Radiatore Al Pesto

Radiatore Al Pesto

You say pasta, I say say pesto!  Radiatore al Pesto!

When it comes to making fast, healthy and delicious meals, we’ve go to be efficient. There is teaching virtual cooking classes, writing, making videos, photographing, appearances and blogging.  Even with all those plates spinning, I urge families to make eating together a priority. How? Take a look at this recipe. This easy sauce is a breeze to prepare and you can throw on almost anything, ma va molto benne con Radiatore! The shape of this pasta allows for the pesto to penetrate every single millimeter of the pasta with more sauce and more flavor. Of course if you have other pasta shapes at home, go for it.

Radiatore al Pesto

Serves 4

For the Pesto:

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, more for garnish

1 large garlic clove

1/3 cup walnuts

Basil Leaves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb Radiatore pasta

 

Prepare the Pesto: Place the Parmesan, garlic, walnuts, basil and a little (about 2 tablespoons) of the olive oil in the food processor. Pulse until blended. With the machine running, pour the remaining olive oil in steady stream to create an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve the pesto in a covered plastic container in the refrigerator. Pesto can be prepared up to 5 days ahead of time.

Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add a good pinch of salt. Cook the pasta al dente, according the package instructions. Save some pasta water. Drain well in a colander. In a bowl, add the radiatore, a few large spoons of the pesto sauce and a ladle of the pasta water. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning; if it needs a bit more liquid, add more broth from the pasta. Garnish with more fresh Parmesan and serve.

 

 

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Pão de Queijo

Pão de Queijo

Pão de Queijo is legend in Brazil. The mere mention of them evokes images of a good smelling kitchen, or a grandmother rolling the dough and serving to their grandchildren. Pão de Queijo is addicting, and nobody can eat just one.

A golf-sized little roll that is chewy, cheese, steamy, and almost succulent, Pão de queijo is the result of yucca alchemy.

It’s the national snack. With a cafezinho (small coffee) on a side in the middle of the afternoon this is one of the most traditional habits.

But when it comes to making them, the sad truth is that many people, especially Brazilians, don’t. Why? Why are so many tropical souls intimidated by a little piece of cheese roll? The main reason is that Pão de Queijo is very easy to buy frozen. But so are chocolate chip cookies! That doesn’t stop millions of Americans to head into their kitchens with a good cookbook on a side and prepare batches and batches of the American classic while they still might have a bucket of Nestle Toll House dough in their fridge, which they use as well.

It also doesn’t stop magazines and cookbooks to continue publishing new versions of it repeatedly, stimulating the former action. So, let’s take it from the beginning and make it from scratch, shall we?

Pão de Queijo
Photos on this post by Rodolfo Sanches

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Makes 35

 

3½ cups (630g) povilho azedo

1 cup (250ml) water

1 cup (250ml) whole milk

1 cup oil

3 teaspoon salt

2 whole eggs

227 g Parmesan, finely grated

Freshly ground nutmeg

Few twists of freshly ground pepper

 

  1. Place the manioc starch in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set aside.
  2. Place the water, milk, oil, and salt in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the hot liquid mixture in one stroke into the starch and turn the machine on at low speed. Mix until the dough is smooth and starch is all incorporated, about 2 minutes. Pause the machine and add the eggs. Continue to paddle at low speed until the dough develops structure and turns pale yellow about 5 minutes. The dough will feel sticky.
  3. Add the cheese and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Season to taste with nutmeg, cayenne, and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Wet your hands with olive oil (alternatively, you can flour your hands with manioc starch) and use an ice cream scooper to make 1-inch balls, rolling them with your hands. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving about 1½ to 2 inches between each (you can freeze them at this point by storing them in a zip-lock bag for up to 3 months).
  8. Bake the cheese rolls in the oven until they puff up and look lightly golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate the pan once during baking time.
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the rolls in a basket lined with a nice cloth. Serve immediately while they are still at their warmest and chewiest.

 

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Focaccia Recipe

Focaccia Recipe

A post on Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter floats somewhere in the digital content abyss. Ok, a website is still a digital space, I know, but I hope you get inspired to make this Focaccia Recipe at home. Bread is real. It’s food. It nourishes you. Bread is my escape to reality.

Focaccia Recipe

Focaccia

(Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nostrat)

 

For the Dough:

2 ½ cups (600g) lukewarm water

½ teaspoon active dry yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons (15grams) honey

5 1/3 cups (800g) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Kosher salt

¼ cup (50g) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing

Flaky salt for finishing

 

For the Brine:

1 ½ teaspoons (5g) kosher salt

1/3 cup (80g) lukewarm water

 

In a medium bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve.

In a very large bowl, whisk flour and salt together to combine and then add yeast mixture and olive oil.

Stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated then scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap. Leave out at room temperature to ferment for 12 to 14 hours until at least doubled in volume.

Focaccia Dough Rise

 

Spread 2-3 tablespoons oil evenly onto a 18 X 13-inches rimmed baking sheet. When dough is ready, use a spatula or your hand to release it from the sides of the bowl and fold it onto itself gently, then pour out onto pan. pour an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough to the edge of the sheet by placing your hands underneath and pulling outward. The dough will shrink a bit, so repeat stretching once or twice over the course of 30 minutes to ensure dough remains stretched.

Focaccia Dough Strech

 

Dimple the dough by pressing the pads of your first three fingers in at an angle. Make the brine by stirring together salt and water until salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over the dough to fill dimples. Proof focaccia for 45 minutes until the dough is light and bubbly.

Thirty minutes into this final proof, adjust rack to center position and preheat the oven to 400˚F. Invert another sturdy baking sheet and place on the rack. Allow to preheat with the oven until very hot, before proceeding with baking.

Sprinkle focaccia with flaky salt. bake for 25 to 30 minutes directly on top of inverted pan until bottom crust is crisp and golden brown when checked with a metal spatula. To finish browning top crust, place focaccia on upper rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes more.

Remove from oven and brush or douse with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil over the whole surface (don’t worry if the olive pools in pockets, it will absorb as it sits). Let cool for 5 minutes, then release focaccia from pan with metal spatula and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, wrap in parchment paper and keep in an airtight bag or container to preserve texture.

 

 

 

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My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

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Leticia

Silky Green Pasta Julia Turshen

Silky Green Pasta

Here’s a Silky Green Pasta to add to your cooking repertoire! We’ve all seen pasta made with vegetables become a different color. Variations on pasta, and gnocchi for that matter, come in many colors and flavors: beet, spinach, and carrots result in attractive pasta dishes, flavored and colored by the addition of these vegetables to the dough.

This green pasta, adapted from Simply Julia, the newest cookbook by Julia Turshen, is so intense in flavor and color, that any pasta becomes deeply enrobed in this velvety sauce with exquisite taste. Let’s be honest here, cooking pasta and dressing it with a green sauce is a lot less work than injecting vegetables inside the dough. It’s all in the sauce!

Simply Julia

In the book, Julia tells the story of Llubav, an artist and mother who makes this recipe often on weeknights. It doesn’t require any chopping at all, and the sauce itself is so delicious, it can and should be used in other combinations, like risotto, or boiled potatoes. To honor the artist, she named the recipe Llubav ‘s Green Spaghetti. The name of the recipe is irresistible: Llubav. Is it Russian, Hebrew, or Croatian? As I made the recipe a few times for my family, we gradually ignored its original title and started calling it Silky Green Pasta. (Hope Llubav and Julia will be ok with this!)

Feel free to use the pasta of your preference. I used Orecchiette and it came out amazing. Once you’ve got your sauce and pasta cooked, you can prepare everything ahead of time and assemble it just before serving.

Julia’s work deserves much attention. Not only her cookbooks are an excellent source of delicious recipes (I have cooked many from her previous books) but Julia also has a big voice advocating for women, equity, and LBGTQ. She is the founder of Equity at the Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women/non-binary individuals in food, and the host of keep Calm and Cook on.

Julia Turshen

I love following her videos on Instagram and her scrap notes (also seen on Instagram) reminds me of life before social media. Before computers. Before technology invaded our lives. A world in which a pan and paper still mattered. Coincidence or not, Julia’s recipes also remind me of that world, with the advantage of being practical, modern, simple, and delicious.

 

Silky Green Pasta

Inspired by Julia Turshen’s cookbook Simply Julia

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

kosher salt

1 lb pasta, preferably whole-wheat spaghetti or whatever pasta you like

5 oz baby fresh spinach

6 large leaves fresh kale (any type), tough stems discarded, torn into large pieces

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves (about 12 large leaves)

1 garlic clove, peeled

½ cup (50g) crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for serving

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Set a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, place the spinach, kale, basil, garlic, feta cheese, cream cheese, and olive oil in a blender and add 1 cup (250ml) of the boiling salted water from the pasta pot. Puree until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper (it might need very little salt, depending on how salty your water is).

Drain the pasta in a colander and then return it to the now-empty pot. Add the green sauce and stir well to combine.

Serve immediately with extra crumbled feta cheese on top. Or if you’re like me, why not some Parmesan?

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

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Jeweled Rice With Carrots

Jeweled Rice with Carrots

This recipe for Jeweled Rice With Carrots, featured on my cookbook Latin Superfoods, is inspired by my aunt Sarita’s. She is a Jewish immigrant originally from Morroco who came to Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s and adapted into the new tropical land, while keeping her roots and faith intact. She prepares a variety of jeweled rice dishes. The carrots add a natural sweetness to the rice and makes it the perfect side dish for a healthy meal. At home, this recipe for Jeweled Rice with Carrots is pure dinner treasure. You can assemble ahead of time in a big platter, and pass it around the table. I’m telling you, it will get devoured!

You can also see a video of this recipe on my YouTube channel. And don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Jeweled Rice with Carrots

Serves 6 or 8

 

2 cups brown basmati rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Half an onion, finely diced

2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots, grated on the smallest whole)

Pinch safron thread

3 1/3 cups water

½ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

½ cup chopped pitted Picholine olives

¼ cup chopped parsley

 

Prepare the Rice:

  • Rinse the rice in cold water several times to remove the excess starch. On the final wash, drain the rice on a colander and let it sit for 5 minutes to dry.
  • On a medium saucepen over low heat, add the olive oil and cook the onions until they are soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, salt, carrots, and safron and mix them with a wooden spoon until the grains are coated with oil and warm.
  • Pour in the cold water, cover partway, and cook the rice over medium heat until it’s soft and tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice and stir in the almonds, olives and parsley. Transfer to a bowl and serve hot.

 

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Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Maybe it will happen tonight, or tomorrow. How many sandwiches are you eating during this quarantine?

I saw a recipe at the NY Times Cooking Section (by Ali Slagle) that inspired me. And oh boy, this Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich is just as good as I thought it would be! I brought it up to quarantine cooking club and have been making this sandwich over and over again. It already became a regular in the weekly repertoire in my house.

Caramelizing onions does take a bit of time to prepare.  I usually prepare it when I’m cooking something else so that have it ready in the fridge, and then, when I crave for this sandwich, boom, it’s ready.

I usually like a small sandwich, so I always go for the end parts of the bread as they are smaller than the center cut of a loaf. But if you like a regular sized sandwich, be sure to center slices. I used Italian bread because that’s what I had at home at the time, but any country style or sourdough bread will make a damn good sandwich.

As for the cheese, traditionally, the classic French Onion Soup calls for Grueye cheese. I had cheddar in the fridge, that’s what I used. Feel free to use muenster, gruyere, cheddar or any other yellow cheese of your preference.

You can use a panini press machine, an iron camp cooker or just a simple plain skillet.

You can watch of video of this recipe on my YouTube Channel! And don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Serves 2

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted to mayonnaise point

1 center slices Italian bread

4 slices white cheddar cheese

1 raw garlic clove

 

Cook the onions: in a large skillet heat the olive oil over low heat and add the onions. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until they caramelize into a deep amber caramel color, about 25 to 30 minutes. If you see some onions burning on the sides, add a tablespoon of water. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat; they need to caramelize over low heat or else they might burn too fast. Transfer to a plate or a container and keep refrigerated. You can make the onions up to 5 days ahead of time.

Pre-heat the panini press.

Spread melted butter on the outer parts of the bread.

Mound some onions, about 2-3 tablespoons on one side of the bread, top with the cheese, close the sandwich and take it to press until nice and golden-brown and the cheese is melted, about 4-5 minutes.

 

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Bean Broth

Bean Broth with Croutons

I used black eyes peas simply because that’s what was in my pantry. Feel free to use any kind of dried beans to make this delicious bean broth recipe and serve with croutons, parsley and Parmesan, or other garnishes that you might prefer. I used the ends of a loaf bread to make garlic croutons. It goes to show, in times of pandemic, nothing goes to waste! Inspired by the magazine Bon Appetit, this is another great one! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids here. 

 

Bean Broth With Croutons

Serves 4 to 6 people

 

For the Black Beans:

1 pound dried black eyed beans, picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)

8 to 10 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 fresh bay leaves

 

For the Croutons:

2 end slices of any type of country bread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly chopped parsley

 

For the Beans:

Place the black beans in a pressure cooker and cover with tap water by 2 inches. (about 8 to 10 cups of water). Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Lock the lid and bring to a boil. When you hear the sound of the pressure cooker in full gear, reduce the heat to medium- low (it is very important to maintain a constant gentle pressure because the pressure keeps increasing as the boiling point of the water increases). Check the beans after 20 to 25 minutes – they should be tender, showing no traces of starch, but not mushy. The water will be cloudy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

 

For the Croutons:

Tear the bread into small pieces or cut them with a serrated knife. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the oil and butter. add the bread in a single layer. the oil and butter should be bubbling lightly. Adjust the heat as necessary and keep stirring the croutons as often as you can, to make sure they turn golden evenly all around. Cook until the croutons are crisp and a beautiful golden rich golden brown on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let them cool completely. Once cooled they can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed back in a hot oven for 3 minutes to crisp up again.

To assemble, pour some of the beans into bowls and garnish with croutons, parmesan and parsley.

 

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Leticia

 

 

Pasta Cacio E Pepe

Pasta Cacio E Pepe

Pasta Cacio E Pepe

Pepper in the beginning and in the end! That’s the spirit of this amazing, classic and delicious dish from Italy called Pasta Cacio E Pepe. As mentioned in the video (watch it on You Tube), saving some of the pasta water is the real secret to this recipe. Yes! That cloudy water, that everyone throws away! Now you know! Keep it. Save it. that water is full of flavor! You might not seed to save the whole thing, but save at least 2 cups. As you add the water to the pan, and it mixes with the peppery butter, it creates a starchy, creamy sauce that transform this dish from ordinary to extraordinary!

Pasta Cacio e Pepe

Serves 2

 

Kosher salt

6 oz long noodle pasta (such as bucatini, spaghetti, tagliolini or Fusilli lunghi—as used in this recipe)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

 

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook stirring occasionally, until just al dente (take one minute off from package instructions). Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling the pan, until the black pepper starts to release it aromas, about 1 minute.

Add about ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and remaining butter. Reduce. Heat to low and add the cheese, stirring and tossing with tongs, until all melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add more cheese, stirring and tossing, until the cheese melts, and the noodles are covered by a creamy, beautiful sauce. Feel free to add more pasta water if the sauce seems a little dry. Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve immediately. I like to sprinkle even more cheese and more pepper at the end. Never enough!

 

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Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

My daughter loves this recipe for Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad! What I love about it, is that it’s great for batch cooking; we can make a batch and the family will eat throughout the week. Although, it’s so good that in just 2-3 days it’s over! Then we make it again, as it already became a staple in our home! Be sure to bring it to room temperature (but keep it covered until ready to serve) about one hour before serving. I made this salad with radish, celery and cherry tomatoes, because that’s what we had in the fridge; feel free to use scallions, ginger, capers, or any other condiments and vegetables (shallots!) you think might go well here. As long as they don’t overwhelm the flavors of the tuna and Israeli couscous, it’s all good. Also, I started with cooked couscous, and to do so, treat it as pasta; bring about 8 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Season with a large pinch of salt. Add the couscous and cook according to package instructions. Drain a colander and toss it with olive oil. You can watch a video of me cooking with my daughter Bianca here on You Tube. and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!

Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

Serves 4 to 6

 

1 ½ cup cooked Israeli couscous (I used the tri-color, but feel free to use the regular)

2 red radish, finely diced

2 stalks celery, peeled and finely diced

½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

One (5-ounce) can or jar Italian tuna, drained and flaked

¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro

 

In a large bowl, combine the couscous, radish, celery, cherry tomatoes and tuna, and fold well with a rubber spatula. Add the tuna, lemon zest and olive oil. Try to preserve some of the large chunks of tuna. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the herbs to finish. Serve at room temperature.

 

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Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

Pasta With Peas And Pancetta

Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

 

Pasta with Peas & Pancetta

Serves 4

We first tried this recipe for Pasta with Peas & Pancetta at our neighbor’s house for dinner one night, and after that, we never stopped making it at home. Our neighbors are from Rome, Italy, so we get spoiled sometimes with a Parmesan cheese from Italy and other imported ingredients that we love to indulge. Don’t worry too much about the kind of pasta you use for this dish. We used orecchiette, because that’s what was in the pantry, but any other shape along the lines of penne, farfalle, or fusilli will go well here. This is what we call Quarantine Cooking Club! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids, Thomas and Bianca on You Tube 

 

Ingredients:

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 ounces pancetta, diced

½ onion, minced

One 10-ounce package (about 2 cups) frozen peas, thawed

1-pound orecchiette (or other pasta shape mentioned above)

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Coarsely ground pepper

 

Procedure:

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook stirring occasionally, until just al dente (take one minute off from package instructions). Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil and the pancetta in a large skillet and cook over medium high heat stirring occasionally, until the pancetta has rendered some of its fats and it’s crispy, golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.

Using the fat that’s in the pot, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the peas, the pasta, the pancetta and a couple of tablespoons by eye to the pan, mixing everything together and making sure every ingredient is enrobed by the natural juices in the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Finish with Parmesan cheese and serve in individual bowls.

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

If you prepare any of the recipes on the site, snap a photo and send it to me!

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Email Me

Order a copy of my newest cookbook Latin Superfoods

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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