|Our Dining Room table set for a fall dinner!|
- 2 lemons, halved
- 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
- 6 large artichokes
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 4 tablespoons drained capers
- 6 ounces Italian bread, crust trimmed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 fresh Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish
Our next course was the Soup course. I love a good soup and I knew that our foodie friends love to make soup too. They received this recipe to bring to our dinner.
- 3/4 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
- 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 10 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
So our final recipe we sent out was dessert. I choose this cake because it is fall and that means pumpkin time, but it was also two days before my birthday, and this just might of been my birthday cake. (OK- not really since my hubby is in the kitchen now making me a Grand Girl Apple Cake). I gave this recipe to my artist friend and her Farm Boy Hubby to make. And what I found out is that she made two of them. Once for our dinner and one for her book club this coming Tuesday. It was delicious! Tasted like a great fall dessert. You might want to think about this for Thanksgiving!
For the purée
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 medium-large Sugar Pie pumpkin, cut in half from stem to bottom and seeded
For the cake
- 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
- 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp. table salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
For the topping
- 1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup unsalted, raw, hulled pepitas
- 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped crystallized ginger
For the frosting
- 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 oz. (1-1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
Make the pumpkin purée –Please feel free to used canned!
Make the cake
Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans with removable bottoms (or butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter the parchment, and flour the pans).
Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not set, about 15 minutes.
Bake the cakes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto racks, remove the pan bottoms or parchment, and cool completely.
Make the topping
Make the frosting
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light in color and the brown sugar has dissolved, 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Assemble the cake
Make Ahead Tips
OK- so now you are asking…. What was the Entree?
The chef of New York City’s Meatball Shop shares his favorite recipe.
Make a thick, chunky sauce, which will cling to the pasta and add some welcome texture to this simple dish. I like the fresh flavor of Pomì brand diced tomatoes, but feel free to use your favorite brand—just avoid preseasoned tomatoes and petite diced tomatoes, which will make a thinner sauce.
Add ricotta for juicy meatballs. Its fat content adds a little bit of extra moisture and a mildly creamy flavor without making the meatballs dense or heavy. Combine the meatball mix with your hands, and don’t over mix. Overworking the mixture can lead to dense meatballs. Using your hands literally gives you a feel for mixing, which helps keep the meatballs light.
Use an ice cream scoop to form the meatballs. A 2-oz. ice cream scoop that’s 2 inches in diameter quickly makes uniform balls that are just the right size.
Salt the pasta water until it tastes briny. You’ll need about 1 Tbs. of kosher salt for every 2 quarts of water. As the pasta cooks, it will absorb the salt and become more flavorful.
Thin the sauce with pasta water. Starch from the pasta will prevent the sauce from becoming too watery, and the salt adds flavor.
Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Stopping short of the recommended time and then simmering the pasta in the sauce lets it absorb the sauce’s flavor without becoming overcooked
Plenty of oregano and a touch of fennel makes these tender meatballs super flavorful. This recipe uses a higher proportion of pork than beef or veal in the meatballs because it gives the best texture, but meatloaf mix—equal parts beef, veal, and pork—is an easy-to-find substitute.
For the sauce
For the meatballs
For the pasta
Make the sauce
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, 6 to 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until darkened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced by about a third, 40 to 60 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt. Keep warm, covered. (The sauce can also be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for 1 month.)
Make the meatballs
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Coat the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking dish with the olive oil. Set aside.
Combine the ground meats, breadcrumbs, ricotta, eggs, parsley, oregano, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, and 2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands.
Divide the meat into 16 golf-ball-size portions using a 2-oz., 2-inch-diameter ice cream scoop or your hands; roll with wet hands to make them round. Arrange the balls snugly in the baking dish.
Bake the meatballs until they register about 90°F on an instant-read thermometer and are firm to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. (If you’ve made the tomato sauce ahead, heat it while the meatballs are cooking.)
Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain excess fat, if there is any, from the pan. Ladle half of the sauce over them, return them to the oven, and continue to bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into one reads 165°F, about 15 minutes. (The meatballs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 2 weeks.)
Cook the pasta
Bring a large covered pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil.
Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes less than package timing for al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain.
Return the pasta to the pot and mix with the remaining sauce. Add 1 cup pasta water to thin the sauce and cook over medium heat until the pasta is al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary, and season to taste with salt. Transfer the spaghetti to a large heated serving bowl. Top with the meatballs and their sauce and serve.
|Our Entree heading out to the table!|
Our Side dish….. ( Found this recipe about 3 hours before dinner!)
Green Beans with Sage and Pancetta
Bon Appétit | December 2007
Makes 10 servings
2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
8 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
Fleur de sel* or other medium-grain sea salt for serving (optional)
Line baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes depending on size of beans. Drain. Spread beans out on paper towels. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Combine pancetta and 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet. Sauté over medium heat until pancetta is crisp, separating pieces with 2 forks, about 10 minutes. Add sage and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add pancetta mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with fleur de sel, if desired, and serve.*A sea salt with especially subtle, complex flavor; sold at specialty foods stores and online at chefshop.com.