Burrata Di Stagione

Burrata Di Stagione, is a fancy or Italian (if we are being exact) way to say “what’s in season”. In my last post I mentioned the amazing starter that we had in Santa Monica, but I think I forgot to mention that it centered around burrata. Burrata with arugula, fuji apple, roasted butternut squash, and toasted hazelnut all drizzled with an agrodolce sauce. Another fancy or Italian way to say “sweet and sour”.

I have made this multiple times, it’s ridiculous how good it is. I wish I was having it for dinner tonight, it’s a thing.

Thanks to the convenience of laziness these days, we can buy already cubed butternut squash. That shaves a good half hour off of the prep and I most likely wouldn’t have made this if I had to do it myself. It’s the little things.

I roasted some butternut squash and fuji apple in the oven until caramelized, meanwhile toasted the hazelnuts in a pan.

Then we tossed some arugula with olive oil and S&P. Tore the burrata and placed it on the bed of arugula. Scattered the roasted squash, apple and toasted hazelnuts on top.

Close to serving time, we made the agrodolce, which is so simple. Simmer some vinegar (sour) with some honey (sweet) and some red pepper flakes for heat and let it reduce until syrupy. I would have added raisins but I didn’t have any. Next time, I will.

Drizzle the agrodolce and your best olive oil on top of the entire plate and serve with bread. Or your fingers, or both.

The final dish is….

Spectacular!

Panzanella Salad

Why a Panzanella salad? Because I had an heirloom tomato sitting in the fridge, a half a loaf of ciabatta bread racing towards getting stale and zero burrata cheese.

Gawd, Google can be a bitch when looking for a recipe. Every one I came across was different than the next. Some had peppers, few had capers, some even had Feta cheese. Feta isn’t Italian, it’s Greek so that is not OK to put in your Italian bread salad.

The Pioneer Woman had a good looking recipe but I have recently made two of her dishes and was disappointed both times, so I am sorry to say I will not be making her recipes anymore. However, Ina Garten has never let me down…I went with hers.

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It’s a very straightforward dish to make. Chop up all your veg and throw them in a bowl. Toast your bread chunks in some olive oil and salt and then whisk up a vinaigrette. Toss it all together and let it marinade for an hour at room temperature and then serve.

The only tip I can give you is don’t put this in the fridge BEFORE serving. It changes the texture of the tomatoes and the bread gets soggy. You will have to challenge yourself and your guests to eat the entire bowl, easy challenge!

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Rocco DiSpirito’s Spaghetti Aglio Olio

I have had Rocco’s latest cookbook Now Eat This! Italian for awhile and have yet to make  anything other than the caprese salad. So I decided to close my eyes and pick a recipe to make. Ok maybe that is not completely true but I did pick one, does it matter how?

This recipe is easy {which is all I will attempt during the week} and you most likely have everything already in your pantry. It turned out great, toddler approved as well. Garlicky, slightly creamy and with a bit of a kick. I could see adding kale to this next time.

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*Rocco’s recipe calls for his super olive oil. I am really ok with my normal un-super olive oil, but if you do decide to make and use it, please let me know how that goes.

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Ingredients

Salt

8 oz. Whole wheat spaghetti

Olive oil cooking spray

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

5 TBS roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

2 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 oz. Parmigianno-Reggiano, grated

1/2 olive oil *

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the broiler

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 TBS salt. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package directions.

Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.

Coat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet with 8 seconds of cooking spray. Spread the garlic slices over the pan, place over medium heat, and cook until the garlic starts to brown about 1 minute. Move the pan under the broiler and cook until the top surface of the garlic is evenly browned, about 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the broiler and place it on the stovetop with the heat turned off. Add the red pepper flakes, parsley, and chicken broth, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and reserved pasta cooking water. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add half the Parmigiano. Cook until the sauce coats the spaghetti and turn off the heat. Add  the olive oil {or super olive oil}, season with salt and pepper and toss thoroughly.

Divide among 4 plates and top each with remaining Parmigiano.