Athula is vegetarian and gluten free. I thought I’d pick the most obviously carby cuisine to make having her and her family for dinner as challenging as possible. Danielle joined us for a lovely evening.
We started with pizzocherri in parmesan broth. These Northern-tip-of-Italy noodles are traditionally made from Buckwheat and served with cabbage and cheese. I changed it into a soup, with buckwheat noodles and cabbage swimming in Parmesan broth.
Next, a Milanese entree, of vegetarian “osso buco” (celeriac, stuffed with cheese! and a mushroom steak) and a delicious vegetarian saffron risotto.
For dessert we had ricotta with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of buckwheat honey… and for those of us who can, some babka from Danielle!
- 2 cups buckwheat flour
- 3 eggs
- Make a mound of flour, and crack eggs into the center.
- Using a fork, gently beat the eggs, and slowly incorporate the eggs into the flour.
- Once the dough starts to come together, abandon the fork and use your hands to knead the dough thoroughly, adding more flour if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Once it has come together (longer than it would take for a gluten dough), roll it out, slice it up, and allow the noodles to dry.
- When ready to serve, boil well-salted water until bubbling, then turn it down slightly, add the noodles, and cook for 4 minutes.
- 1 large block (1 lb) of parmesan, or the equivalent in rinds
- You can add herbs, garlic, or peppercorns if you want a rounder flavor
- Boil the parmesan until all of the soft parts have dissolved into the water, which will take a few hours.
- The advantage of using rinds is that they get less messy in the pot.
- Then cook the broth down until you have 4-5 cups of concentrated parmesany liquid.
- Noodles above
- Broth above
- 2 cups savoy cabbage
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Cut the cabbage into the thinnest strips you can. Sautee in olive oil with salt until wilted, with some barely-brown bits.
- Drop the noodles into the boiling water just as the cabbage is finishing.
- Serve noodles and cabbage in a bowl and pour parmesan broth over them.
Vegetarian “Osso Buco”
Celeriac “Bones” and “Marrow”:
- 1 celery root per person
- grated parmesan
- Cut the skin off of the bulbs and cut each celeriac into the approximate desired shape
- Steam the celeriacs (I put them in 1″ water in a pot and then turned them over”) until fork-tender
- Whisk together quark, parmesan and seasoning if needed
- Use an apple-corer or cupcake-corer to core the celeriac “bones”
- Oven-roast the “bones” at 450 for about 15 minutes before serving
- Use a pastry or ziplock bag to fill the hole with quark “marrow”
- 2 packages of sliced portobellos
- 1 can of cannelini beans, washed and drained
- 2 tsp garlic
- 4 TB parmesan
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper
- Sautee mushrooms in olive oil, allow to cool
- Mix all ingredients but egg in food processor and process until fully smooth
- Add eggs and process briefly
- Chill until time to serve
- Fry this batter in a skillet (like pancakes, but more carefully)
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 8 cups vegetable stock (I made my own the same day)
- A pinch of saffron
- 1 large onion
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Chop onions finely and cook them in olive oil until translucent but not brown
- Add rice to pan and stir thoroughly, allow to cook for a few minutes until slightly toasted
- Add a few cups of broth, and stir
- Add the saffron to the broth and stir that into the liquid gently
- Allow to cook slowly over a medium heat, stirring gently but regularly and adding more stock as it appears to get dry
- It is best if the broth is also warm as you add it
- When the rice is fully cooked, turn the heat off, add the parmesan, stir well and serve
- The “bone” should go right next to the “meat” to best replicate an osso buco, and the Milanese Risotto should spread out on the plate next to it.