“One of my passions is developing recipes. Sometimes they are for a client like Hood Milk, for which I developed recipes for Heluva Good Dips and for the cartons of the company’s holiday eggnog. I also worked in New York for Bon Appetit advertising, where I developed recipes and styled them for photo shoots. Two that come to mind are Stella Artois and Spanish Rioja wines.”

Many times, the idea for a recipe comes first, and I’ll develop an article later. I often work in my kitchen to create a recipe from ingredients I have in my refrigerator. If it turns out well, I commit it to memory and make it again to test it.

Following are recipes I am excited about and want to share with you.

Forging for clams to make homemade linguine and clams

John F. Carafoli is an international food stylist, consultant, food writer, and author. Carafoli also leads food and music tours to Italy where he gives cooking classes.John F. Carafoli is an international food stylist, consultant, food writer, and author. Carafoli also leads food and music tours to Italy where he gives cooking classes.John Carafoli cooks homemade linguine with clams

MY FAVORITE RECIPES

Linguine with Clams

You can embellish this dish by adding crispy sliced garlic chips or if you would like a red sauce, mix a tablespoon or two into the wine and clam juice.

Ingredients:
1 pound homemade linguine
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small hot red pepper, sliced or red pepper flakes to taste
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup clam juice
¾ cup minced clams
2 tablespoons chopped Italian, flat leaf parsley
*12 small clams, 3 per person

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta, until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the wine and clam juice bring to a boil, 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain the pasta and add to the saucepan. Stir in minced clams, small clams, parsley and heat through. Serve immediately in warm bowls.
Serves 4
*(NOTE: Steam the clams in ½ cup white wine before and use the stock in the base. This will assure of their freshness and will not destroy the dish if one is filled with sand. Discard any that do not open. The clams should be added last just to heat through).

Anchovy Sauce Cooked with Linguine

John F. Carafoli is an international food stylist, consultant, food writer, and author. Carafoli also leads food and music tours to Italy where he gives cooking classes.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 (2-ounce) can anchovies packed in olive oil, undrained
1 to 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons drained capers in brine (or capers in salt, rinsed and drained)
1/2 heaping cup chopped Italian parsley
1 pound linguine
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
Salt (for cooking linguine)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep, heavy skillet large enough to hold the cooked pasta (about 12 inches in diameter). Add the anchovies, garlic, and red pepper and sauté gently, stirring often, until the garlic turns golden. Immediately dissolve the tomato paste in the wine and stir into the mixture. Stir in the capers and about 1/3 cup of the parsley, reserving the rest. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts water to a boil in a large (6- to 8-quart) saucepan. Add the lemon zest while it heats. When the water boils, add the salt, drop in the linguini and cook just until it has wilted, about 1 minute. It will still be close to raw. Add 3 to 4 ladlefuls of the linguine cooking water to the anchovy sauce. Drain the linguine in a colander and add it to the sauce in the skillet, toss or stir with two wooden spoons or a pasta fork to distribute the contents, turn up the heat to high and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, uncovered, for about 8 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the pasta will be al dente. To serve, turn into four large heated bowls and sprinkle with the reserved chopped parsley. Serves 4.

Cassoulet

(Allow at least 1½ days, including a final baking period of 3 hours.) Cassoulet gets its name from the casserole, the large earthenware pot it is cooked in. I was first introduced to it when I was invited to a party by my friend Sally Darr, former chef/owner, with her husband John, of La Tulipe in New York City (1979-1991). Out of her kitchen she came carrying a large clay pot, one she had bought in France, especially made for cooking cassoulet. It was bubbling around the edges and topped with several pieces of crispy confit of duck on a bed of toasted, seasoned breadcrumbs. As the aromas of garlic and braised meats filled the room, I was hooked. There are many variations of this French classic. This is mine.

Preparation

To prepare lamb: Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Melt fat in heavy saucepan and brown lamb in batches. Remove from pan, set aside.

In same pan, add a little more fat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until vegetables wilt and start to color. Add the garlic; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in wine and tomato puree. Simmer for another minute or two. Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaves and rosemary, and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use in cassoulet the next day.

To prepare beans: Soak the beans overnight in cold water or use quick-soaking method. Drain the beans and place in a large 8-quart pan with 4 quarts water. Add bouquet garni, bacon and garlic sausage and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Remove sausage after 30 minutes, cool, remove casing and cut into ½–inch slices. Continue cooking the beans until tender, about 45 to 60 minutes longer. Drain beans, reserving liquid.

To finish cassoulet: While beans are cooking, brown pork belly in rendered fat. Remove from skillet.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put lamb mixture and pork belly into the pot in which beans were cooked. Heat just until soft enough to break apart.

Season 4-quart casserole by rubbing it with garlic. To assemble the dish, begin by spreading half the beans in the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with half the sausage slices, then half of the lamb-pork mixture. Repeat with remaining beans, sausage, and lamb-pork mixture. Add about one-half cup of bean liquor (or as much as needed) to moisten. Top with one-third of breadcrumbs, and drizzle with more rendered fat.

Bake for one hour, or until crumb topping is golden and crusty. Stir crumbs into dish. Add another third of breadcrumbs, drizzling with more fat. Bake another hour, or until this topping is also golden and crusty. Stir topping back into dish and add last third of breadcrumbs, drizzling with fat. Bake for final hour.

One Comment

  1. Carol Gallo

    JOHN…THIS IS SO WONDERFUL…JUST PERFECT…..WISHING YOU PEACE AND HEALTH…..

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