Looking for an interesting recipe to throw in for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas? Looking to try something different than the usual holiday fare? Looking to avoid your mother’s dry as a bone turkey this Thursday? Well, I can’t help you with #3, but here are a couple of fun recipes given to us by Chef Jeremy Einhorn at The Blue Pig in Cape May and Chef Rosalba Morici at Girasole in Atlantic City. Enjoy!
Chef Jeremy’s Pappardelle Bolognese
This is a very hearty and warming version of the traditional sauce Bolognese made so with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is a simple one pot recipe and is easily adapted to not only pasta but lasagna and other dishes as well. The sauce can be made a few days ahead of time and kept wrapped in the refrigerator and can also freeze very well if stored in airtight zip lock bags
As with all ground beef I would recommend asking the butcher to grind the meat fresh rather than buy it out of the case. At the Blue Pig we are lucky enough to be able to grind our beef fresh in house. Chuck would be the best meat to use as it is the right mix of lean to fat. If pure chuck is not available I would use 85% lean. Too much fat and you will end up with a greasy sauce.
While we use fresh pappardelle, feel free to substitute dried pappardelle or any other type of hearty pasta such as penne or rigatoni.
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs freshly ground beef, preferably chuck or 85% lean ground beef.
½ cup small diced yellow onion
¼ cup small diced carrots
¼ cup small diced Celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 ea bay leaf
¼ tsp ground cinnamon (as needed)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg (as needed)
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth (or veal demi glace if available)
3 cups crushed canned tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh chopped basil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese to finish
3 lbs Pappardelle pasta, cooked al dente
Heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed stock pot
Add the beef, stirring often to break up any chunks. Cook over medium high heat until the meat is evenly browned and just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Cook over medium high heat until fragrant and the onions become translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the thyme, bay leaf, and a few pinches of the cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the red wine to deglaze, be sure to scrape up any flavorful bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is almost fully reduced
Add the beef broth (or veal demi glace if available) and the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a bare simmer. Add some kosher salt and black pepper. Cover the pot and cook for two hours, stirring often (at least every 15 minutes).
After two hours taste the sauce and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed. Also add additional cinnamon and nutmeg if you like. Finish with the heavy cream and half of the basil.
To Serve: Cook your pasta of choice in plenty of boiling, salted water. Strain the pasta and toss with the sauce in a serving bowl. Top with additional basil and the grated cheese.
Chef Rosalba’s Eggplant and Zucchini Parmigiana
2 large eggplants, remove skin and slice
4 large zucchini, 1/4-inch slices
12 eggs beaten, adding parmigiano, salt and pepper
48 oz. pureed tomato sauce
1 lb. mozzarella
1/2 lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano
Coat both zucchini and eggplant slices with flour then dip in egg batter. Fry each slice delicately, remove and lay on paper towels.
Coat the bottom of a 10X15 rectangular pan with tomato sauce.
Add first layer of zucchini topping with mozzarella, parmigiano and sauce, repeating with eggplant. Alternate layers until all are used, top with sauce and parmigiano.
Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.