1 large flavorful onion (in this soup I used cipollini) 2 large carrots 2 ribs of celery with their leaves or 1 celery and 1 fennel stalk 3 Tbs. or more of good extra virgin olive oil (it shouldn't be too dry) 1 Tbs. butter Finely chop all ingredients. Heat pan, add oil and butter,then add ingredients and sauté on low heat until soft and just turning color), about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Spicy Lentil and Sausage Soup
I bag dry lentils picked through and cleaned 3 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock 1 recipe Soffritto (above) 1 Pkg. Spicy Italian Sausage (sweet, medium, chicken.. it's all o.k.) 2 Zucchini cut in to small chunks 1 cup dry white wine *Freshly Ground Black Pepper *Red pepper flakes to taste 2 Fresh Thyme Sprigs 3 Fresh Sage leaves **2 tsp. Beurre Manie Good Quality Parmigianno Regiano Cheese Directions In separate pan brown the sausage, when done slice to 1/4 inch thickness. Set aside. Make Soffritto in the soup stock pot. Add the stock and simmer. Add the cleaned lentils plus the sausage. Cook till lentils are tender. Add the chopped zucchini, thinly sliced herbs and the white wine. Add freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. *Depending on the sausage you use, you may need a very small amount of heat. (pepper) That's why you add your seasonings at the end of cooking process. Cook for around 12 more minutes. **This is where you use your cooking intuition, if you would like a thicker soup add a few teaspoons of beurre manie. I don't always do this, I allow my lentils to break down enough to thicken my soup so as not to add too much more fat and starch. But when I do want a thicker soup I often add the Beurre Manie.
The secret to this dish is really the Aioli, a garlic mayonnaise which occurs by blending the egg yolks with a thin stream of oil slowly added during processing. Aioli is a common cooking additive in Italy as well as Provence France where yearly they celebrate the Aioli festival. The salmon is baked here in a foil pouch with a good spreading of Aioli and thyme sprigs in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. I use a foil pouch for each separate piece of fish. This timing is pretty acurate, but check periodically for oven temperatures vary. After spreading aioli dressing, seal pouch. When fish is done, open the pouch to reveal the top of fish. Bake till a little golden on top. *This doesn't always look very pretty, but the taste is outstanding! For the fingerling potatoes I first boil them in a pot of salted water and I add a few cloves of garlic. Can I use too much garlic? :) When easily pierced with a fork, I remove the potatoes and slice in half lengthwise. I toss with a half of a cup of prepared Aioli and lay in a roasting pan. I cook in a 400 degree oven till glazed well with aioli dressing and golden in color.
Roasted Garlic, Caper
and Lemon Thyme Aioli
2 Cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 -3 sprigs of Thyme
1 tablespoon water
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Capers
2 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup light olive oil (*not extra virgin)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Take paper off cloves of garlic and put in a foil pouch with olive oil, thyme, water, salt and pepper. Seal the pouch around the edges and roast in the oven till garlic is tender, around 15 minutes.
Process eggs, lemon juice, capers, salt and pepper in a blender, add the roasted garlic and thyme from pouch and process. Pour in the light olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the aioli emulsifies. Fold in mayonnaise and lemon zest, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme.
Use Aioli on pastas, as dips, topped on scrambled egg in brioche.. the uses are endless! Buon Appetito, Ciao and hugs to you!!