Use Your Noodles

Our favorite pasta recipes dished up for a hearty mid-winter meal.

Lamb Ragu Puttanesca

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 lamb shanks
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 cups diced onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
4 tablespoons whole capers in brine, drained
3/4 cup black olives, quartered
2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
1/4 cup feta cheese, for garnish 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in ovenproof pot over high heat. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Brown shanks on all sides, then remove from pot and set aside.

Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pot and add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté on medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add wine, anchovy paste, capers and olives and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated. Add stock and tomatoes, stirring to combine all ingredients. Add shanks back to pot. Bring to boil on stovetop before covering tightly and placing in oven.

Turn lamb shanks after 1 hour, cover and place back in oven for 1 more hour, or until meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. Remove shanks from braising liquid and set aside to cool.

When shanks are cool enough to handle, shred meat, discarding excess fat and bone. Add meat back to braising liquid, stirring to combine. Warm gently over low heat and serve with rigatoni pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley and feta cheese.

Serves 8

Penne Pasta with Salmon and Asapragus

1/2 cup dry-roasted pine nuts
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
1/2 brown onion, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch tender asparagus, cut to 2-inch lengths and lightly steamed
1 lb. fresh salmon
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Gently sauté the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and golden, and set aside. Rub the piece of salmon with fresh sea salt and cracked pepper. Pan fry in a tablespoon of oil—about 8 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool. Remove the skin from the salmon and break up the piece into bite sized chunks. In a large pan, boil a large amount of salted water, and cook one pound of spirali pasta until al dente. Gently toss all the ingredients in a large serving dish, and serve hot.

Serves 4

Spaghetti with Chili and Garlic Recipe

1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic (or a little more, if you dare)
2 teaspoons chili flakes
1/4 cup good olive oil

Cook one pound of spaghetti in lots of boiling, well-salted water. In a tablespoon of heated olive oil, fry the garlic and chili until fragrant, but do not allow the garlic to brown. When you have drained the al dente pasta, toss with the chili and garlic mixture in a serving bowl, and pour in the rest of the olive oil. Toss well, and serve warm. Serve with some good Parmesan and hunks of fresh bread on the side.

Serves 4

Veal Medallions with Fettuccine Pesto and Blood Orange Sauce

For pesto:
2 cups packed basil
2 garlic cloves
½ cup pine nuts
1¼ cups olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated Romano cheese

Combine basil, garlic and nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarse.  Add ½ cup of oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add remaining oil and cheese.

For blood orange sauce:
1 cup blood orange juice (approximately 6 to 7 oranges)
2 shallots, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup white wine
¼ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

Reduce the juice to ¼ cup and reserve. Combine the shallots with the vinegar and reduce over low heat. Add white wine and reduce again. Stir in cream and simmer. Remove from heat and stir in butter piece by piece until incorporated. Stir in reserved juice and strain.

For veal:
1 loin of veal, cut into medallions
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Season the veal with salt and pepper, and sear in the olive oil in a skillet. Set aside and keep warm.

For pasta:
Approximately 1 pound fresh fettuccine pasta

In well-salted boiling water, cook pasta about 1 minute or until al dente. Season with pesto. Arrange on plate with veal medallions, and cover with blood orange sauce.

Serves 4

Veal, Rosemary and Lemon Pasta

1/2 lb. veal cutlets 
juice of one lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons plain flour
1/2 cup fresh rosemary tips, whole if tender, minced if tough
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon rind
salt to taste

Slice the veal into narrow strips, about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long. In a bowl, combine the veal, lemon juice, half of the pepper, the flour, half of the garlic and salt. In the heated oil, add the rest of the garlic and toss in the veal mixture. Stir frequently until meat changes color. Add the rest of the pepper. Add the rosemary, and keep stirring. After cooking for about five minutes, add the broth and stir well, lower the heat and cover to cook for about five to 10 minutes more, until the meat is tender.

Toss the sauce with al dente pasta (preferably a large shape such as rigatoni), and serve hot, with lemon rind sprinkled on top.

Serves 4

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