Archive for January, 2010


Tagliatelle is the most commonly served pastas in all of Italy, but you don’t see it that much in the USA.   We love this noodle in our family because it is so robust and holds a sauce so well.  Here we pair it with a substancial ragu  (meat sauce) of lamb and mushrooms.  Don’t forget the final step of annointing your pasta with parmesan cheese and good olive oil.  We serve this dish with a simple Montepulciano d’ Abbruzzo. 

Tagliatelle with lamb and mushroom ragu

Ragu ingredients                                                                            

1 ½ – 2  cups lamb (cut into 1/2 “ pieces                                

¾ cup red onion diced                                       

2 cups mixed mushrooms (medium chop)                  

½ – ¾  cup red wine                                          

2 toes chopped fresh garlic

½ cup flour

2 TBS tomato paste

1 cup brodo (chicken/mushroom stock)                                            

2 thick slices pancetta (cubed)

2 TBS oyster sauce (sssshhh, don’t tell anyone)

¼ cup parmesan cheese (to finish)                                                     

2 tbs olive oil plus oil to finish

1 cup chopped parsley

Pasta Ingredients

½ lb egg  pasta ,  Lots of boiling salted water

  1. Add olive oil to hot pan, add pancetta, cook until not quite crispy
  2. Dust lamb with flour, add lamb and brown, Remove lamb from pan    
  3. Add some oil, onion & garlic, cook 5 minutes till translucent,  
  4. Add tomato paste, roast paste, add oyster sauce.
  5. Deglaze with wine, add brodo , add lamb back in     
  6. Stir until you have a rich ragu, add ½ the parsley, 
  7. Cover pan and place in 275 oven for about ½ – 1 hour
  8. Drain pasta (save a little water) toss pasta with ragu 
  9. Pour into platter, sprinkle with parmesan, anoint with oil, & parsley.
  10.  Serve with wilted spinach.

Buon appetito


              DIM SUM TROLLEY


  Octopus, Spring rolls and Scallop/shrimp rolls

Dim Sum originated in Southern China hundreds of years ago as part of the YUM CHA “drinking tea” tradition.  Dim Sum means “to touch the heart”. The best way to describe these delicious treats is to address them as Chineese antipasti, tapas, or hors d’ouvres. They are usually steamed or deep fried and can be savory or sweet.  I first encountered them decades ago in San  Francisco.  Back then you could only find them in Chineese bakeries…..but today they can be found in most large cities.  They are absolutly addictive! My all time favorite place is Jing Fong in New York’s China Town (#20 Elizabeth St)  There on the second floor you will find 120 beautiful fucia tables with hundreds of Dim Sum fans……..enjoying a continuous stream of ladies pushing trolleys loaded with stange and inticing little plates and steamers of Shiu Mai, Crispy Taro Kor, Steamed Chicken Feet, Spring Rolls, Shark Fin Dumplings, Spicy Garlic Squid  etc.   Here in Michigan, we enjoy the selection at the Golden Harvest ( 6880 12 Mile Rd, Warren, MI )  The best time to find a good selection of Dim Sum is on a Sat or Sunday, between 11 am and 2 pm.  Be sure to pick only the hot dishes on top of the trolley, and not the ones on the bottom shelves.   Once you take the first plunge, you will be hooked forever!


This recipe is based on a very simple dish that we encountered in Montepuluciano, Italy.  The trattoria was very small and located in the basement. The combination of the salty prosciuto, capers, creamy mozzarella , and crispy bread is sublime…………plus  really easy.  In Italy, the very best ingredients are always used. The INGREDIENTS speak for themselves.  That’s why the food in Italy is so great.

Prosciutto Crostini with pinenuts & capers

Large crostini with prosciutto, mozzarella, pine nuts & caper

4 slices rustic bread (cut on long diagonal)

2 slices prosciutto (cut lengthwise)

2 TBS chopped pine nuts  

4 TBS mozzarella cubes (1/4 “)

2 drained capers

Chopped Parsley

2 TBS olive oil & paint brush

  • Lightly paint each slice of bread with olive oil
  • Place long slice of prosciutto on each crostini
  • Place on baking sheet in 375 oven for 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven, put cubes on crostini, return to oven 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle on pine nuts and capers
  •  Return sheet to oven for 2 minutes until bubbly.
  • Serve immediately , garnish with parsley

Caution:  Oven times and temperatures may vary

Bon appetitto   

Makes two servings