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        Recipes

        LOX AND BAGELS PLUS SWEET PEA AND HASH BROWN QUICHE

        LOX AND BAGELS PLUS SWEET PEA AND HASH BROWN QUICHE

        Easter brings back memories for me both as a child and as a mother. The coincidence of Easter with Spring is not by accident. We're all ready for a bit of springtime hope, joy, and freedom around this time of year ... and so it has been for thousands of years. 

        This year is especially so, and If you want a bit of culinary hope, joy, and freedom for an upcoming weekend treat, whether or not you've got plans for decorating eggs or putting up pictures of bunnies, I've got some incredibly delicious -- and fun! -- suggestions that you can do right in your own home.

        TIME ON YOUR HANDS…?

        HERES THE PERFECT DISH TO PREP WAY AHEAD OF TIME:

        SALT AND SUGAR BRINED SALMON

        This bagel with home-brined salmon? How to win brunch.

        This bagel with home-brined salmon? How to win brunch.

        I’ve done this with lots of different kinds of fish, but the salmon version is by far the most delicate and buttery version. It’s so fantastically easy, it will leave you smacking your head thinking, why have I been buying this all these years?

        Your salmon revelation for the season is set to begin.

        Four days before you intend to eat this salmon miracle, start the brining.

        INGREDIENTS

        • 1 piece of good quality salmon, skin on (important here!)

        You need a vessel for the salmon -- and something heavy to weigh down the salmon -- while it brines. Choose a non-reactive piece of plasticware, and a plate or clean piece of dense wood that fits snugly inside the plasticware container ... and some cans ... oh, just read on. You'll see.

        PROCEDURE

        1. Mix thoroughly 2 cups kosher salt and 1 cup sugar using a fork or spoon

        2. In your plastic container, pour 1/2 of that combination (about 1-1/2 cups) to cover the bottom.

        3. Place the fish, skin side down, on the salt and sugar.

        4. Add the remaining salt and sugar mixture on top. Cover that tightly with plastic film wrap.

        5. Here’s the magical part: The weighting ... and the waiting. Find a board, or a plate to place on top of that fish that fits INSIDE the confines of the plastic container. Now add onto the board/plate some canned goods...it doesn’t matter what’s in the cans, what does matter is the weight!

        6. With the salmon covered and weighted down, put it into the fridge for at least four days. Yes, four days. I KNOW ... THE WAITING! Believe me, you’ll thank me for this epic do-ahead pre-set. The one you see in the photos I let brine for seven days. A full week. And worth the wait: It’s buttery and and yet firm enough to slice easily.

        After your brining is done, pull the salmon out of the refrigerator carefully. It may slosh, because during brining the salmon will extrude its “liquid." Just gingerly walk it to the sink and pour off the liquid. (No discussions about adding it to a cocktail please. My fella thought it could be used for such a culinary experiment. I’ve banished him from the test kitchen.)

        Liquid drained, now remove the salmon from its sweet/salt cave and very gingerly wash off the crusted salt and sugar mixture. Pat dry gently, and well, with paper towels.

        With a well-sharpened knife (seriously, at least hone it first), cut this darling across the grain into micro wafer thin slices, right to the edge of the skin. 

        And, voila—you just won brunch.

        VARIATIONS

        Here are other delicious things you can add to that sugar and salt.

        • fresh dill

        • black pepper

        • red pepper

        • garlic powder

        • za'atar

        • Aleppo flakes

        In any combination.

        Your imagination awaits.

        Find the bunny.

        SERVING SUGGESTION

        Serve with toasted bagels, cream cheese (or cream fraiche), capers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red onions.

        Can’t find bagels? Rye bread toasted is a glorious substitute. Don’t like rye, how about a beautiful loaf of white sandwich bread? I promise the substitutions will be wonderful and just to your liking. :) 

        SWEET PEA AND HASH BROWN QUICHE

        Photo Mar 18, 1 28 12 PM.jpg

        This recipe fits beautifully in EuroCAST's 10 inch sauté pan. And of course ... that will make clean-up a snap. 

        Every single ingredient in this quiche is a star, and they make room for the other stars, too. So grab your shopping basket!

        INGREDIENTS

        • 1 recipe pâte brisé or 1 pre-made pie crust dough you can roll out into the skillet

        • 2 cups cooked and crisped hash browns

        • 1 cup bleached fresh English peas (you can you use frozen, but before using make sure they are thawed, well drained, and dried)

        • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

        • 1 whole leek split then sliced thin into half-moons, carefully rinsed and patted dry

        • 5 jumbo eggs, or 7 medium-sized eggs

        • 1/2 cup half-and-half

        • 1 t. kosher salt

        • 1/2 t. black pepper

        • 5 oz. goat cheese

        • Fresh chives

        • Fresh flat leaf parsley

        PROCEDURE

        Photo Mar 18, 1 00 32 PM.jpg
        1. Roll out the pie crust to fit the 10 inch EuroCAST skillet, making it of even thickness and pushing it up the sides.

        2. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork (don't push too hard -- you don't want to scratch the non-stick surface) and then layer the cooked hash browns into the bottom of the crust.

        3. Add the peas.

        4. Place the skillet -- handle removed -- on a large cookie sheet.

        5. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the half-and-half, salt, and pepper

        6. Add the leeks to the bowl (yes, the leeks are uncooked)

        7. Pour this on top of the pie crust, hash browns, and peas

        8. Add the bacon to the center of the pie and place the goat cheese around like the numbers on a clock. They may look a bit like Easter eggs!

        9. Cook @350 F until the center has set and the top has begun to brown. About 25-35 minutes. If the top is not set and the crust begins to brown, tent it loosely with tin foil until the eggs are set

        10. Remove from oven and let rest to firm up more

        11. Decorate with snipped fresh chives and flat leaf parsley

        May be served warm, or as part of this brunch, at room temperature.

        FRUIT SALAD COMPOSITION

        Every bunny loves fruit. Pick best quality. Rinse. Layer it in increasingly vibrant colors. Serve. All the heavy lifting was done by Mother Nature.

        Every bunny loves fruit. Pick best quality. Rinse. Layer it in increasingly vibrant colors. Serve. All the heavy lifting was done by Mother Nature.

        Fruit salad is the loveliest, easiest way to say, “I was thinking about you.” It doesn’t have to be a dramatic affair getting it together, just thoughtful, easy choices for assemblage.

        The rest is left up to nature's genius. One tip: If you get Opal apples, they don't brown! Speaking of nature's genius.

        PREPARATION

        I like to keep the berries whole, including the strawberries. If you have a lovely flat platter or large wooden bowl, you can simply pour the contents of the fruit container into little piles. (I told you this was easy.)

        1. Start with the anchors: Green grapes, along with pineapple (or mango) you can find already cut at the grocery store. Lay those in first since they serve sort of like gesso on a canvas -- you're getting everything ready for the explosion of color to follow.

        2. Now add washed strawberries, sliced bananas, sliced Opal apples

        3. Then black berries, blueberries and (if you're lucky enough to find them) a few raspberries

        The result? A glorious demonstration of the goodness that we have at our fingertips. 

        Place (or tear up) on top of the fruity some fresh mint, and finish with some edible flowers. If you haven't tried edible flowers yet, c'mon! It's Spring!

        CHILI YOUR WAY: VEGAN OR WITH COFFEE-BRAISED TRI-TIP STEAK

        CHILI YOUR WAY: VEGAN OR WITH COFFEE-BRAISED TRI-TIP STEAK

        CHILI WHEN IT’S CHILLY AND LOTS OF HELP FROM YOUR PANTRY

        Vegan chili might seem to meat-eaters like a compromise. But, as chef/writer Anthony Bourdain-(RIP)- might say to someone who disses vegan chili, “What’s your major malfunction?” Gosh, I miss him and his profoundly spot on take on life and food. But … I digress. Back to chili.

        Think about your pantry and those hardy long life vegetables, and the number one long life ingredient is the pumpkin, or hard skinned squash (any one of a dozen varieties). It’s delicious, plentiful, inexpensive, beautiful, easy to cook with ... why not make a big one-pot dish out of it? And what better set of ingredients than what we put into chili? 

        All that said ... we love meat in our chili, too, and when we're in that mood, we cook up some tri-tip separately and put it in the bowl first as a layer of seared, savory surprise. Read about that below the main recipe. 

         

        SPICE IS BEYOND NICE

        Chili needs spice. And most people use chili powder as part of their own chili recipe. Chili spice recipes aren't as jealously guarded as, say, mole or curry mixes -- but this one is special. Just special enough that your guests will love its mystery. And it's super simple. 

        Chili can be elegant. Here, it's served to show off the ingredients and garnished with some clean, beautiful spring onion stalks.

        Chili can be elegant. Here, it's served to show off the ingredients and garnished with some clean, beautiful spring onion stalks.

        • 2 t. ground chili powder

        • 1 t. ground cumin

        • 1 t. ground Harissa powder

        • 1/2 t. smoky (aka Spanish) paprika

        Not all paprika is made the same. Most paprika is related to Hungarian paprika (although we love Hungarian paprika fresh off the plane from Hungary -- it has a bigger, sweeter flavor than you normally get even in Hungarian paprika in the US). You're looking for a paprika that would be labeled "smoky", "smoked", "Spanish" -- sometimes using the Spanish word pimenton. Any paprika can quickly lose its personality ... so find a good, smoky paprika fresh from its container to make sure it puts its lovely, seductive arms around the chili spice. 

         

        Portabello mushrooms went into the chili I made here, but experiment with your favorites

        VEGAN CHILI - Portobello mushrooms went into the chili I made here, but experiment with your favorites

        INGREDIENTS
        • 1 large red onion diced

        • 3 cloves garlic diced fine

        • 2 cups mushrooms sliced into chunks

        • 2 cups hearty squash - kabocha, butternut, acorn - cut into chunks

        • 4 cups veggie stock or water

        • 1/2 head of cauliflower

        • 1 cup summer squash in chunks

        • 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered

        • 1 can low sodium black beans (do not drain -- the liquid has beautiful flavor and texture)

        EuroCAST's Dutch ovens are a dream. The biggest one is more than 7 quarts big, and is what I used for this recipe. The middle one is 5 quarts, available online only. The smallest pot at the top is our 3-quart sauce pan. It's a work-horse for me. I love it. Click on the image to learn more about the large one.

                                                           

        PROCEDURE

        In your EuroCAST high sided fryer or medium sized Dutch oven:
        1. Sauté the onion in 3 T. olive oil until soft
        2. Add the garlic and sauté another minute

        3. Add diced squash over low and sauté till the edges begin to caramelize

        4. Add 1/2 cup of the veggie stock or water and let simmer over low heat

        5. Add the cauliflower, mushrooms, and summer squash.

        6. Simmer low and slow for 10 minutes (or a little more)

        7. Add the beans and their liquid, cook another 5 minutes

        8. Add tomatoes and spice blend

        9. Remove from heat when the mushrooms are cooked through but the squash still has a "tooth" to it, and cover with lid to let the ingredients bask in the steam

        BUT WHAT ABOUT MEAT?

        Photo Oct 16, 1 02 49 PM.jpg

        We love the vegan chili as it is. And I bet you will, too. 

        But if you have meat-eaters to please, or if you just want to treat yourself to something special, here's a great way to please the inner carnivore while keeping the personality of the vegan chili: Make up some special, beautifully seared steak and, with a generous slice of the braised steak in the bottom of the bowl, cover it with the vegan chili. 

        The slow braising makes the steak cut like butter, and makes the experience a new kind of chili con carne

        Here's how.

        COFFEE-BRAISED TRI-TIP STEAK STRIPS

        Photo Oct 16, 11 00 03 AM.jpg
        INGREDIENTS
        • 1 well-trimmed tri tip, 3-4 pounds
        • 1 large can whole San Marzano tomatoes in sauce

        • 5 cloves garlic, minced

        • 2 cups strongly-brewed coffee

        PROCEDURE

        1. Salt the tri-tip generously and then pepper evenly.

        2. Put 4 T. olive oil in your largest EuroCAST Dutch oven and bring to medium heat (the oil should not be smoking).

        3. Add the seasoned tri-tip.

        4. Sear the steak to a hard crust, 6-8 minutes per side.

        5. Add one large can of whole San Marzano tomatoes and 2 cups of strong brewed coffee, then add the minced garlic.

        6. Bring to a low, bubbling boil.

        7. Reduce heat to low and cover to braise 90 minutes. Check every once in a while for the liquid level and to break up the tomatoes. Add water as needed, but you want to keep the sauce on the dense side to capture the beef's richness and to keep the tomato acidity popping.

        8. Remove from heat and keep covered with the Dutch oven's lid until ready to server.

        9. You could refrigerate at this point and reheat slightly before slicing and serving.

        10. Check seasoning (hey, one slice is always reserved for chef's testing).

        SERVING SUGGESTION

        In each diner's bowl, lay a big, warm tri-tip slice in the bottom. (It's fall-apart tender at this point, so each place setting will only need a butter knife -- if that.) 

        Cover the beef with the hot vegan chili.

        And, to make it truly amazing, top with sour cream and, if you have some on hand, garlic confit.

        PIZZA WITH FRESH DOUGH AND ROASTED VEGETABLES

        PIZZA WITH FRESH DOUGH AND ROASTED VEGETABLES

        PIZZA WITH FRESH DOUGH AND ROASTED VEGETABLES

        Pizza night on the EuroCast griddle, Killer crust every time.

        Pizza night on the EuroCast griddle, Killer crust every time.

        GATHER THE HOME CREW AND GET CREATIVE. PIZZA NIGHT DONE RIGHT!

        My kids eat most everything and by everything I mean, well, most things. One of my progeny wouldn’t cross the street for mushrooms and the other won’t do bitter greens. But that means I’m shopping for everything at the store, because, among the three of us, our food umbrella is huge. 

        And this is a fun way to get the family around the kitchen and table. They can get their creative on, whether it’s a disciplined two-topping marvel, or the love child of Joan Miro and Jackson Pollack.

        Let's get the party started. Right here.

        Let's get the party started. Right here.

        That's what makes it so much fun to see how things get put together onto the blank canvas of pizza dough. 

        Everyone wins in these match-ups:

        • Whole wheat crust v. White flour v. Double herb!

        • Shredded mozzarella v. Coglioni! (Yeah, look it up)

        • Veggie v. Meat lovers!

        • Sauce v. No sauce!

        It’s like a little edible Rorschach test. 

        GETTING ORGANIZED

        Personal pan pizza, please. More variety, more fun.

        Personal pan pizza, please. More variety, more fun.

        The pizza dough is the easiest part. (Although you do have the choice of making a tiny or a big pizza.) 

        It's the toppings that require a strategy. So, here are ideas! Print this out and drop in front of your decision-makers -- including yourself. And expect to get hungry as you giggle and puzzle through the possibilities.  And get inspired from the photos!

        VEGETABLES

        Roasted in the EuroCAST grill pan or the top of the double-roaster:

        • Zucchini

        • Eggplant

        • Summer squash

        Split the above or sliced diagonally, drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender. Set aside.

        Photo May 13, 5 36 56 PM.jpg
        • Sliced radicchio

        • Arugula

        • Halved cherry or grape tomatoes

        • Sliced Roma tomatoes

        • Sliced and cleaned bell peppers

        • Portobello mushrooms

        • Serrano peppers

        • Jalapeño peppers

        • Sliced red onion slivers

        • Fresh, finely-minced garlic

        Here's an earthy one. Layer prosciutto. Then add small portobellos.

        Here's an earthy one. Layer prosciutto. Then add small portobellos.

        And the earthy taste continues with mushrooms -- which means one of my offspring will look the other way. It's OK. More for me.

        And the earthy taste continues with mushrooms -- which means one of my offspring will look the other way. It's OK. More for me.

        PROTEINS

        • Crumbled, fried hot italian sausage

        • Pepperoni

        • Anchovies. People, truly, if you don't love these, learn to. They are my favorite.

        • Prosciutto

        • Fried and crumbled bacon

        Photo May 13, 5 36 49 PM.jpg

        HERBS

        All fresh, all cleaned and ready to tear and snip:

        • Sage

        • Chives

        • Basil (torn!)

        • Flat leaf parsley (leaves only)

        • Oregano

        • Thyme (pull off the tiny leaves by running your closed fist along the stem against the growth - bam, so easy!)

        CHEESE

        Why do cheese and tomatoes go so well together? Acid and fat.  The combination is exquisite.

        Why do cheese and tomatoes go so well together? Acid and fat. The combination is exquisite.

        • Shredded mozarella

        • Coglioni

        • Grated Parmesan

        • St. Agar Blue, or Gorgonzola

        • Whole milk ricotta

        Photo May 13, 5 27 46 PM.jpg

        SAUCE

        Here’s a trick I like to use. Because we all like tricks, right, silly rabbit?

        • Excellent quality tomato paste with a good scattering of herbs

        Yes, truly, that's it. And I really don’t want any more than that.

        You might, on the other hand, want a little more sauce to your sauce. If so, find an excellent quality ready-made pizza sauces. New, fantastic ones come out every month. Check out your grocer's refrigerated section.

        Or, save time and trouble. Get a can of tomato paste. Stick your spatula right into it and spread it. That's full disclosure, my people.

        GETTING IT GOING

        Have on hand:

        • Flour to roll out the dough once its rested.

        • Flour for the pizza shovel—-forget this and no amount of shoving will get that pizza onto that pizza stone. Fold it and make a calzone!!!

        • Salt and pepper

        • Aleppo flakes for topping at the end...please!

        • Olive oil to brush the sides and the perimeter of the pizza.

        • Lots of imagination and mouths.

        Eat.

        PIZZA DOUGH

        Photo May 13, 5 22 24 PM.jpg

        Mark Bittman is awesome. Here is his equally awesome pizza dough

        TIME

        2 to 3 hours mostly unattended, or less in a pinch.

        YIELD

        2 pies, 4 to 6 servings. Or, if you serve salad with your pizza, you can stretch this.

        INGREDIENTS

        • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, or more as needed, plus more for kneading

        • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

        • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling

        • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as necessary

        • Rosemary, optional.

        PROCEDURE

        1. Put the 3 cups flour, yeast, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water through the feed tube. Process until the mixture forms a slightly sticky ball, about 30 seconds. If the mixture is too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 to 10 seconds after each addition. If the mixture refuses to come together, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and process until it does.

        2. Rub a little olive oil or sprinkle a little flour onto your hands and shape the dough into a ball; wrap in plastic. Let rest at room temperature until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. Or, if time is tight, let it rest at least 20 minutes before proceeding. Or refrigerate for several hours, deflating if necessary if it threatens to burst the plastic. (Or divide in half, wrap each ball in plastic, slip into a plastic bag and freeze.) Let it return to room temperature before proceeding.

        3. Reshape the dough into a ball and cut in half, forming 2 balls. (From here on, use olive oil if you're cooking on baking sheets, flour if on a pizza stone.) Put them on a lightly floured surface (a pizza peel is ideal), sprinkle with flour and cover with plastic wrap; or brush then with a bit of oil and place on a lightly oiled sheet. Let rest for about 20 minutes, while you heat the oven to 500 degrees.

        4. Press a dough ball into a 1/2-inch-thick flat round, adding flour or oil to the work surface as necessary. Press or roll the dough until it's as thin as you can make it; let it rest a bit if it becomes too elastic. (Patience is your friend here.) You can do two baking sheets at once, or one after another, as you'll have to if using a peel. If doing the latter, slide the dough from the peel onto the stone.

        5. Sprinkle the pizzas with olive oil (just a little), salt and rosemary. Bake for at least 10 minutes, perhaps rotating once, until the crust is crisp. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

        Photo May 13, 7 08 14 PM.jpg

        BAKED EGGS AND BISCUITS

        BAKED EGGS AND BISCUITS

        The end of the week is here again, and if you’re like me - the need for a few weekly fence posts for structure in this wobbly time sure do help me keep track of things. One, is keeping the weekend “The Weekend.” And, in doing so it also provides a sense of accomplishment and renewed joy to get there.

        To help, I bring to you baked eggs. Pantry Savvy for sure, you’ll likely have a lot of these ingredients, and if you don’t, punt, improvise and other wise, do that thing you do when you’re not reading a recipe and just want something delish. Take this as a template for whatever you have and whatever you love.

        Here’s one tip I’d stick with though, use your Eurocast cookware, as bakeware. Of course,you can use your EuroCAST skillet to cook up some delicious scrambled, or fried eggs -- no oil if you choose, and an easy cleanup. But these baked eggs take advantage of EuroCAST's removable handle. They go seamlessly from stovetop to oven to table in one deft move of our removable handle. 


        BAKED EGGS

        INGREDIENTS
        • 2 bell peppers

        • 1 Serrano pepper

        • 1/2 small onion, diced

        • 1 handful fresh parsley

        • 1/4 cup best quality olive oil

        • 1 russet potato, par boiled until fork-tender and drained, then diced

        • 1 handful of fresh spinach

        • 4 oz goat cheese

        • 4 large hen eggs

        INSTRUCTIONS

        NOTE: You can do this first step ahead of time and store in a covered container in the fridge up to 3 days until ready to use.

        Use tongs to place the peppers directly over an open flame on your range top. Char the skin from the peppers until they are blackened. While still very hot, place them in a bowl with a cover to steam. After about 10 minutes, the skins should slip off. Rinse the peppers under cool water and remove the stem tops.
         
        In a blender, add the peppers, onion and parsley blend for 20 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend some more until smooth. 

        In your EuroCast 10" skillet with fitted lid

        1. Add the diced potatoes to the bottom of the pan, then the spinach, and then the pepper purée. Give the spinach a poke or two to submerge into the purée. The purée should be reasonably level to accommodate the eggs.

        2. Crack the eggs one at a time over the sauce.

        3. Sprinkle the goat cheese, crumbled, over top.

        4. Bake for 15 minutes till the eggs are just set and still jammy, or to desired firmness.


        AND WHAT WOULD EGGS BE WITHOUT BISCUITS?

        With practice, because repetition is the mother of skill…with practice you’ll get the hang of it. Believe me…it took me a bit to get these right but it’s well worth it. And frankly, what else have you got to do?

        I’ve included the master recipe from Bon Appetite. (click the picture for the full recipe)

        Pro tips.

        1. Ice cold butter-once you’ve diced it, wrap it up in parchment paper and toss her in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes.

        2. Once you’ve done the initial gathering of the “shaggy ends” and rolled her out, fold her over like an envelope in thirds. Roll out, fold in thirds, turn a 1/4 turn and roll out again. Repeat that process 4 times.

        3. After you’ve cut them, stick them back in the freezer for 10 minutes to rest or the fridge if you’re dashing about doing other things.

        Flakey buttery layers of laminated goodness. Those layers are from the envelope folds. Lamination is the key.

        BAKED RIGATONI AND FLOWER GARDEN FOCACCIA

        BAKED RIGATONI AND FLOWER GARDEN FOCACCIA

        WHILE PARTS OF THE COUNTRY BEGIN TO EASE INTO OPENING, OUR “WHAT USED TO BE” IS DIFFERENT NOW.

        OUR NORMAL TAKES ON MORE INTIMATE SETTINGS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING REMAINS IN PLACE. SO, LET’S MAKE AND SHARE IT OVER THE FENCE.

        These dishes are fantastic for a big group, but nothing says you can’t make it, and share with your neighbors. My tribe is big, with 2 Adults and 4 “almost” adults (read starving High Schoolers), 2 dogs, 3 cats, assorted bunnies and chickens -, so … we have a lot of mouths to feed and this casserole meal hits it home with very little leftover. But if there’s 2 or 3 of you, pack some up and send a little love over that fence to your neighbor. Tupperware, or plastic wrapped plates, parchment paper and tin foil for the focaccia, heck make a date and have a 6 foot picnic on the lawn and share the food! We have to get creative with our social nurturing.

        Change happens.

        Then it changes again. It is the constant we can count on whilst we are here.

        Ease, temperance, creativity and some Baked rigatoni with sausage, cheese and tomato sauce is a good way to keep things alive.

        IMG_5746.jpeg

        Start with:

        1 pound cooked rigatoni

        For the sausage tomato sauce

        INGREDIENTS

        • 1 pound Italian sausage. Turkey or Pork and bulk is easiest, but links will do. Remove casings before cooking.

        • 1 large onion diced

        • 4 cloves garlic finely diced

        • 4 cups excellent quality tomato sauce

        • 4 cups baby spinach

        • Salt and Pepper, Crushed red pepper, and Aleppo flakes

        As for the tomato sauce, homemade is best. If you can find a few jars from the store, look for the ones with the lowest sugar so you get the best tomato flavor.

        PROCEDURE

        In the bottom of your EuroCAST square casserole pan:

        1. Brown the onions and the sausage in 3 tablespoons olive oil.

        2. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon.

        3. Add the onion and Sauté until they are just browned.

        4. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes 

        5. Add 4 cups tomato sauce.

        6. Let simmer on low for 20 minutes

        7. Add baby spinach until it wilts.

        Taste and season with kosher salt, black pepper and Aleppo flake, or crushed red pepper.

        ASSEMBLY

        Preheat oven to 350F.

        INGREDIENTS

        • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

        • 1 cup Parmesan cheese

        • 1 cup breadcrumbs-Maybe leftover from that bread you made last week?

        PROCEDURE

        1. With a silicone spatula, remove the sauce from the square casserole pan into a large bow (big enough to hold the pasta and the sauce)..

        2. Add the cooked rigatoni to the bowl.

        3. Add the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

        4. Stir. 

        5. Pour the contents of the bowl back into the square casserole pan, or other same sized casserole dish.

        6. Cover with breadcrumbs and the remaining Parmesan cheese.

        7. Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are browned.

        Allow to cool a bit before serving. Straight up, this is better when it’s not molten lava, but don’t let that stop you from digging in.

        IMG_5734.jpeg

        AND TO ACCOMPANY THIS DELICIOUS BAKED PASTA …

        SUPER SIMPLE FOCCOCIA. FLOWER GARDEN DECORATIONS ARE OPTIONAL, BUT ENCOURAGED.

        Wild chives, delicate herbs, tomatoes, sliced shallots and sesame seeds with a generous dash of flakey sea salt.

        Wild chives, delicate herbs, tomatoes, sliced shallots and sesame seeds with a generous dash of flakey sea salt.

        Fingers in the risen dough to get that dimpled texture, perfect little reservoirs for olive oil and salt.

        Taking a little rest.

        Flower garden assembly, delicate herbs, sliced shallots, juicy tomatoes.

        Butterflies do flutter by. Shallots, wild spring chives, quartered tomato and Maladon sea salt.

        Garden in full bloom. How does your garden grow?

        Garlic infused olive oil to brush over the top.


        This gorgeous focaccia is due in part to Bon Appetit’s Shockingly Easy No-Knead Focaccia recipe. I’ve taken a few liberties on the salt quantities, and obv. the flower garden decorations … but, it’s a genius, super easy step by step recipe.

        You can follow their lead with this recipe