Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pancetta wrapped Pork Roast (Arrosto di Maiale con Pancetta e verdure)

Ingredients:  One 3 pound Pork Tenderloin
2 handfuls of fresh Rosemary  (one diced fine for baking/ the other for decoration on plate)
Handful of fresh Sage
A sprinkle of ground sage all over your meat
about 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
one cup flour
one cup of white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the plate)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 slices of Pancetta
kitchen twine to hold your roast together

Roasted Vegetables:  2 pounds red potatoes, cleaned, sliced thin
1/2 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
one teaspoon salt
one teaspoon pepper
Place your vegetables into a bowl with the above ingredients and toss.

One large baking pan that can go from stove-top to oven (do not use a glass dish)
Oven string to tie your roast
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees/ bake
Method:  In a large skillet or baking pan, heat olive oil on low.  In the meantime, salt and pepper your meat.  Make tiny holes across the top and bottom of your meat and place some garlic and rosemary pieces into your meat.  Place slices of pancetta across the top to cover.   Tie your roast to give it an even shape.  Turn your heat up to medium.   Coat in flour and place the meat into the hot pan.  Cook a few minutes on each side until golden.   When all sides are golden, (after 5 minutes), add your cut up vegetables, salt, pepper and mix. Add some additional herbs (Leave the herbs in big pieces so you can remove them before serving).  After just a minute, add your wine and let cook for about 6-8 minutes.  Place your pan directly into the oven for 45 additional minutes cooking time.  This is a very easy dish to make.   Cut up some additional rosemary for your plate for decoration, and remove your pan from the oven.  Your vegetables should be golden and meat completely cooked.  Use an oven thermometer if you are not sure.  Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  (If your vegetables are not golden, return your vegetables into the oven for an additional 5 minutes on light broil). 
Remember, oven temps will vary.  Don't be afraid to add additional cooking time depending on the weight of your tenderloin. 
Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pasta con le Melanzane (Pasta with eggplants and Mozzarella)

I love finding surprises in my garden.   Eggplants have always been one of my favorites.   I have had my fill of eggplant Parmigiana and eggplant tapenade  this Summer.  Now that we are nearing the end of the Summer season, I found two eggplants hiding behind one of my overgrown tomato plants.   This is the perfect dish.  I never get tired of Pasta, do you?
Ingredients: 4 servings
2 medium  eggplants, sliced, salted and drained.  Wipe clean with paper towels and set aside.  Begin this process approx. 2 hour ahead, so eggplants have a chance to extract their liquid.
3-4 cloves of garlic diced
2 sliced fresh tomatoes (I used compari, as they break down easily even with their skins on).
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt (several teaspoons to taste)
Pepper (about 2 teaspoons)
One large skillet
About 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella torn or sliced into pieces
One pasta pot
12 ounces of Rigatoni or penne pasta
handful of fresh basil chopped
handful of parsley torn into pieces (optional)
Method:  Heat your olive oil and vegetable oil in a skillet on medium.  Add your garlic and cook unitl fragrant.  Do not overcook.  You want to be able to smell the fragrance of garlic.
Add your eggplant and cook.  Add about a teaspoon each of salt, pepper and put a lid on the pan.  After a few minutes, check your eggplants.  Keep cooking until they are somewhat broken down.  Give the pan a mix again and put a lid on the pan.   Give it another mix and add your sliced tomatoes.    Using the same method, keep cooking for about 10 minutes or so, until everything has broken down.   Remove from the heat and add your mozzarella pieces.  While your pasta cooks, remove several tablespoons of water and add it to the pan. This will ensure for a creamier consistency, once the drained pasta is added to the eggplants.
 Add your hot pasta and give it a mix.  Add some additional salt if necessary.  Add as much herbs as you like.    Let the pasta rest before serving for a more intense flavorful dish.  Buon Appetito!