Northwest NEWS

April 2, 2001

Home & Garden


Dining In

Spaghetti Bolognese
   8 oz. center cut pork chop
   1 carrot, cut in 1-inch pieces
   1 medium onion, cut in 8 pieces
   2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
   2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
   1 tsp. unsalted butter or olive oil
   4 oz. ground sirloin or leanest ground beef
   2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
   3 Tbsp. tomato paste
   2 c. (15 oz. can) beef broth, defatted
   1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
   1 tsp. salt, or to taste
   Freshly ground pepper
   8 oz. whole wheat or farro pasta (see note)
   Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
   Cut away bone and all visible fat from pork chop. Cut meat into thin strips, then chop finely with large, heavy knife. Set aside. Finely chop carrot, celery and onion. Heat oil and butter in small Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan. Add vegetables. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Saute until vegetables soften, 3-4 minutes. Stir in beef and pork. Breaking up beef with wooden spoon, cook until meat looses its raw color. Mix in vinegar. Cook until it has evaporated almost completely, 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste. Add broth and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1-1/2 hours, until meat is very tender and sauce is dark and rich. If too much liquid remains, simmer uncovered 15 minutes.
   Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, in boiling water that has been salted. Drain. Divide pasta among 4 pasta bowls or dinner plates. Ladle sauce on top and serve. If desired, pass the Parmesan cheese.
   Note: Pasta packages call for a 2 oz. serving, which may seem skimpy but is filling.
   Makes 4 servings, each containing 411 calories and 11 grams of fat.
   Linguine with Roasted Vegetables
   6 oz. uncooked linguine
   4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
   1 eggplant, unpeeled, cubed
   1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
   1 zucchini, sliced
   4 garlic cloves, minced
   3 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
   1 tsp. dried basil leaves
   1/2 tsp. salt
   2 oz. (1/2 c). shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
   Cook linguine to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; cover to keep warm.
   Meanwhile, heat oven to 450. Spray 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini and garlic. Toss with 2 Tbsp. of the oil, basil, salt and pepper. Place vegetables on sprayed pan.
   Bake at 450. For 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
   Place cooked linguine in serving bowl. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. Oil and roasted vegetables; toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with cheese.
   Makes 6 servings.
   No-Toss No-Time Pasta
   6 oz. uncooked spaghetti
   1 16-oz. can cannellini or navy beans
   1 8 oz. tomato, chopped
   1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
   1-1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   3/4 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. black pepper
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves (if unavailable, 2 tsp. dried basil leaves)
   2 oz. blue cheese or feta, crumbled
   Cook pasta according to directions on package. Meanwhile, place beans in a colander, rinse thoroughly under cold running water and drain; place tomatoes on top of beans in colander and set aside.
   In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir with fork until well blended. When pasta is cooked, pour water and pasta over the beans and tomatoes in colander (this heats the beans and tomatoes while allowing the vegetables to retain their firm texture). Drain well. Place a serving platter or a shallow pasta bowl over colander and invert it, allowing the vegetables to remain on top.
   Sprinkle with basil, drizzle with olive oil mixture, and top with crumbled cheese.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Prosciutto and Pesto Risotto
   Because prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes are intensely salty, you're not likely to need additional salt in this recipe.
   Three 14-oz. cans chicken broth
   3 Tbsp. Eetra virgin olive oil
   1 medium size yellow onion, coarsely chopped
   1 large garlic clove, minced
   1/2 c. dry white wine
   1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
   2 c. arborio rice
   1/2 c. coarsely chopped dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes
   3/4 c. coarsely chopped prusciutto
   1/4 c. bottled pesto sauce
   1/2 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
   1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
   Bring broth to boiling in medium-size saucepan, and then adjust heat so broth stays at a slow simmer.
   Heat oil 2 minutes in large, heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until glassy, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minutes. Add wine and pepper, raise heat to moderately high and boil, uncovered, until only a glaze remains on pan bottom, 1 to 2 minutes
   Add rice, toss to coat, then cook, stirring until grains are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.
   Reduce heat to moderately low, then add tomatoes and 1/2 c. hot broth. Cook, stirring often, until broth is absorbed. Continue cooking this way, adding broth 1/2 c. at a time, but only after previous addition is fully absorbed.
   Add Prosciutto with final 1/2 c. broth and cook and stir until broth is absorbed and rice is tender. From start to finish, it will take 20-25 minutes for risotto to cook. Stir in pesto, chopped basil, and cheese. Serve at once in heated soup plates.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Risotto with Spring Pesto
   4 c. basil leaves, lightly packed
   1 c. mint leaves, lightly packed
   2 medium garlic cloves, chopped zest of 1/2 lemon, chopped, about 1-1/2 tsp.
   1/2-3/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
   3 Tbsp. pinenuts or blanched almonds
   2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
   1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots
   3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
   1 c. arborio rice
   4 c. hot fat-free chicken broth
   2 c. boiling water
   Salt and freshly ground pepper
   Grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
   In food processor or blender, finely chop basil, mint, garlic and lemon zest. Add salt and nuts, and pulse until nuts are chopped. With motor running, drizzle in juice, then 2 Tbsp. Oil, to form smooth puree. Season pesto to taste with pepper and set aside. (Pesto can be made up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerated in tightly closed container.)
   Heat remaining oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute shallots until soft, about 2 minutes. Add rice. Cook stirring, until grains glisten and are opaque white, about 2 minutes.
   Slowly stir in 1 c. hot broth. As soon as absorbed, add more broth, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring constantly. Add boiling water in the same way, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring. Reduce heat to medium. Stop adding water when rice is almost done. When rice is "al dente" (cooked but still offering slight resistence when chewed, but not soft or overdone), about 15 minutes, begin stirring constantly. Rice should look moist. Stir until thick and creamy, with individual grains with still resist teeth slightly, about 5minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
   Serve immediately, dividing risotto among 4 wide, shallow bowls or plates. Stir a quarter of pesto into each serving. Pass grated cheese on the side, if desired.
   Note: Homemade stock tastes best, but store bought broth is acceptable.
   Makes 4 servings, each containing 399 calories and 14 grams of fat.