Tag Archives: pasta

Sunday Supper: End of Winter Pasta with Cabbage, Speck and Grappa

16 Apr

It’s 85 degrees in NYC today which means that spring is officially upon us!  Last week I made a delicious pasta that is perfect for the final days of cold weather.  Since I found this Andrew Carmellini (former A Voce chef) recipe in a Daily Candy post from 2009, I’ve made this recipe at least once every March/April.  Cabbage is one of those veggies that I know is really good for you but I don’t love cooking with it, so this recipe is a great way to include it in my diet.  Another added plus of this recipe is that it tastes awesome reheated so one pot of this can last me a few days.

Hearty Pasta

End of Winter Pasta with Cabbage, Speck and Grappa
Adapted from Andrew Carmellini recipe (via Daily Candy)
Serves 4-6

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thin
½ lb. speck, trimmed of overdried skin and cut into thin 1½-inch strips (if you can’t find speck, you can substitute pancetta, bacon or even prosciutto)
1 medium green cabbage
1 lb. dried pasta (I prefer shells because they soak up more of the sauce)
1 c. heavy cream
salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg
½ c. grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
2 tbsp. grappa (very strong Italian alcohol)

1. Boil a pot of water.  Just before adding pasta, add salt and a dash of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together while cooking.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onions and speck and cook until onions soften, about three minutes.
3. Meanwhile, remove outer leaves of cabbage and cut in half. Remove hard white core and slice cabbage into thin strips. You should have about four cups.
4. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
5. While pasta cooks, add cabbage to onion-speck mixture and stir continuously until cabbage begins to wilt, about three minutes.  At this point, if you pasta is not finished cooking yet, turn off the heat on the cabbage-onion-speck mixture and let it rest until the pasta is finished.
6. Drain the pasta, saving one cup of the cooking water (you will use if for the sauce).  Return pasta to the pot you cooked it in.
7. Turn heat back on pan containing cabbage-onion-speck mixture to medium heat.  Add cream, black pepper, salt, and UP TO one cup of pasta cooking water. (Note: I usually use 1/2 to 3/4 cup.  It all depends on how thick you want your sauce to be.)  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for two more minutes, until the cabbage has wilted but still maintains a little crunch.
8. Turn heat on pot containing the pasta and add the sauce. Mix well to coat pasta and cook for one minute, so the pasta absorbs some liquid.
9. While the pasta/sauce are cooking together, beat a raw egg.
10. Turn off heat and add egg to pasta, stirring well so it cooks in the hot mixture.
11. Add cheese and stir. Add grappa and stir.
12. Serve immediately in large bowls topped by more cheese and a few cracks of black pepper.

Hearty Pasta

Sunday Supper: Lemon Spaghetti

14 Aug

Today I was craving a light but filling summer pasta and was short on time.  D & I discovered the lemon spaghetti at Supper in the East Village earlier this year and I set out to re-create it at home.  Here’s the very simple recipe that I adapted from Giada De Laurentis.  Normally, I add grilled chicken, but seafood such as crab or shrimp would also be delicious.  Enjoy!

Lemon Spaghetti
Serves 6

1 pound spaghetti (I use whole wheat)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon zest, for garnish
Fresh chopped basil leaves, for garnish

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions (8-9 minutes) in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  I add a dash of olive oil to the water right before I add the pasta to keep it from sticking together.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, parmesan cheese and lemon juice in a large bowl until blended.
3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
4. Toss the pasta in the lemon sauce.  If the pasta is getting too thick, add 1/4 c. cooking liquid at a time to moisten.  (When I make this, I generally add at most 1/4 c. so start slow!)
5. Season with salt & pepper and garnish with lemon zest, basil and an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese.