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Use Your Noodle!

Remember when you were a toddler and your parents gave you your first bowl of spaghetti? Chances are you skipped the fork and dove in hands first. There may even be many adorable photos of you with red tomato deliciousness all over your face! Noodles and pasta are one of those dishes that bring people and families together all over the world. Although the noodle originated in China from the Han Dynasty sometime between A.D. 25 and 220, most people associate noodles with Italian cuisine. Some might even think of noodles when they are trying to beat that nasty end of winter cold with the classic chicken noodle soup.


In honor of March being National Noodle Month, we would like to share our favorite noodle recipes with you from two of our publications: TOSCANA: Simple Authentic Italian Recipes and Golden Steer Steakhouse Las Vegas: Recipes, Tales & Celebrities from the Legendary Las Vegas Restaurant.


Our first recipe is from TOSCANA: Simple Authentic Italian Recipes by Kathie and Amy Gordon with James O. Fraioli. This dish might be similar to what mom made for you as a kid; simple, yet delicious!


CAPELLINI ALL’ ORTOLANA

Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

Serves 4


1 pound angel hair or capellini pasta

6 quarts water

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups Toscana’s Homemade Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

2 cups small diced mixed vegetables (carrot, celery, peas, white mushroom, zucchini), in equal amounts

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

3 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons fresh shaved parmesan cheese


Prepare the pasta by boiling 6 quarts of water with the salt. Add the pasta and stir, returning to a rapid boil. Cook uncovered, according to package directions until al dente, stirring occasionally.


While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, mixed vegetables, salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the butter.


Remove the pasta from the heat, drain, and add to the sauce. Toss well. Add the parmesan cheese and toss again allowing the cheese to melt. Serve immediately.

Note: Capellini pasta are long strands of very thin pasta, similar to angel hair, but slightly

thicker. Often capellini and angel hair are referred to as the same pasta.

Photo credit: Jessica Nicosia-Nadler

Here’s the recipe for the savory and delicious sauce:


SALSA DI POMODORO

Toscana’s Homemade Tomato Sauce

Makes approximately 4 servings


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups canned Italian tomatoes with juice (Marzano)

1 cup water

4 fresh basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat the olive oil in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Blend the tomatoes and juice until pureed. Add to the pot with the basil leaves and salt. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.


Photo credit: Jessica Nicosia-Nadler

We would like you to use a different kind of noodle this time! Also, from TOSCANA: Simple Authentic Italian Recipes:


TAGLIATELLE BOLOGNESE

Fettuccine with Beef Ragu

Serves 4


1/4 cup olive oil

16 ounces ground chuck beef

1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 carrot, diced

1 small bunch celery (about 6 short stalks), diced

1 medium-size yellow onion, diced

1-1/2 cups red wine

3 cups Toscana’s Homemade Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

4 cups chicken stock

1 pound tagliatelle pasta

6 quarts water

1/2 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese


In a stock pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add the ground beef, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and cook until beef is brown and crumbled (about 15 minutes). Add the chopped carrot, celery and onion, and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the red wine, lower the heat to simmer, and cook until wine is reduced. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock and let simmer on very low heat for about 1-1/2 hours.


Prepare the pasta by boiling 6 quarts of water with the salt. Add the pasta and stir, returning to a rapid boil. Cook uncovered, according to package directions until al dente, stirring occasionally. When done, remove from heat, drain and add the pasta, butter and parmesan cheese to the bolognese. Mix well until cheese is melted and transfer to individual serving plates. Serve immediately.


Photo credit: Jessica Nicosia-Nadler

SALSA DI POMODORO

Toscana’s Homemade Tomato Sauce


(Use same recipe and instructions from the CAPELLINI ALL’ ORTOLANA above)


With winter coming to an end, we know some of you are still trying to battle that last winter cold. We have just the right remedy for you with our Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from Golden Steer Steakhouse Las Vegas: Recipes, Tales & Celebrities from the Legendary Las Vegas Restaurant by James O. Fraioli.


CHICKEN NOODLE

Serves 6


1 whole chicken

1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 large celery stalk, finely chopped

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup chicken base, more or less to taste

6 cups pasta noodles (if using spaghetti, break noodles into small pieces)

Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish


Add the chicken to a large stockpot. Fill the pot three-quarters of the way full with cold water, covering the chicken. Place over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and chicken base; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook— stirring occasionally —until the chicken is cooked through and falling off bone, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta by simply boiling it in unsalted water until it’s al dente. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Take the chicken out of the pot and let it cool. When it’s cool to the touch, remove the meat from the carcass and chop. Return the meat to the pot. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the pot.


To serve, ladle the Chicken Noodle Soup into individual serving bowls. Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve. So whether this March you are curled up by the fire with this Chicken Noodle Soup, or you are doing your best impersonation of Lady and the Tramp with the one you love, we hope you enjoy!


To purchase these cookbooks please visit: http://amzn.to/2p62z77

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