Monthly Archives: March 2012

Saturday we cooked Jamie Oliver’s pasta with mushrooms and fresh herbs.

Sunday I had grand plans of making Jack Bishop’s Caribbean Black Beans and Plantains.  Same recipe.  Same chef.  Different outcome.  Robin attributes it to the limes.  I think it belongs on Fail Blog.

I was fortunate and recovered tonight using the leftover beans and plantains on black bean and plantain quesadillas.  So good.  We used to frequent Sweat Heat on the Haight way too frequently.  This was our go to order.  They closed many years ago but we still love a BB & P quesadilla.


Marshall and Polly joined us for a fun evening of pasta making that resulted in the best pasta dinner I have ever cooked.  The combination of fresh pasta, spices, herbs and two sticks of butter was restaurant quality.

We served the pasta with a blood orange salad and a raspberry and pear Mission Pie.

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Saffron Tagliatelle with Spiced Butter
By Yotam Ottolenghi
From: Plenty

Counterintuitive as this combination of pasta with Moroccan-style butter may seem, it is absolutely delicious and I am sure that once tried you’ll keep on coming back to it. Instead of homemade you can go for a good variety of dried pasta and add a decent pinch of saffron threads to the cooking water.

2 teaspoon saffron threads
4 tablespoons boiling water
4 medium eggs
4 tablespoons olive oil
15-1/2 ounces (3-1/2 cups) “00” pasta flour, plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Spiced butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspono cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
4 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
4 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
1 Place the saffron in a small bowl with the boiling water and leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Then add the eggs and oil and beat to mix. Place the flour and turmeric in the bowl of a food processor and add the saffron mix. Blend until a crumbly dough is formed. You may need a little more oil or flour to adjust the dough to the required consistency – neither sticky nor very dry.

2 Lightly dust your surface with flour, tip out the dough and knead into a ball. Work for a few minutes, adding more flour if you need, until it becomes silky soft. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes, or up to a day.

3 Divide the dough into two pieces. Keep one well covered. Using a rolling pin, flatten the other piece into a thin rectangle. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and pass the dough through. Continue rolling the pasta, narrowing the setting by a notch every time, until you get to the lowest setting.

4 Fold up the pasta sheet twice along its length, sprinkling some flour between the layers. Use a large knife to cut long strips that are 3/4 inch wide. Hang them on the back of a chair to dry for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

6 To make the spiced butter: Place the butter and oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the butter turns slightly brown. Now add all the spices, the salt and some pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Cook the tagliatelle for 2 to 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Pour the spiced butter over the pasta and stir well, then divide among four plates.

7 Sprinkle with the pine nuts and chopped herbs and serve.

Okay.  It has been way too long since I have cooked and blogged.  Way too long.  There are a few good reasons.  First, we are expecting a baby in August and Robin has not been in the mood for much eating.  Second, I have been much busier at working including a trip to DC last week with the 8th grade.  The highlight of the trip was meeting Jay Carney in the White House Press Briefing Room.  Here I am doing my best CJ Craig.

Back from the trip it is time to get back to the Knitchen.  Tonight I made a tasty black bean and quinoa salad.  Served it with crab cakes.  I also made beans for a Heidi Swanson recipe later this week.

Black Bean & Quinoa Salad