Baked Rigatoni With Chipotle Sausage And Goat Ricotta

INGREDIENTS

two chipotle pork sausages from here
large can crushed san marzanos
one pound rigatoni
salt and pepper
dried oregano
olive oil
crushed red pepper
half cup diced onion
six diced cloves of garlic
half pound goat ricotta
one pound fresh mozzarella
fresh basil leaves
three fourths cup grated parmigiano reggiano
one cup dry white wine

Sautee the onions until getting translucent, add the garlic, and continue to sautee until cooked, adding generous amounts of fresh-ground black pepper, a nice pinch of dried oregano (crushed between your fingers), and some crushed red pepper flakes.

Remove the sausage from the casing and sautee until fully cooked and starting to brown.

Deglaze with the white wine and boil off all the EtOH.

Add the tomatoes, turn heat down to lowest setting, cover, and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes. While this is happening, parboil the rigatoni in salty water until only half-done, for about six minutes, and then drain.

This is what the finished sauce looks. Turn off the heat. Salt to taste, but go easy: cheeses add substantial salt.

This is a really nice goat ricotta. Don’t drain the liquid! Add it with the cheese.

Grate the fresh mozzarella. We ended up munching on it as we did so, so not a full pound went into the baked dish!

Add the rigatoni and ricotta cheese to the sauce.

Mix well.

Lay down the first layer. First cover the bottom of the dish with the coated pasta, then add basil leaves, grated mozzarella, and grated parmigiano reggiano.

Repeat layering until the pasta is gone, and then finish the top with mozzarella first (more generously than the inner layers), then grated parmigiano, and then some basil leaves. Depending on how liquidy your sauce ended up, you may want to sprinkle a few handfuls of water on top before the final cheese and basil garnish. In this case, I did so, as you want to see some liquid on the bottom of the pan before it goes in to the oven.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until finished, 30-40 minutes. The good thing about using a glass pan is that you can when it is done: you want to see the liquid in the bottom of the pan start boiling away, and then allow to cook until it is almost–but not completely–boiled off. In this case, it took the full 40 minutes.

Oh, man, this shitte was fucken GOODE! Our good friend Scribbler–barman and raconteur par excellence–graced us with his presence to share this wonderful repast and a few cocktails. Note that if you are vegetarian, you can leave out the sausage and otherwise make exactly the same, although you should add another small can of tomatoes.

Ragu Risotto

I’ve done this one before, but it is so fucken good I had to do it again!

INGREDIENTS

quarter cup diced onion
quarter cup diced carrot
quarter cup diced celery
one cup dry white wine
three quarter pounds ground meat (veal, beef, pork, lamb, or a mixture)
one cup crushed san marzano tomatoes
one quart stock (veal, beef, or chicken), diluted 1:1 to make two quarts broth
two cups arborio rice
black pepper
long pepper
two tablespoons chopped fresh basil
one half cup grated parmigiano reggiano
one tablespoon butter
olive oil
salt

Sautee the vegetables on the lowest possible heat for as long as it takes to completely soften, adding liberal amounts of fresh-ground long and black pepper. The whole essence of a ragu is patience, with everything cooking on as low a heat as possible for as long as necessary. You don’t want to brown or caramelize anything.

Add the meat and continue to sautee very slowly until the meat is fully cooked.

Deglaze with the white wine and turn up the heat to boil off the alcohol.

Add the tomatoes, turn the heat back to the lowest setting, and simmer covered for at least an hour and a half.

This is what it looks like when it’s done. You may have to add a little of your broth (or water) partway through if it reduces too quickly. Salt to taste, but note that you will be adding salt later from the broth and the cheese. (Note that this ragu can be used to make a pasta bolognese: just add some milk, bring back to a simmer, throw in very molto al dente pasta plus one cup pasta water, finish for a few minutes on medium high heat, turn off the heat, add grated parmigiano reggiano, butter, and parsley or basil, and stir to incorporate.)

Add the rice, turn the heat up to medium, and sautee until the rice is evenly coated and starts to smell toasty.

Cook the risotto in the usual way, ladling in simmering broth and stirring as it cooks. You want to have the heat at a medium level such that it takes about 16-18 minutes for the rice to reach very molto al dente–still a good bit of crunch in the center–at which point you turn the heat off. It will still continue to cook even with the heat off, so you need to stop the heat *before* it reaches the desired doneness.

Add the grated cheese, butter, and one tablespoon of chopped basil. Stir to incorporate, cover, and allow to rest for a few minutes. If you want it looser, you can add extra broth at this point. Personally, I prefer meat risotto to be firmer, and save the loosey goosey shitte for seafood or vegetable risottos.

Plate, grate, sprinkle, EAT!

“Iranian” Conspiracy

I have not seen any believable evidence that this supposed “Iranian” conspiracy is anything other than the usual painfully stupid viciously angry motherfucker “conspiring” with FBI agents and their deadbeat sleazy informants who fuel his delusions of destructive grandeur. Anybody got anything that would change my mind?

Mezze Maniche With Sausage Clam Tomato Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

half pound sausage
three cans chopped clams
two cups crushed san marzanos
one cup dry white wine
quarter cup heavy cream
one quarter large white onion, diced
six cloves garlic, diced
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper
dried oregano
dried thyme
olive oil
three tablespoons chopped flat parsley
one pound mezze maniche
hard cheese for grating on top (tumi del trifulin or parmigiano reggiano or whatever)

Sautee the onion with fresh-ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and a small pinch each of oregano and thyme until starting to turn translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sautee until garlic is fully soft.

Remove the sausage from the casing, add to the pan, and sautee breaking up with your spoon until it is nicely browned.

Deglaze with the white wine and reduce until the EtOH is gone.

Add the juice from the three cans of clams (reserving the clams), the two cups of san marzanos, and two tablespoons of chopped parsley, stir well, and begin to simmer on low with the lid off.

When the sauce has reduced and the tomatoes are fully cooked and tender–about 45 minutes–add the clams and the heavy cream, stir well, and continue to simmer on low. Salt to taste, but it shouldn’t need much if any, since the clam juice and sausage have plenty of salt. Meanwhile boil the mezze maniche in salty water.

When the mezze maniche are very molto al dente, add one cup of pasta water to the sauce, drain them, add them to the sauce, and finish on medium-high for two to three minutes. Cover and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Plate, grate, sprinkle, and EAT!