Tag Archives: truffle oil

Tortellini at The Gulla’s

Tortellini at The Gulla’s

You know this labor of love is so worth the effort when you taste how tender and flavorful these homemade tortellini are! The delicate, circular shaped pasta are stuffed with a purée of sundried tomato, mozzarella, and Reggiano Parmesan and served in one of my all time favorites, a tomato-cream sauce.  I introduced Steve to another easy and scrumptious sauce, Gorganzola Dolce-Cream Sauce that’s garnished with fresh thyme and a drizzle of truffle oil! 

This past weekend I was at The Gulla’s house with Steve and his son Maximo making their homemade tortellini. Steve dedicates a few hours every Christmas Eve making these little gourmet bites for his family’s Christmas dinner. Making these tortellini is definitely a labor of love because you are creating each little amazing folded bundle of pasta by hand.

Having a Smart pasta machine like Steve’s really cuts down on the labor of making tortellini as the pasta comes out of the machine in long ready-made sheets in mere minutes. It’s a very cool process putting out smooth sheets of pasta in 3 minutes flat but you can also learn to make Steve’s tortellini using homemade pasta too if you don’t own an Smart pasta machine. I have a homemade pasta recipe below for all of us without a pasta machine who don’t want to miss out on learning how to make these incredible tortellini.

As Italian legend goes on how the shape of the tortellini came about dates back to the days when Venus, the Goddess of Love, was traveling to a small town in Italy between Modena and Bologna. She was staying at a tavern where the Innkeeper was so taken by her beauty he peeked thru the key to her room one night and got a glimse of her navel. He rushed to the kitchen and created a pasta in the likeness of her belly button. And that’s how the shape of the tortellini came about, the belly button pasta! Who Knew?

While you are working hard forming these wonderful tortellini you may need a little sip of something to get you through like a Metaxa Mojito! And for easy nibbles you can pick on some Mango Salsa, Sweet Potato Fries and Green Goddess Dip II,  Best Guacamole Ever or some delicious Mediterranean Layered Dip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGRDIENTS for making PASTA in The Smart Pasta Machine:

  • 3 parts flour
  • 1 part semolina
  • 180 ml OR 3/4 cup of water for 2 lbs flour in pasta machine
  • 1 egg and 1 tsp water whisked in a small bowl – set aside until ready to form tortellini

INGREDIENTS for Sun-dried Tomato FILLING:                                                                                         NOTE: THIS FILLING IS UNBELIEVEABLY DELICIOUS!…try it on crostini OR on crusty bread!

  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella – whole milk or part skim
  • 1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

Purée these ingredients with an immersion blender or add to food processor and pulse. Start with 2 tbsp of olive oil and add a little extra if needed to purée til smooth texture

DIRECTIONS FOR FORMING THE TORTELLINI WITH SHEETS OF PASTA MADE FROM THE PASTA MACHINE:

  1. Begin to cut 2″ circles with your cookie cutter out of the machine made sheets of pasta
  2. Brush top 1/2 of the circle edge with a whisked egg
  3. Place 1/4 tsp of sun dried tomato filling in the middle of the circle pasta
  4. Fold the circle in 1/2
  5. Press to SEAL the 1/2 circle of pasta…VERY IMPORTANT to SEAL this edge!
  6. Take 1/2 circle and wrap around your pinky having each end meet
  7. Press these two ends together to seal and form one continous circular shape
  8. Fold down top of circular pasta to form tortellini
  9. Place in a bowl as you finish each one until you gone thru all the pasta sheets
  10. Bring large pan of salted water to a boil and add fresh pasta
  11. Cook pasta for 8 minutes, test pieces of pasta for proper doneness
  12. Serve with tomato-cream sauce or Gorganzola Dolce-cream sauce, garnish with thyme and truffle oil … mmm!

INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATO-CREAM SAUCE:

  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 1/4 cup POMI “strained tomaotes” – 1 med box – 26 oz.
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Sauté finely chopped garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil for 3 minutes, add in POMI strained tomatoes, salt & oregano and simmer for 15 minutes. Add in 2 cups of heavy cream to tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer for 15 miutes more. Serve with cooked tortellini, garnish with fresh thyme (and truffle oil.

INGREDIENTS FOR GORGANZOLA DOLCE-CREAM SAUCE:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Gorganzola Dolce cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • truffle oil

Add heavy cream, Gorganzola, and vermouth to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. When it comes to a simmer whisk the melted cheese into the cream and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with tortellini, garnish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of truffle oil.

INGREDIENTS for Easy Homemade-Handmade Pasta- (Recipe from “Pasta at Vin’s“)

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 1/2  – 5 lg eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the kneading attachment on your food processor and add the flour
  2. Add the salt and olive oil
  3. Turn on the food processor to slow
  4. Add in 1 tbsp of water
  5. Begin adding in 1 egg at a time with the processor still on slow
  6. Add in the rest of the eggs
  7. Keep the food processor going on medium speed to begin kneading the dough
  8. Let knead for about 8 minutes until the texture turns into a smooth consistency
  9. Remove the pasta dough and place onto the counter
  10. Knead briefly with your hands and let sit for 1/2 hr.
  11. NOTE: Vin does not cover his pasta dough while it sits for the 1/2 so it can begin to dry out  a little bit
  12. Sprinkle some flour onto the counter or work surface and cut pasta dough into 8 pieces
  13. Begin to roll out each piece of dough to your desired thickness, into long lasagna-like sheets
  14. Sprinkle more flour on top of each thinly rolled out pasta piece and begin to cut out 2″ circles with your cookie cutter
  15. Brush top 1/2 of the circle edge with a whisked egg
  16. Place 1/4 tsp of sun dried tomato filling in the middle of the circle pasta
  17. Fold the circle in 1/2
  18. Press to SEAL the 1/2 circle of pasta…VERY IMPORTANT to SEAL this edge!
  19. Take 1/2 circle and wrap around your pinky having each end meet
  20. Press these two ends together to seal and form one continous circular shape
  21. Fold down top of circular pasta to form tortellini
  22. Place in a bowl as you finish each one until you gone thru all the pasta sheets
  23. Bring large pan of salted water to a boil and add fresh pasta
  24. Cook pasta for 8 minutes, test pieces of pasta for proper doneness
  25. Serve with tomato-cream sauce or Gorganzola Dolce-cream sauce, garnish with thyme and truffle oil … mmm!

 

 

Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs

Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs

The magic of braising, turning a tough cut of meat into fork tender, is a no brainer for me. Braising these beef short ribs in a combination of stout beer, red wine, beef stock, soy sauce, whole peeled tomatoes, a mirepoix, and creative assortment of spices make for a luscious dish. Then piling the stout braised beef short ribs on top of yukon mashes potatoes made with half & half, heavy cream, butter, paper thin red onions and a healthy drizzle of truffle oil puts it right over the top!

These stout braised beef short ribs came from Firefly Farms in North Stonington, CT. Firefly is one of two farm’s in Connecticut Certified Humane! When you are buying from a farm like Firefly, who’s practices are above and beyond, you know you are getting a product of a different caliber. The beef I used in this stout braised short ribs recipe was moist, tender, and packed full of flavorful.

We all have some idea of the instense amount of work that goes into farming but their practices at Firefly Farm take it way beyond that. Analyzing agricultural charts dating back to World War II to understand and perfect feeds for each of their endandered breeds they raise on their farm is a grand example of that. Getting the animals diets just right to yeild a most natural and high quality product.

The lard that Firefly offers makes the perfect pie crust, as shown in “Death by Chocolate Meringue Pie”. It is unsaturated because of the attention to detail of the mulefoot hogs diet, one without corn or soy. And oh boy, you should try their bacon!

The special stout I got to braise the beef short ribs was creamy and smooth bringing deep luscious flavors to the dish. The stout came from some friends who have made home craft brewing a hobby, and they call themselves The Bilco Boys Brewery. It’s like night and day to taste a fresh homemade-crafted brew. I find the beer much smoother and the flavors really fresh from citrus to notes of chocolate with a creamy mouth finish. Make sure to keep an eye out for another up and coming craft brewing show next week with The Bilco Boys!

I know you will enjoy the ease of these stout braised beef short ribs whether Flanken or English cut. The end product is the easy sell here. You should try my Homemade Caesar Salad to go along with the ribs, or how about  Spanakopita for an appetizer. If you have a little time on your hands one weekend definitely try this amazing Pickled Eggplant recipe, perfect for holiday gifts! You will need dessert too so be sure to take a look at the beautiful and delicious Pavlova or my special Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Ingredients for Beef Short Ribs:

  • 5-6 lbs Beef short ribs (Firefly Farms if possible)  Flanken Cut if you want to remove the meat as I did in show OR English Cut – 1″ X 3″ pieces
  • 2 bottles STOUT
  • 1 cup red wine, cabernet
  • 2 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lg onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks coarsely chopped
  • 1 lg carrot coarsely chopped
  • 4 lg garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Wondra flour (quick dissolve flour)
  • 1 RECIPE Yukon Mashed Potatoes
  • OPTIONAL: Truffle oil – finishing oil to drizzle over stout braised short ribs, yukon mashed potatoes and gravy

Directions for Beef Short Ribs:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º
  2. Rub spice mixture all over ribs anf marinate for 4-12 hours or over night
  3. Pat dry ribs without removing all the spices
  4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven or pan
  5. Begin to sear beef short ribs in pan with olive oil, you will have to probably do this in two batches so you don’t crowd the pan
  6. Sear the ribs 3-4 minutes on each side until browned
  7. Remove 1st batch of ribs, set aside in a lg bowl and brown 2nd batch of beef short ribs
  8. Remove 2nd batch of ribs to bowl
  9. Then add in mirepoix with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper to dutch oven
  10. Sauté for 5-8 minutes until softened
  11. Add in 2 bottles stout, 1 cup cabernet, 2 cups beef stock, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 cup whole peeled tomatoes and 1 bay leaf to dutch oven
  12. Add all of the beef short ribs back into the dutch oven making sure the liquid is 3/4 up the side of the meat
  13. Bring to a simmer on the stove for 15 minutes
  14. Cover Dutch oven and place into a pre-heated 350º oven for 3 hours
  15. Every 50-60 minutes check on the ribs to fiip over and make sure you don’t need to add more liquid – it shouldn’t be dry (if it is you can add a splash of water, red wine, or more beef broth…all will work great)
  16. While the beef short ribs are braising in the oven whisk together the glaze
  17. At the 3 hour mark remove beef and place the ribs onto a cookie tray
  18. Put the oven on Broil
  19. Brush a coat of glaze on one side of the ribs and place under the broiler of 2 minutes (only 1 side)
  20. Tilt Dutch oven pan to the side to skim oil off the top of braised veggies
  21. Push all the braised veggies thru a strainer set over a bowl to catch all the juices
  22. Make sure to scrape juices on bottom of the strainer into the bowl too
  23. Add the strained gravy juices to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer on low
  24. Whisk in 1 tsp of Wondra flour into the gravy and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken slightly (if it gets too thick you can add in a splash of red wine or beef broth)
  25. If you have Flanken Cut Short ribs remove meat for bones and place in heat proof pan until you are ready to place on top of pile of mashed potatoes with a drizzle of gravy and truffle oil, and a sprinkle of chives
  26. If you have English Cut short ribs place 2 ribs per person onto a pile of Yukon Mashed Potatoes with a drizzle of thickened gravy, truffle oil and a sprinkle of chopped chives, then serve… mangia, mangia!
  27. NOTE: For a finishing oil drizzle Truffle oil all over dish for an extra wow!
  28. NOTE: If you are not eating ribs right away, and want to re-heat add to a heat proof dish, add 1/4-1/2 cup of red wine and beef stock and re-heat on a 350º oven for 30-40 minutes

Spice Rub Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic granuales
  • 1 tsp onion granuales
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp five spice
  • 2  tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp blk pepper

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp kethcup
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1 tsp “seasoned” rice wine vinegar
  • a few dashes of favorite hot sauce (Siracha)

Whisk in a medium bowl until combined and brush on ribs

Gorganzola Dolce Cream Sauce with Fresh Thyme

Gorganzola Dolce Cream Sauce with Fresh Thyme

This Gorganzola Dolce cream sauce with fresh thyme couldn’t get any easier and your dinner guests will think you secretly went to culinary school and became a saucier! Gorganzola Dolce cheese originated in Northern Italy, and is made from cows milk. It’s a mild, creamy, and sweet cheese great for spreading on baguette slices or even crackers. It’s moister than Stilton and definitely more buttery than Roquefort. It’s decadent really, one of my very favorite cheeses of all times along side of Taleggio…another amazing Italian cheese!

I came up with this recipe because I serve it on my homemade gnocchi (potato pasta) with truffle oil and fresh thyme. You won’t believe how easy this is to make. You can make it to go over any kind of pasta you like and pair it up with grilled steaks or sautéed chicken along side.

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Ingredients: Makes enough for 1 lb. pasta

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of Gorganzola Dolce Cheese
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup extra dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Reggiano Parmeggiano to sprinkle on top at the end
  • Truffle oil

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a medium sauce pan on the stove over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add in the gorganzola dolce cheese and whisk just to combine.
  3. Add in the vermouth and simmer for 5 minutes on low
  4. Turn off and stir in 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves..set aside til pasta is ready
  5. Cook 1 lb. of your favorite tubular, shaped pasta, or gnocchi and pour sauce over
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of Reggiano cheese, a drizzle of truffle oil and more fresh thyme leaves sprinkled on top

You may want to serve some appetizers with this dinner like:

Jumbo Crab Cakes

Jumbo Crab Cakes

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Curry-Yogurt Dip & Asparagus

Curry-Yogurt Dip & Asparagus