Cooking North of Seattle - Archives

What's For Dinner?

We made a trip to the "big city" - Seattle - last weekend. We came home with goodies from DeLaurentii's and Sosio's fruit stand. Quick stop at Whole Foods on our way out of town and we have great meals this week.

First we had special ordered burrata cheese. Something we have never tried but saw on a cooking show. An Italian cheese from the Apulia region of Italy. It is a skin of mozzarella cheese filled with sweet cream and more mozzarella cheese bits. I scoured the Internet for some ideas on how to prepare it but didn't find anything that I really liked or had the ingredients for. So I cobbled together a couple of recipes I found and came up with Campanelle pasta, broccoli rabe and chunks of burrata cheese with a garlic and crushed red pepper dressing. We were amazed at the variety of textures in the cheese, the slightly chewy outer skin and the soft creamy center. The broccoli rabe added a bitter component that offset the sweetness. of the cream just right.

We also came home with fresh anchovies marinated in olive oil. If you have never had a fresh anchovy you are in for a treat! They are nothing like the dried salted ones we are most familiar with. Eat as is, sprinkled with a bit of parsley, lemon juice and fresh ground black pepper. For a great presentation serve them nestled in an endive leaf. The bitterness of the endive complements the flavor of the fish perfectly. a leaf.

We also came home with pre-cleaned squid. What a treat to not have to clean them!! I put together a quick tomato sauce, chopped the bodies into bite-sized pieces and cooked them for 2 minutes in the sauce. We bought some wonderful long pasta - De Cecco's maccheroni alla chitarra. About as thick as spaghetti but with a great rough texture that comes from the way it is cut.

The Recipes

Campanelle Pasta, Broccoli Rabe and Burrata Cheese

one bunch broccoli rabe
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 t crushed red pepper
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
7 oz campanelle pasta
one ball burrata cheese
salt to taste

Clean the broccoli rabe and steam it until just tender. Let cool.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. While the pasta cooks, chop the broccoli rabe into bite-size pieces. Do the same to the burrata cheese. Place cheese, garlic oil and butter in a large bowl. Drain the pasta, return to the pot and add the broccoli rabe. Stir over low heat to warm the broccoli rabe. Pour into the bowl and toss. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Tomato Sauce with Squid

1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes or 1 batch roasted tomatoes
1 lb fresh baby squid
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
2 - 3 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 t salt
3 - 4 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 cup white wine or water

Clean the squid, cut the bodies into rounds, leave the tentacles whole.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and saute until soft, 2 - 3 min, do not brown. Add red pepper flakes and parsley. Heat for 30 seconds. If using canned tomatoes, add them to the pan crushing them with your hand. If using roasted tomatoes, put them in a bowl and blend with am immersion blender until pureed adding wine or water as needed. Add chopped Roma tomatoes. Simmer sauce for 1/2 hour. Add the squid. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Correct seasoning.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.