Gnocchi with Crabmeat and Prosciutto

RecipeSquare-150x150 This rather rich dish brings crabmeat and dry-cured ham together in a cream sauce with gnocchi, the little potato-and-flour pasta dumplings. You can make your own gnocchi if you like (quite an undertaking), but you can buy relatively decent fresh gnocchi in the refrigerator case at the store. Recipe details. . .

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Toney’s Stuffed Macaroni

RecipeSquare-150x150 Stuffed macaroni was a major house specialty at Toney’s Spaghetti House on Bourbon Street, and I dish I’ve never encountered anywhere else. It’s essentially a very light, soft mixture of the same things you’d use to make meatballs, but in different proportions. Many customers ordered it with meatballs, in fact. The macaroni part was the biggest tubular pasta available. You could also roll it up in sheets of pasta, like cannelloni but smaller. Or in large pasta shells. Recipe details. . .

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Bolognese Sauce
* NOMenu.com

Bolognese Sauce

RecipeSquare-150x150 The great meat sauces of Italy are made in the area of Bologna, where every family says that its meat sauce is the best. An authentic Bolognese meat sauce is so different from the standard American meat sauce for spaghetti that I hesitate to even mention them in the same sentence. Here is what the spaghetti with meat sauce you’ve been subjecting yourself to all your life in cafeterias was really trying to be. More to come. . .

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Pasta Rosa
Pasta

Pasta Rosa

Maximo’s has been one of the hippest Italian restaurants imaginable since it opened over a decade ago. Although most of its menu has a distinctly Northern Italian flavor, this pasta dish–a specialty since day one–is very clearly a New Orleans dish. It’s quite spicy and quite rich at the same time, and you’ve probably never had a dish quite like it. Read More. . .

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Fresh Marinara Sauce
Pasta

Fresh Marinara Sauce

Fresh Marinara Sauce This is the kind of red sauce we make most often at home. It’s cooked only a few minutes, so the freshness of the tomatoes doesn’t turn into sweetness. The flavor of fresh basil–which we have growing out on our sunniest deck during the warmer months–is a top flavor note. In that and some other ways, this is not your Sicilian grandmother’s recipe for red gravy. However, you can get close to that by letting the pot of sauce simmer at a low temperature for a few…

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Crabmeat Cannelloni
1 Appetizers: Shellfish

Crabmeat Cannelloni

Here’s a rich crabmeat-and-pasta dish that makes a good appetizer or entree. Resist the temptation to roll these things up so tight that the crabmeat can’t escape; you want to see some of it wandering around on the plate. You know how you can tell that this is a New Orleans recipe, not one from Italy? The cheese. Italians would never put this much cheese (if any) in a seafood dish. In New Orleans, not having the cheese would be nearly unthinkable. Read More. . .

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Spaghetti alla Turci
Pasta

Spaghetti alla Turci

One of the most famous lost recipes in New Orleans, Turci’s spaghetti showed the Bolognese origins of founder Ettore Turci. In Italy, people regard to food of Bologna in much the same way we do Cajun food here. I’ve heard more than one Italian say that in Bologna, they eat anything, and usually cook it all in one pot. That’s the essence of this dish, which includes far more meats than is normally found in a pasta sauce. It’s an old-fashioned flavor and takes two days to make authentically. You must also suspend our modern disdain for tomato paste. Read More. . .

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Pasta Arrabiatta
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Pasta Arrabiatta

The name means “angry,” and the idea is that you’re supposed to make it in a furious mood. Or it could be that there’s an above-average amount of red pepper in the dish–at least by the standards of a tomato sauce for pasta. The main point is that this is a very quickly-cooked sauce, not the kind that sits in the pot bubbling for eight hours. So it has a nice fresh flavor. Read More. . .

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Tortellini Veronese
Pasta

Tortellini Veronese

Chef Felix Sturmer, who I’ve lost track of, did this dish for an Eat Club dinner when he was at the former Westin Canal Place. Its the best dish I ever made with those little bay scallops that sometimes come our way in the supermarket. But the bigger sea scallops are usually of much higher quality, so this recipe calls for those. It’s also good with crawfish tails. I wouldn’t use it with anything subtle (crabmeat, for instance), because the cheese in the tortellini competes hard.

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Chef Goffredo’s Crabmeat Ravioli

Chef Goffredo’s Crabmeat Ravioli

La Riviera was among the best Italian restaurants ever to open in New Orleans. Chef Goffredo Fraccaro created it in 1972 after a few years cheffing a too-grand, unsuccessful Italian restaurant in the French Quarter. His new place was much more ambitious than most local Italian places, and once people got used to the idea of eating an Italian dinner that might not include red sauce and anise-flavored sausage, it became a long-running favorite. It lasted until Hurricane Katrina, after which Goffredo–then in his eighties–retired.

This dish was his most famous, and triggered imitators all over town. It won the 1980 International Crabmeat Olympics in San Francisco. For most of Goffredo’s customers, a dinner at La Riviera wouldn’t have been complete without a starter of this fantastic dish. Read More. . .

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Pasta with White Beans and Bacon
Beans

Pasta with White Beans and Bacon

In Italy, white beans are widely eaten in all sorts of ways, usually in the company of herbs, sometimes with meats on the fatty side. This is in the latter category, with a taste that’s very much that of Northern Italy. But if you were to replace the pasta with rice, you’d have a classic neighborhood-cafe lunch special. Read More. . .

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Oysters and Pasta Creole Bordelaise
Oysters, Scallops, Mussels, Clams

Oysters and Pasta Creole Bordelaise

Oysters and Pasta Creole Bordelaise A delicious and very simple combination: spaghetti aglio olio (or “bordelaise,” as we call it in New Orleans) with fresh Louisiana oysters. The crushed red pepper develops as it cooks, and spreads warmth. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 24 fresh large oysters 4 Tbs. butter 2 Tbs. finely-chopped fresh garlic 4 Tbs. finely chopped green onion tops 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper 1/4 tsp. salt 1 lb. vermicelli, cooked al dente 8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1. In a small skillet over medium-low flame, heat…

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Louisiana Seafood Pasta
Pasta

Louisiana Seafood Pasta

Here’s my take on the very rich, Creole-seasoned, chock-full-of-seafood pasta dish that became popular in the early 1980s. It remains very popular today. When crawfish are in season, use them instead of the scallops. Read More. . .

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Potato Gnocchi
Pasta

Potato Gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi Gnocchi are marvelous little pasta dumplings. When made properly–without a great deal of handling–they have a pillowy texture. This comes from the unique combination of flour and potatoes used to make the dough. They take a long time to make, but there’s something about the process that calms you down and lowers your blood pressure. The best sauces for them are light cream sauces or a simple brown butter. This recipe comes from La Cucina Di Andrea’s,” a cookbook I wrote with Chef Andrea Apuzzo’s recipes a long…

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Eggplant Lasagna (Eggplant Tina)
Italian

Eggplant Lasagna (Eggplant Tina)

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is my version of the terrific dish called eggplant Tina at Tony Angello’s restaurant in New Orleans’ Lakeview neighborhood. It’s one of the best-loved dishes there, served to a majority of the customers every night. It’s essentially a lasagna made with eggplant in the place of pasta, and a great deal of Romano cheese. The sweetness of the late Mr. Tony’s sauce balances the bitterness of the eggplant.

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Pasta With Shrimp, Garlic, And Vegetables
Pasta

Pasta With Shrimp, Garlic, And Vegetables

Pasta and seafood come together easily. So do shrimp and garlic. And pasta and vegetables. Using those truths, Katie’s developed a great dish during its first incarnation. In the reborn Katie’s that returned from the hurricane in 2010, the dish wasn’t really on the menu. (They let you create pasta dishes almost any way you want, though.) While I was waiting for Katie’s to come back, here’s how I made that dish. Read More. . .

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Creole-Italian Pot Stickers
Pasta

Creole-Italian Pot Stickers

RecipeSquare-150x150 My son Jude developed an inexplicable love for Chinese pot stickers at a time in his life when his list of acceptable foods was so short that he was hard to feed. ¶ At Trey Yuen, one of our favorite Chinese places–he typically ate three full orders of the things, thereby outspending everyone else at the table combined. His record is 32 pot stickers. ¶ This is easy to understand. Good pot stickers are very good indeed. They’re Chinese ravioli, balls of meat with seasonings and vegetables wrapped in a noodle disk. ¶ First you steam them (after which they’re already pretty good) and then you fry them in a hot pan with a little oil. They’re easy to make, if time-consuming; we usually sit around the kitchen counter as a family and make several dozen of them at a time. Once they’re wrapped, you can freeze them to steam and fry later.
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Chicken With Chanterelle Mushrooms And Penne
Pasta

Chicken With Chanterelle Mushrooms And Penne

Chicken With Chanterelle Mushrooms And Penne Pasta My wife came back from a trip to Los Angeles (where our son and grandson live) with a bagful of groceries. Browsing around a farmer’s market, she saw what looked to her like really good mushrooms. Chanterelles. She thought I could make something with them, but not exactly what. A chance to improvise! I knew that this would require using only what was already around the house. Except for the chicken, which I sneaked out to buy. This contains a lot of butter,…

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Pasta Jambalaya
Pasta

Pasta Jambalaya

Pasta Jambalaya This dish was invented at Mr. B’s, and it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before. It replaces the rice in a good sausage-and-chicken jambalaya with pasta. This version was created by the Taste Buds–the three chefs who own Zea–for their first big restaurant concept, Semolina. (Only one Semolina survives, , in the Clearview Mall.) The Buds added two interesting wrinkles: Creole sauce and smoked gouda cheese. The latter touch gives the smoky flavor we all want in a jambalaya. 2 Tbs. vegetable oil 1/2 lb. andouille, sliced…

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Crawfish Pasta Alfredo

Crawfish Pasta Alfredo This is the simplest good recipe I know for making seafood pasta. It’s quick, good, and rich. You can use crabmeat or cooked shrimp to make this, too. For a rich appetizer variation, let the sauce get thick, use a lot of it with the pasta, then bake it like an au gratin dish in the oven for two or three minutes before serving. 1 pint whipping cream 1 cup grated Romano cheese 2 lbs. cooked crawfish tails 1 Tbs. Creole seasoning 8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves…

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Semolina’s Pad Thai

RecipeSquare-150x150 At Semolina, one of their best and most popular dishes is pad thai. It never was exactly the way you’d find it in a Thai restaurant, but it was hardly bad. This recipe evolved in my kitchen from theirs. It differs in that I let the ingredients brown a little more over higher heat. And I make it a good deal spicier. Recipe details. . .

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Pasta Ai Frutti Di Mare

Pasta Ai Frutti Di Mare Bob, Mark, and Sandy DeFelice tell me that this is one of the most popular dishes at Pascal’s Manale, which their family has operated since 1913. It’s basically a red sauce spaghetti dish with a lot of seafood–not a combination we see often around New Orleans, where seafood usually comes to pasta enclosed in a rich cream sauce or an garlicky olive-oil-based concoction. The amounts given here are what they says they serve for one, but it’s easily enough for two. Don’t hesitate to substitute…

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Fettuccine Alfredo

RecipeSquare-150x150 Is it everybody’s favorite pasta dish? Well, I had a party once where I set up a pasta bar, with six different pasta dishes. This is the one everybody talked about. Although most version use heavy cream, I find you get a better flavor if the sauce is lighter. So I use half-and-half instead. Some recipes–including the one from the restaurant in Rome for which the dish is named–call for an egg yolk to be added to the hot, sauced pasta right before serving. Others use Romano cheese to replace the Parmigiano. I offer those suggestions for a change of pace.

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Lasagna With Beef And Italian Sausage

RecipeSquare-150x150 An opera-singing friend from my college years was proud of what she called her Lazy Day Lasagna. The name alone tells much of what you need to know in making any kind of lasagna. It takes hours to do it right.

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Mushroom Ravioli

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Pizza Di Maccheroni (Spaghetti Pizza)
* Red Bean Edition

Pizza Di Maccheroni (Spaghetti Pizza)

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is not, as you might fear, spaghetti on top of pizza. It’s spaghetti turned into a pizza–sort of. The idea comes from a cooking show my son Jude co-produced in Los Angeles a few years ago. I didn’t catch the details, but when I improvised it from what I remember it came out good enough to share.

This is one of the rare dishes in which you should cook the pasta a bit beyond al dente. We want it to stick together a bit. It also helps to use thin spaghetti.

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Rigatoni With Four Cheeses

RecipeSquare-150x150 Or “quattro formaggi,” as the Italians call it. Very, very rich, this pasta dish is best served in a small portion as an appetizer. What you want here is a combination of cheeses with different flavors. One way to do that is to use cheeses made from the milk of different animals. from different animals. So here I have Parmigiana (cow), Romano (sheep), Gorgonzola (cow) or Roquefort (sheep), and Fontina (cow).

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Shrimp San Pedro

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is a variation on a dish that Pat Gallagher used to prepare at the Winner’s Circle. It is one of several I’ve encountered over the years that flavors shrimp with an anise-flavored liqueur; every one of them was magnificent. This one is rather rich, but when served over pasta it’s not overwhelming in that regard.

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Pasta Puttanesca

RecipeSquare-150x150 The name is an embarrassing Italian joke. “Puttanesca” means “in the style of the prostitute.” Since the ladies of the evening are not known for their prowess in the kitchen, it must be about something else. A look at the ingredients may suggest what was going on in the mind of the man (it was undoubtedly a man) who came up with this name.

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Linguine With Mediterranean Vegetables

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RecipeSquare-150x150 During the heyday of very light, low-everything pasta dishes, some chefs came up with some pretty good ones. This is one I still use, even 15 years after getting it from the chef of the great lost wine bar Flagons. It has aspects of bouillabaisse, antipasto, pasta puttanesca, and a few other Mediterranean dishes. It’s almost as good served chilled as it is hot. Read entire article.

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Fettuccine Pontchartrain

RecipeSquare-150x150 I’m not sure who did it first, but the combination of Louisiana crabmeat lumps with fettuccine and an Alfredo-style sauce is inspired and irresistible. This one takes it another step further, with a soft-shell crab (or even better, a buster crab) on top. It makes a good appetizer or entree. By the way, the thinner the fettuccine, the better this dish is.
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Pasta Bordelaise

RecipeSquare-150x150 The Italians call this pasta aglio olio. In New Orleans, it’s pasta bordelaise, even though there’s not a drop of red Bordeaux in it. We eat it as a side dish to all sorts of things, from stuffed crabs to panneed veal. We also make a batch of it around our house when nobody has a strong idea what they want to eat. During the years before our children left home, “garlicky pasta” (our name for the dish) was without question the most popular dish at the Cool Water Ranch. The four of us shared a love for a lot of garlic, even when the kids were little. More to come. . .

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The Marys’ Macaroni And Cheese

RecipeSquare-150x150 My wife Mary Ann’s mother made (or so she says) legendary mac ‘n’ cheese. It was made with evaporated milk and margarine, in the days when they hadn’t met a trans-fat they didn’t like. MA says I introduced her to snooty ingredients like real cream in a carton and butter. Baking it is better, she says, but she claims this will work in the microwave too. “You will only be rewarded with the crunchy cheese crust if it’s baked,” sez the mother of my children. “Good things come to those who wait.” If the quantities of cheese and cream here seem crazy, it’s because Mary Ann admits that they are. I one shred more of cheese were used, this would have to be called “cheese ‘n’ mac.” Read entire article.

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White Shrimp Boot Pasta

RecipeSquare-150x150

White Shrimp Boot Pasta

This is a hearty, wintertime dish made with the basic ingredients of Italian pasta fagioli soup, but a bit more substantial in texture, and ingredients that give it a rural Louisiana flavor. Eating something like this will make you feel you’re in a fishing camp. More to come. . .

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Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is the great pasta dish of Rome, made there using guanciale, cured pork made from hog jowls. That’s hard to find here, so I suggest you use thickly sliced pork belly, pancetta, or unsmoked bacon. ¶ That’s a flavoring for what is otherwise a basic tomato sauce, whose only other distinguishing quality is that it employs enough crushed red pepper to make it distinctly spicy. Some versions add mushrooms, but I prefer this one. One more thing: the sauce gets better after a day or two in the refrigerator. Read entire article.

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