Although I could have used pancetta, which is sometimes more readily available in some areas, I wanted to try the house made guanciale by butcher/chef Peter Squassi at Palmer’s Quality Meats in Neptune, NJ. I also purchased Palmer’s sweet Italian sausage for this dish.
Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and lay out your measured ingredients. To prepare the sauce, add olive oil to a large skillet and crisp the guanciale. Once done, the rendered fat is removed and saved, minced onion is added and cooked until softened. Next, the sausage meat is browned. Using Lidia Bastianich’s method, I cleared a spot in my skillet and added the tomato paste to cook for approximately one minute. Whole cherry tomatoes are added to the pan, followed by wine. The pan is covered with a lid and cooked for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and using the back of a wooden spoon, or as I did, a potato masher, break the tomatoes and cook uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.
Have prepared in a bowl, the egg yolks, 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of reserved guanciale drippings. When the pasta is al dente, use a spider strainer and add to the sauce. Stir in 2 tablespoons of pasta water into the egg mixture. Off heat, add the mixture to the pasta and mix until coated. Add up to 2 tablespoons of pasta water if needed. (You can use the reserved pasta to reheat with any leftovers.)
My, oh my, what a delicious pasta! The sauce was rich, but not heavy. You had the savoriness of the guanciale, the spiciness from the black pepper and the creaminess of the sauce…heaven.
My husband loved the preparation. The recipe takes about 30-45 minutes to prepare. It’s not a difficult recipe to prepare, but worthy of your efforts. This would be a wonderful dinner for Mother’s Day. You could prepare the sauce ahead of time, reheat or keep warm, and make the pasta when you’re ready to eat.
In place of our usual Thursday pasta night, I came home from babysitting to prepare Garlicky Steak with Carrot Walnut and Dill Salad. For the recipe you’ll need a lemon, kosher salt, black pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, coriander, 1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt, olive oil, flank steak, 4 large carrots, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts that have been toasted and 1/4 cup roughly chopped dill.
Before I left for babysitting, I marinated the steak in a combination of lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic and coriander that was made into a paste. One teaspoon of the mixture is added to the 1/2 cup of yogurt to accompany the cooked meat. The paste is rubbed on both sides of the steak and should marinate for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
While the steak was coming to room temperature, I made the carrot salad that consists of shaved carrots dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and walnuts. Just before serving, I added the chopped dill.
The steak can be grilled or cooked under your oven’s broiler. I cooked my steak outside on the grill to medium rare and allowed it to rest before slicing. Unfortunately, this preparation didn’t light up our tastebuds. The meat wasn’t as tender as one would hope. In fact, my husband wondered if I had cut it properly, that is, cutting across the grain; I had. When I mentioned the yogurt dressing, I was met with skepticism and refusal. The carrot salad wasn’t his favorite either, I particularly enjoyed it as it was different and the dill added such a nice flavor against the slight tart dressing and sweetness of the carrots. When I read the comments by other cooks, the recipe received favorable reviews. One cook used a flat iron steak, which sounds like a good idea
Rigatoni alla Zozzona
By Anna Francese Gass
The New York Times/Cooking
“Rigatoni alla zozzona combines the ingredients of the four pasta dishes for which Romans are famous: amatriciana, cacio e pepe, carbonara and gricia. While many Italian meals are typically the result of simple flavors — “neat” preparations where only a few ingredients shine — rigatoni alla zozzona (which loosely translates to a big mess) is more of a kitchen sink approach, marrying the ingredients of the four pastas (tomato sauce, black pepper, egg yolks, cheese and guanciale) with sausage. Rigatoni’s sturdy tube shape provides the perfect vehicle to carry — and stand up to — the many components of the sauce.”
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 30 Minutes
1 pound large rigatoni
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces guanciale (or pancetta), cut into 2-inch matchsticks
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausages (about 4 to 5 sausages), casings removed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups cherry tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
1 cup red wine
4 egg yolks
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Garlicky Steak with Carrot, Walnut and Dill Salad
By Sarah Copeland
The New York Times/Weeknight Cooking
September 26, 2018
Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating
“Any steak benefits from a quick marinade, but especially a flank steak. Fairly tender on its own, it becomes its best self when bathed in oil laced with lemon, garlic and coriander. The trick here is to set aside a teaspoon of this potent marinade to stir into yogurt, to dollop or serve alongside. This marinade and the garlic yogurt also work well on chicken or pork, tossed with almost any grilled vegetable or even drizzled over toast. The salad, made from long strips of carrots, is a light, sophisticated side that's as at home on your Tuesday night table as it is at weekend brunch.”
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
⅓ cup olive oil
1¼ pounds flank steak
4 large carrots
⅓ cup walnuts, toasted
¼ cup roughly chopped dill
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.