Archive | April, 2018

Pharaoh’s Wheel

17 Apr

Pharoah's wheelPharaoh’s Wheel: Tagliolini colla Crosta

Adapted from King Solomon’s Table by Joan Nathan

I wanted to make something new and impressive for my luncheon study group and found this recipe by Joan Nathan, whose recipes are almost invariably wonderful. I’m posting it below as she wrote it, but I’ll tell you about all the things I changed and/or screwed up first.

This is a very old Italian Jewish dish. It’s basically bolognese sauce mixed with pasta and baked. It’s typically eaten on Purim, when the Torah portion is about how Pharoah’s chariots were destroyed during the Exodus.

The idea is to bake the casserole and then invert it onto the serving plate, as Joan does in the video below. I lost my nerve on this part, because it was the first time I’d made it, so I served it in the casserole. I probably could have turned it out with no problem.

I didn’t have any cans of whole tomatoes but I had lots of cans of diced tomatoes, so I just used those.

My cans of tomato paste are 6 oz. (who ever heard of a 3-oz. can?) and I didn’t have any plans for the leftovers so I just used the whole can (but I didn’t scrape it out carefully as I usually do).

I wasn’t sure whether to use powdered cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.  I used the powder, and a scant half-teaspoon seemed to provide the right amount of heat.

And I couldn’t find tagliolini in Trader Joe’s. In the video Joan uses what looks like fairly wide pasta strips, so I bought pappardelle, which turned out to be wider than ideal. If I can’t find tagliolini when I make it again, I’ll probably use tagliatelle or fettuccine. (I Googled tagliolini, and it looks thinner than what Joan uses in the video.)

The important thing was that the study group raved about the dish. We had some leftover, and it was good reheated a couple of days later too.

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½  cup chopped Italian parsley
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup dry red or white wine
14.5-oz. can peeled whole tomatoes
3-oz. can tomato paste
3 cups beef broth or water
Salt to taste
½ tsp. dried hot red pepper, like cayenne
1 tsp. oregano
1 lb. tagliolini pasta
½ cup dark seedless raisins
½ cup coarsely ground whole almonds
½ cup pine nuts
¼ lb. kosher pastrami, salami, or pickled tongue, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Toss in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and most of the parsley and lightly brown for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Then, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Pour in the wine and raise the heat, allowing the wine to evaporate completely. Cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break apart the tomatoes.

Add the beef broth or water and cook, covered, over very low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be nice and thick. If it is too thin, cook a few minutes longer until it loses its excess liquid. Add raisins, almonds, pine nuts, and pastrami, salami, or tongue. Add salt to taste and the hot red pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a round, 12- to 16-cup-capacity oven-proof baking dish.

Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the tagliolini, bring the pot back to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and put the pasta into a large bowl with the meat sauce. Toss everything together to thoroughly distribute.

Put the pasta mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 to 1/2 hours, or until a nice crust has formed. Invert onto a platter and serve warm with the remaining chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 8 to 12

 

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