Entries tagged with “Barefoot Contessa”.


I always like to get a cookbook for Christmas, and this year I was happy to receive the latest from the Barefoot ContessaCooking for Jeffrey. This is the first recipe I’ve tried, and it’s a winner! Onion and fennel are sautéed with sausage and spices, simmered in a tomato-cream sauce, tossed with cooked pasta and baked. You can also make it ahead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages, Parmesan, tomato paste and spices with no colour or preservatives added. I used a white wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Frogpond Farm organic winery that contains only naturally occurring sulfites.

Saute fennel, onion and sausage

Toss cooked pasta with sauce and press into baking dish, topping with Parmesan

I refrigerated the dish for several hours and then baked it until it was heated through and brown on top

Ingredients:

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

3 cups (750 ml) chopped fennel (1 large bulb)

1½ cups (375 ml) chopped yellow onion

1¼ lb (565 g) sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 tsp (10 ml) minced garlic

½ tsp (2.5 ml) whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

½ tsp (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (whipping cream)

2/3 cup (150 ml) half-and-half

2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste

1 lb (454 g) dry rigatoni

½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley leaves

1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp (10 ml) salt and 1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and add the heavy cream, half-and-half and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp (30 ml) salt and cook the rigatoni according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and ½ cup (125 ml) of the Parmesan. Press into a large shallow baking dish, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and serve. To make ahead, refrigerate for up to a day and then bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 C).

From Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten

This is another recipe from the Barefoot Contessa’s new cookbook, Make It Ahead. It is very easy, nutritious and, of course, you can make it ahead. If you aren’t adept at making a good seal with the parchment paper packets, use a stapler!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice because the concentrates contain sodium benzoate. I use President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives.

Place fish on parchment and add seasonings and olives

The fish will steam inside the parchment and be done in about 15 minutes

Herb-roasted fish

Ingredients:

4 12 x 16-inch (30 x 40 cm) pieces of parchment paper

4 8-ounce (250 g) boneless fish fillets, such as snapper or cod

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons (60 ml) good olive oil

8 large sprigs fresh thyme

8 large green olives with pits

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Place one fish fillet on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with ¼ of the salt and ¼ of the pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon (15 ml) each of the lemon juice and olive oil over the top of the fillet. Lay two sprigs of thyme on top and place 2 olives next to the fillet. Repeat with the other three fish fillets.

Brush the egg whites around the edges of the parchment paper and fold in half. Carefully fold the edge of the parchment paper under and around the fish to make a package. Repeat for the other three packages. You can prepare the packages and refrigerate for up to one day. When ready to cook, place the package on a sheet pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot in the parchment paper. Serves 4.

From the Barefoot Contessa’s Make It Ahead


The Barefoot Contessa’s latest cookbook, Make It Ahead, contains make-ahead instructions for every recipe it contains. This garlic and herb roasted shrimp is a terrific dish and so easy. Melt some butter, add olive oil, seasonings and lemon zest. Pour over the shrimp and pop the dish in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, roast the shrimp for about 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread or rice, and a salad or green vegetable.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream and look for shrimp with no additives.

Mix butter, oil and seasonings

Pour mixture over shrimp and top with lemon slices

Garlic & Herb Roasted Shrimp

Ingredients:

¼ pound (125 g/1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons (30 ml) good olive oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced garlic (6 cloves)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced fresh rosemary leaves

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large lemons

2 pounds (1 kg) shrimp, peeled with the tails on

1 teaspoon (5 ml) coarse sea salt

4 slices country bread, toasted

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Melt the butter over low heat in a medium (10-inch/25-cm) sauté pan. Add the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon (2 ml) black pepper and cook over low heat for one minute. Off the heat, zest one of the lemons directly into the butter mixture.

Meanwhile, arrange the shrimp snugly in one layer in a large (12-inch/30-cm) round ovenproof sauté pan (or 10 x 13-inch/25 x  33-cm baking dish) with only the tails overlapping. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp. Sprinkle with the sea salt and ½ teaspoon (2ml) black pepper.

Slice the ends off the zested lemon, cut five (¼-inch/6-cm-thick) slices, and tuck them among the shrimp. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, just until the shrimp are firm, pink, and cooked through. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto the shrimp.

Serve hot with the toasted bread for dipping into the garlic butter. To make ahead, prep the dish and refrigerate it in the pan. Roast before serving. Serves 4.

From Make it Ahead by the Barefoot Contessa

Everyone should have a good spaghetti and meatballs recipe in their arsenal, and this one from the Barefoot Contessa is a classic. The meatballs, which contain three kinds of meat, are simmered in a savoury tomato sauce. Serve on top of cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with lots of Parmesan cheese. This recipe takes a little time to prepare, but your family and friends will love it!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

White bread, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, red wine and canned tomatoes may contain preservatives, colour or sulfites. The bread and bread crumbs should contain only natural ingredients. I used a wedge of President’s Choice Parmesan cheese and red wine from Frogpond Farm that had no sulfites added. Buy whole nutmeg and grate it on a microplane grater – it will taste much fresher than pre-ground nutmeg, which can include anti-caking chemicals. I use Unico canned tomatoes, which contain only tomatoes and salt.

The meatballs are made with veal, pork and beef

Make about 15 meatballs, two inches in diameter

Brown the meatballs well

Saute the onion and garlic in the same pan

Deglaze the pan to incorporate the delicious brown bits, aka fond

Simmer the meatballs in the tomato sauce

Serve atop cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with Parmesan

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

½ pound ground veal
½ pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
¼ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup good red wine, such as Chianti
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

1 ½ pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs.

Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

From Family Style by the Barefoot Contessa