Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Corn Pudding

New York's corn has not been very sweet this summer, so I have largely forgone eating the grain in its purest form, roasted on the cob. Luckily, Andrew Carmellini's pappardelle with corn and this wonderful recipe for corn pudding from The Spamwise Chronicles have helped pull me through this bummer of a corn harvest.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I couldn't let summer pass by without making a batch of gazpacho. This past Labor Day weekend, I used a recipe from Anya von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table to make the Spanish tomato-based soup that is a celebration of summer's bounty. I was slightly dismayed when my soup turned out pink in color, as every other gazpacho I've eaten is bright red, but fortunately the flavor profile was every bit as bright as any gazpacho I've had.

Serves 8

  • 2 cups cubed day-old country bread, crust removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 Italian frying pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 kirby cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chilled water
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  1. Place salt, garlic, and cumin in a mortar and pestle and mash to a smooth paste.
  2. Place bread in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze lightly to extract excess water.
  3. Place bread, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumbers, and salt mixture in a large bowl. Let sit for ten minutes.
  4. Place half of tomato mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and process until smooth, approximately one minute. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Place remaining tomato mixture in the bowl of the food processor along with 1/4 cup olive oil. Process until smooth and pour it into the bowl containing the rest of the soup.
  6. Add sherry vinegar and water to the soup. Pour into a blender, or using an emulsion blender, blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste soup for salt and vinegar.
  7. Place soup in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours before serving.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rigatoni with Sausage, Chickpeas, Broccoli Rabe and Tomato Sauce

This hearty pasta dish is from Andrew Carmellini's Urban Italian. The ingenious ingredient here is the chickpea puree, which gives the sauce a wonderful creaminess. The method might seem like a lot of dishes to dirty for just one pasta dish, but this pasta is plenty rich to stand on its own without any side dishes. It is well worth the dish cleaning effort it requires.

Rigatoni Pugliese
Serves 4

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian Sausage
  • 3 cups of your favorite homemade tomato sauce (a simple preparation containing only tomatoes, salt, basil, and oil is all that is necessary. Do not use a store bought sauce.)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed, ground
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 lb. rigatoni
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated

  1. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid. Place half of the chickpeas and all of the liquid in the bowl of a food processor and puree.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove the sausage from its casing and place in sauce pan. Cook until well browned, using the back of the spoon to break up the meat.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, chickpea puree, and fennel seed to the pan. Simmer until the thickened slightly, about fifteen minutes (the sauce should still have a liquid quality to it).
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. Add the broccoli rabe to the boiling water and blanch for about 90 seconds. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water.
  7. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  8. Meanwhile, heat two tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the broccoli rabe, garlic, red pepper flakes, and remaining chickpeas to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two. Remove all ingredients with a slotted spoon and add to sausage and tomato mixture.
  10. Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and place the pasta back into the pot. Add the sausage and tomato mixture and stir to coat the pasta.
  11. Add the butter and cheese and stir until butter is melted. Serve immediately.


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