Friday, March 26, 2010

Orecchietti with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Gina Stipo was at The Cooking School this week for 2 sold out classes. Gina owns Ecco La Cucina, a cooking school and culinary adventure company in Siena, Italy. A few years ago, she led a group from our cooking school through the Tuscan countryside, visiting local wineries, restaurants and regional artisan specialty shops - while teaching us classes in Italian cuisine. It was fun to catch up with Gina while she was here, and our students enjoyed delicious food while learning about Italian culture and cuisine. As promised, Gina left us another recipe to try - this pasta is delicious!

Orecchietti con Salsicce e Cime di Rape
(“little ears” pasta with sausage and rapini)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, broken up
1 bunch rapini, cleaned and chopped (also called cimi di rape or broccoli rabe)
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
8 ounces Orecchiette pasta, cooked and drained

Sauté sausage in a large sauté pan, using a small amount of the olive oil. Remove from pan and, adding additional olive oil, sauté garlic and pepper flakes until soft but not browned, just a minute. Add rapini and continue to cook until rapini is cooked through and soft, adding ½ cup water to help steam it. Return the meat to the pan and allow to cook together a couple minutes. Toss with cooked orecchietti and olive oil, tossing with a good amount of grated pecorino romano cheese. Serves 4.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cajun BBQ Shrimp

This spicy appetizer comes together quickly and can be doubled to serve a crowd. Be sure to serve this with crusty bread to dip in the sauce!

Cajun BBQ Shrimp

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon powdered rosemary
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon medium or hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat butter and oil together in a cast iron or heavy skillet over low heat until butter melts. Add spices and seasonings and simmer 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add shrimp and cook 4-5 minutes, turning once, until shrimp is just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook. Serve with French bread. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Spices and seasonings added to melted butter and oil

Mixture has simmered 3-4 minutes

Shrimp added to skillet

Shrimp is just cooked through and ready to serve

Served in a shallow bowl with French bread