|Meet Nonna Stella|
Tip No. 1. When you make orechetti with cima di rape, one of the typical dishes of Puglia, put the cleaned and chopped cima in the same pot as the orechetti when the orechetti are about half cooked and let them finish cooking together. I always cooked the cima first, taking it out of the pot and then cooking the orechetti in the same water, but her way is so much easier and it accomplishes the same thing.
|Orechetti with Cima di Rape|
Since I just discovered Nonna Stella this week and love almost everything she makes, I was in a quandary trying to figure out what to try first. I finally decided to try the Pennoni Rigati alla Pizzaiola. It’s Video Lesson No. 1 on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnh-2xC-SjM) if you want to take a look at it.
Nonna Stella is so smooth the way she moves from one step in the recipe to another, you can see that she is a woman who knows her way around a kitchen. And because I too have been cooking since the Dark Ages I figured it would be a simple dish to try. It was. But it didn’t turn out to be quite as good as I thought it would. In watching the video again today, I see the mistakes I made. First of all I added parsley to the basil and garlic. Far too much parsley, as it turned out and it drowned the taste of the basil. Not good. And I didn’t mix the ingredients as often as she did which meant that the pasta and the tomato sauce were not as well combined as they should have been. Also not good.
|Getting Ready to Cook|
Another thing I found very clever was her advice to only cook the pasta for 2 minutes instead of the 9 minutes called for on the package. She says on the video that the reason she does this is because the pasta will cook in the sugo, and it does. So now that I know better, I’m sure the next time I make this dish it will turn out just fine.
|My Version of Pennoni Rigati alla Pizzaiola|
You’ll find all of Nonna Stella’s videos on Youtube.com. Even though they are in Italian I think you can follow what she’s doing. Just make sure you get the Nonna Stella from Bari and not the Nonna Stella with the agriturismo in Tuscany.
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