Tuesday, September 20, 2016

One more pasta meal and Breadsticks too!

Well, if you don't know it by living here, Bellingham is in the midst of a major snowstorm. Living out here in Sudden Valley truly tests one's ability to maintain a cheerful attitude. We have received at least 14 " of the white stuff and it hasn't yet stopped falling.
So plans for school and work got canceled today, to be substituted with sleigh rides and hot cocoa.
Got to love hot cocoa, especially if it is Fair Trade organic and luscious.
But even with the fun, dinner must be made. So I started this sauce this afternoon, it loves to simmer so much.
Then the girls and I started playing Monopoly. We will see who wins later.

Pasta with White Bolognese Sauce


Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped.
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb ground pork meat
1 lb ground beef (not lean)
1 1/2 cups dry Italian white wine
2 cups beef broth
1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms rehydrated in 3 cups lukewarm water
1/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound package of Brown Rice Penne-I use Trader Joes.


1. Add enough oil to a large, deep saute pan to coat the base and place over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, carrots and celery and saute until glassy and just tender, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and beef to the pan, breaking it into walnut-size pieces, and brown well.
2. Pour in the wine and keep at a rapid simmer until the pan is almost dry. Then pour in 1 1/2 cups beef broth and lower the heat to medium. Simmer gently, uncovered, until the broth is nearly gone, stirring now and then. Meanwhile, chop the rehydrated porcini into small pieces, reserving the liquid.
3. Add mushroom liquid to the sauce to cover the meat halfway (about 1 cup) along with the porcini and continue simmering until the sauce is loose but not soupy, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, it should be highly seasoned. When the consistency is right, fold in the cream. Remove from the heat and cover.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the pasta water is at a full boil, add the penne and cook until still firm, but not hard, in the center. When the pasta is almost done, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water and reserve. Drain the pasta and then return it to the pot. Pour the pasta sauce on top and fold in with a wooden spoon. The pasta should not be dry. Add a little pasta water or mushroom liquid to loosen it. (It will continue to soak up sauce on the way to the table.) Serve in one large bowl or individual bowls, passing the cheese at the table.

Gluten-Free Breadsticks as inspired by Risotteria Yield: 12-18 breadsticks.

1-1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water

1-1/2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca flour
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon of dried herbes de Provence

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

Fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt or sesame seeds for topping

1. Put yeast in 1 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees) with sugar. Let sit for a couple of minutes until it begins to foam.

2. In a medium mixing bowl fitted with standard beaters (not a dough hook) combine rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, gelatin powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and herbes de Provence. Mix on low speed to blend.
3. Add yeast mixture, olive oil and vinegar to dry ingredients. Increase speed to high, and beat 6 minutes.

4. Put the dough into a large Ziploc bag, cut corner, and pipe 12-18 breadsticks about 8 inches long, leaving about 2 inches in between. Spray or brush tops of breadsticks liberally with oil, and salt with fleur de sel or sesame seeds. Let proof on counter for 10 minutes while oven preheats to 425 degrees.
3. Bake breadsticks 10 minutes, turn pan, spray with oil and bake until golden brown, another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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