Baked Penne Vodka

 

After months of chopping, slicing, measuring and testing recipes for the cookbook, I’ve been grateful for a fridge full of sauces that someone else has spent time perfecting. All I have to come up with is a vehicle for them and I pretty much have dinner on the table. I’ve been impatiently waiting for Jar Goods to introduce new sauces and they’re finally here! A Classic Vodka Sauce as well as a Classic Spicy sauce have all the qualities of their signature Classic Red. They are simply the best tomato sauces available and the reason I haven’t made a red sauce in two years.

 

I’m almost embarrassed to write out this recipe, it’s that simple but satisfied my craving for a baked pasta like the one my mother always made for Sunday lunch but without any of the work.

 

Baked Penne Vodka

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 pound of dried penne

1 jar of Classic Vodka Sauce

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2″ cubes (divided)

1 tablespoon of butter

Fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan for serving

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.

3. Cook pasta for 3 minutes LESS than the packet instructions. It should be really al dente as it will continue to cook in the oven.

4. Drain the pasta and mix with the vodka sauce and half the mozarella.

5. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the pasta, then pour in the pasta and scatter the remaining mozarella on top.

6. Bake for 40 minutes or until nicely browned.

7. Serve with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

 

Roasted Corn with Jalapeño and Manchego

 

 

The world of artisanal food is exploding with new products and trends. We’re getting so many interesting packages and are beginning to add a myriad of new products to the site. I’m loving brainstorming and recipe testing with Aurora on unique ways of using these innovative products! First up is The Chili Lab whose subtle but utterly distinctive chili salts are giving a lift to everything I’m cooking from steaks to this delicious corn dish. Their chili butters are now my preferred spread on my ultimate breakfast sandwich and really any dish that needs a pick me up. I am blown away by the bold/bright flavors of their products and already know who I’m sending their gift box to for Christmas! I hope you will find them as tasty as we have.

 

Roasted Corn with Jalapeno and Manchego

Adapted from Bon Appétit

Serves 8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

6 years of unhusked corn

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon chili salt

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup thinly sliced chives

1 cup finely grated Manchego cheese

2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes – turn once.

3. Let the corn cool and then shuck. Cut the kernels from the cobs and discard the cobs.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the kernels and sauté for 5 minutes – stirring regularly until you begin to see the corn brown.

5. Add the butter and stir until melted.

6. Season with chili salt of your choosing.

7. Sprinkle with jalapeño, lime juice, chives, cheese and lime zest.

Crab Cakes with Hot Pink Mayonnaise

 

My friend Ben always says that September feels more like the start of a new year than January and I know just what he means. After two beautiful weeks in Italy, I’m enjoying that back-to-school feeling filled with resolutions. Fueled by jet lag, I’ve already resumed my early morning walks on the high line and started planning the fall in my head. I had forgotten how much I love to start the day watching the city come to life on the streets below with the sun bursting through the high rise buildings in the east and the breeze off the Hudson from the west.

 

I tend to arrive home starving as the ideas I come up with are naturally food related and centered on what I plan on cooking. We’ve got a lot of wonderful new products that we’re going to be launching on Many Kitchens and coming up with recipes for them is one of my favorite past times. The utterly charming Victoria Amory has added a Hot Pink Mayonnaise to her growing collection of condiments and it’s a new favorite already. I used it both in, and on top of, these crab cakes making them incredibly succulent and flavorful. 

 

Crab Cakes with Hot Pink Mayonnaise

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 egg

1lb jumbo lump crab meat

2 tablespoons Hot Pink Mayonnaise (plus more for serving)

2 tablespoons chopped chives (reserve a few for serving)

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cayenne peppe

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup canola oil

lemon wedges for serving

 

Method:

1. Whisk the egg in a bowl and then add all the other ingredients except for the oil. 

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Divide the mixture into 8 patties about 1″ thick.

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering.

5. Add the crab cakes (if they don’t all fit, you can do in batches) and cook for about 3 minutes on each side – they should be nice and browned on both sides. Flip them very gently.

6. Serve topped with Hot Pink Mayo, a sprinkling of chives and lemon wedges.