Sunday, May 9, 2010

Delicious Simple Italian




So I went to the Metropolitan cooking show last weekend and I saw Bobby Flay and Mario Batali demonstrate some really simple and delicious cooking. This dish I made yesterday was inspired by Batali -- check out his new book Molto Gusto. It has a lot of vegetables and VERY SIMPLE daily pastas with 4-5 ingredients.

Ingredients:
Ravioli (from fresh section near eggs in the grocery store) - Cheese 1 box, Mushroom 1 box
Grated parmesano -- fine grated like powder works best
Fresh Italian parsely
Fresh chives optional (i was growing them so decided to use)
Tomato paste (in can)
2 Shallots sliced (not diced; these are better than onions because they are sweeter)
3 cloves of garlic sliced (fairly thick slices)
Milk (I used 2% because it was in the fridge instead of cream and it worked beautifully)
Red chilli flakes
Dried oregano
Start off by boiling the water because this takes the longest. Add olive oil to the water (so the ravioli is tastier and so they dont stick). Add ravioli and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and water.
In a stainless steel pan sautee the sliced garlic and shallots. Add red chilli flakes (this gives the spice and zest!!), sprinkle of dried oregano. When they are almost brown, turn off.
Add tomato paste (about 2 tsp). Sautee. Add milk and very little water to make sauce. Sautee. Add the raviolis. Toss for 3-5 mins and turn off.
To serve, spoon into bowl. Top with fresh parmesan and chopped parsely. Viola -- this is a delicious and beautiful simple Italian meal!!!
SOME TIPS I GOT FROM THE BOBBY AND MARIO:
1) Push the outer limit of heat: Burn the garlic or the pizza a little or else you will never discover the real taste of food. We tend to take things off the fire too quickly because we are afraid to burn things. Char the shrimp on a pan by simply coating with salt and pepper to get the "real pure flavor"
2) Love the wine that you cook with. Typically we dont cook with the wine that we drink but according to Bobby, it is really important to taste and love the wine. His favorite for cooking is the Columbia Crest Chardonnay
3) Tomatoes are best in August, Sept and October. Rest of the year canned may be better. Use Pomi brand. Taste the tomatoes in the can before adding -- we typically just throw the canned tomatoes in but Mario was adding red wine venegar, salt, sugar or other touches to the canned tomatoes to get the tase that he wanted.
4) Use red chilli flakes or thai red bird pepper to add a kick to that pasta
5) Of all the onions, red onions go the best with pasta
6) Honey can be used to cut spice heat. Bobby likes to create rubs for meat (rib eye) or shrimp and then grill or cook on skillet (cast iron). Following that he created a seperate sauce to pour over the protien. This time it was a thai sauce for the Shrimp made with red onion, garlic, ginger sauteed + green curry paste, coconut milk, honey, lime. All food was always served over a bed of some type of salad (Arugula looks pretty)