March 31, 2011

Cooking Class!

I just spent the most enjoyable morning with these three lovely ladies! We made homemade pici, cavatelli, a delicious spicy tomato sauce, chicken saltimbocca, and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette to go on our arugula salad with pecorino romano. All of these ladies took like a duck to water making homemade pasta. Ashna made our dough for us, and Colleen was outstanding at rolling and shaping the pici noodles! (She confided in us that her experience with play-dough with her children probably had prepared her!) Melissa is now an expert chicken saltimbocca maker- rolling the chicken and sage in the prosciutto with great care. When we were done making everything, we sat down to a lovely lunch of our own making. We paired a delicious sauvignon blanc with our wonderful lunch, cheers!

Here are the recipes, why not try them with some friends yourself? We made the plain pasta dough (no vegetable puree) and we formed both pici noodles as well as passing some dough through the cavatelli maker (Ashna is our expert). The biscotti was made with almonds and walnuts instead of hazelnuts.

March 29, 2011

I Love Dinner Parties!

Planning a dinner party is fun! I like imagining the menu, and then letting other details come to me, inspired by the flavors, ingredients and style of the menu.

We are having some lovely new friends over for dinner this Saturday, and I am excited to think about what to make! Since it is spring, my husband immediately thinks of fava beans... and his gnocchi dish that has peas, fava beans, corn, gnocchi and truffle oil, it's delicious. That's our starting point, we know we want that as our appetizer, so then we build the rest of the menu around it- a pork roast that marinates for one day with lots of wonderful flavors, maybe some polenta, a light salad, and for dessert, caramel pudding with rich, unsweetened whipped cream... Is it Saturday yet?! I'm making myself hungry! (I am pleased to report that the fava bean plants I am attempting to grow have sprouted, hoorah! As have the peas and tomatoes!)

Recently, I was thinking back to a faux Thanksgiving we had with three other couples that we just ADORE. This was back in 2008. It was during the holidays, and each of the couples were going to embark on their own holiday plans and travel. Now, I love our families, and I love celebrating holidays with them, but sometimes I feel you miss the opportunity to also celebrate with friends! So, the ladies of the couples came up with the idea to have our own 'Thanksgiving,' but in January when we were all back from the holidays. I had the privilege of hosting the dinner, and it was so exciting. I remember that each person brought something- I think I still have dreams about the truffle macaroni and cheese, I might even still have the dishtowel that my friend used to bring it over (oops!). I remember making a coriander rubbed turkey, and an apple pie, but what I remember most of all is the camaraderie and conversation, and feeling so blessed to have each of these people in my life.

So the next time entertaining stresses you out, here are some tips, first, have a drink (to test the efficacy of the cooking wine of course), then perhaps have a chocolate, or a dr. pepper, and then list the top three things you like about each person that's coming over. You'll immediately feel better!

March 23, 2011

Amaretti! (with Lemon Zest and Frangelico) Mmm...

Mmm... Amaretti! These are such delicious cookies. They are made with almonds, egg whites and sugar, which is their basic construction, but you can dress them up with a little liqueur and lemon zest! I am really at heart a chocolate person. Desserts, cookies and cakes that aren't chocolate really have to bring it to keep me interested. These certainly keep my attention! I store these in mason jars in the pantry. You can either eat them by themselves, which is absolutely divine, or you can have them with a coffee or espresso. To go really crazy, immerse the cookies in amaretto or frangelico, then crumble with your hands over vanilla ice cream... Mmm...

Amaretti with Lemon and Frangelico
8 ounces raw whole almonds
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 a small lemon
2 Tbsp. frangelico or amaretto
demerara or plain sugar cubes (2) for topping

Preheat your oven to 325. We are first going to prepare our almonds! This is cool, you are making almond flour. First, we need to get these little guys out of their skins- boil some water on the stove. Once the water is boiling, pop in the raw almonds, leave them in for about 2 minutes. The skins will start to look a little bit loose and wrinkly. Remove the almonds and place them on a thick kitchen towel. Either rub the whole group of almonds with the towel, or, individually, squeeze them to pop off their skins. They should come off really, really easily. Discard the skins. On an ungreased baking sheet, spread out the skinless almonds in a single layer. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, then remove and shake them around, then another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Once your almonds are cool, place them in your food processor with a 1/2 cup of sugar. Process until finely ground, but no more. You don't want to make paste! It should still be dry in nature. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the egg whites until they are opaque, voluminous, but still slightly soft, then add 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat until the mixture is stiffer, but still slightly flexible. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and liqueur, then the almond mixture and remaining sugar, fold gently with a spatula, trying to keep as much volume as possible, but mixing completely.

Prepare a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper. Prepare the dough in either a zip lock bag or a pastry bag with a medium sized tip. Spoon the mixture into the bag and if you're using a zip lock bag, work it down to one corner with your hands from the outside, then cut a little hole in the tip of that corner. Use as you would a standard pastry bag. Pipe small rounds of dough, at least 1 1/2" apart from one another, about 11/2" wide. Don't worry if they have little peaks on the top, they will go away on their own during the time you let them 'rest.'

Using a mortar and pestle, crush 1-2 sugar cubes. The reason to use sugar cubes for topping sugar is that it is comparatively drier vs. standard sugar. Therefore, it won't be absorbed into the cookie, it will stay crisp and visible on the top. Once you've crushed the sugar cubes, you can use any type of sugar cube here, but brown probably looks prettier! Go ahead and sprinkle a pinch or two over each small cookie. Allow the cookies to rest for about 3 hours.

After their 'rest,' bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes. How will you know they are done? They should have a little bit of color, but not a lot. Also, if you try to remove one from the parchment using a spatula and it leaves behind some residue, it needs to go back in the oven. They will be fairly firm, since it is a sugar and egg white cookie, but they will also be deliciously chewy if they aren't overcooked. Enjoy! These make wonderful presents!

March 19, 2011

Adventures in Persian Cooking!

I don't know a lot about Persian cooking- but I think the flavors and ingredients are so delicious and inviting! When I think of Persian food, I think of grilled lamb, aromatic spices like cardamom, turmeric and saffron, distinctly unique flavor combinations including pomegranate, pistachios and rose petals- it's a veritable feast for the senses! My Mom is partial to chicken cooked with walnuts and pomegranates and I myself am very fond of sour cherry rice.

I'd like to tell you, though, how my interest in Persian cooking came about. A while back, this is probably more than 15 years ago, my Dad met a couple that were from Iran. We were invited over to their house for a dinner party. Prior to this, I had eaten a lot of Greek and Mediterranean food growing up- the foods that my parents made for us growing up were predominantly French and Greek- a product of my Mom's cooking classes when we were small (French, with James Beard) and multiple previous cruises in Greece (these had also yielded some cool family jewelry). I am certainly not complaining- it was a delicious upbringing, my father taught me at a young age how to stuff and fold grape leaves. I still remember the odd looks I received at school when I brought them for lunch (not that I cared, grape leaves are delicious- enjoy your Salisbury steak while I eat these...). Anyhow, from my exposure to flavors of Greek and Mediterranean food, I think I thought I knew what to expect from a Persian dinner party. Well, I could not have been more wrong!

The wife of this couple, who is named Marjon, is one of those women that you immediately admire and then continue to do so for the rest of your life. She's one of those women that you aspire to be- beautiful, effortlessly stylish, incredibly kind, and unfairly talented in the cooking and entertaining department! Not only had she made an entire multi course meal from scratch, she'd laid an impeccable table, and then had time to get dressed in the most elegant dress, with flawless hair and unbelievably stunning jewelry. Here was a woman who made it look really, really easy! While I can't remember exactly what was served that night, I remember vividly the impression it made on me. I remember thinking that I'd like to host dinner parties like this and that the food was delicious, I think either on that occasion or a subsequent one I had asked if I could borrow a cookbook. Sadly for me, she said all her cookbooks were in Farsi (that's the Persian language).

I would be remiss if I didn't say a little about the after dinner tradition of their dinner parties- after dinner we'd retire to their gorgeous living room- I remember thinking that I'd never, ever in my life seen such a beautiful carpet, it was so detailed and fine, and in light creamy colors. This was also new to me- we have always had a lot of oriental carpets in my family, it's actually one of my Dad's hobbies. But, his tastes have always focused on bold, deep colors and larger scale geometric patterns. These carpets had organic, twisting patterns and I am not sure I could even comprehend the knot count, the designs were so tight and well executed. In this beautiful room, we would have coffee and we would dance, it was wonderful!

Now, while this was a long time ago, we are still close friends with this family. And, if you can believe it, the wife just seems to get more beautiful and glamorous, it's just not fair, is it!? Anyhow, she is such a sweetheart, that she didn't forget me asking about cookbooks probably more than a decade ago and earlier this month, I received an unexpected box. In it, to my incredible delight, was New Food of Life, a beautiful and comprehensive cookbook on Persian food and ceremonies (in English!!!). Naturally, I was delighted and could not wait to give the recipes a try. I've made saffron rice, ground lamb kebabs cooked on long, sword like skewers (we bought them in Los Angeles), infused with turmeric, finely ground onion and basted with lime butter, and a cucumber and yogurt side dish topped with rose petals. Delicious!

I feel I should also tell you that when my little baby boy met Marjon for the first time, he just kept kissing her on the face! He knows a good thing when he sees it. I find that I am really inspired by the friends I meet, there are a handful of women (and men) that have always stood out in my mind as role models of cooking and hospitality. Marjon is certainly a powerful one- but there are others that with different talents have made deep and lasting impressions on me. There's an uncle that was into gourmet food in the 70s and 80s to an astonishing degree- there's a lady that can plan elegant alfresco dinner parties in her sleep and then provide the most stimulating conversational topics, all at the same time articulating the irrefutable rationale for assigned seating and place cards, and to recall something more recent, there's a dear new friend that brainstormed having a demitasse cup of 'pot likker' to begin an elegant Southern dinner party would be incredible (pot likker is the liquid left behind after boiling collards, usually either seasoned with bacon or even starting out as smoked pork stock). I was just recently told at a cocktail party about a woman who has since passed away- but it was obvious she had made a similar lasting impression on the friend relating the story. She had had a very grand home in town and unfortunately, it caught fire and burned to the ground. A little while later, he related that she'd held a black tie dinner party in the rubble and everything she served was on fire- baked alaska, bananas foster- you just marvel at the inventiveness and sense of humor that some hosts and hostesses have embedded in them! I think these people inform what you're inspired to create in your kitchen and home. I'm sure you have many people like these in your life also!

March 17, 2011

Weeknight Dinner- Pomodoro Sauce over Pasta with Arugula and Garlic Bread

What did we have for dinner last night? We had delicious pomodoro sauce (pomodoro means 'tomato' in Italian) over homemade gnocchi (that I had frozen previously), some baby arugula with a quick homemade honey mustard dressing and some garlic bread. Delicious! This is a wonderful sauce, with rich vegetable flavor. You'll love dipping your garlic bread in the sauce, too! This freezes well and with its pureed texture, looks very elegant. It's great for dinner parties, too, because you can make it ahead of time.

Have you ever skinned and seeded roma tomatoes before? It's really not that hard and what's great about this recipe is that you complete this step while the onion, carrots and celery are cooking, so you're multitasking! Look at you, overachieving in the kitchen :) Let's get started!

Pomodoro Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion (slightly larger than your fist), coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
10 large roma tomatoes (each was almost the size of my fist)
sea salt
freshly cracked pepper
1 cup heavy cream

You will need two large pots- one to cook your sauce and one to boil water. Get the water started heating up while you start the sauce! In a large pot, either a large dutch oven or a stock pot, heat the oil and butter over medium low heat. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add the carrots and celery. Cook these vegetables for roughly 15 minutes. You want them to cook and soften, but not to brown, so adjust your heat and cooking time to meet that.

Prepare your tomatoes- remove the portion that attaches to the stem of the plant and cut an 'x' on the bottom of each tomato. Don't worry about blemishes on the skin- you're going to remove the skin, so you'll be getting rid of these anyhow. While the water comes up to a boil, prepare two additional bowls, one with ice water and one is just empty. Once the water is boiling, in batches, place as many tomatoes as will fit without crowding them. Let them stay in the boiling water for a few minutes, transfer to the ice bath once you see the skin begin to split. Allow to cool for at least a minute before handing them. In the meantime, place the remaining tomatoes in the boiling water. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how easily the skin peels off the tomatoes- go ahead and remove the skins of those that have already been boiled and split. Discard the skins. Either over the sink, a bowl, or the trash, squeeze the tomatoes to get rid of the majority of the seeds and juice. This doesn't have to be perfect, just get rid of a good portion. Chop the remaining tomatoes coarsely and then add to the pot that is cooking the onion, carrots and celery. Stir to combine with the other vegetables, partially cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour.

During your 1 hour of simmering, catch up on the most recent episode of 'V,' which, I am very excited includes an appearance by the actor who played Mike Donovan in the original V!!! I should tell you, my family and I were really, really into the original V in the 80's. I think there is still a box somewhere in the garage with all the episodes of V recorded on Beta max. Yes, we were a Beta max family... Anyhow, I am LOVING the new V and it's so fun to have the actors that played Diana and Mike Donovan on the show! My husband did not watch V when he was younger, so he looks at me puzzled when I get excited when one of them comes on screen.
Oh my goodness, your hour just flew by, thanks to the aliens in your DVR! Ok, so your beautiful sauce is done simmering, turn off the heat, cover it, and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. You can get the rest of the dinner ready in the meantime! Use either frozen homemade gnocchi, or store bought gnocchi, or honestly any pasta you like- you can even use the tomato water to cook it in! No new pots to clean! So go ahead and cook your pasta. While it's boiling, make your garlic bread, check out how on this post:

Now for your salad- I buy pre washed baby arugula and just mound it on the plate. In a small mason jar, I combine 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 4 Tbsp. olive oil, roughly 1/2 tsp. each honey and dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Put on the top of the jar, give it a few shakes, and it's good to go!

Now to put the finishing touches on your sauce- so it's cooled enough that we can blend it. I have a handheld blender, but this sauce is not very watery, so you may be better off using a conventional blender. Be careful if your blender top doesn't have vents for hot liquid, the top may be forced off. So, once the sauce is blended, stir in the cup of cream, season to taste with salt and pepper.

On each plate, place a helping of arugula and dressing, pasta, top with sauce, and 1-2 pieces garlic bread. Grate some parmesan over the top of the pasta and the salad. Enjoy!

Optional- add some freshly grated nutmeg to the sauce, or use a different type of cheese to top the pasta and salad. This sauce can be adjusted to have a stronger tomato flavor. Increase the amount of tomatoes or reduce the proportion of vegetables.

March 16, 2011

Gardening Dreams...

I have dreams of having the most magnificent garden, full of vegetables and berries. I should probably tell you that I am unlikely to realize my dream, because I am yearning for my Grandmother's garden. She is a very, very tough act to follow. (She ironed bed sheets!) Growing up, I spent time every summer with my Grandmother, who lived in New England. Her garden was truly magnificent. It was probably 30' x 40' and had tidy rows of cucumbers, tomatoes, chives, and innumerable other vegetables and flowers. The cucumbers were not very large, and we ate them sliced up in a bath of vinegar with a pinch of salt. We still sometimes eat them this way in my family, it is truly delicious! The most exciting part of my Grandmother's garden was the outer column of raspberry bushes. At the far right of the neat garden square, there was an entire side of raspberries. We would pick them, eat them raw, she'd make them into pies with elaborate melt in your mouth pastry lattice tops, she'd make jam- I still to this day associate raspberries with my Grandmother. Growing wild on the rock wall behind the raspberry patch were blackberries, so sweet and juicy, I'd eat them right off the vine. Her grass was also littered with wild strawberries, which also didn't make it inside and were eaten right there. My Grandmother is quite a gardening, culinary and homekeeping idol to me, I even have painted every kitchen I have had light blue to match her kitchen! In my mind, it's the only color for a kitchen.

So where does this leave me with my gardening dreams? I haven't given up. Last year, I started all my seeds too late, and then went to New Orleans for a weekend, during a heat advisory and came home to all my tiny plants completely fried. Given that I have to contend with Southern weather, I probably can't achieve an identical garden to my Grandmother's, but I'm still optimistic! I salvaged from last year's very hot summer a few plants that I've nursed indoors this winter, a lychee plant and three chile plants. I have a habanero, an anaheim, and a pasilla bajio plant. I've also just started to germinate (indoors) fava beans, sugar snap peas, cherokee purple tomatoes (native to Tennessee with a purplish-red exterior), and san marzano tomatoes. The fava beans and sugar snap peas I'm soaking in water for 24 hours before I plant them and the others I'm sprouting in moist paper towels in ziplock bags.

I have dreams of growing some of my own vegetables and maybe this summer I'll be able to use my own tomatoes, chiles, fava beans and peas. And if the heat kills them all again, well, there's always next year :)

March 12, 2011

Ricotta and Mascarpone Cheesecake- Baby's New Favorite Food!

Baby LOVES this cheesecake, it is so funny! When you bring it to the table, he squeals and reaches for it urgently! Don't worry, adults love it, too! This cheesecake is great- it has a chocolate graham cracker crust, which is seriously a breeze to whip up, and because you use mascarpone instead of cream cheese, the batter comes together with greater ease because mascarpone is softer. I used meyer lemon zest, but only because they looked so pretty at the supermarket. You don't have to use meyer lemons, regular lemons are fine! You can also use a portion of orange zest, which is delicous, and will give you a pretty good proxy for meyer lemon zest (meyer lemons are 'orangey' in flavor). I also must tell you that I normally do not care for cheesecake- I find it a little too dense. However, because this batter has whipped egg whites, it has a light, fluffy texture which is delightful! I hope you like this as much as we do!

Ricotta and Mascarpone Cheesecake with Meyer Lemon Zest
6 eggs, separated
15 ounces ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. vanilla powder
zest of 1 to 1 1/2 meyer lemons
16 ounces mascarpone cheese (allowed to sit for a little while at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
3 cups chocolate graham crackers
1 stick unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat your oven to 325. You can make this in either a 9 or 10" round pan, I recommend a pan with removable sides, or, you can make this in a square brownie pan- this is what I did, just because squares of cheesecake are a little easier to share with friends or transport. You'll need the sides of whatever pan you use to be fairly deep- probably at least 3 or 4 inches. To start, let's make our crust! I used chocolate teddy bear shaped graham crackers from whole foods. I measured 3 cups while they were still in cookie form, but 1 3/4 cups after I put them through the food processor to make them into fine crumbs. You may use regular graham crackers, or chocolate 'wafer' cookies also. So go ahead and make your cookies into fine crumbs in the food processor. Next, combine the crumbs in a bowl with the unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar. Lastly, add the (melted) stick of unsalted butter and stir well with a spoon or spatula. What could be easier? Your crust is ready! Press your crust into your pan, no need to grease the pan. I spread the crust out first with a spatula, then I press it down all over with my fingers to pack it nicely.

Now for our delicious cheesecake filling! Separate your eggs, and set aside the whites. Add the ricotta to the egg yolks, stir to combine. Next, add the vanilla powder and extract, sugar and meyer lemon zest. If you like a lot of citrus flavor, go for 1 1/2 meyer lemons' zest, if you like less citrus flavor, go for maybe just 1/2 of one of the meyer lemons. Lastly, add the mascarpone. Mix well, until the batter is smooth.

In a standing mixer, beat the egg whites at a medium-high speed until they are white, foamy, and hold peaks well. Next, add the egg whites to the batter and fold in, this means using a motion with a spatula that combines the mixture gently and staying to the outside and underneath. It doesn't mean mixing in a circular motion in the direct center. Try to avoid the center, you'll deflate your egg whites less. When well combined, pour the batter directly into the pan with the wonderful crust you made, and allow to settle for a minute or two so the top is uniform. Now! Time to put it in the oven! Bake at 325 for 1 hour, then, turn off the oven. Allow to remain in the oven for at least 1 hour and for as long as 1 1/2 hours (1 1/2 hours will be slightly drier and firmer). Immediately place in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap and allow to cool before serving. When serving your delicious masterpiece, allow to warm up for a few minutes, it's best when it's not extremely cold.

March 5, 2011

Cardamom Scented Sugar Cubes and Hot Chocolate

I love cardamom! It is so delicate and delicious! A few years ago, I started to scent my sugar cubes with whole cardamom pods. The effect is very subtle, although, when you open the sugar bowl, the scent is certainly evident. It makes a very pleasant addition to your cup of tea, coffee, or espresso. You could certainly do the same thing with other herbs or spices, dried lavender for example, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, you get the idea. Just place the cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves or lavender in the bottom of the sugar bowl, place the sugar cubes on top and close the lid! What could be easier?

Another thing I have done with cardamom lately is to use it in hot chocolate. It is wonderful with dark, bittersweet chocolate, which is truthfully the only kind I eat! I prefer 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate. To make my cardamom hot chocolate, heat one part heavy cream and three parts milk, either in the microwave or on top of the stove. After it is heated, add chocolate, I add roughly one ounce of chocolate for each cup and a half of liquid. After the chocolate is melted, add a pinch of ground cardamom, and then use an electric wand to mix and froth the hot chocolate. This is so good! I had it every morning for about two months!

Don't forget to enter the baby hat contest! Here's the link:

Also, check out our new page, Homekeeping Ideas:

Thank you for reading!

March 2, 2011

Cavatelli! Your New Favorite Pasta!

Have you ever eaten at Fred's at Barney's in New York? It must have been about 7 or 8 years ago- they had this dish on their menu, cavatelli with a meat sauce and it was just amazing. That was my first experience with cavatelli. I remember thinking they were so cute because they looked kind of like grubs! But sooo delicious! I recently purchased a cavatelli maker- the first night I made cavatelli I think I told my husband that our new cavatelli maker was the best thing in our kitchen. This is the second time I've made cavatelli this week- this variation would be a wonderful dish paired with a salad for lunch, or, for dinner, use this as the starch and pair it with a grilled steak and a green salad. Hooray cavatelli! These cavatelli are exceptionally special because the pasta itself contains sweet potatoes and ricotta cheese. What could be better?!

Cavatelli with Sweet Potato and Ricotta
1 cup sweet potato puree (from a can or homemade, I used canned)
1 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1 egg (room temperature)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose), plus more for forming the cavatelli

In a standing mixer, combine all the ingredients at a low speed. When a clumpy dough forms, remove from the mixer's bowl and knead on a floured cutting board, adding more flour as needed. What I'd recommend is starting with 4 cups of flour in the mixer and gradually adding more to achieve a non-sticky consistency. Knead for a few minutes by hand- you want it to be a smooth and elastic dough, not one that comes apart from pressure. Kneading will actually help this process along- because of how gluten forms.

Break out your fantabulous and incredibly cool cavatelli maker- secure it to your counter, making sure the area beneath it is clean. I place a lightly floured baking sheet beneath to catch the pasta as it comes out of the machine. This makes A LOT of pasta. About half of the pasta dough once it's made into cavatelli covers an entire full sized baking sheet. So this is about two full baking sheet's worth of pasta. That will feed probably 8-10 people. Take roughly a handful of dough, and start working it into a strip that you'll feed through the machine. There needs to be enough flour incorporated that the inside of the dough isn't sticky, if it's too sticky, the individual pasta pieces won't separate and you have kind of a mess and no usable pieces. Basically, the name of the game here is enough flour and a thin enough piece of pasta to feed through the machine. The strip of pasta should be less than 1" wide and really not very thick at all.

Take a look at the video to show you what I mean:

So now you've seen that, you are good to go! These are so awesome to make. As they come out of the pasta maker, dust with flour to ensure they won't stick together.

How I used these tonight- I served them in a sage, butter and parmesan sauce and topped it with a small amount of truffle oil. We ate this with pieces of NY strip steak that had been grilled on the Big Green Egg. Delicious :) What if you need to make these ahead of time? As they come out of the cavatelli maker, dust with enough flour that the individual cavatelli do not stick together. Freeze them if you don't plan to use them right away! Then you can be super cool and take them out of the freezer and say casually, 'so, I have this homemade pasta, we could eat that tonight?'

Cavatelli with Sage, Butter and Parmesan
10 oz. cavatelli with sweet potato and ricotta
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
15 sage leaves (whole, stems removed)
1/2 cup parmesan
1/4 tsp. truffle oil

Boil the cavatelli in salted water for 3-4 minutes. While the cavatelli are boiling, melt the butter over medium heat, adding the sage leaves once the butter has melted. Continue heating until a small amount of brown begins to show up in the bottom of the pan. Immediately add the (cooked) cavatelli and the parmesan, turn off the heat and stir to combine. Place in 4 serving dishes and top with equal amounts of the 1/4 tsp. of truffle oil. This is somewhat rich, so the servings are not too big :) Hooray for cavatelli!
Where can you get a cavatelli maker? I ordered mine from Amazon, this is the one I have: