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Archive for Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Show to feature Italian dishes

February 22, 2005

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Join "Jayni's Kitchen" this week for "Umbria Meets the Midwest with Chef Andrea Sposini & Co."

Italian chef and instructor Andrea Sposini, instructor Roberto Menichetti, and translator Sheila Santolamazza will share recipes from The Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Perugia, Italy. Umbria is a region of Italy north of Rome and is known as "the green heart of Italy."

Host is Jayni Carey.

A new show airs at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6. The show also is broadcast at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday.

20 ounces lentils from Castelluccio (or other quick cooking lentils)

LENTIL SOUP FROM CASTELLUCIO

2 celery ribs

1 carrot, peeled and halved

1 medium onion, quartered

2 whole garlic cloves

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

5 fresh sage leaves

3 1/2 ounces pancetta, diced

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

salt & pepper, to taste

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse the lentils well and drain them. Place them in a pot of boiling, unsalted water with 1 celery rib, half of the carrot, a quarter of the onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 sprig of rosemary and 1 sage leaf. The lentils should be covered with 1 to 2 inches of water. Boil the lentils, adding more water as needed to keep them covered, until they are tender-firm, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils, reserving the lentil broth. Discard the cooked vegetables.

Dice the remaining celery rib, carrot half, and the rest of the onion. In a separate pot or Dutch oven, saute the diced vegetables, the remaining garlic clove and pancetta over medium-low heat until softened. Add the tomatoes, 4 sage leaves and 1 sprig of rosemary. Stir in the cooked lentils. Cover with 1 to 2 inches of the reserved lentil broth. Simmer the soup until the lentils are tender, but still intact, about 20 minutes more. Remove the garlic clove and season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve the lentil soup with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serves 6 to 8.

PASTA WITH CHEESE SAUCE

Pasta

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

5 eggs

1 to 2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)

7 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Cheese Sauce

3 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup whipping cream

2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

2 ounces semi-aged pecorino cheese from Norcia or Tuscany, grated (do not use pecorino Romano)

salt & white pepper

To make the pasta: Sift the flour and mound it on a wooden cutting surface. Make a well in the center and break the eggs into the center of the mound. Using a fork, incorporate the flour into the eggs. Stir in the white wine, if desired. Energetically knead the dough until it is compact and has acquired a strong elasticity. Let the dough rest in a covered bowl for 15 minutes.

If using a pasta maker: Follow the manufacturer's instructions, cut the dough into desired width and set aside.

To roll the pasta by hand: Divide the dough into two portions and set one aside. Form the dough into a small disk and place it on a wooden surface. (Avoid adding extra flour if possible; it is okay for the dough to be a bit tacky.) Roll the dough out from the center upwards and from the center downwards. Rotate the dough one-quarter turn and repeat, leaving a small mound in the center of the disk. After a few turns, roll out the mound in the center of the dough. Continue rolling out the pasta dough alternating pressure from the center of the rolling pin towards the outer ends. Starting at one end of the pasta sheet, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin keeping tension in the dough and pressing and stretching outwards simultaneously. Turn the rolling pin one-quarter turn and unroll the pasta sheet. Repeat these steps until the dough is quite thin. Transfer it to a flat, covered surface to dry before proceeding to cut by hand. Repeat process with the remaining dough.

To cut by hand: Once each sheet of pasta has dried and become leathery to the touch, roll up from both ends, taking care not to press or crease. When the two rolls meet in the middle, lift and set one roll top of the other leaving a bit of a lip. Cut the dough crosswise into desired width and set aside.

Cheese Sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Stir in the cream, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano and pecorino cheeses. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheeses have melted without letting the sauce boil. Season with salt and white pepper.

To cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta first, then 7 teaspoons of coarse sea salt. When the pasta is "al dente" or firm to the bite (not soft), remove it from the water with a spider or strainer, partially draining it while transferring it to a ceramic serving bowl. Pour the cheese sauce over top. Using two wooden spoons, toss gently to coat, taking care not to break up the pasta. Sprinkle the pasta with additional Parmigiano or pecorino cheese and serve hot. Serves 6.

Tip: Place leftover pasta in a buttered casserole dish, sprinkle with more cheese and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

APPLE-ROSEMARY CAKE

2 medium apples

juice of 1/2 of lemon

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch salt

4 ounces unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

zest of 1 lemon

powdered sugar

Grease a 9-inch springform pan, or 9-inch round cake pan. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Set the pan aside. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Place them in a bowl of acidulated water (lemon juice and water).

Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer until the mixture is pale yellow and reaches the ribbon stage, approximately 10 minutes. The mixture should triple in volume.

Or, to use the bain-marie (water bath) method, place the eggs and sugar in a copper mixing bowl and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until it is pale yellow and reaches the ribbon stage, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should triple in volume. Remove the copper pan from the heat source.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Gently fold half of the dry ingredient into the egg mixture by hand. Gradually add the melted butter in a stream and fold in carefully, taking care not to allow the mixture to deflate. Fold in the remaining flour mixture, minced rosemary, lemon zest and lastly, the apple slices (drained).

Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan or cake pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool briefly, remove the cake from the pan and cool on a cake rack. Just before serving, dust the cake with powdered sugar. Serves 8.

Recipes from the Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Bleu, Perugia. Prepared by Chef and Instructor Andrea Sposini and Instructor Roberto Menichetti. Translated by Sheila Santolamazza.

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