinkle with wine and briefly cook on medium-high heat, just enough to cook the calamari. Add the minced parsley and mix. Remove the calamari from the skillet and reserve, keeping the sauce on the stove until reduced.
Remove from stove and put the calamari back in the skillet.
Cut the roasted bell pepper in chunks and add to the sauce.

In a deep cup put the peeled cooked squash, the pepper flakes, a little olive oil and some rosemary leaves (about a teaspoon). Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper, then strain and reserve.
Boil your tagliolini in salted water (about 3 minutes), drain and add to the skillet with the condiment. 

Plate with a spoonful of squash sauce on the side, a nest of tagliolini on the other and garnishing with more sauce, fresh parsley and some olive oil. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall 2014 “Ready-To-Eat” Cucinamore Collection

Hello Cucinamore Fans!

Fall is at our door and a Cucinamore party is just what you need to celebrate it in the warmth of your kitchen, surrounded by the joy that a Cooking Class Party brings to your home!
You get the friends together; I bring the food, the tools and the fun!
Here are only some of the many ideas for a “fall menu” that we could make together:

·        Crescenza and Salsiccia Crostini – OR – Gorgonzola, Mascarpone and Pear Crostini
·        Butternut Squash Risotto – OR – Carbonara Spaghetti
·        Pancetta and Puff Pastry Wrapped Shrimp – OR – Marsala and mushroom Scaloppine

The cost per person is $40.00, and it includes class, recipe cards, ingredients and all necessary tools. A minimum of 6 participants is required. One free attendance is granted once the minimum number is reached, if the host has already been a part of a Cucinamore party before.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pancetta - Makes more than a terrific sandwich or a Carbonara pasta!

Pancetta is made by seasoning a pork belly side with salt and lots of pepper, curling it into a tight roll, and wrapping it in a casing to hold the shape. It’s cured, but it isn’t smoked, like the American cousin, bacon, is. Excellent as is..., in a bread roll still warm from the bakery, it is a very common ingredient in many, many Italian dishes

Today I used it to make my Rosemary and Pancetta Shrimp, wrapped in Puff Pastry. They can be a nice buffet finger-food item, an appetizer, or even do as an entrée, simply paired with a fresh salad!

p.s.: The picture of Pancetta was recently taken at Eataly Milan by my friend Silvia Negrotti