Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pasta or Pizza?

I was torn whether to write about the pizza I made last night or the pasta I made tonight, so I am going to include both in this post. The link between them is the wine. There is no wine in the dishes, but the glass of wine that I drank both nights was perfect with each dish. The wine: 2007 Wayne Gretzky Un-oaked Chardonnay. I usually don't drink white wine and actually, I usually only have a glass of wine on the weekend, but I'm glad I made an exception with the pizza and the pasta. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of wine and make one of the below recipes. Even if it is a Wednesday.


  • 1 pizza dough, homemade or store bought
  • 1 potato, sliced as thinly as possible, using a mandoline if you have one
  • 3 slices prosciutto, sliced into ribbons (roll into a cigar shape and slice)
  • 170 g round Camembert cheese, sliced
  • 3 tbsp white sauce

White Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F with oven rack on lower middle setting. Boil a large pot of water and season the water with salt as you would for pasta. Add potatoes to water and cook 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Meanwhile, make white sauce. Place butter and garlic in a small sauce pot. Turn on heat to medium, saute until garlic starts to sizzle. Whisk in flour, cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, thyme, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick. Turn off heat and set aside.

Roll out pizza dough- not too thinly as the toppings are somewhat heavy. Transfer dough to pizza pan. Spread 3 tbsp sauce over dough. Top with potatoes, overlapping slices to cover pizza. Scatter over cheese, then prosciutto. Bake 15 minutes or until crust is browned on bottom and cheese is starting to brown a little.

Adapted from Ricardo Larrive
Serves 6 (can easily be halved)

  • 500 g farfalle (bow tie) pasta, or other dried pasta such as penne
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 227 g package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup juice from canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional to serve
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to season

Cook pasta in salted boiling water until just al dente. Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat until golden brown, shaking pan a few times during cooking.

While pasta is cooking, melt 1 tbsp butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat and add mushrooms, breaking them up a bit as you add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms until they have released their liquid and are browned. Add garlic and green onions, cook for a minute. Add vodka, boil until pan is almost dry.

Move mushroom mixture to sides of pan and add remaining 2 tbsp butter and flour in the middle. Cook flour and butter for two minutes to in order to cook out the flour taste. Add milk slowly while stirring to ensure no lumps occur and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and juice. Simmer until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes.

Pasta should now be just al dente and ready to finish cooking in sauce. Remove pasta from cooking water with a slotted spoon and drop directly into saucepan with sauce. Stir for about 2 minutes to coat pasta with sauce and finish cooking. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed (I found this dish shockingly bland until I adjusted the seasoning- with enough salt and pepper it is stellar).

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