Herb and Sundried Tomato Polenta with Fried Tomatoes

Ingredients

3 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1 cup polenta
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp soya margarine
5 tbsp chopped mixed fresh parsley, thyme, chives and basil, plus extra, to garnish
olive oil, for greasing and brushing
4 large plum or beefsteak tomatoes
salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Prepare the polenta in advance. Place the stock or water in a heavy pan, with the salt, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, slowly pour in the polenta and stir with a wooden spoon.
  2. Stir the mixture constantly, using a figure-eight action, over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the polenta begins to thicken and come away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the polenta. Stir the mixture thoroughly so the tomatoes are well combined.
  4. Remove from the heat and continue stirring for another minute or two. Stir it the soya margarine, freshly chopped parsley, thyme, chives and basil, and season with black pepper.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a wide, greased tin (pan) or a glass or ceramic dish. Using a flexible spatula, spread the polenta mixture out evenly in the tin. Cover the surface closely with baking parchment, then put it in a cool place until it has set completely and is cold.
  6. Turn out the polenta on to a board and stamp out eight rounds using a large biscuit or cookie cutter. You can also cut the polenta into eight squares with a knife, if you prefer. Brush with oil.
  7. Heat a griddle pan and lightly brush it with oil. Cut the tomatoes in two, then brush them with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the tomato halves and polenta patties on the pan for 5 minutes, turning them once. Serve garnished with fresh herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Cooking


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Clams in Rich Broth with Orzo

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 dried red chili peppers
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt
5 pounds littleneck or Manila clams, scrubbed well
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley and basil
1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

Method

  1. In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add onion and chili peppers and cook until onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add stock or water and boil for 5 minutes. Add butter, salt to taste, clams, and tomato, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all clams have opened (discard any that haven’t). Stir in herbs.
  4. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add orzo and a pinch of salt; cook until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little oil.
  5. Spoon a serving of orzo in each of 4 large bowls, add enough broth just to cover, and arrange clams around edge of each bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: What to Have for Dinner


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Black Bean Orecchiette with Spicy Pork and Broccoli

Ingredients

1 large head broccoli
Kosher salt
8 ounces orecchiette
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fermented black beans
i tablespoon minced ginger
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound ground pork
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper flakes or red pepper flakes, for garnish

Method

  1. Separate the broccoli into florets. Cut off their long stems and, using a chef’s knife, square the stems so they resemble elongated blocks. Alternatively, peel the stems. Cut the stems into 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Fill a bowl large bowl with water and add ice cubes. Bring abundant salted water to a boil in a stockpot or other tall wide pot. Add the broccoli and blanch for 30 seconds, retrieve the broccoli with a large strainer, and transfer it in the strainer to the ice water. When the broccoli is cold, lift the strainer and drain the broccoli. Transfer the broccoli to a plate.
  3. Return the water in the pot to a boil. Add more ice cubes to the bowl, if needed. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Retrieve the pasta with the strainer and transfer the pasta to the bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. When the pasta is cold, lift the strainer and drain the pasta.
  4. Dry the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pot and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, black beans, ginger and onions and sauté, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine, deglaze the pan, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pork and sauté, breaking up the meat, until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  7. Add the pasta and broccoli to the black-bean mixture and toss well. If the mixture seems dry, add the reserved cooking liquid. Season again with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving bowl or platter, garnish with the chili pepper flakes, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Simply Ming One-pot Meals


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Farfalle al Gorgonzola

Ingredients

6-8 oz ripe gorgonzola cheese
2/3 cup double (heavy) or single (light) cream
14 oz farfalle (bow-shaped) pasta
salt
oil
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. If necessary, soften the cheese by putting it, wrapped, in the microwave for a few seconds on defrost power. Cream the cheese with the cream in the food processor. Put the mixture in a bowl and microwave on full power for 2 minutes to warm through.
  2. Put the pasta in a deep pot and just cover with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil, cover and microwave on full power for 10 minutes. Leave to stand for 3 minutes.
  3. Heat the sauce through again in the microwave if necessary during the standing time. It should be warm, not hot.
  4. Drain the pasta and stir in the sauce. Offer black pepper at the table.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Complete Italian Cookbook


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Spaghetti Quick-baked in Foil with Cream, Shrimp and Brandy

Ingredients

1 lb spaghetti
salt to taste
1-1/4 cups double (heavy) cream
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
8 oz peeled uncooked shrimp
freshly grated black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Set the pasta to cook in the usual manner on the top of the stove.
  3. As the pasta is cooking, bring the cream to boiling point in a saucepan. Add the parsley to the cream, together with the cognac. Remove the cream from the heat. Let it stand so that the flavours infuse.
  4. Finely chop the shrimp. Add them to the cream and return it to the heat until it reboils.
  5. When you are ready to drain the pasta, spread out on a baking tray a sheet of foil large enough to fold over and completely envelop both pasta and sauce. Place the drained pasta in the middle of the foil and pour the sauce on top.
  6. Lift the edges of the foil upwards around the pasta and fold them together, completely sealing the contents.
  7. Bake the parcel in the hot oven for about 5 minutes, then transfer the foil intact to a serving dish. Unseal at the table, sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Complete Italian Cookbook


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