Mimi’s Twist on Rotelle Pasta

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final_300dpi  http://www.mimiandsue.com/What-to-Eat-Wednesday-11272013-prep.html

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Rotelle Pasta with Zucchini Sauce

Toasted Head Chardonnay 2011

Qupe Central Coast Syrah 2010

So, are you thinking: what’s with Mimi and this “menu”?  Pasta and two wine recommendations … man she’s slacking off!  Yep, that’s it for this posting.  I love this pasta so much when I make it, I stuff my face and there isn’t room for another thing.  (Again, the reason I am at the gym every day of my life.)  If you would rather have it as a side, you should serve some kind of steak.  For some reason, chicken and fish don’t cut it with this pasta.  This is ridiculously easy to make for a midweek celebration!

Shopping List

6 medium size zucchini (green squash)

1 stick unsalted butter

Wedge parmigiano reggiano cheese

1 head of garlic

1 bunch of basil (optional — see Sue’s commentary on the website)

1 lb box rotelle pasta

Wine Thoughts

Qupe Central Coast Syrah 2010:  I really prefer the chardonnay with this meal.  If you are a stickler for red with pasta though, I’d recommend this syrah.  It doesn’t have an overwhelming fruit aspect to it but rather, a little spice (maybe pepper?) and is light enough to not overpower the delicacy of the zucchini.

Toasted Head Chardonnay 2011:  I tend to enjoy wine that has apple and pear tones.  This wine has just that and a nice acidic balance.  As a result it pairs beautifully with this creamy rich pasta dish.

As with every wine recommendation — we say:  to each his own — drink what you love!!!

Sue inspires Mimi’s Meatballs

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I make my meatballs much differently than Sue and I wanted to see if I still liked them after tasting hers at our Italian pot luck dinner.  Beef and veal are part of the mix but I add loose sweet Italian pork sausage and ricotta cheese.  It’s just something I came up with one day and ended up liking it.  I’ll confess though, the night I made these I was feeling lazy and didn’t make my sauce — I used two different kinds of Prego:  meat and basil flavored.  Do I still like my version?  Yes!  Do I still like Sue’s version?  Yes!  As Sue says:  “variety is the spice of life”.

…and a “Diva Dishes”.

Sacrilege!  Mimi used tomato sauce from a jar AND  told everyone!  I can’t believe she took a shortcut.  Anyway, I can’t imagine using sauce from a jar.  I’ve also never heard of mixing ricotta cheese in with the meat.  Maybe I’ll try that … nah probably not.  I’ll stick with the way the original Mimi (my husband’s grandmother) taught me to make them.  It’s been a hit for 40+ years.

Sue Puts her Twist on Salmon and Potatoes

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Always looking for a new twist on salmon (since we eat it so often), I baked this then put it under the broiler for a little color.  Last touch — honey mustard sauce drizzled on top.  The potatoes looked a little boring so I mashed leftover carrots in with leftover potatoes.  Sounds crazy?  Well if you haven’t tried it you should because it’s great — my favorite is cabbage mixed in with potatoes.

…and a “Diva Dishes”.

My favorite when I was a kid was to mix my peas right in with my mashed potatoes.  To this day mashed potatoes are my all time favorite food.  I could make a meal of them. This is probably the reason I am at the gym nearly every day of my life!

Italian Pot Luck — MANGIA!

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Create your own Italian feast by following the Diva to our website!

http://www.mimiandsue.com/Mimi-Organizes-Italian-pot-luck.html

Autumn in Buck Hill Falls

Autumn in Buck Hill Falls

We really wanted to get together with our friends before the crazy holiday season started.  We also wanted to wish Betty and Nick (who are snowbirds returning to Florida) a happy and healthy winter.  A pot luck supper appealed to us.  We thought our guests would enjoy showing off their “cooking chops”.  Here’s the menu we created together.

Antipasto

Brancaia Tre 2010

2012 Memo Montepulciano D’Abruzzo by Marco Flacco

Mixed Salad with Caesar Dressing

Farfalle Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Penne alla Vodka

Meatballs in Sausage Sauce

Pork Loin Roasted with Rosemary and Garlic

Rocca Dei Sanniti Aglianico Del Taburno 2007

2007 Attilio Ghisolfi Barbera D’ Alba

Lemon Drop Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Family style for 14?  Easy!  Move the kitchen table into the dining room.  Instead of table cards —  banded and ribbon tied rosemary stalks,  bands for guys, ribbons for girls.  The chemistry at the table clicked for an evening of laughs.

When the owner of Corona Butcher (who sources his provisions from the best in NYC) offers to make your antipasto tray for you, you say:  “Why not?”  He made our friends Rosemarie and Hannah an offer they couldn’t refuse!  HA!

Kietryn is a natural-born cook — no recipes, no measuring yet, everything she makes comes out delicious!  When Mimi asked her for the recipe she said:  “this will drive you nuts — I didn’t measure anything.”  As we always say, to each his own.  If it works for you, go with it.

Karen’s natural creative ability emerged with the presentation of her delicious pasta dish.  After all, how can you go wrong with a former editor for This Old House Magazine?  It also was nice to have a balance of Karen’s room temperature pasta and Mimi’s hot off the stove top penne alla vodka.

Everyone raved about Sue’s meatballs and was asking for seconds.  When Mimi asked if there were more in the pot on the stove, to her dismay Sue said “no, I put them all out”.  Needless to say it  surprised Sue that 26 meatballs disappeared that quickly.  How can you go wrong when you buy all of the meat from Ottomanelli’s butcher shop in Manhattan?  We always say, buy the best ingredients.

Mimi's pork roasted with rosemary and garlic.

Mimi’s pork roasted with rosemary and garlic.

Mimi follows recipes to the letter.  Unfortunately, after butterflying the pork loin, which was easy, Mimi did not know which way to roll the pork and ended up with a huge gigantic hunk of meat that didn’t look anything like the picture in Bon Appetit Magazine.  She rolled the pork loin  in the wrong direction, woke up Saturday morning, realized the mistake and re-rolled  it the right way.

Betty brings a super moist delicious lemon drop cake.

Betty brings a super moist delicious lemon drop cake.

Betty is the reason Susan and her husband purchased a home in Buck Hill Falls.  They were sitting alone at the golf course enjoying a glass of wine when Betty looked over and said:  “Why is such an attractive couple all alone?”  Sue thought:  could she possibly be talking to us?  When Betty heard that John and Sue were considering buying a place in Buck Hill she said:  “then get over here and join this table!”  The rest is history.  Betty is always the life of the party and our Italian pot luck was no exception.

Mimi, Julia, Jacques and Boeuf Bourguignon

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Julia Child’s recipe for boeuf bourguignon has always intimidated me — so many steps and I didn’t know what pork salt was!!!  I remembered a phenomenal cookbook in my library co-authored by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin and decided to give it a shot.  She and Jacques provide step by step instructions  on preparing this dish.  Indeed, there are many steps.  Julia says, you could make this dish while off playing a game of tennis.  (Love her but, really?)  I devoted an afternoon to following the recipe to the letter.  The meal was worth the effort!!  The best part?  Leftovers for another night.  The moral of the story is:  FEAR NO RECIPE!! Just dive right in and do it.

LEFTOVERS!!!

LEFTOVERS!!!

…and a “Diva Dishes”.

Years ago, my son Johnny and I made this together and I haven’t made it since — it’s just a hell of a lot of work.  Now, I make a red wine based Tuscan beef stew, which is somewhat similar and equally delicious.  This reminds me of the movie Julie & Julia where the girl cooks every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Julie (played by Amy Adams) makes Julia’s boeuf bourguignon and exclaims gosh darn that’s good!  We both agree!

Sues Cooks an Authentic Irish Dinner

My Irish grandmother would have been  very proud of this meal.  It’s a no nonsense, stick to your ribs, satisfying meal that just feels like home.

…and a “Diva Dishes”.

I’d eat meatloaf and mashed potatoes any night of the week (forget the carrots) — especially if Sue cooked it.  However, I gotta say the Irish haven’t cornered the market on meat and potatoes.  Any family would be happy to sit down to this dinner!

Sue’s Can’t be Beat Fusilli

IMG_0568At 3:30 on Sunday (a half hour after the grocery store closes in Buck Hill Falls) my husband asked me what’s for dinner.  This meal probably resulted because it’s all I had in the house.  I confess, I am just crazy about carmelized onions.  How could you resist pasta with carmelized onions, garlic, butter, parmigiano reggiano and a dash of black pepper.

…and a “Diva Dishes”.

I do the same thing!! 15 years in Buck Hill and I still can’t remember when the grocery store closes.  I confess, I don’t get Sue’s love of carmelized onions.  I would skip them and just make pasta, garlic, oil and parmigiano reggiano — or get a pizza.