Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Rigatoni with Broccoli and Turkey Sausage

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of weeks.  Life has been getting in the way of both cooking and writing, but I do have a backlog of some delicious meals and desserts to share.  I hope to be getting back into the swing of things a bit more.  I've made some good pasta dishes recently.  I'm looking forward to ramps coming back into season so I can make my ramp ricotta ravioli, but this Martha Stewart/Emeril dish I tried out with broccoli came out so good I made it twice.  I was tempted to leave out the anchovies/anchovy paste, but the recipe warned against doing that so I left it in, and it was the secret ingredient that made the dish delicious.

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage (from Everyday Food)
coarse Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 lb rigatoni
2 head broccoli cut into florets (about four cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T grated lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
4 anchovy filets, minced into a paste (I used 1 tsp anchovy paste)
1 lb sweet italian turkey sausage, casings removed
parmesan, grated for serving

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to package instructions (about ten minutes, total).  In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking add the broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp-tender.  Reserve one cup of the pasta water and grain pasta and broccoli.

In a small bowl, whisk together the zest, lemon juice, oil, garlic, anchovy paste, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add the sausage to pot and cook over medium high, breaking up meat, until browned and cooked though - about eight to ten minutes.  Return pasta and broccoli to the pot and add the oil mixture and toss to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta (I used about half a cup of the pasta water).  Serve with parmesan cheese.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Beef Tacos with Charred Tomatillo Pepper Relish

I made this delicious recipe for tacos from star chef Sam Talbot's cookbook, The Sweet Life.  The flavoring for these beef tacos is excellent, and pairs well with the roasted tomatillo pepper relish, as I just love tomatillos.  I substituted pimentos for jalapenos so there would be just a slight bit of heat, rather than a fiery taco.  The end result was delicious.  Also, I doubled the recipe for the relish and recommend doing the same, so I wrote it up as I actually made it.

Tomatillo-Pepper Relish (adapted from Sam Talbot)
1 cup diced tomatillos
8 jarred pepperoncini peppers, drained and seeded, thinly sliced
4 pimentos, sliced
juice of two limes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Beef (adapted from Sam Talbot)
2 T canola oil
1 small vidalia onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
1 1/2 tsp chile powder
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 lb lean ground beef
2 T crushed canned tomatoes
salt and pepper

corn tortillas (6 inch)
shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup diced tomato
2 lime wedges
sour cream
jack or cheddar cheese, shredded

To make the salsa, roast the peppers for 30 minutes at 450 and combine with the other ingredients.  Prepare the meat by sautéing the onion and celery for about five minutes until soft in canola oil.  Add the spices, garlic and canned tomato and saute another minute.  Then add the ground beef and cook through. 

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