Bucatini with Cherry Tomatoes & Capers

When an Italian offers to make you a beautiful plate of food you say yes, sit down and tie your napkin around your neck. I had at the great pleasure to photograph and observe the visually talented Nicola (whose artistic resume far surpasses my own) making this incredible yet simple Italian comfort food. The whole process is similar to appreciating art- the colors, the movement, the quality of ingredients… I learned a lot by watching him, enjoyed listening to his accent and a couple “how do you say?…” and hopefully captured his classic dish amidst the essence of lovely afternoon in the kitchen.

                                                           Buon appetito!!

Nicola’s

Bucatini with cherry tomatoes & capers

Ingredients 4 People:

Bucatini 400gr/14ounces

20 Cherry Tomato

One hand full of Capers

3 cloves of Garlic

Parsley

Red crushed pepper

Boil in a big pot enough water adding 3 pinch of coarse salt.

Meanwhile  prepare a pan with some  extra virgin olive oil  and garlic  and some capers (soffritto). 

Once the garlic is slightly brown add the cherry tomato that you previously sliced in half.

When the tomatoes are ready (10min) add more capers and turn off the stove.

When the water is boiling, add the bucatini and after 12/13 min drain the bucatini and add to the pan with the sauce. 

Sautee’ the bucatini, add some parsley and serve them with a glass of Nero D’avola. Buon appetito!!

Whole Foods NYC givaway Winner ~ Dana Marie’s Irish Soda Bread

We have a WINNER of the Whole Foods Gift Card! I was so excited to use Dana Marie’s Irish Soda Bread recipe because I’ve been dying to make a bread at home and this was so simple! I got to use my grandmother’s cast iron skillet and the colors of the ingredients were so beautiful. Thank you Dana for sharing your wonderful recipe and thank you Whole Foods for this great giveaway!

Dana Marie’s Irish Soda Bread~

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder (heaping)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds 
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup (to taste) currants
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup (butter)milk

sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt together
Sprinkle a little over raisins and currants so they don’t stick together
cut in shortening (butter) with pastry cutter
add beaten eggs and milk
then add floured dried fruits
turn onto floured board
mold into round loaf
place on greased pan (preferably a cast iron pan) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

Giveaway! $25 Whole Foods Gift Card!

Whole Foods NYC is giving away a $25 gift card, From Me To You!

People pass down many things in families from photographs to heirlooms. What I want to know is, what is your best family recipe? Is it passed down from 7 generations? Is it something you make for your kids? A holiday drink recipe that wouldn’t be a proper family function without it? Or are you like me and have the recipe to a meal your grandmother fixed you growing up? If you don’t have a family recipe to share it could also be one of your own recipes you hope to one day pass down.

I shared my recipe with y’all, now I want you to share yours with me! Tell me a little background or story about your family recipe and post it along with the instructions in the comments below! I will select one recipe, make their dish, photograph it and post it here in one week to announce the winner who will receive a $25 Whole Foods gift card to any NYC location!

If you don’t win this round, follow Whole Foods NYC twitter (@wholefoodsnyc) as they have “Twitter Thursday” contests and give away $25 gift cards! I won once and here is how I spent the money honey!

The winner will be able to pick up the $25 gift card at any Whole Foods location in NYC that they specify.

This is my Grandma’s recipe book, what’s in yours?…

Adventures in Cooking~

I found this post by Salt & Fat on The Wonders of Fresh Ricotta last week and was immediately excited. I had no idea it was this easy and inexpensive to make ricotta at home and the out come was wonderfully billowy, soft, subtle delicious cheese.

Ingredients:

1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about half a lemon, make sure to pick out the seeds)

The first thing you want to do is line a colander with some cheesecloth then put the colander over a bowl — this is good preparation and important because things happen quickly once you start. Now, bring the whole milk, cream and salt to a full boil on about medium high and make sure to stir regularly with a spatula to keep the milk from scorching.

Once it’s boiling, add the lemon juice and give the mixture a quick stir to incorporate the juice then turn the heat down to medium to maintain a simmer. Stir gently for another two minutes, you’ll see the mixture start to separate into solid milk curds and liquid whey.

*I actually let it sit with the heat off for about 10-15 mins before moving on to the next step

After it looks like everything has separated, pour the mixture into your cheesecloth lined colander. You can let it drain like this for an hour or so, I like to tie the cheesecloth up and hang it over my sink to let gravity help extract any lingering whey.

Oh no, we didn’t stop there. What’s a better vessel for fresh ricotta than wrapped in homemade pasta! I’ve always wanted to make homemade pasta because it sounded so simple. 3 ingredients and a lot of back work (unless you’re lucky enough to have a machine) and it truly is better than anything you can buy at the store. It’s also fascinating to me that I had all the ingredients at home to make this so it doesn’t get cheaper than that.

I used 3 1/3 cups of flour, 4 eggs and a pinch of salt. We took turns kneading it and added about 1/8 of a cup of water to help it along in the process. We kneaded it for about 15 mins until that dough was beggin us to stop.

A lot of rolling, rolling, rolling on the river. You want to get it as thin as possible.

And that’s it! We stuffed it with our fresh ricotta, sealed the edges with some melted butter and dropped them in boiling water (3 at a time) for about 3 mins (they float when they are done).

Oh.. and.. Molly taught me about garlic at our last food shoot, the purple means it’s really good. That’s a lot of purple on this garlic so I had to take a picture.

We made a simple meat sauce and served it with some crusty bread and I was stuffed!

I had about 1/2 the dough left over so the next night we rolled it out again this time cutting it into strips and serving it with some toasted pine nuts and fish with a white wine, lemon, butter sauce and some fresh arugula on top… This is making me hungry.