Mark Bittman discusses his new book of recipes 'Dinner For Everyone'
ORECCHIETTE with salmon and leeks (weeknights)
makes: 4 servings
time: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 skin-on salmon fillets (about 12 ounces total)
Salt and pepper
1 pound leeks, trimmed, sliced crosswise and
. cup dry white wine
1 pound orecchiette or other small-cut pasta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the salmon skin side down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the skin is crisp and releases easily, 3 to 5 minutes; turn the fish and lower the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the salmon is not quite opaque all the way through, just another minute or two.
Transfer the fish to a plate. Carefully peel off the skin and return it to the pot. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the filets and sprinkle with salt.
Add the leeks to the pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, pasta, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles enthusiastically and cook, stirring frequently and adding more water ¼ cup at time to keep the mixture saucy, until the pasta just begins to get tender, no more than 10 minutes.
Chop the salmon skin. Use a fork to flake the salmon into large pieces. Add it to the pasta and cook until the salmon is heated through and the pasta is tender but still has some bite, another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, garnish with the chives and salmon skin, and serve.
SUCCOTASH AND SHELLS (vegan)
makes: 4 servings
time: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper
12 ounces whole wheat shells or other cut pasta
2 cups frozen lima beans
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
2 cups corn kernels (frozen is fine)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1. Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the pasta, lima beans, bell pepper, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, scraping up any bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles enthusiastically and cook, stirring frequently and adding more water . cup at a time so the mixture stays saucy, until the pasta just begins to get tender, no more than 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the corn and sage and cook until the corn is warmed through and the pasta is tender but still has some bite, another 3 to 5 minutes Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve hot or warm.
PARMESAN-INFUSED NOODLES with shaved artichoke hearts (for company)
makes: 4 servings
time: about 2 hours
8 ounces Parmesan rind, plus . cup grated
Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 onion, quartered (don’t bother to peel)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, plus ground pepper as needed
About 2 cups flour, or more as needed
1 teaspoon salt, or more as needed
2 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
3 medium or 6 small artichokes (about 1. pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1. Put the Parmesan rind, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a pot with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring every few minutes to prevent the rinds from sticking to the pot, until the liquid is rich and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the solids. Return the stock to the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to about 2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm. (Or you can cool it and refrigerate for a few days or freeze for a few weeks.)
2. Combine the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in the container of a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add the eggs and yolks and turn the machine on. Process just until a ball begins to form, about 30 seconds. Add a few drops of water if the dough is dry and grainy; add a tablespoon of flour if the dough sticks to the side of the bowl. (If you don’t have a food processor, see page 117 for how to make the pasta dough by hand.)
3. Sprinkle the dough with a little reserved flour and cover with plastic or a cloth; let it rest for about 30 minutes. (At this point, you can refrigerate the dough, wrapped in plastic, until you’re ready to roll it out, for up to 24 hours.)
4. Set up your pasta machine and sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour. Cut off about one-third of the dough and wrap the rest in plastic or cloth while you work. Roll the dough lightly in the flour and use your hands to flatten it into a rectangle about the width of the rollers. Set the machine to its thickest setting and feed the dough through the rollers. If it sticks, dust it with a little more flour. Repeat. Set the machine to its next-thinnest setting and repeat. Each time, if the pasta sticks, sprinkle it with a little more flour, and put the dough through each setting twice.
5. Continue to roll the dough thinner, moving the thickness only one setting each time (if you try to rush the process, the dough will tear). If at any point the dough tears badly, bunch it together and start again. Use only as much flour as you need to prevent sticking, added in small amounts each time. Continue to pass the dough through the machine until it’s just a bit thicker than you might normally make (usually that’s the third-thinnest setting.) Repeat 2 more times (by this time it will be going quickly), then flour the dough lightly, cover it, and set it aside. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
6. Cut each dough sheet into rectangles roughly 16 inches long; trim any rough edges. Use a sharp knife to cut the sheets perpendicularly into long, wide noodles, or attach the broadest (tagliatelle) cutter to your machine and run each sheet through. Cover with a towel while you prepare the artichokes.
7. Fill a bowl with cold water and the juice of 2 lemons. Cut off the pointed tips of the artichoke leaves with scissors or cut off the whole top third using a large knife. Use a paring knife to peel around the base and cut off the stem and bottom inch; pull off and discard the toughest exterior leaves. Halve the artichoke lengthwise, pry open the central petals, and scrape out the fuzzy choke with a spoon. Keep the trimmed artichokes in the lemon water while you work. When all the artichokes have been trimmed, use the thinnest slicing blade of a food processor or a mandoline to slice cross-sections of artichoke. Put them back in the acidulated water as quickly as possible.
8. Put the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When it melts, add the noodles, quickly followed by 1. cups Parmesan stock and all but a handful of the artichoke slices. Adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles enthusiastically and cook, stirring constantly and carefully and adding more stock . cup at time to keep the mixture saucy, until the pasta is tender but still has some bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the grated Parmesan and thyme and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until everything is mixed together and the sauce is silky. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish with the remaining shaved artichokes and lots of pepper and serve.
Mark Bittman's website: www.MarkBittman.com