If you've ever gone out to a restaurant and eaten a dish with special, hard-to-find ingredients, that you know can only be achieved through time-consuming and complex techniques and have had that little voice inside your head deflatedly ask, "how could I ever make this at home?", you will LOVE Dana Corwin's book, Chef Recipes Made Easy, because it is chock full of dishes from dozens of renowned chefs, like Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud and more but their recipes have been simplified and scaled-down so that they are manageable for the home cook but still incredibly delicious. I've been turning to this cookbook for years when I want to make something impressive and unique but not spend all day in the kitchen--it's full of recipes from all types of cuisine, French, Italian, American, Mexican etc. This pasta dish with its wonderful complex flavors and textures which include baby arugula, swiss chard and mascarpone all coated in a light garlic/scallion white wine sauce is chic and decadent but easy enough to make on a regular weeknight (not when you're running out like a lunatic to a back-to-school night and soccer carpool) but for those nights when you get home at a reasonable time and want to treat those you love (including yourself) to a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home without spending a small fortune. For this and so many other reasons, it's utterly deserving of Famous Friday treatment. Bring on the weekend, baby!!
The original recipe for this dish is the creation of Richard Reddington of the Napa Valley Restaurant and in it, homemade ravioli are filled with ricotta, mascarpone, arugula, spinach and Swiss chard, coated in a sauce of white wine and green garlic. Now, I don't know about you but there is no way that I'd have the time to not only make my own ravioli dough and then stuff it with all those ingredients, but also find the time to track down hard to find ingredients like green garlic and still manage to stay sane--and I like to cook. But no fear, because with this simplified recipe you get really close to the original with a minimum of effort.
While the pasta is cooking, you make the scallion sauce and then cook down the arugula and Swiss chard until wilted. Then once everything is done you mix it all together with creamy mascarpone and serve. It's light, full of flavor and restaurant quality yummy!
So have a great weekend, check out Chefs Recipes Made Easy, cook up something fancy without too much fuss and I'll see you next week with some more great seasonal dishes (and I promise guys, only one more apple recipe--maybe two--we're definitely making a dent in the apple bags!!) Have a good one!!
Chef Recipes Make Easy's Orecchiette with Sautéed Greens and Scallion Sauce-Famous Fridays
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 40-45 minutes
- 12 ounces orecchiette (you could use 16 ounces--it'll be less saucy and you could also use another type of pasta--it'll still be delicious)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 6 large Swiss chard leaves, stems and ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the orecchiette according to the package directions so that they are al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta, leaving it in the colander.
2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the scallions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook for another 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced by about half. Add 1/2 cup water and stir. Then transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Wipe out the pasta pot and pour the olive oil into it. Heat over high heat and when hot, add the arugula and chard, cooking for about 5 minutes, until both are wilted, tossing often. Add the pasta back in, the scallion sauce, the 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water and let the mixture simmer, tossing and stirring often, so that the sauce thickens but does not burn--this should take about 3 minutes. Then, stir in the mascarpone cheese, season with more salt and pepper if necessary and serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Chef Recipes Made Easy by Dana Corwin.