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Potato, Parsnip, and Porcini Gratin

Let's face it this one is not a real looker, but it does taste great. I know potato and parsnips are both root vegetables but they are not something that I would normally think to pair together. They do work quite well. We ate this as a main meal with a salad. I could also see it as a side dish. It comes together pretty quickly if you have a madoline.

Potato, Parsnip & Porcini Gratin (Adapted from Nigella Lawson)

1/3 c dried porcini
2/3 c boiling water
4T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c milk
2 c heavy cream
3 star anise
2lbs potato, sliced 1/8" (skins on)
2lbs parsnips, sliced 1/8"

Sort of crush up the porcini with your hands. Soak porcini for 30 minutes in water . In a cast iron skillet (or other oven proof skillet) heat butter and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms (and liquid), milk, and cream to the skillet. Add salt/pepper to taste (more than you think). Add star anise. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the potato and parsnips to the pa…
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If you don't want to go to all the trouble (believe me it is very simple) of making the capunti, you can use cavatelli for this recipe:

Capunti w/ Cream and Peas

4 clove garlic, chopped
1 T butter
10 oz English Peas
1 c heavy cream
Parmesan for serving.

Add garlic and butter to a skillet over low heat. Add a good pinch of salt. Saute until garlic is fragrant. Add peas and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add cream and heat through still on low heat. Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat. Add pepper. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe is a little similar to this one, but without the pancetta.


I was so excited to get this new book.

It has some really interesting shaped pastas it. Most are really simple to make. The recipe are just beautiful. When I first saw Capunti, they reminded me of pea pods. So when I saw the recipe using them included an ingredient that I didn't have (mushrooms), I decided that the English peas I had would go rather nicely with them (will post that recipe tomorrow).


1 c flour
1 c semolina flour
1T salt
2/3 c warm water

Mix flours and salt in a bowl. Create a well in the center and add warm water. Gradually gather the flours into the water until a dough ball forms. Turn dough onto counter and knead until smooth. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes (If not using right away, place in refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature before).  So up to this point it is just a standard semolina pasta recipe. The intersting part comes with forming the capunti.
Break off a piece of dough and roll it into a long rope…

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2T sugar
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1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
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Orecchiette with Peas (Adapted from Epicurious)

1 lb Orecchiette
2 oz pancetta (or bacon)
1 shallot, minced
1 c  fresh English peas, shelled
2T white wine
1 c heavy cream
1/c grated Parmesean

While water for pasta is cooking, place pancetta in a skillet. Cook until browned. Add shallot and cook until softened.  Add peas to skillet and white wine. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add heavy cream and bring to low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add Parmesan and salt/pepper. Drain pasta (reserve some pasta water) and add to skillet. Stir until mixed through. You might want to add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up.

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