Strawberry Pie

 This pie is divine! It’s a bit of work, but totally worth it. Thanks to F&W for the inspiration.

Ingredients:
Pastry:
2 c all purpose flour
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 sticks butter, cut unit small pieces, chilled
2 egg yolks
1/4 c whole milk

Pie:
2 lbs strawberris, hulled and quartered
1 c granulated sugar
1/4 c cornstrach
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 TBSP turbinado sugar

Pastry:

In a food processor, with the pastry blade, combine flour, sugar and salt, pulse a couple times to blend. Add butter and process until pea sized pieces form. In a small bowl combine the yolk and milk. Pour over the top of the mixture and process until a ball forms. Pulse for another minute. Then form into 1 inch thick disk, chill for 1 hour or more.

Preheat over to 350. Cut off a third of the pastry and rewrap and  back in the fridge. Flour a surface and the rolling pin and roll the dough out into a circle slightly larger than your pie pan. Carefully place the pastry into a pie pan and press down into the corners. Cut off any overhanging pastry, place a piece of parchment on top and fill with pie weights. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until it starts to brown. Let the crust cool for 20 minutes.

Combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, zest and salt in a bowl. Pour into the crust. Roll out the remaining pastry. Place on top of the pie gently press down the edges. Cut some vents, whisk the egg and brush the pastry and top with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 50 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 3 hours.

Serves 8 – 10.

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Pork and Ricotta Meatballs

 
What is not to love? Tender meatballs in a parmesan infused broth – yum! I keep a bag in the freezer of parmesan rinds for just this type of occasion. Thanks F&W for the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 c ricotta
1/4 c parmigiano, grated
1 egg
1/2 c breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 lb ground pork
2 TBSP olive oil
1 quart of chicken broth
1 3×1 inch piece of parmigiano rind
1 c thawed peas
1 bag of baby spinach
8 oz egg noodle pasta

In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients (to but NOT including the olive oil). Form into 24 meatballs. 

In a large Dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat, add meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and rind and simmer, covered over low heat until broth is slightly reduce about 20 minutes. Add peas and spinach and cook for 8 – 10 minutes until spinach is wilted.

Cook pasta according to package. 

Divide pasta amoung 6 bowls top with meatballs, broth and a little parmigiano.

Serves 6.

Asparagus, Mushroom & Ricotta Pasta

  

This is an amazing dish that packs all the flavors of spring and it’s perfect for meatless Monday.

Ingredients:
3 TBSP olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP anchovy paste
1 large leek cut in half vertically, then sliced into thin crescents (white & light green parts)
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 bunches of asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c Sauvignon Blanc
2 TBSP unsalted butter
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 lb pasta
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP finely chopped tarragon
1 TBSP finely chopped mint
1 c ricotta, cool or at room temperature
Salt and pepper
Aleppo pepper

Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet heat oil over medium heat, add leeks and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in anchovy paste and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms and asparagus and cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Stir in butter. Add wine and cook over low heat until asparagus is tender.

Stir in pasta, ricotta, cheese, lemon juice and zest, and herbs. Add a little pasta water if needed.

Serves 6 – 8.

Pasta with Sausage and Mint

 

This was inspired by F&W – perfect for a busy weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
8 oz italian sausage
2 TBSP olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 c mint, chopped
2 TBSP lemon juice
8 oz pasta
Salt and pepper
Parmigiano, shaved

Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet cook the sausage over medium heat until brown. Add olive oil and onions and cook until the onions are soft. Add pasta, 1 c of pasta water and cook for 1 minute until water is absorbed. Stir in mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parmigiana.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pomme de Terre Gratin

 Simple and elegant – Patricia Wells is da bomb.

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic
2 lb russet potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 c gruyere, grated
1 c creme fraiche
1/2 c half and half
Salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Rub a gratin dish with garlic.

Layer 1/2 the potatoes, top with 1/2 the creme fraiche, salt and cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, cheese, creme fraiche and half and half.

Bake for 60 minutes until crisp and golden on top.

Serves 6.

Leek and Asparagus Soup

   

This soup is fast is spring in a bowl. Perfect for a week night meal.

Ingredients:
2 tsp ghee or butter
4 leeks, sliced thin and rinsed
4 c chicken broth
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 lb asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 slices proscuitto
Pine nuts, toasted
Parmigiano

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until soft about 5 minutes. Add stock, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes. Place into a blender and purée until smooth.

In a small frying pan, cook Proscuitto until crispy.

Serve asparagus topped with crispy Proscuitto, pine nuts and parmigiana.

Serves 6 – 8.

 

Asparagus with Poached Egg and Proscuitto

 My go to meal when I don’t feel like pasta or cooking. It’s also a one pot meal – steam the asparagus then add a bit more water and cook your eggs.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb asparagus, steamed
4 slices proscuitto
2 eggs
Arugula
1/2 TBSP olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and Pepper
Truffle oil
Pine nuts
Parmigiano
Chives
Allepo pepper

Bring a shallow pot of water to a boil with a splash of vinegar. Reduce to a simmer and add your eggs carefully one at a time and cook for about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile toss arugula with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. 

Divide asparagus, arugula and prosciutto among 2 plates. Drizzle with a little truffle oil and top with an egg. Garnish with remaining ingredients. 

Serves 2.

Avocado Tartar

  This is a fancy version of avocado toast!! What better way to elevate it than give it classic tartar flavor? Thanks F&W for the inspiration.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP red onion
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP drained capers
1 TBSP chopped parsley
1/2 small jalapeñ
3 drops of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
2 medium Hass avocados, peeled & diced

Combine all ingredients except avocado in a food processor. Process until chopped and combined. Gentle toss with avocado and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.

Zucchini with Mint, Capers and Pancetta

 
This was inspired by a recipe in F&W. I swapped out the pasta for zucchini spirals and bacon for pancetta. The mint really adds something special to this dish so don’t skip it.

Ingredents:
1 lb spaghetti or spiral zucchini
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb pancetta, 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
1/3 c capers, drained
1/2 c mint leaves, chopped
Shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute onions over medium heat until soft. Add pancetta and cook until crispy. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, add tomatoes and cook until soft about 6 minites. Remove from heat and stir in capers and mint. Serve topped with parmigiano.

Serves 4.

Roasted Asparagus with Burrata

 This is quick, easy and delicious!

Ingredients:
1 lb thin asparagus
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 c golden raisins, soaked for 10 min in hot water
1 ball burrata cheese, split in half
1/8 c toasted pin nuts
Snipped chives
Aleppo pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 10 – 12 minutes until they start to brown.

Divide among two plates, top with burrats, raisins, pine nuts, chives and aleppo.

Serves 2 as a main course.