Monday, June 29, 2009

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta Salata and Prosciutto

I have turned into my father. When I was young I thought my father was crazy, partly because he would go out to the garden, stand in front of it, left hand on his hip, right hand holding a Marlboro (we won't get into the health hazards of smoking because he has since quit) and just stare at it, for what seemed like hours. This to me seemed like a colossal waste of time, and completely non productive, certainly there were other things that needed to be done - why was he just staring at the garden.

I now go to the back yard and do the same exact thing. I stare at the garden, as if it is going to grow before my very eyes. I monitor the smallest growth from the day before. I stand there, hand on hip and literally will the vegetables to "show me something." Of all the people, in all the world that I thought I would draw similarities to later in life I never, never in my wildest dreams thought it wold be my father. He is a foodie, I am a foodie, he likes to write, I like to write, he's got a quirky sense of humor - I've got more of a sick and twisted sense of humor, but he thinks I'm funny so there has to be some correlation there. He loves to garden and plant, which when I was younger I thought was "totally gay" (I know, not PC, but I was like 13 when I was saying this), I cannot get enough of my gardens, vegetables and flowers. When did this happen. When did I become a 60 year old man? Anyway, I'm happy that I've taken these things from him, surprised, but happy just the same.

This recipe is one that I watched Emeril make on his non live show, I'm not sure what it's called. I thought that this recipe looked amazing and and it was a very easy recipe to throw together. Now, yes, it does have meat in it. I went to a specialty shop and bought Proscuitto d'Parma which CB has done a lot of research into and is content with the way that the "happy pigs" of Parma are treated while they are alive - free to roam, fed an all natural diet, not kept in unsightly living conditions, so yes, there is meat in this recipe. I pretty much ate around the meat, but I didn't get too crazy with making sure there wasn't any meat in my portion.

Hands down, I would make this recipe again in a heart beat. It was delicious and fast. The image above is not mine, we scoffed this shit down so fast there was no time to take a picture. Seriously.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta Salata and Prosciutto | Emeril


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound dried orecchiette pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup julienned onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 10 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 4 to 6 ounces ricotta salata, coarsely grated


In a large soup pot or stockpot, bring 4 quarts of cold water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the orecchiette and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.

While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet and, when hot, add the onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the prosciutto and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and black pepper and cook, tossing, until the broccoli rabe is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid and cook, stirring, until everything is heated through and well-combined. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and the ricotta salata; toss thoroughly to combine.

Serve immediately.

Rating - Damn Good

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Baja Fish Tacos with Chipolte Dressing and Cabbage Slaw | ATK

This weekend I asked my dad to be a guest blogger here at Urban Drivel. He one upped me and started his own tasty blog. Please check him out here - he has a lovely recap the the wet, soggy, gray, food and art filled Father's Day that we spent together on Sunday. Despite how much mother nature tried to screw with our seasonal dysfunctional tendencies we had a really lovely day.

While swapping food stories and filling our faces at brunch I let him know about an awesome Baja Fish Taco recipe that I had made out of the new Cook's Country Best Grilling Recipes, I was able to get an advanced copy of this book before it was available to the general public and I have made a few things out of it that have been amazing. This recipe was truly delicious. I'm not going to post the recipe because the book has only been for sale for a few months and I don't want to cause a ruckus over there with copyright issues and all that hullabaloo, but if you want the recipe simply leave me a comment that you would like it, and send me an email to and I'll shoot it over to you no problem.

Talk soon -

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Guinness Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread | Oh Mama!

Sunday I saw a woman walking her dog. Sunday I saw a woman walking her dog with the leash in her right hand. Sunday I saw a woman walking her dog with the leash in her right hand and a bag of dog poo in her left hand. Sunday I saw a woman walking her dog with the leash in her right hand and a bag of dog poo in her left, she got an itch on her cheek. Sunday I saw a woman walking her dog with the leash in her right hand and a bag of dog poo in her left, she got an itch on her cheek, she scratched the itch with the LEFT HAND. Why would you bring a bag of poo up to your face and rub it across your cheek as you scratched your itch, why not use your right hand.

Onto something that doesn't reek of a bag of hot steamy dog shit. The bread. How good does this sound. Guinness, bananas, chocolate. I ask you people, what. is. not. to. like. I adapted it from this recipe on a website called Banana Bread Biz. I made minor changes, I used equal parts applesauce for the margarine and I used an egg replacer for the egg, I also opted to not use the nuts, but replaced them with coarsely chopped dark chocolate.

This bread was sweet, savory, dense as all hell, and just got better as it aged. Try it, please.

Rating = So God Damn Good

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Barrel Fever | 2008 Ken Forrester "Petite" Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch South Africa

2008 Ken Forrester "Petite" Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch South Africa
Winery Tasting Notes:
A perfect everyday drinking wine. A youthful wine showing
fresh ripe melon with a mellow, round, mild and
honeysuckle fruit palate and refreshingly long finish. Serve with flavoursome, light Al Fresco summertime meals.

JB Tasting Notes: I just loved this wine, I tasted it at a wine tasting, bought a bottle, then a few days later served it at dinner when my mom brought us lobster rolls. While drinking the bottle I mentioned to CB multiple times that we "should have bought more than one damn bottle" I said it this way because at the wine tasting he was all snobby and "oh, south african whites....blah blah blah...chenin blanc...blah blah blah" well - he admitted while we were drinking it that he "really liked it" and something about being a "wine snob" the day of the tasting or something or other and how I was "correct" and "right" and he "should have listened to me" because my palate is "far superior" to his and yes indeed we should have "bought more than one damn bottle."

And then. Queue the chorus of angels. We were at Trader Joe's the other day and they sell this wine, this vintage...for...$9 per bottle. Oh, we did indeed buy more than one damn bottle this time.

Ok. Onto the real rating. The wine is best served chilled - it needs it, the minerality does better at the colder spectrum. It's a stray yellow color with a floral nose. The taste is highlighted by a blend of fruit, melon, grapefruit, apple and what's best about it is that although it is acidic it has a nice lingering finish and a great mouthfeel. And IT'S NINE BUCKS!

Rating: Damn Good (buy this wine)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Mexican Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad with Chipolte Dressing | Totally Vegetarian TV

This is now my favorite new pasta salad. I got this recipe from the TV show Totally Vegetarian which is aired on PBS I believe. So friggin good, but before we get to this recipe I want to talk about a race that I ran yesterday. It was the Vision 5K which was a race involving both sighted and blind runners. It was a truly inspiring event to be a part of. Blind people running with guides and sighted people running alone all in order to raise money for The Carroll Center for the Blind, the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, The Perkins School for the Blind and The National Braille Press.

On a personal note, this was my first race since breaking my tailbone and sacrum in January. I was extremely nervous about pain, fatigue, and just a sucky race in general, but all the worrying was for not. I placed 3rd in my age group and 15th overall among all the women runners. It was a fantastic way to get back into running, and to start building up my confidence as a runner again. I just had a great run - from start to finish, and the cookout that the associations put on after the race with a live band, made for a very happy late morning.

Back to the recipe. This recipe may look long and involved, but it's really not, especially if you use canned corn and black beans. This is a fabulous recipe and worth a try. I only used about half of the chipolte dressing on the salad and froze half so that I can make this recipe lickety split next time I want it.

Mexican Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad with Chipolte Dressing

Rating = So Damn Good

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables | Everyday Food

I love it when a you get a new food magazine in the mail and a recipe in it looks so good that you make it within a day of receiving the magazine. That is what happened with this recipe. It looked so simple and easy, I just had to make it right away. And it did not disappoint. It was so good. There were barely any left overs - just enough for CB to take some to work the next day for lunch, and I heard that it garnered an "ooh, where did you get that?" from his boss. So , I guess that's a vote of approval for this dish. Seriously. You have time to make this dish. If I have time, you have time. I'm so damn tired right now my face hurts, I don't know if I'm coming or going, and yesterday I realized I wore my underwear inside out all day. If I can make this, so can you.

Just a side note too, you guys are royally sucking balls on giving me vampire inspired cocktails for the True Blood premiere. Not a one has been suggested. Think people, it's next weekend.

Here is a link to the original recipe from Every Day Food
Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables - LINK

Rating = So Damn Good.