Monday, October 5, 2009

Fusilli with Spicy Pesto

Prep Time: 34 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings



1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 (2-inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped* see Cook's Note
2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces baby spinach
3 ounces arugula
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fusilli pasta
4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved


For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the cooked pasta and pesto in a large serving bowl. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Asiago cheese shavings and serve.

*Cook's Note: For a milder pesto, remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chocolate Honey Almond Tart

Cook Time: 12 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus extra for coating the pan
9 chocolate graham crackers, 5 1/2-ounces total
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup honey
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Place the graham crackers and almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture forms fine crumbs, about 15 to 20 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, whisk the cream and honey together over low heat until the honey has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to just below a boil. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate filling over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

Loosen the tart from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Unmold the tart and transfer to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.