Pici all’Aglione, Quick Pasta and Chickpeas, and Ziti with Sausage, Onions, and Fennel
For our second pasta night (Only two so far? I’m shocked.), we’re steering closer to Italy than before. We have recipes for homemade noodles, called pici, that are as satisfying to make as they are to eat. Or make a super quick pasta with chickpeas based off of Rome’s most iconic dishes, pasta e cici. Rounding it out, we have Lidia Basitanich’s recipe for Ziti with Sausage, Onions, and Fennel. Hers is a one skillet meal that tastes like it simmered all day, without the actual hours at the stove. Break out of your marinara sauce routine with any of these Italian pasta dinners.
Reading Jul’s Kitchen can feel like a little escape. Her writing is so evocative of her life and cooking in Tuscany. When we cook from her recipes, we feel like we might just be joining her- even if it’s all in our head. Making these spaghetti-like fresh pasta wasn’t too challenging. Rolling the dough was easy enough for even little hands. Dress it in some fresh tomato sauce and you’ve got dinner in Tuscany. Or, at least in your dreams.
- Kate halved this recipe and it worked well.
- Servings for this is on the smaller side. If you’re cooking for your family, consider adding a chicken breast or even some meatballs on the side.
- Give the dough time to rest after kneading is necessary. Otherwise rolling out will be very tricky. The gluten will bounce right back.
Pasta and chickpeas are such a delightful comfort food combination. Soft, savory, and a little protein to see you through the rest of the day. To make this version simply dig in your pantry for some small pasta, a tube of tomato paste, a can of chickpeas, and a clove of garlic. All set and only 20 minutes away from a soothing end to a long day. Or a quick lunch. Or late night bite. (You get the idea.)
- Kate special ordered annelini, the little ring pasta. Betsy used orzo. Both were perfect.
- Add a little water towards the end if it gets too thick before the pasta is done.
- With or without the drizzle, this was amazing. But the extra kick of the flavored olive oil is pretty darn good.
- Betsy doubled this recipe for her family. A written it truly is two servings.
Lidia Bastianich is one of the queens of Italian and Italian American cooking for a reason. Not just her restaurants or television shows, but for her never-fail, fabulous recipes for the home cook. We liked this recipe because it worked in a home kitchen, just using one pan. But it also used restaurant techniques like browning each ingredient before simmering in the sauce. You end up with a pasta dish worth sharing at your next dinner party. (Imagine coming out with a platter of this?)
- Kate halved this recipe and ended up with four good sized portions. This is definitely a dinner party sized recipe as written.
- Look around for fennel before you drop it from the recipe. The vegetable adds a sweet, licorice note that complements the sausage.
- Serve this with plenty of fresh grated parmesan, a big salad, and some garlic bread and you have a party to remember.
From the Smorgasbord:
New to us- Crema di Limoncello. Take limoncello, a lemon liqueur, and give it a touch of cream. Think creamsicle, and you have this drink. We’re going to make a batch in time for the holidays.
All this pasta reminded us of the Italian desserts we’ve made over the episodes.
A cake with a citrus glaze that is ideal for both dessert and the next day with a cup of coffee.
Creamy, semi frozen dessert with chips of chocolate throughout. Mixes up quickly and can be in the freezer, waiting for an after dinner treat.