I’ve been making pasta, mostly at home, but sometimes in restaurants, for more than 25 years. Over that time I’ve read a great many books on making pasta, and some of the best are very recent. Here are the best – the ones you will want to own if you want to make pasta at home.
Pasta, Risotto, Gnocchi
Spring is in full swing here in California, and it’s not far off in the rest of the country. This recipe brings together several of my favorite spring ingredients: Rabbit, morel mushrooms and nettles, all in a lovely, Italian-inspired dish.
This is an Italian classic, sugo d’anatra, or duck ragu. It’s a meaty pasta sauce that uses slow-cooked duck legs or wings for the meat, and is damn good with any pasta or polenta, but especially good with pumpkin-ricotta gnocchi.
As excited I was about roasting a seriously good chicken the other day, I might have been even more stoked for the leftovers, which became this Tuscan classic: tortellini en brodo, little dumplings filled with leftover chicken and cheese, served in a clear chicken broth.
Nothing is wasted in classical Italian cuisine, including the giblets of birds. This is a venerable variant of the traditional Bolognese sauce made with the hearts, livers and gizzards of ducks or chickens. A great use for giblets — and an easy one to serve the skeptical.
This is a classic Italian recipe they use with pigeons, but it will work with squab, doves or even teal, too. Roasted birds, chopped fine and stuffed into an egg pasta, served with juniper butter with rosemary.
“Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible.” That may be the most famous quote from the father of modern foraging, the late, great Euell Gibbons, who spoke those words in a Grape Nuts commercial back in the 1970s. He’s right, of course, and I’d like to walk you through just which parts he’s talking
Cardoons are an old relative of the artichoke, tasting like a mash-up of artichoke hearts, celery and endive. They can be tricky to work with, so when I found a recipe for cardoon risotto I had to try it.