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ITALIAN Shit I've Cooked Lately


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18 hours ago, South Austin said:

Definitely on the starchy water, but I've never tried to boil the past with less water to up the concentration.  Great tip and thanks for passing along.

I’ve also seen videos where people cook a throwaway/save for later batch of cheap pasta prior to the actual pasta to up the content. Seems extra though.

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All the Italian chefs I’ve seen on tv use a very large pot of water for boiling pasta. Add salt to where it’s as salty as seawater. The pasta water will still be starchy enough to add a little to your sauce. 

We are starting to see some chefs use less water to save time/energy/water and up the starch concentration of the pasta water. Alton Brown now subscribes to the less water strategery.
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1 hour ago, Texzilla58 said:


We are starting to see some chefs use less water to save time/energy/water and up the starch concentration of the pasta water. Alton Brown now subscribes to the less water strategery.

He's going to try an air fryer, isn't he?

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On 4/26/2022 at 6:06 AM, South Austin said:

This helps. Not a lot of sugar, but a teaspoon or less will balance it out.

Could also use pureed beets and carrots for a more natural sugar and flavor that blends well with tomatoes.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Trey3216 said:

Could also use pureed beets and carrots for a more natural sugar and flavor that blends well with tomatoes.  

I run a peeler over the carrots and saute the thin slivers with the onions and celery.  They practically dissolve (or, at least, reach a nearly indiscernible consistency) like the garlic in Goodfellas, and give up a nice sweetness to balance out the tart acidity of the tomatoes.  But you don't end up with chunks of carrots in the gravy.

Edited by dcbc
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3 hours ago, dcbc said:

I run a peeler over the carrots and saute the thin slivers with the onions and celery.  They practically dissolve (or, at least, reach a nearly indiscernible consistency) like the garlic in Goodfellas, and give up a nice sweetness to balance out the tart acidity of the tomatoes.  But you don't end up with chunks of carrots in the gravy.

I shred my carrot on a microplane. I could use a box grater but the microplane is easier to clean. But I’ve been to an Italian restaurant that had visible little pieces of diced carrot in their sauce and it was perfectly fine. They weren’t noticeable at all in terms of texture. 

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I have imported Italian field mice nibble bits of carrot and spit them into a wooden bowl that's been rubbed with olive oil and salted.

I lease a hive of Tuscan Ruby spotted water buffalo ear mites to eat a bunch of carrots and regurgitate them as a fine actively digesting purée. It makes the sauce so perfect!
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57 minutes ago, WhatTheBuck said:

I shred my carrot on a microplane. I could use a box grater but the microplane is easier to clean. But I’ve been to an Italian restaurant that had visible little pieces of diced carrot in their sauce and it was perfectly fine. They weren’t noticeable at all in terms of texture. 

I've done it that way (diced), and it usually turns out fine.  But there's a pretty fine line between too crunchy and mush that I like to avoid.  Plus, the peeler makes for nice ribbons of cheese to top everything off.

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31 minutes ago, Cheeseweasel said:

I have imported Italian field mice nibble bits of carrot and spit them into a wooden bowl that's been rubbed with olive oil and salted.

Do you run their teeth over a honing rod each time?

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25 minutes ago, Texzilla58 said:


I lease a hive of Tuscan Ruby spotted water buffalo ear mites to eat a bunch of carrots and regurgitate them as a fine actively digesting purée. It makes the sauce so perfect!

This is the way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Made "Osso Buco" (not really Osso Buco but not sure what else to call it) - beef shank, tomatoes, wine, and more stuff garnished with gremolata - and some cacio e pepe. One of my favorite meals. Obligatory sous chef pic as well. 

Used a flower petal shaped pasta for the first time courtesy of Austin pasta company. Not sure what it's called but it was perfect for the dish.

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1 hour ago, dieucla98 said:

Made "Osso Buco" (not really Osso Buco but not sure what else to call it) - beef shank, tomatoes, wine, and more stuff garnished with gremolata - and some cacio e pepe. One of my favorite meals. Obligatory sous chef pic as well. 

Used a flower petal shaped pasta for the first time courtesy of Austin pasta company. Not sure what it's called but it was perfect for the dish.

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Campanelle 

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1 hour ago, dieucla98 said:

Made "Osso Buco" (not really Osso Buco but not sure what else to call it) - beef shank, tomatoes, wine, and more stuff garnished with gremolata - and some cacio e pepe. One of my favorite meals. Obligatory sous chef pic as well. 

Used a flower petal shaped pasta for the first time courtesy of Austin pasta company. Not sure what it's called but it was perfect for the dish.

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Looks fantastic. I usually make osso buco with lamb shanks because they taste great and are cheaper than veal shanks. Never tried beef shanks.

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Mario was acquitted today of the only criminal charge brought against him.
https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/10/us/mario-batali-trial-boston-tuesday/index.html

Mario did the right thing going for a bench trial. He got a judge who didn’t find the plaintiff above board. She’s got a civil suit coming too. Judge acquitted but did not exonerate.
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14 hours ago, Texzilla58 said:


Mario did the right thing going for a bench trial. He got a judge who didn’t find the plaintiff above board. She’s got a civil suit coming too. Judge acquitted but did not exonerate.

Molto Mario was a great show and Batali is a great chef and a source of inspiration for Italian cooking. I don’t know anything about his private life and really don’t care. Considering the few accusations over the course of decades, lack of charges being brought, and much more high profile celebrities sometimes actually bragging about their sexual abuse and not suffering for it, and even going on to hold high office, I have a hard time getting too worked up about flimsy accusations against Mario. He’s innocent until proven guilty and even if he is ever proven guilty, the guy can still cook.

Have you ever read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain? If not, you should. He describes the highly sexualized culture in the kitchen and how women have to have a pretty thick skin to deal with it. And did any of Mario’s accusers say anything before he was a rich celebrity? Like I said, innocent until proven guilty. Selfie girl’s lack of credibility in the criminal case probably isn’t going to help her in the civil trial. There is definitely a greater than 0% chance that she’s just looking for a payday. I don’t know and won’t assume that I know based only on an accusation.

Still, Mario’s a great Italian chef and I love this cookbook:

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2 hours ago, South Austin said:

Haven't really read much into the criminal/civil allegations against him.  But I've been to two of his NYC restaurants, Babbo and Lupa, and thought they were both excellent, particularly Lupa.

And he must be a fan of Shakti with John McLaughlin because I’ve heard him on multiple occasions reference one of the all time great song titles (which is Indian-influenced and not Italian at all): What Need Have I For This - What Need Have I For That - I Am Dancing At The Feet Of My Lord - All Is Bliss - All Is Bliss.

In case you have nearly a half hour to spare.

 

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Start with olive oil and garlic. 
de case the Italian sausage. 
brown meat in pot with oil and garlic 

add tomato sauce made previous 

season with salt to taste. 
ready after 2 hours simmer stir regular I like it after 3 hours but it gets a good deep red you’ll know 4177E3E8-1719-4DEC-822B-16E2D5DBF5B2.thumb.jpeg.e479cbe0d73ceff2841b665a82836d20.jpeg20B50B3E-752C-446A-97E3-408E8847D7CC.thumb.jpeg.465d191269242d53afd0fb5cbd183283.jpeg4AC3AF2E-E2E5-42E3-82FE-00C335AD33D7.thumb.jpeg.a8f7feb38a8386f92f3df1f72002f769.jpeg

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Question.....italian sausage has plenty of fat that starts to render out as soon as you start cooking it.  So, why start with olive oil or, at most, any more than just a splash of oil at the start to keep the sausage from sticking?  Then, when it's almost done, add the garlic and cook in the sausage fat.  I'm just curious about the process here.

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The way my Nonna taught me. I honestly have no idea. We throw it all in and she always said “that’s the flavor”. Also stir from the bottom! Get al that good shit mixed in. Stir regular I babysit the f out of mine. Keeps you away from the wife and kiddos ;)

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Question.....italian sausage has plenty of fat that starts to render out as soon as you start cooking it.  So, why start with olive oil or, at most, any more than just a splash of oil at the start to keep the sausage from sticking?  Then, when it's almost done, add the garlic and cook in the sausage fat.  I'm just curious about the process here.

I’m finding a lot of Italian sausage these days doesn’t render much fat. It’s habit but I’m also starting with olive oil in the pot. I don’t add garlic though until the meat is browned and I can turn the heat down so it doesn’t burn. Along with my red pepper flakes.
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25 minutes ago, Texzilla58 said:


I’m finding a lot of Italian sausage these days doesn’t render much fat. It’s habit but I’m also starting with olive oil in the pot. I don’t add garlic though until the meat is browned and I can turn the heat down so it doesn’t burn. Along with my red pepper flakes.

Correct burnt garlic = gross sauce or gravy

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40 minutes ago, Texzilla58 said:

Unless you slice it in micron thin slices with a razor blade so it melts in the oil..,

Just don’t put to much onion in the sauce… 

 

 

* never put onion in your gravy 

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7 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

Question.....italian sausage has plenty of fat that starts to render out as soon as you start cooking it.  So, why start with olive oil or, at most, any more than just a splash of oil at the start to keep the sausage from sticking?  Then, when it's almost done, add the garlic and cook in the sausage fat.  I'm just curious about the process here.

When I toss my andouille sausage in a Teflon-coated pot, I don’t add any other fat. When I’m cooking Italian, and when I start the sausage, it’s in a stainless steel pot or pan and I’ll start it with a little olive oil. (And often preceded by red pepper flakes.) It prevents burning but you’ll still get a nice fond on the bottom that you can scrape up later when you deglaze with some liquid like wine, stock, tomato sauce, or even water. (I never use plain water but I understand it’s okay to do so.)

Plus olive oil tastes great. A little drizzle of olive oil over the finished dish adds a nice touch. I do that before adding grated or shaved cheese.

Also, speaking of water, there are some applications where you cook your ground meat in water. It seems counterintuitive because you’re used to browning your ground meat but if you want a finer grain of meat then cooking it in water lets you mash it up finer while you cook the water off.

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Oh, I should probably add that when I make beans or jambalaya from scratch I still start by browning my andouille in some bacon grease in the Dutch oven. When I fry bacon I also like to get it started in a pool of preheated bacon grease. I didn’t do that before but then I noticed it cooks better later in the process when it’s in a pool of bacon grease so now I add some to get it started. And then of course I strain and save everything that’s left over. It’s a system that works quite well. 

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13 hours ago, Texzilla58 said:

Unless you slice it in micron thin slices with a razor blade so it melts in the oil..,

 

12 hours ago, Bogeywon said:

Just don’t put to much onion in the sauce…

I didn’t use too much onion. I use three small onions

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