My house in Italy with the snow we are having plenty of this year.
Back Yard Farmer
Fresh vegetables in the pan
Ad cooked Orechiette
Frittedda fit for a King
Today my harvest amounted to one handful of broadbeans, one handful of tiny carrots that were meant to be big, some wild fennel leaves, a few cardoon flowers and an onion. Undaunted, Mrs BYO made one of the best pasta sauces we have ever had, modeled on the La Frettedda made in spring in Sicily. The main thing is to use fresh vegetables straight from the garden. Peas are normally used in stead of the little carrots, but my peas get grazed from the plant long before maturity by the grand kids. The fennel used in Italy for this recipe is wild fennel.
LA FRITTEDDA (the amounts are arbitrary – use what you have)
1 cup broadbeans out of the pod. Remove the skin from the bigger beans
1 cup small carrots whole, or fresh garden peas
6 cardoon flowers, boiled, outer leaves and choke removed, leaving only the tasty hearts. Normally artichoke hearts are used, but I hate wasting the tasty little cardoon flowers
1 onion finely chopped
pinch of peperonchino (chili flakes)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
fennel leaves or flowers to taste
a strip or two of pancetta (home made off coarse), leave this ingredient out if you do not have any (any smoked meat like bacon will ruin the fresh taste of the vegetables)
adding tomato is considered a crime!
Soften the onion and pancetta in the olive oil. Add the chili and all the vegetables. Slice the artichoke hearts up if they are too big. If the vegetables are fresh they cook in a few minutes, so your pasta must be almost cooked by the time you add the vegetables to the onion in the pan. We liked the orecchiette (little ears) type of pasta with this sauce.
ENJOY and do not forget the home made wine!!
Old recipes that use meats that are these days regulated to the garbage or pets abound in Italy. The problem is that offal is not generally obtainable. Slaughtering my own animals has huge advantages!
With a few rabbit carcasses in the freezer, we decided to make a dish with the coratella (heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and lungs) incorporating some of the artichokes that we now have in abundance. Mrs BYO created the dish and did the cooking, serving it with the staple of the North, polenta. It was a delicious meal and we have all of the rabbit left to feed the more fussy members of the tribe.
CORATELLA CON CARCIOFI
As many cleaned rabbit offals as you can get your hands on, but at least 4, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup rabbit fat. The fat surrounding the kidneys are the best. alternatively use 1/2 cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary
4 or 5 artichokes, cleaned and prepared, cut into 4 sections. All the green leaves of the artichoke must be snapped off and the choke removed, leaving only the tender white parts of the leaves and the heart
salt and pepper
Heat the fat in the pan on a low heat until the fat runs clear and only small bits of browned fat remains in the pan. Saute the garlic and rosemary in the fat until the garlic is golden. Add the rabbit, season with salt and pepper and brown everything quickly over a high heat. Sprinkle with a bit of wine. Lower the heat and cook the rabbit for about 10 minutes, regularly sprinkling the meat with wine, then add the artichokes. Sprinkle wine generously and cook uncovered, turning the artichokes often. When the artichokes are tender, serve hot with polenta or bread.