Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Giada at (Your) Home

I am such a sucker for the Food Network, and last night I caught an episode of Giada's new show "Giada at Home". It's showcases her love of "California-style entertaining" and in this episode, she threw a block party in her neighborhood. I don't know if it was seeing the warm, California weather, or beautiful scenery that made this recipe look so appetizing, but either way I plan to make it for dinner one night next week. What really did it for me was the use of lemon to give it a fresh, clean taste, which then lead me to search out the second recipe below- lemon biscuits. yummmm.....Ingredients

1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 ounces Swiss chard or mustard greens, stemmed
12 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and discard. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted. In batches, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and lemon zest. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.
Transfer to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

On the lemon theme, I also saw this recipe for Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits that made my mouth water. I haven't made homemade biscuits before, but these might be worth the effort... They would be delicious served with Katie's Homemade Strawberry Preserves.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and then the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Oooh, yum. I am making a Giada recipe tonight - basically it's roasted eggplant and cherry tomatoes and then you puree it for a sauce (keeping some chunks) and add garlic and parmesan. I might have made this instead if I'd seen it though. :) Next week maybe.

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