Main Course

Orecchiette with Mushroom Sauce

Orecchiette+with+Mushrooms.jpg

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings. 

I love the flavor and aroma of fresh wild mushrooms, but they are not easily available. To approximate that flavor, I have combined dried imported Italian mushrooms with fresh cultivated ones. There is a bit of chopping which I do, step by step, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ ounces dried imported porcini mushrooms

  • ¾ cup boiling water

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 shallots

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 pound firm white cultivated mushrooms

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, approx.

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • I cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn into small pieces

  • 1 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped 

  • 1 pound imported orecchiette   

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine sieve, squeezing mushrooms over the sieve to extract more liquid (if you do not have a fine mesh sieve, line your sieve with paper towel). Set aside.

  2. Wash the mushrooms carefully to remove sand, chop coarsely and set aside. 

  3. Quarter the shallots and garlic and chop finely in a food processor. 

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan and sauté the shallots/garlic for about 3 minutes. 

  5. Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel, quarter them and chop coarsely in a food processor, do it in 3 batches.  

  6. Add the rest of the oil to the saucepan and ALL the mushrooms. Stir over high heat until the mushrooms are beginning to exude liquid.

  7. Add the mushroom liquid, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Boil for a few minutes. 

  8. In a large pot bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, about 8 minutes, until the pasta is very al dente. It will continue cooking when combined with the sauce.  

  9. Drain well and toss with the sauce and add parsley.

  10. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 
 


Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Baby Kale

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Baby Kale.jpg

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.

A more complicated version of this dish appeared on my website in 2015. With the availability of baby kale, which comes prewashed, I was able to make this dish quicker and tastier.

I find it good both warm and at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 scallions, including green part, cut into thick slices

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 5 ounces baby kale

  • 15 Kalamata olives, pitted, cut in half

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok. Add the scallions and garlic. Sauté over low to medium heat until the scallions are wilted, about 5 minutes.   

  2. Add the remaining oil and all the kale. Stir over high heat, until kale is just wilted. Add the olives, some of the lemon juice, salt and pepper.  

  3. In a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the spaghetti. Boil briskly, uncovered, for 8 -10 minutes. The spaghetti should be al dente. Drain well and add to the wok.  

  4. Combine and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

  5. Before serving check the seasoning again.    

 
 

Penne with Basil, Parsley and Tuna

Pennie with Basil.jpg

Makes 6 servings as a first course.

4 servings as a main course.

This pasta is easy, flavorful and nutritious. The sauce requires no cooking, and only the pasta is boiled.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 3 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, approx.
  • 10 ounces Albacore wild white tuna drained and separated into large pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound imported penne

PREPARATION:

  1. Soak the anchovies in cold water for 5 minutes – drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Place anchovies, garlic, basil and parsley in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the motor on, pour the olive oil and lemon juice through the feed tube. Pulse until smooth, transfer to a large bowl and combine with the tuna.
  3. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large covered pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Drain well in a colander and toss with the sauce.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 
 
 

Linguini with Uncooked Sauce

Makes 6 servings as a first course.

Makes 4 servings as a main course.

Summertime is when this pasta is especially appealing because tomatoes are at their best. I serve it is at room temperature and leftovers are good as well.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (½ pound)
  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, approx
  • 20 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces baby arugula, torn into pieces
  • 1 pound imported linguini
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

PREPARATION:

  1. Rinse the tomatoes, dry and cut in half. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand while you are preparing the rest.
  2. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, olives, capers, olive oil and arugula to the tomatoes.
  3. In a large covered pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once, stir. Boil briskly, uncovered for 7-8 minutes; the pasta should be al dente.
  4. Toss with the tomatoes.
  5. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.