• Sweet Corn Pasta with Burrata

    If you’re reading this, you deserve a bowl of pasta. How do I know this? It’s my job to know, just run with it. AND, because I can’t just let you have any old pasta, I’m bringing you this masterpiece today. What is it? Only the most perfect summer pasta, combining fresh corn and scallions into a silky sauce WITHOUT any cream it it. But since I’m me, I make up for the lack of cream in the sauce with a big ol’ ball of burrata on top because we all deserve it. Originally from the New York Times, there are few dishes I look forward to making more than this one. While it can be made year round with frozen corn, there’s just something about that fresh sweet corn taste that is HEAVENLY.

    Basically to make this sauce, you cook together some scallion whites and corn in olive oil and a little butter, good already right? THEN, you blend that together into a thick, luxurious sauce, to which we add some whole corn kernels, red pepper flakes, scallion greens, and basil. Tossy-toss that with your short pasta of choice (I like orecchiette) and BOOM, the most perfect summer pasta.

    This weekend, my family journeyed down to Washington, D.C. to visit my sister and oh my god it was hot. No offense but I’ve been dreaming of Fall since the second week of July you guys. BUT despite the heat, we spent some good old quality time together (i.e., ate a lot of food) before my brother moves to Seattle.

    I finally saw Julia Child’s kitchen!!

    Before we get some happys today, I’m just going to do one more little plug for myself in case you don’t follow me on Instagram (which you totally should btw it’s a blast). If you like what you see here on Sweet D, I would love you forever if you took 2 minutes to nominate this blog for a Saveur Magazine Blog Award, found here. Simply enter the Sweet D url, check the box for Best Baking and Sweets Blog, and ta-da!!

    NOW, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Costume jewelry.
    TWO. Having a burger, fries, and a beer at a summer baseball game.
    THREE. 3-day weekends.
    FOUR. Making a thorough packing list before a trip.
    FIVE. Driving around with music playing and no destination in mind.

    Let’s cook!

    Sweet Corn Pasta with Burrata

    This fresh corn and scallion pasta is the perfect way to combine all the freshest flavors of summer, while still serving a decadent dish that just screams "Treat Yourself". Top with burrata and you are guaranteed to be the most popular dinner host.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time35 mins
    Course: Dinner, Main Course
    Keyword: burrata, corn, pasta, scallion

    Ingredients

    • 24 ounces short pasta, like orecchiette
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 bunches scallions (about 15); slices, keeping whites and greens separate
    • 5 ears fresh corn (or 4 cups frozen corn); shucked and kernels removed
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 6 Tbsp butter
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese
    • ½ cup torn basil leaves (you could also use mint)
    • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
    • Fresh lemon juice
    • Fresh burrata (1 or ½ ball per person)

    Instructions

    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook your pasta for one minute less than the al dente recommendation on the box. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set the drained pasta aside.
    • In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the scallion whites + a pinch of salt, cooking until the scallions are soft. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water plus all but ½ cup of the corn. Simmer until the corn is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a blender.
    • Puree the sauce until completely smooth, adding more pasta water if necessary to achieve a thick but pourable sauce.
    • Reheat the same pan over high heat and melt the butter. Add in the reserved whole corn kernels and cook until tender. Add the corn puree back to the pan and cook for an additional minute to combine the flavors.
    • Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta and the other ½ cup pasta water, tossing to coat. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved scallion greens, the cheese, basil, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. To serve, top with more cheese and leftover scallions, and break a whole or half burrata on top. YUM!!

    Looking for more summer pastas? I’ve got you covered here and here!

  • Fried Polenta Cakes with Spicy Tomato-Kale Sauce and an Olive Oil Fried Egg

    WOW this name is a mouthful. But trust me, every aspect of this recipe needed to be there, they work together to create one of the most comforting, magical, and deceivingly easy dinners.

    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

    This past week I had a taste of what it would be like to live alone (my family was traveling but I still had work because adult life is nonsense), and wow I just don’t think I’m cut out for it. When left to my own devices, I grocery shop so irrationally it’s just embarrassing. For starters, I dropped $22 on saffron because I’d never tried it before (it was amazing and I made Risotto al Milanese and I regret NOTHING but that’s not the point), bought 3 different bottles of wine and a bottle of cognac for separate recipes and used half a cup of each, AND bought a selection of mixed berries to impulsively bake a pie (recipe for that coming soon!!).

    It was only three days someone please help me get my life together. Anyway, let’s break this meal down shall we? These polenta rounds are pan-fried until crispy, then topped with a spicy tomato sauce (almost too spicy because I got carried away but I learned my lesson don’t worry), aaaaand as if it couldn’t get any better, a runny but crispy olive oil fried egg is plopped on top to make you feel like you’re eating fancy brunch while eating dinner on your couch. Topped with a downy sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese, please try to hold back your tears of joy as you eat this.

    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

    Let’s go!!

    Makes: 4 dinner servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: about an hour

    Ingredients:

    1 lb. polenta (I used already made and chilled polenta in tube-form, but you can make your own!)
    1 yellow onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic
    ½ to ¾ tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)
    ½ tsp anchovy paste
    1 can crushed tomatoes
    A splash of red wine (since I was already drinking it, but optional)
    Handful of curly kale, rib removed and roughly chopped
    4 eggs, for frying
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    Parmesan cheese, grated

    Steps:

    1. In a saucepan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium and add the diced onions. Cook until the onions become soft and transparent. Stir in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for just another minute, until garlic becomes fragrant but not brown and bitter. Add the anchovy paste and mix to combine.

    2. Pour in your can of crushed tomatoes and stir, making sure all the contents are incorporated, and splash in the red wine if you want it! Turn the heat down slightly and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Toss in the kale and cook, covered, until it has wilted and softened, another 15 minutes.

    3. While the sauce is cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium in a separate frying pan. Slice your polenta into circles about an inch thick, and fry on both sides (about 10 minutes per side), until they are golden brown and crispy. Once the polenta is done, in the same pan, add a tablespoon more olive oil per egg and allow it to get very hot (about a minute). Add your egg for frying (you can fit two at a time if necessary), and fry until the whites are opaque and the yolk is your desired consistency, about 2 minutes. Swirl the pan around as you cook to make sure nothing sticks, and baste your egg with the hot oil as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. To serve, pile 3 to 4 polenta cakes on your plate, smother with a generous portion of sauce, and top with a fried egg. Add a generous grating of parmesan cheese and enjoy!!

    xoxoxoD

  • Death by Baked Gnocchi (and Garlic Bread)

    I don’t know if this is just a thing in my family, but for as long as I can remember, Friday night has been pizza night. It makes sense, the last day of the work week deserves a comfort food treat, but here’s the thing: sometimes you just gotta switch it up. Tradition is great, but a little change never hurt anyone, ESPECIALLY when that change involves a slow-simmered tomato sauce, pillowy gnocchis (okay I know gnocchi is already plural but shhhhh), and bubbly melty cheese.

    This week has felt like seven in one, anyone else feel like that? I’ve truly never been more excited for a long weekend, and plan on doing nothing except maybe baking something with the blood oranges that I just had to have last week. Any suggestions? I’m leaning towards some kind of meringue pie maybe? Anywho, this beautiful dish was my reward to myself for making it through the week in one piece, and WOW was it worth it. It starts with the classic and decadent Marcella Hazan butter and onion tomato sauce. If you’ve never made this sauce, I almost envy you for being able to try it for the first time, because you will NEVER look back. It’s simple, a little sweet, and soo smooth. It’s also pretty foolproof, with a grand total of 3 ingredients, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is open the can of crushed tomatoes.

    I chose to use store bought gnocchi for this meal, for the reliability and to save time, but if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own! Then it’s really all about assembly, and since each component is cooked on its own, the sole purpose of the baking is to make the cheese all bubbly and golden. Once that’s all done, serve it up with some garlic bread and prepare to lie on the floor in a food coma for approximately 4 hours.

    Let’s get cooking!!

    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
    A beautiful mess of cheesy goodness!!

    Makes: 6-8 servings
    Prep Time: 45 minutes
    Bake Time: 15 minutes
    Total: about 1 hour 15 minutes

    Gnocchi Ingredients:

    2 packages potato gnocchi
    1 can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano but don’t stress if you can’t find them)
    1 large yellow onion
    4 tbs salted butter
    2 balls of fresh mozzerella

    Steps:

    1. Add crushed tomatoes to a medium saucepan. Peel the onion and cut in half (that’s literally it), and drop the halves in with the tomatoes. Cut the butter into single tablespoons and mix everything together briefly. Simmer this mixture on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the softened onions before proceeding. Congratulations, you will never buy a jar of pasta sauce again!

    2. While your sauce is simmering, bring a pot of water to a boil. When you have about 5-10 minutes left on the sauce, season the water generously with salt and cook your gnocchi. They’re cooked when they float to the top of the water and remain there. Using a large slotted spoon or spider strainer, scoop the gnocchi out of the water and add them straight into the pot with the tomato sauce. At this point, preheat your oven to 350ºF.

    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
    The waiting for the cooking is the worst part don’t you think?

    3. Cut one ball of mozzarella into cubes and stir into the gnocchi and sauce so that it begins to melt, and transfer the whole delicious mixture into an 8x8in square baking dish. Cut several slices from the second ball of mozzarella and place on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and broil for the last few to make the cheese on top golden and perfect. Be careful not to look away with the broiler on, it goes from nothing to burnt REALLY fast.

    4. Serve immediately with one (or 6) pieces of garlic bread (recipe follows below) and a glass of red wine because you deserve it.

    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset


    Garlic Bread Ingredients:

    1 loaf of ciabatta or italian bread
    1 stick salted butter, softened
    4 gloves garlic, minced
    3 tsp dried basil

    Steps:

    1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, garlic, and basil.

    2. Slice the loaf of bread in half and generously spread the garlic mixture on both halves. Put the halves back together and wrap in tinfoil. Bake for 15 minutes, then unwrap and separate the halves, and bake for another 5 minutes. Slice the halves and serve warm!!

    Enjoy!! xoxoxo