Pizzoccheri Gratin from Jonathon Sawyer

original-201212-r-pizzoccheri-gratin.jpgIn Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese.You may need to use fresh lasagna sheets cut into noodles (buckwheat noodles can be hard to find) and bake them in a gratin dish with a crispy bread crumb topping.

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter with the sage, poppy seeds and caraway seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nutty and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Step 2  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potato and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato to a bowl. Add the pasta to the pot and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to a colander. Add the cabbage to the pot and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage and shake out the excess water. Pour off the water and return the cabbage to the pot, along with the pasta and potato. Add the browned butter, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Stir in 1 cup of the Fontina and half of the Parmigiano and transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Step 3  In the small skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the bread crumbs and parsley and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and toasted, 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining Fontina and Parmigiano and sprinkle over the pasta. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve hot.  Serves : 8

Make Ahead

The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Fresh and Wild Mushroom Stew from NY Times

  • 1 ½ pounds crecipes-wildmushroomstew-master675ultivated brown mushrooms, like shiitake, cremini or portobello
  • ½ pound pale wild mushrooms, like chanterelle (or use King trumpet or oyster)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage or rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Porcini broth, heated, or use chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Clean mushrooms, keeping colors separate, and trim tough stems. (Save stems for stock.) Slice mushrooms about 1/8-inch thick.In a wide skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

    Add 1 more tablespoon oil and turn heat to high. Add brown mushrooms, season lightly and stir-fry until nicely colored, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add thyme, sage, red pepper and tomato paste. Add tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Season again with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour, stir to incorporate and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in reserved onions.

    Add 1 cup mushroom broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2 minutes. Sauce should have gravy-like consistency; thin with more broth if necessary. Adjust seasoning. (May be prepared to this point several hours ahead and reheated.)

    Just before serving, put butter and 1 tablespoon olive in wide skillet over medium high heat. When butter begins to brown, add chanterelles, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2 minutes, until cooked through and beginning to brown. Add garlic and parsley, stir to coat and cook 1 minute more. Add chanterelles to brown mushroom mixture and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Accompany with polenta or pasta if you wish.