Planning a Summer Dinner Party with Frances & Edward Mayes!
Under the Tuscan Sun author, Frances Mayes and her husband Edward Mayes will be the honored guests at a dinner party and virtual tweet-up that is being held at the Signorello Estate in Napa, California on July 22. Chef Robin White, The Daily Basics Chef, is hosting the event and you are invited to virtually participate meaning… you have your own party with the same menu (to follow here) and during the event, tweet and post on Facebook what you are doing and how your party is going. Frances, Ed and Robin will be tweeting and posting with you!
The menu is from Frances and Ed’s new cookbook, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. The recipes are simple using few ingredients with the emphasis on fresh. So get your guest list in order, set your table and celebrate the food and wines of Tuscany!
To whet your whistle, here is the ‘Primi’ course, the first of the two main courses and you can find the recipes for the rest of the menu here:
Antipasti | Cannellini Beans & Sage
Antipasti | Olives, Three Ways
Primi | Baked Pasta with Sausage and Four Cheeses
Secondi | “Finger-Burner” Lamb Chops
Dolce | Ricotta Tart
Dolce | Lemon Hazelnut Gelato
Primi: Baked Pasta with Sausage and Four Cheeses
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional, for the baking dish
- 1/2 Pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, meat cut into small pieces
- 1/2 Pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed, meat cut into small pieces
- 1/2 Cup of red wine
- 2 Teaspoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 Teaspoon dried
- 1 Cup Soffritto (see below)
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
- 8 Tomatoes or | 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, juice included, chopped
- 1 Pound rigatoni
- 1 Cup (8 ounces) whole-milk ricotta
- 8 ounces fontina or taleggio, cubed
- 8 ounces mozzarella, cubed
- 1/2 Cup (2 ounces) grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 1/2 Cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
1- Bring the pasta water to a boil and add salt.
2- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat and cook the sausage breaking it up as it browns about 5 minutes.
3- Add the red wine, turn the heat up to boil, and cook until much of the liquid has reduced about 10 minutes. Add the oregano, Soffritto, seasonings, and tomatoes along with their juices.
4- Simmer the sauce for at least 10 minutes, or until thick and savory.
5- Cook the rigatoni a minute less than the time required on the package (since it will continue cooking in the oven), then drain, reserving a bit of the pasta water.
6- In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with the fontina and a splice of the pasta water, then add the drained rigatoni and continue mixing. Add the sausage mixture and mozzarella, tossing to mix well.
7- Oil a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, and then pour in the pasta. Sprinkle the Parmigiano and breadcrumbs on top. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until golden flecked and hot.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 minced yellow onion
1 minced carrot
1 minced celery stalk
1 minced handful of flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
Saute the ingredients in a smal saucepan over medium low heat until they beginto color and turn tender approximately 5 – 7 minutes. Makes one cup.