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BROCCOLI AND GARLIC PENNE
This is pasta short-order cooking--fifteen minutes maximum--and very tasty.
1 pound penne
2 heads broccoli
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced crosswise
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the penne, and cook at a rolling boil until the pasta is just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again, and reserve.
2. Cut the broccoli florets into fairly small pieces. Reserve the stems for another use. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the broccoli, and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, pat dry, and reserve.
3. Pour the oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium heat until it begins to ripple, about 1 minute. Add the garlic slices and cook, shaking the pan, until the garlic begins to brown around the edges, another minute.
4. Add the broccoli to the skillet, stir well, sprinkle with black pepper, and cook 2 minutes longer, shaking the skillet.
5. Add the butter and penne to the broccoli and cook, stirring often, until the penne is well mixed with the broccoli, oil, and garlic and the mixture is hot--3 to 4 minutes.
6. Place in a serving dish, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately. Pass the pepper mill.
DUCKLINGS STEWED IN RED WINE AND WINER FRUITS
Figs, sweet potatoes, dried apricots, and cassis are succulent additions to our ducklings stewed in red wine. The sauce will thicken without adding flour. Serve with a robust winter green salad highlighted with julienned radicchio.
4 cups dry red wine
1 cup homemade beef stock or canned broth
1 pound dried figs
3 pounds sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 ducklings (4 1/2 pounds each), well rinsed, patted dry, and each cut into 6 pieces
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups dried apricots
6 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup creme de cassis
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1. Combine 3 cups of the wine and the stock in a saucepan, and bring just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the figs, and set aside.
2. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into balls with a melon baller; you should have about 4 cups. Place the potato balls in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain the potatoes and set them aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
4. Melt the butter in a large deep flameproof casserole or dutch oven. Brown the ducklings, a few pieces at a time, over medium heat. (While the ducks are browning, it may be necessary to pour off some of the fat. There should be no more than 4 tablespoons in the casserole.) As they are browned, transfer the pieces to a plate.
5. When all the duck has been browned, pour off any remaining fat from the casserole and return it to the heat. Add the remaining 1 cup wine and bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits in the casserole.
6. Return the duckling to the casserole, and sprinkle it with the pepper. Add the figs and their soaking liquid, the potatoes, and the apricots, garlic, creme de cassis, and brown sugar. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat.
7. Cover the casserole, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Then stir it thoroughly, and bake another 30 minutes.
8. Arrange the duck, fruits, and vegetables on a large serving platter. Skim the grease from the sauce. Pour a bit of the degreased sauce over the duck, and sprinkle it with the parsley. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Tuna must be grilled quickly, since it will dry out badly if overcooked--so watch it carefully. Of course you can also grill tuna under an oven broiler.
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the tuna, fennel, and red onion, and turn in the marinade. Cover loosely, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
2. Prepare hot coals for grilling.
3. On four large metal skewers, thread the tuna chunks alternately with pieces of fennel and onion.
4. Oil the grill, and cook over medium heat about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from The New Basics Cookbook. Copyright c 1989 by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Reprinted with permission by Workman Publishing.