Broccoli di Rape with Penne

2 large bunches fresh broccoli di rape

1 # penne rigate

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or a 2 small dried whole hot peppers

piece of pecorino romano cheese

salt and fresh pepper to taste

small bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped

optional addition: grilled or roasted Italian sausages, sliced lemons

  1. trim broccoli di rape to remove tough ends and any damaged leaves, cook in rapidly boiling water until just crisp/tender, drain, keep warm
  2. cook pasta in salted water until al dente, drain, reserving some cooking water
  3. at the same time, in a large skillet/saute pan, warm the olive oil and cook the garlic slices till soft but not browned, add the pepper flakes
  4. on a large platter or in a large bowl toss together all the ingredients – add salt and pepper and chopped parsley now; if you have a large enough pan do this over the heat (or use two pans), adding enough reserved pasta water to help unite the elements and coat the pasta with them.
  5. top with shaved pecorino
  6. arrange the sausages and lemons around the serving dish.



Fish Chowder

3 cups chopped onions

5 leeks, sliced thinly, washed severely

2 cups finely chopped celery and leaves

(1 cup chopped carrot, if you like. I prefer an all- white-and -green- chowder, but its your house, do what you want)

4 TB butter

2 cups dry vermouth

2 quarts cubed potatoes. (Don’t use Red Bliss- too much work peeling and cutting up the little things…if you must use whole, thin skinned, tiny golden new potatoes instead, lots of them. Otherwise just stick to all purpose potatoes.)

1 1/2 quarts homemade fish stock

2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 large bay leaf

1 quart half & half

1 pint milk

salt and fresh pepper (salt and taste as you go)

3-4 # firm flesh fish, fresh, such as haddock, cod, mako (don’t use oily fish such as salmon, this is a big no no!)

1 bunch fresh dill, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

  1. Sweat the onions, celery and leeks in butter over medium to low heat until soft and translucent but not brown.
  2. Add the vermouth over high heat and cook for a minute this way until the flames die down and the alcohol has burned away.
  3. Add the potatoes, stock, thyme, bay, salt and fresh pepper.
  4. Simmer until the potatoes are done but not mushy.
  5. Still only simmering add the milk and half & half, then the fish.
  6. Cook 10 minutes more, no more. Add the dill and parsley, adjust the salt and pepper again if needed. serve.

Note: you can use heavy cream instead of half & half… its wildly delicious. Also- substitute purchased fish stock or even clam juice if you have to, but home made is easy. [ 5 # fish frames from white fleshed fish – ask the fish guy to save some for you, water and white wine to cover, peppercorns, celery tops, an onion, parsley stems; bring to a boil and immediately lower the heat. Simmer steadily for 30 minutes, turn the burner off, let stock sit til cool, strain and use.]




5 1/2 cups almonds, blanched

5 1/2 – 6 cups confectioner’s sugar

4 egg whites

1 TB flour

frosting: blend and save til needed

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 egg white

1/2 tsp. white vinegar

  1. Grind the almonds in a processor in small portions.
  2. Add the 5 1/2 c. sugar to the almonds, sifting it in with a strainer and process again until well mixed.
  3. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  4. Add the whites to the almond and sugar mix that you have removed to a bowl, reserving some of the whites on the side. Mix until firm and knead the dough briefly before adding the flour.
  5. If the dough is very moist add some more sugar to the mix. Add a little egg white if it seems too dry. Bake a small piece of the dough to test it before you decide.
  6. Bake in oiled graduated rings until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool quickly.
  7. Make the frosting and when rings are cooled drizzle the icing in a zigzag pattern over the surface of each ring. Then stack them . The icing will act as a glue to keep them together.

Notes: If you don’t have Kransekake rings or a Norwegian mother or grandmother, you can form them by hand. It helps to draw circles on foil using them as templates. You can also form the cookies into any log or heart shape and ice and stack in any way you like.

With thanks to Astrid Scott.



A Whole Lot of Onion Soup

Peel and thinly slice 150 Spanish onions.
Cook over high heat in one half pound of butter
and 1 cup olive oil until the onions start to brown.
Lower the heat and sweat, slowly, until deep amber and you can smell the sugar in the juices.
Add two bunches of fresh thyme,
a handful of lavender flowers,
or some herbes de Provence if you have it,
a few bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with two cups of flour and stir quickly
as the mixture forms a thick roux.
De-glaze with 1 quart of dry vermouth,
cook for 5 minutes or so.
Then, add enough stock to come
to the top of the pots (2 x 24 quarts) .
Cook for a few hours or until the liquid
no longer tastes of stock but rather of sweet onions.
Add chopped Italian parsley… a couple of handfuls and adjust the seasoning with more salt and fresh pepper.
Decant into quart containers, cool and store.



Cloudberry Cream

equal amounts of Molter , cloudberries, and sugar

small amount of water

1. cook berries and sugar with a little water until berries are collapsing and the mixture comes together as a jam, strain through a coarse sieve to remove seeds.

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

fold together the whipped cream and about 3/4 cup of the fresh jam, serve.



Vafler or Waffles with cardamom

1  2/3  cups cream (or half and half or milk if you must)

3 TB butter, melted

3 eggs, separated

1/2 tsp pure vanilla

1 2/3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cardamom, or 1/2 tsp seeds crushed

pinch salt

  1. Sift and measure flour
  2. Beat egg yolks and add the cream, vanilla and butter.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, cardamom, salt and add to the egg mixture.
  4. Beat egg whites til stiff and fold into the batter, lightening up your batter first by stirring a large spoonful of the beaten whites into it.
  5. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto a heated and prepped waffle iron, either electric or cast iron over a burner.
  6. cook until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes in an electric iron or about 2-3 minutes per side with the  stove top version.



Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


2/3 cup lard or Crisco shortening

6 TB or a little more of iced water

pinch salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. sugar

  1. measure the shortening by water displacement method
  2. blend it into the flour, salt and sugar mix
  3. when the blend resembles peas, add water
  4. blend quickly and gather into a ball, chill.
  5. divide into 2 pieces, reserve one.
  6. roll out and fit into pan, fill with filling,
  7. roll out top crust and put some vent slashes in it.


1# rhubarb, fresh, cut into 1″ pieces

1 cup sugar

pinch cinnamon

a squeeze of half a lemon

1# or more of strawberries, sliced into large chunks

a few TBs of flour or tapioca

  1. stir all together, fill pie, fit with covering crust and crimp
  2. brush top with cream, sprinkle with sugar
  3. bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350 and remove when golden and the juices are bubbling.



Parker House Rolls

(courtesy of Fannie Farmer, 1918 edition, my grandmother’s book)


2 cups scalded milk

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons butter ,unsalted (ed. note)

1 yeast cake dissolved with 2 tablespoons sugar in-1/4 cup lukewarm water

Flour, at least 7 cups



1.       Add butter, sugar, and salt to milk; when lukewarm add dissolved yeast cake and three cups of flour. Beat thoroughly, cover, and let rise until light

2.       Punch down, and add enough flour to knead (it will take about two and one-half cups). Let rise again, toss on slightly floured board, knead, pat, and roll out to one-third inch thickness.

3.       Shape with biscuit-cutter, first dipped in flour. Dip the handle of a case (dinner)  knife in flour, and with it make a crease through the middle of each piece; brush over one-half of each piece with melted butter, fold, and press edges together.

4.        Place in greased pan, one inch apart, cover, let rise, and bake in hot oven twelve to fifteen minutes. As rolls rise they will part slightly, and if hastened in rising are apt to lose their shape.

**I  (and my grandmother) overlap the rolls to prevent unfolding, otherwise baking as instructed.




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