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Rigatoni with Fennel and Anchovies

Something truly magical happens when fennel, garlic, and anchovies get caramelized together in olive oil, then paired with citrus zest. Even the firmest anchovy haters will agree. This recipe is from Evan Funke, chef-owner of L.A.’s pasta temple, Felix Trattoria.
Serving size : 4
 

INGREDIENTS 

* 3 large fennel bulbs (about 2½ lb.)

* ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

* 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets

* 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

* ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

* ½ cup (packed) mint leaves, plus more torn for serving

* 1 orange or tangerine

* 1 lemon

* 1 lb. rigatoni

* 3 oz. Pecorino Romano, finely grated (about 1½ cups)
 
METHOD
 
* Remove tough outer layers and fronds from fennel bulbs and discard. Working one at a time, cut bulbs lengthwise (through root ends) into quarters, remove cores, and slice quarters lengthwise into ½"-thick wedges.
 
* Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over high until shimmering. Add fennel to pot, arranging in as even a layer as possible. Season with salt and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath and starting to soften, 6–8 minutes. Using tongs, turn fennel over and cook until golden brown on the other side, 6–8 minutes.
 
* Reduce heat to low and add anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ½ cup mint to pot. Cook, stirring often, until anchovies are disintegrated and garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and finely grate zest of orange and lemon directly into hot oil; stir well to evenly distribute. Cover pot to keep sauce warm and let sit until pasta is done.
 
* Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.
* Uncover sauce, add pasta and 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid, and set over medium-low heat. Add Pecorino and cook, tossing vigorously and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until sauce is emulsified and pasta is coated, about 2 minutes.

Mushroom, Potato and Escarole Stew

Serving size: 4

INGREDIENTS

* 1 lbs potatoes, a small variety like russian banana or german butterball potatoes, peeled  and sliced into 1/4” half moons 

1/4 cup italian parsley, leaves chopped 

2 tsp thyme 

1 bay leaf 

2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed 

2 cloves garlic, smashed to paste 

8 oz yellow onion, fine dice 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1 lb mix of wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into medium-sized pieces 

1-1/2 tbs cider vinegar 

1 head escarole, leaves removed from core, washed and sliced into wide strips sour cream 

Italian parsley, chopped for garnish

METHOD

* Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to just cover the potatoes.  Add the parsley, thyme, crushed garlic cloves, bay leaf and salt. Cook very slowly at a gentle  simmer (never allow to boil) until the potatoes are tender. Remove the potatoes from the water  and reserve potato water for making the stew (it will act as the natural thickening agent).

* In a heavy bottomed saucepan, warm the extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat and cook  the onion and smashed garlic, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and translucent. • Add the mushrooms, largest or longest cooking ones first, the smallest or most delicate ones  last. Cook until each batch is cooked through, but retain their shape and their juices have  evaporated from the pan. Season the mushroom mixture well with salt and freshly ground black  pepper.

* Add enough of the potato water to cover mushroom mixture, add cooked potatoes and bring to  a gentle simmer. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes until flavors start to meld and the the water thickens a  bit. Add the cider vinegar a tablespoon at a time to taste.

* Add the escarole and simmer for additional 2 - 5 minutes until the escarole is wilted.

* Gently ladle the stew into large bowls and top with a generous dollop of sour cream, a good  sprinkle of chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Roasted Radishes and Turnips

Serving size: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 lb baby turnips, halved lengthwise 

1 1/4 lb radishes in mixed varieties, halved lengthwise 

2 tbsp olive oil 

4 tbsp butter, at room temperature 

1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon) 

1 clove garlic, grated 

2 tbsp chopped fresh curly or flat-leaf parsley 

kosher salt 

freshly ground black pepper

 

METHOD

* Preheat the oven to 450°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the turnips, radishes, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables, turning them halfway through cooking, until  tender and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.  

* Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the butter, lemon zest, and garlic; season with salt and pepper.

* When turnips are out of the over, toss them into the bowl with the butter mixture, stir gently.  Add parsley and serve.