Tuesday, June 29, 2010

thank you, fine cooking

The recipe for that big, beautiful bowl of pasta has been folded up and hanging on our fridge for a few months now and last night, I finally took it down to give it a better look. A photocopy made by my roommate, Meghan, I couldn't make out what magazine it was taken from but loved the simplicity of the two recipes on the page: Penne with Ricotta, Arugula, and Basil and Grilled Lamb Chops with Charred Red Onion Chutney. A quick punch into google revealed: Fine Cooking--a magazine I rarely flip through but one that I will now make a point to. The pasta is the perfect thing to throw together for a light dinner or catch-up lunch to please vegetarians and carnivores alike while the lamb chops are an unexpected combination of exotic flavors with minimal ingredients.

Add just like that, they've both been added to my recipe queue, and hopefully yours too.

Penne with Ricotta, Arugula, and Basil
Recipe Courtesy of Lori Longbotham for

Kosher salt
1 lb. dried penne pasta
8 oz. whole-milk ricotta (about 1 cup)
1 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup); more for serving
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
5 oz. baby arugula (about 6 loosely packed cups), coarsely chopped
1-1/2 oz. fresh basil (about 2 loosely packed cups), coarsely chopped

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta in the water until al dente, about 11 minutes. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmigiano, 1 Tbs. of the oil, the zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the arugula and basil and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, tossing with tongs, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the arugula mixture to the bowl with the ricotta and mix well.

Add the hot pasta to the ricotta mixture and toss to coat. Add the reserved cooking liquid as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing more Parmigiano at the table.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Charred Red Onion Chutney
Recipe Courtesy Liz Pearson for Fine Cooking

1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 Tbs. canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium ripe tomato, cored and chopped
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. granulated sugar
Four 3/4-inch-thick bone-in lamb shoulder chops (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total)

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Rub the onion slices with 1 Tbs. of the oil, keeping the rings intact, and season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Arrange them on the grill in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until lightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the onions to a cutting board and chop into small pieces.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped onions, tomato, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and boil until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue to boil, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, rub the lamb all over with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and season with 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill, flipping once, until deep golden-brown outside and medium rare inside, about 8 minutes total. Serve topped with the chutney.

Photos above courtesy of Fine Cooking

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