Sweet Ricotta Gnocchi with Dates, Walnuts & Honey Cream

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound ricotta, drained overnight
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 cup flour
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dates, chopped
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Cinnamon, freshly grated

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix until a smooth and pillowy dough has formed. Divide the dough into 5 sections using a bench scraper. Roll out each section into a long rope about the thickness of your pinky finger. Cut the rope into ½-inch sections and shape gnocchi using one of your gnocchi methods and place on a baking sheet lightly dusted with flour. Refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes. In the meantime, place the cream, milk, honey and vanilla in a small sauce pan and gently whisk while heating to a medium heat. Add the dates, walnuts and ricotta dumplings and gently mix together. Cook for about five minutes or until ricotta dumplings are cooked through. Serve with fresh cinnamon grated on top.

Potato Gnocchi

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 pounds Gnocchi

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and baked
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mash the potatoes and push through a ricer or food mill. Place the smooth potatoes in a mound on a cutting board. Drizzle a little more than half the egg and sprinkle half the flour over the top. Using a bench scraper, slowly incorporate the egg and flour into the potato by pushing the scraper under and over the mixture, until all of the egg and flour is incorporated. The dough should become moist and pillowy, not sticky (small amounts of flour can be added to the dough to keep it from getting sticky).
When all the ingredients appear mixed, do a final mixing using hands to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and that dough had become soft and pillowy. Cut dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece into a long rope about the thickness of an index finger. Dust with flour as needed.

Proceed with shaping the gnocchi using one of the gnocchi methods, such as the Traditional Fork Method, the Gnocchi or Cavatelli Board Method, or simple Rope & Cut Method.

Baked Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Bacon in a Sage Cream Sauce

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound Potato Gnocchi, cooked (recipe follows)
1½ cups butternut squash, roasted, peeled and cubed small
3 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup purple or Tuscan kale, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg, freshly grated

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed. Grease a shallow pan (one that the mixture will fit in compactly, not closely). Place the mixture in the greased shallow pan and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Potato Gnocchi

Makes 2 pounds Gnocchi

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and baked
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mash the potatoes and push through a ricer or food mill. Place the smooth potatoes in a mound on a cutting board. Drizzle a little more than half the egg and sprinkle half the flour over the top. Using a bench scraper, slowly incorporate the egg and flour into the potato by pushing the scraper under and over the mixture, until all of the egg and flour is incorporated. The dough should become moist and pillowy, not sticky (small amounts of flour can be added to the dough to keep it from getting sticky).
When all the ingredients appear mixed, do a final mixing using hands to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and that dough had become soft and pillowy. Cut dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece into a long rope about the thickness of an index finger. Dust with flour as needed.

Proceed with shaping the gnocchi using one of the gnocchi methods, such as the Traditional Fork Method, the Gnocchi or Cavatelli Board Method, or simple Rope & Cut Method.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce and Shaved Chestnuts

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

3 (1¼ lbs) Yukon gold potatoes
1 (¾ lb) sweet potato
1½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 large egg
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
13 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
½ stick unsalted butter
1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
Roasted chestnuts, shaved

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F. Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, and bake until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and force through ricer onto sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely. Lightly flour 2 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Gather potatoes into a mound on sheet pan, and form a well in center. Pour egg mixture into well and knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 1½ cups flour, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth, but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with flour. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a ½-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into ½-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball and lightly dust with flour. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough. Transfer gnocchi as formed to baking sheets.
Bring large pot of water to boil, add salt and return to a boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean, rimmed baking sheet.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter is browned and has a toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add sage. Turn off heat and season sage butter generously with salt and pepper. Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of the gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes.
Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi. Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves and shaved roasted chestnuts.

Anna Klinger’s Malfatti (Ricotta and Swiss Chard Dumplings)

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

We are extermely blessed here at Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center to be neighbots of Chef Anna Klinger and Al Di La. Her Malfatti Dumplings are divine and renown throughout New York City and beyond.

Ingredients

1 pound ricotta
4 bunches Swiss Chard, stemmed, chopped and blanched
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter (1 stick softened)
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
24 fresh sage leaves
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions

Place the ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and set over a bowl. Place in the refrigerator and let drain overnight for at least 18 hours. Place 1¼ cup of the drained ricotta in a bowl and reserve any remaining ricotta for use another time. Place the blanched Swiss chard in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Place the chard in the large bowl with the ricotta. Add the softened stick of butter (8 tablespoons), flour, nutmeg, egg yolks and egg and season with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Scoop out a small amount and shape into an oval by using two spoons. Lightly dust the dumpling with flour and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough until all dough is used, approximately 40 pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the dumplings and cook until they float, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and set on a baking sheet. In the meantime, heat the remaining butter in a large skillet on medium high heat and stir until the butter begins to turn light brown. Add the sage leaves, coating with the butter and cooking until the leaves are crisp, about 1 minute. Place the cooked dumplings on plates, drizzle with the butter and garnish with fried sage leaves and freshly grated parmesan.

Prebuggiun per la Pasqualina (Spinach & Herb Fresh Pasta Pie)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

Lingurian Pasta (3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, made into a pliable dough)
Linguarian Prebuggiun Mixture
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Roll out the dough and place in a greased pie plate. Place the mixture in the dough in the pie plate evenly and make a whole in the middle and crack and egg, cover the top with more dough and connect the bottom layer to the top sealing the edges, like a giant ravioli in a pie tin. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Cut and serve like a pie!

Hand Pounded Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Pesto, simply translated means pounded. It is one of the Lingurian regions most prized ingredients and traditionally hand pounded. Today many use food processors or blenders but you can still find devoted traditionalists who hand pound it proving that the taste is still superior with this method due to the increase of released essential oils from not only the basil but the garlic and pine nuts as well. The oils are more readily released when pounded versus cut or chopped. Traditionally a large wooden pestle is used and a marble or granite mortar for the pounding process. (They say the granite on many of the mortars still around is the same granite that Michael Angelo used to carve and sculpt with)

Ingredients

Coarse salt
Garlic (they say the garlic in this region is sweeter as well due to the ocean air influence)
Genovese basil leaves-small deep green and sweet leaves, not too pungent and always young
Pine nuts-from the Lingurian region as well, they claim the taste is sweeter and nuttier and also has a higher oil content than pine nuts in the east or south
Extra virgin olive oil-of course with the local region’s olives which have a milder sweeter flavor than other Italian olive oil
Pecorino, grated finely
Parmesan Reggiano, grated finely

Directions

There are several different paths to get to the final product. We have read about and seen many different ways but the way in which we say most was the following method and order.

The pesto is pounded slowly, first by combining the garlic with the coarse salt until a paste if formed adding a little bit of salt at a time. Next the leaves of the basil are added which are small on the Genovese plant and thus a few at a time are incorporated little by little pounding and mashing until the paste begins to turn green and the basil is broken apart. Pine nuts are added next again crushing and pounding until they are smashed into a paste and all oils are released. The pounding process is slow and methodical and each step has a finished product before moving on to the next step. The extra virgin olive oil is added next and once the cheeses are added no more pounding can be done so when the olive oil stage comes the desired consistency of the paste must be completed before adding cheese. Add the cheese and stir with the pestle.

Lavender Fig Compote

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 pound fresh black figs, ripe & sweet, de-stemmed & chopped
1 cup lavender syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Fresh Herb Pappardelle with Summer Beans, Tomatoes & Fresh Herbs

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

¼ cup each basil, parsley, mint, tarragon, marjoram, chopped
Plus an additional 1 tablespoon of each for the sprinkle
Olive oil
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups fresh summer shelling beans, shelled and cooked until tender
1 small fennel bulb sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (plus 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (plus 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Fresh Herb Pasta sheets cut into pappardelle
Salt/pepper
Pecorino cheese for garnish

Directions

Mix pecorino, lemon zest and ¼ fresh herbs together and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, sauté for a few minutes. Add the shelled beans and cook for a few minutes. Add fresh herbs and fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another few minutes. Add wine; simmer 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits. Continue to cook until tomatoes soften, about 3-5 minutes, add lemon juice at the end and mix well. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Cook Fresh pappardelle in boiling water until desired consistency (about 3 minutes) and mix together with sauce and serve garnished with pecorino and fresh herbs.

Salsa Verde

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped fine
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients and let stand for ten minutes before serving.

Stewed Squid with Salsa Verde

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh red chili, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds fresh squid, cleaned and sliced thick
6-8 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup white wine
Salsa Verde for serving (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil, chili and lemon zest. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until semi translucent or about 3-4 minutes. Add the fresh squid and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and herbs to the mixture and season with salt. Add the wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes or until tender. Serve with the salsa verde drizzled over the warm squid with crusty bread.

Salsa Verde
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped fine
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients and let stand for ten minutes before serving.

Prosecco with Lovage Syrup

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

½ cup lovage leaves and more for garnish
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Sparkling wine
Lemon peel

Directions

Place water, sugar and lovage leaves in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few more minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Bottle and refrigerate.

*To assemble the sodas place 1-2 ounces of the lovage syrup in a champagne glass and fill with sparkling wine, garnish with a lovage leaf and a small lemon peel.

Italian Fig Soda

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

5 ripe black figs, ripe, sweet and quartered
½ cup turbinado sugar
1 cup water
Soda water
Ice

Directions

Place water, sugar and figs in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few more minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Blend the mixture in a blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Bottle and refrigerate.
*To assemble the sodas place 1-2 ounces of the fig puree in a 10 ounce glass filled with ice, fill with soda and stir.

Nissa’s Lasagna

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one large lasagna

Ingredients

Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 medium yellow, onions, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 medium green zucchini, chopped small
1 cup broccoli florets, cut super small
4 medium tomatoes, chopped small
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup red wine
Salt/pepper
Lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh)
4 cups fresh spinach
1 ½ cups feta cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
2 cups fresh mozzarella

Directions

In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, add oil. Cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Add the zucchini, broccoli and tomatoes and reduce heat to a medium simmer. Add the fresh herbs (making sure to reserve some for the end). Add the tomato sauce and red wine, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool a bit before assembling lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large casserole dish, place a layer of lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh) down first, then spread a little sauce over the noodle. Add a layer of fresh spinach and then a layer of sauce, followed by a little bit of each cheese. Repeat the layers until the dish is filled. The top layer should end in a noodle covered with sauce and cheese, mostly the pecorino in order to make it nice and crusty.

Place lasagna in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes or until the top is crusty brown. Allow the lasagna to sit and rest about 20 minutes before serving.

Spicy Italian Sausage Baked with Tomatoes & Potatoes

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 (makes 6-9 sausages)

INGREDIENTS

For the Sausage

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, slab bacon, or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings of your choice

For the Baked Sausage Dish

6-9 spicy Italian sausage
2 medium sized green peppers, seeds and pit removed, cut into long strips
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt

PREPARATION

For the Sausages

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. If you are making links, put the mixture back in the mixing bowl, and place in the freezer for a little while. Meanwhile, soak the casings in warm water, and rinse a few times. Using your sausage stuffer, slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the ened of the tube- this is where you will need to tie the sausages off later. Remove the meat from the freezer, and place it in the body of the sausage stuffing machine. If all the meat does not fit (you must acquit, just kidding), place the rest back in the refrigerator until your are ready. Turn the mahcine on, and begin the process- air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out, use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil- the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine, and tie up the ends- you can use meat or butchers twine. To make individual links, pinch a section together, then spin the links, and turn them opposite from each other several times; repeat this moving down the entire main link. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles. Using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin, and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be released. Hang the links for about an hour, and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight. Use them or freeze them within about a week (or lose it).

For Baked Sausage Dish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place in an oven proff baking dish with a lid, and bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

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