pasta

Adelina’s and Mississippi Vegan are Bringing You Truffles Galore

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Adelina’s is putting on another pop-up Meatless event, this time collaborating with Mississippi Vegan‘s Timothy Pakron for a truffle-themed dinner. Greenpointers chatted with Adelina’s Toby Buggiani about the mycological meal that he and Timothy have planned. Who doesn’t want truffles on everything, especially Italian food?

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Roebling Tea Room Adds New Menu, Huge Banquet Table

Roebling Tea Room - Douglas Lyle Thompson - Facade Angle
Roebling Tea Room. Photo © Douglas Lyle Thompson

Syd Silver opened Roebling Tea Room in Williamsburg in 2005, and over a decade, it has weathered the storms of real estate around it. As bar after restaurant after concert venue around it came and fell, the beautiful, airy loft space stuck around, offering a delicious menu of tea, wine and food. There were so many times over the years that I’d climb those steps up to the refuge from busy, rainy Metropolitan, looking for a snack or a glass of wine or some tea. But RTR is so much less about tea, and more about cocktails and food these days.Roebling Tea Room - Douglas Lyle Thompson - Sign

In 2015, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Silver redesigned the space, installing a 15-foot salvaged redwood table in the front for groups of up to 20, intimate seating in the back, and a small, semi-private room. The low lighting, inventive cocktails and updated menu make it a major contender for Valentine’s Day or just that perfect Friday night dinner where you linger for just one more drink. Continue reading

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Scalino G.P. Brings Italian Comfort Food to Greenpoint’s Manhattan Ave

Scalino_G_PIt’s January, the long weekend is almost over, and the vortex cold-spell is returning. Sometimes the only thing that will bring light to these dark days is the promise of a warm plate of glossy pasta and a glass of good red wine.

Lucky for us, there’s a new neighborhood Italian opened to offer up all kinds of comforting  dishes, and it’s just far enough from Adelina’s not to serve as competition. Continue reading

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Recipe: Gnocchi Sardi With Carmelized Onions, Leeks and Swiss Cheese

This recipe is actually derived from a German Homemade Spaetzle recipe, which is pretty easy and fun to make. I substituted Gnocchi Sardi (Cayuga Pure Organics’ Tent / McCarren Park Greenmarket) for the spaetzle and added leeks.

It really doesn’t get easier or more delicious.

Preheat the over to 350.

Boil a box of pasta in salted water. It doesn’t have to be gnocchi; anything you would use for mac n’ cheese works, like macaroni or orecchiette. Don’t overcook the pasta because you will bake it. 

While you are boiling the pasta, caramelize a big onion and one leek (optional). Slice the onion and leeks and sautee in butter. Do not salt. Once they are browned and gorgeous add salt and pepper.

Grate a half a pound of swiss cheese.

Once pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it on a baking sheet with a little butter, caramelized onions, leeks and swiss cheese (optional: spray sheet with non-stick spray.)

Bake 20min and serve with a side of greens. Makes 4 generous servings.

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Recipe: Bacon Pasta Bitches!

I am sorry but bitches just looks so good after Bacon Pasta. Let me tell you, hipsters aren’t the only nationality in Brooklyn that likes bacon! My Sicilian family goes crazy over this dish.

After Jon got out of the hospital, the doctors recommended no fatty food. The first meal my Dad Rocco made for him when they met for the first time was Pasta with Bacon. I was like, “Are you trying to kill my boyfriend, Dad?!”

He survived and loved it!

In Sicily, it’s called Pasta alla Matriciana (mah – truh- cha – nah). And it’s another easy half hour dinner. In Italy, they use Pancetta, which is Italian Bacon.

The pasta is a Spinach Parpardelle from Cayuga Pure Organics, which sells flours and beans on Saturdays in McGolrick Park. We picked up some delicious bacon from Brooklyn Cured who sells at the McGolrick Park Famers Market on Sundays. The fresh tomatoes are paste tomatoes, good for sauce, a special breed Sam from Great Road Farm is cultivating, but I can’t remember the name! Kewalo? Roma tomatoes will do. We are saving the seeds for next year. He told us they need to ferment a little before drying, so if they get moldy and stink, then it’s happening.

Pasta with Bacon

Cut up a package of bacon into chunks and fry it until crisp but still fatty. Remove the bacon. If there is a lot of fat, drain it so the bottom is just covered with grease. Fry one whole chopped onion with hot pepper flakes in the oil. After about 5 minutes add 4-5 chopped tomatoes. A can of chopped tomatoes will do. Salt and pepper. After about 10 minutes, add the bacon back into the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes. Use the sauce on top of pasta and top with fresh parsley and grated cheese.

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Fried Pizza: Adelina’s

When I walked into the new wine bar called Adelina’s on Greenpoint Ave for a tasting, two things caught my eye: the back corner of the bar was lined with wine barrels labeling each wine on tap with white chalk, and seated at the bar was a row of gorgeous faces, the staff, who was there for a tasting.

“Care to join us?” Toby Buggiani, Adelina’s owner asked.
“Are you asking me to drink before noon. Of course!”

Adelina’s passed the Greenpoint restaurant test of friendly servers without a doubt. Not a surprise since Toby is such a sweetheart.

I also chatted with Josh, a customer who said he liked the former Gypsy Bar, but Adelina’s is “perfect” because he lives up the block and “to get a vibe like this [he’d] have to go to Troost,” which also has a morning coffee routine and a wine and beer menu. Continue reading

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Recipe: Fava Fava Fava Pasta (VIDEO!)

Fava beans are the most delicious bean to eat, but the biggest pain in the ass to peel. It is a two step process. First you take them out of the shell, then you have to remove the skin. But it is well worth it for my favorite summer pasta dish. Here is 20 Seconds Fava Pasta, a time lapse video I created to illustrate the process in music video form. Fava beans are only available fresh at the local farmers markets for a limited time so scoop them up before the season is over!

After you have shelled the fava beans, sautee some garlic, onions and bay leaf in olive oil. Add some chopped fresh tomatoes, then the fava beans. Cover with water and simmer until the beans are soft. Boil your spaghetti and combine with the fava sauce. Top with grated cheese and fresh ground pepper. Fresh herbs like oregano or thyme are lovely, too. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Jon’s Carbonara Pasta with Asparagus

Jon has become the master of pasta carbonara, which is simply (italian) bacon and egg pasta. He got the recipe out of a cook book his mom gave us for Christmas called Weeknight Fresh & Fast.

I was skeptical at first because of an incident I had when making carbonara using duck eggs, very raw duck eggs, but Jon’s is just right. And he wears a wife beater just for me!

He put his own spin on this recipe with the substitution of asparagus, instead of kale, but the green possibilities are endless, broccoli rabe or brussells sprouts. I can’t think of any more.

This dish takes literally 20 minutes to make and is so delicious. By the time the time I put the laptop aside and ask him if he needs help, he is already finished.

Cube 1/2 C. pancetta and pan fry it until brown. Add one chopped chopped shallot until softened, then 1 C. chopped asparagus. Add 1/2 C. of wine and reduce.

While all this is happening boil your spaghetti. Don’t ask how much. Just do what we do and make an entire pound for two people! I need to get one of those spaghetti measuring rings. Okay, like 1/2 lb?

In a separate bowl, beat two eggs. Add 3/4 C. grated cheese (pecorino romano and/or parmesan will do). Jon uses a 1/2 C. parmesan, 1/4 C. romano. Grind a lot of black pepper into it.

After the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back to the pot. Add everything else to it and let it all get happy in there. Serve and enjoy!

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RECIPE: FIDDLEHEAD FERN & ASPARAGUS RAVIOLI


Do you get anxiety when you go into Bedford Cheese Shop? The amount of amazing cheese to chose from is extremely intimidating. My friend Tony gave me sound advice: you know everything is good, so just take whatever they give you. 

To ease into it I dilly dally near the front where all the jams and condiments live and once I have enough courage I just go for whatever says goat or sheep.

While pointing and drooling I saw a list of different types of ravioli from Pastosa. For the record, it’s not my favorite pasta because of all that runny ricotta, but the Asparagus Prosciutto and Mascarpone flavor won me over. When I got home, I stuck it in the freezer, figuring in a pinch I could just boil and butter them up.

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RECIPE: PAULIE’S OVERNIGHT SAUCE 4 WAYS

When I was lucky enough to attend the Paulie Gee Christmas party and have dinner with the man himself, I was able to use the skills I learned in my interviewing class to find out how he made his delicious red pasta sauce. (note: this is not the sauce he uses on his pizza.)

“Oh man! This is so good. How do you make this?”
“It’s raw.”
“Are these San Marzano tomatoes?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Paulie, Come on. I need to know what kind of tomatoes these are.”
“It’s a secret.”
“You have to tell me!”

(My interview method is called: The Whiny Interrogation.)

As I rolled my eyes and grumbled and complained, he explained the simple recipe. It was the easiest sauce I’ve ever made, and maybe one of the most delicious in its simplicity.

The key here is vidalia onions, the ones that look squashed. They are so sweet and mild you can eat them raw. (Paulie can’t.)

Sautee one chopped vidalia onion with a few cloves of garlic (Paulie doesn’t use garlic, I did.) in olive oil. (I added red chili flakes, too.) Transfer to a bowl. Over that add a generous amount of fresh basil leaves, which steam from the heat and release a lot of flavor. Then add your tomatoes – I used 2 cans of San Marzano whole tomatoes, which I find to be superior to other canned tomatoes found in the grocery store. I used a food mill to crush them and remove the seeds.

Leave the bowl covered on the counter overnight, and depending on whether you want the onion and basil in there, you can put it all through the food mill again before you make your pasta.

What I love about making this sauce is all the other dishes besides pasta I can make with it.

One of the most simple dishes I make is cauliflower stewed in tomato sauce. In a pot, saute garlic and olive oil and red pepper flakes. Add enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pot, then add pieces of cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper. Add some tomato sauce over the cauliflower and some water to the bottom of the pot. Cover and let it steam for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. At the end, add some grated Parmesan cheese. This can be eaten on its own or, if cooked down a lot, can be used atop pasta.

Another great way to use the sauce is to stew greens with beans. I love white beans with escarole and chick peas with spinach. I like to make this even more oniony, so I saute more onions with garlic and, of course, red pepper flakes. Then I add a can of beans. Once those cook down for a few minutes add your green. Season with salt and pepper. This is one of my accidentally vegan dishes. After I cook it, I say, “and it’s vegan, too!” I’m not vegan, but I have friends who are.

The next day I love to poach an egg in tomato sauce. This is so easy. In a small pot, pour in some sauce and let it heat up a bit. Crack an egg in, season the yolk with salt and pepper and cover. Lower the heat and after 5 minutes you have a warm delicious saucy egg that is great topped with cheese and served with Italian bread. You can poke it to see how runny or firm it is.

And if you do happen to use the food mill to remove the tomato seeds and the onions bits, you can use that to top pizza or bruschetta!  There are five ways to use the sauce right there!

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