Both came from Giada's amazing book, and neither failed to deliver on everything she talked about with both dishes. The first was tagliatelle with short rib ragu sauce. I've never made a ragu, but pretty impressed by how easy it was. The only downside was the time it took (about 3 hours), but it's the only way to really get the short ribs nice and soft and the sauce good and thick so it sticks to the pasta. Here's some pictures of the process:
Process tomato, onion, carrot, parsley, garlic,
rosemary, thyme, oregano, and tomato paste.
Pancetta with some olive oil. YUM. Fry this for
3 minutes and get put the pancetta aside.
Flour your short ribs. Those get browned in your pot.
Add it all together. Simmer 1.5 hours lid on, 1.5 hours lid off
Remove short ribs from bones (they fall off anyways)
and shred short ribs, add back in
yumyumyumyumyum. Rich, fatty, and awesome.
For elle I made a vegetable pasta bake. This smelled just as good as the ragu. Looks like a very very hearty dish, kind of soul-warming if you know what I mean. A great thing about this dish (which Giada mentions), is that you can put it together essentially whenever you want to, then put in the oven about a half hour before you want to serve it. Makes it a good dish if you're having a bunch of people over and doing a few courses. This can be made in the afternoon, then you can spend your time
drinking with the guests preparing appetizers.
Making this dish helped me to discover the deliciousness of smoked mozzarella cheese, which I will undoubtedly be using much much much more in the future. This is another easy one. Also, if you want to work on your knife skills, this is the perfect dish to do so with. I had to cut up two zucchini, two squash, an onion and some mushrooms. One mistake I made was leaving this in the oven too long, but it actually hardened the top just a little bit, making for an unexpectedly yummy crunchiness:
Drizzle these with olive oil, salt, and herbs de provence. Bake for 15 minutes
Top it with cheese and some butter cubes.
Let that shit sit AS LONG AS YOU NEED TO
This is worth baking only for the smell.
Hopefully I'll have the energy to do this a couple of times. I was in the kitchen for a good four to five hours making these two, but it was worth it. I haven't had to make a lunch or dinner yet this week, and it's looking like I won't need to.
My next project? Biscotti. They HAVE to taste better than the ones I buy from the Bucks down the street.