Place the sausage in the freezer for 20 minutes. This makes it easier to slice and hold its shape. Brown the sausage in oil in a stock pot. Remove when done and leave the oil and fat in the pot.
Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the trinity and garlic. Cook on medium until the vegetables have softened.
Stir in the beans, 8 cups of water, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Bring it to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the beans are cooked – about 2 hours.
At this point remove about a cup of beans and puree them in a blender or food processor and return them to the pot to thicken the stew. Return the sausage to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, taste and adjust seasoning.
I came across an interesting pasta article by Chris Colin, originally published in Saveur and republished in Pocket – On the Hunt for the World’s Rarest Pasta.
On the Hunt for the World’s Rarest Pasta
“Delicate and impossible to replicate, su filindeu (or the “threads of God”) is a pasta made of hundreds of tiny strands by a single woman in a hillside town in Sardinia. She’ll make it for you too—if you’re willing to walk 20 miles overnight.”
This one is adapted from a Melissa Clark New York Times Wednesday Food Section recipe. It’s quick. You can make the sauce in the time it takes to boil water and make the pasta.
1 lb. small pasta (ziti, rigatoni, etc.)
2 cups parsley, leaves and tender stems
10 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, divided
1 small bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tbsps. capers, drained
3 tbsps. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
1 broccoli rabe, trimmed stems and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup chopped fresh tomato
2 tbsps. butter
¾ teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper
Ricotta, for serving
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until almost done. Save one cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, coarsely chop the parsley, 6 anchovy fillets, scallions, and capers all together and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, add oil, remaining 4 anchovies and half the garlic Cook, stirring, until anchovies start to dissolve.
Add the broccoli rabe, tomato, about two-thirds of the parsley mixture to the pot. Add some of the pasta water and cook until the broccoli rabe is wilted and tender.
Add the butter, lemon zest, remaining garlic and red-pepper flakes. Toss until the butter melts then add the pasta and mix with the greens adding more pasta water if the mixture seems dry. Check for seasoning.
Remove to a serving dish and add and mix the remaining parsley mixture. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve with ricotta.
Biscotti all’Arancia are an easy to make cookie. I got the recipe from Lidia Bastianich.
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup plus 1 tbsp.sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps. orange juice
2 tbsps. lemon juice
1 tbsp. orange zest
For the glaze:
2 ½ cups confectioners sugar, or as needed
¼ to ½ cup orange juice, or as needed
Cream the butter and sugar – Place the room temperature butter and sugar in a bowl and force the sugar into the butter with the back of a wooden spoon until the mixture is creamy.
Beat the eggs, one at a time in a separate bowl, and blend into the creamed butter.
Add the vanilla, the lemon and orange juice, and the zest and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl and then mix it with the butter/egg mixture to make dough. Wrap the dough in Saran, and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll the dough into four logs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter and 10 to 12 inches long. Freeze the logs for 20 minutes, until firm enough to cut without losing their shape.
Cut the logs into ½ inch rounds, and place on parchment-lined or buttered baking sheets. Bake about 15 minutes. Remove and let the cookies cool on a wire rack.
Glaze the cookies – Whisk the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl with the orange juice to make a smooth glaze. Dip a cookie tops in the glaze; it should stick to the cookie in a thin layer. If not, adjust the consistency of glaze with more juice or confectioners’ sugar. Dip the top of the baked cookies in the glaze, and let them dry on a wire rack.
Marbella, typically made with chicken is very good with pork too. I’m using sliced tenderloin but you can also use chops. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit
2 lb. pork tenderloin – ½ to ¾ in. slices
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup prunes, pitted and cut in half
½ cup green olives, pitted
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup capers
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 smashed garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil plus more for frying
1 tbsp. butter
¼ cup chopped parsley
Season the pork slices with salt and black pepper. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325o.
Mix ingredients 3 through 10 in a bowl. Add the seasoned pork and let it marinate, refrigerated for 3 hours to overnight.
Remove the pork from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Lightly brown in a large pan with olive oil.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the marinade, including the olives and prunes. Place on the middle rack in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning the pork after 10 minutes. Finish with the pan under the broiler for 5 more minutes.
Place the pork, olives and prunes in a serving dish. Discard the garlic. With the pan on medium heat on top of the stove, whisk in the butter and parsley and stir for a few minutes while the butter melts and the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the pork, olives, and prunes and serve.