Musing with Max

Musing with Max

October 4, 2011

If it's Tuesday it must be pasta...the tradition continues!

OK, so this is the crappiest worst kept tradition...or maybe not, people come up with ridiculous traditions all the time and then forget about them since they were so ridiculous in the first place. I'll try to keep this up, just not EVERY Tuesday but still I'll try. Hell, I'll even cheat and say it was a Tuesday pasta when it wasn't. We just won't lead on around Max cause he thinks highly of me.
as is evident by that adoring look. Any way back to Tradition!

and since I have been so neglectful---last week:

Penne with Spinach & Ricotta adapted from Giuliano Hazan

6 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/2 medium yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound penne
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. Put about one inch of water in a pot large enough to cook the spinach. Place it over high heat. When the water boils, add a teaspoon salt and the spinach. Cook until the spinach is quite tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and squeeze out as much water as possible by pressing on the spinach with a spoon. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and finely chop it.
  3. While the spinach is cooking, peel the onion and finely chop it. Put the butter in a 12-inch skillet, add the onion, and place over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until it turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  4. When the water for the pasta is boiling, add about 2 tablespoons salt, add the penne, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  5. When the onion is ready, add the spinach and sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the ricotta, cream, and nutmeg, and cook until the ricotta has heated through and the cream is reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and season with pepper, then remove from the heat.

6. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once.

    This week: Penne Strascinata adapted from The New York Times Magazine- 1991
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound dried penne
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1/3 cup Cognac
    • 5 cups simmering beef stock
    • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • Salt to taste, if desired
    • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped fine
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste
    In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pasta and set aside. Saute the onion in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Return the pasta to the skillet, stir in the Cognac and cook until the liquid is evaporated.
Add 2 cups of the beef stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add 2 more cups stock and, when it is almost absorbed, stir in the mushrooms. Add the remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed and the pasta is al dente.
Stir in the cream and salt and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper.
There, I feel so much better now that I've fulfilled my least for this week. Proud of me Maxy?


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