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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

tasty vittles

As if you need one, here's reason #3597235 to love the Food Network:
Tyler Florence.
If you're looking for something really delicious to make for dinner, eat this:
(Dave has literally insisted that I only make this dinner for the rest of his life, and has agreed to go to the gym in the middle of the night every day just so he can eat it. I guess he liked it.)

 
Rigatoni with Eggplant and Sausage
Ingredients:
  • Kosher Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 links fennel pork sausage (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • Leaves from 1 small bunch basil
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta. Get yourself a 9 by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
Heat a 2 count of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and toss in the hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes, you want them nicely browned on the outside but still rare on the inside. Put the sausages in the baking dish.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add a generous 1/3 cup of oil to the skillet and get it hot. Add as many eggplant pieces as you can comfortably fit in a single layer and sprinkle well with salt. Cook, turning, for 7 to 8 minutes, until the eggplant is nice and browned, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Use a spatula to put the eggplant into the baking dish with the sausage. Cook the rest of the eggplant pieces, adding more oil to the pan, as needed, and putting the finished eggplant into the baking dish.
Add another 2 count of oil to the skillet, then your onion and garlic, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Dump the whole can of tomatoes and their juices into a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands to break them up; add that to the pan with the basil and cook it down until pulpy and relatively thick. This will take about 15 minutes.
By this time your pasta water will be boiling. Add the rigatoni, give it a stir, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, it should be slightly firm as it will cook further in the oven. Ladle out 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve; the drain the rigatoni.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Chop the sausages into nice big, bite-size chunky pieces and return the pieces to the baking dish. Add the tomato sauce, rigatoni, and the reserved pasta water. Break up half the mozzarella over the mixture, season with salt and pepper, and gently mix with your hands or a spatula. Dust with the Parmigiano and drizzle with more olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Spread the remaining mozzarella in an even layer over the top and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

And for dessert?
A berry trifle.
I will be serving mine shortly as individual servings and used lime juice and lime curd to improvise :)

 
Ingredients:

Berries:

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint strawberries,
    hulled and cut into thick slices
  • 2 pint raspberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Lemon Cream:

  • 1 quart whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd
  • 1 store bought pound cake, sliced 1/2-inch thick

Directions:

Place the berries into a large bowl and sprinkle with half of the lemon juice. Lightly toss.
Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and let cool; the mixture should thicken up as is cools.
In a clean bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and the vanilla to soft peaks. Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and stir in a little of the whipped cream to loosen it. Then fold in the rest of the cream.
To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake, breaking the slices into pieces that fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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4 Comments:

Blogger KAndrews said...

Tyler Florence makes me happy. Tyler's Ultimate ANYTHING is a must to make for dinner at some point in your life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010  
Blogger michelle said...

agreed. i like so many of the things he cooks! (unlike most of the other shows i watch on food network, really...)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010  
Blogger Jessi said...

this blog makes me happy. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010  
Blogger michelle said...

knowing that pretty soon you're going to be cooking IN MY kitchen IN boston...makes ME happy :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010  

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