Who would have thought I would I get up early on Saturday morning to learn how to cook!!! Ah how times have changed. This past weekend, I was invited to a cooking demo at Casa Tua restaurant with chef Fabio Viviani, sponsored by Bertolli Olive Oil. You know, the sexy Italian from season five of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef.
He showed us how easy it is to create simple and flavorful dishes at home with a little help of olive oil ;) featuring Extra Virgin, Classico and Extra Light Tasting.
In a very theatrical way, he showed us just how easy it can be to make fresh pasta at home with step-by-step guide. Homemade fresh pasta can transform even the most simple of dishes. And if your guests don't appreciate it, they should not be invited again!
He made it look so easy…effortless…entertaining - all you need is eggs, flour, food processor – if you have this, you can make pasta.
Oops, we interrupt the demo for a private phone call...
With just a food processor, a pasta machine (unfortunately you do need one, but they cost only about $29), some eggs (one egg for each person), flour (Italian size spoon – don’t ask…) , salt, pepper, and olive oil, and you got yourself fresh pasta.
Our next lesson was “breakfast of the champions” – filet with mushrooms and artichokes. Again, the demo was full of comedy and so “easy”. I almost wanted to come home and make it myself. Instead, I got detailed recipes and will make sure chef tries them out this week.
Lessons learned during the cooking demo:1. High-heat kills olive oil
2. Use extra virgin olive oil only for finishing touches and enhancing flavor
3. Mushrooms have more flavor than any other vegetable
4. If you have something good, do less with it, it will give you amazing flavor
5. Blanche mushrooms to preserve the moisture
6. Butter challenges the flavor – use regular olive oil in recipes that call for butter
Did you know Olive Oil is a fruit juice?
Thank you Bertolli and Chef Fabio Viviani for a delicious and fun morning - can't wait to try these recipes next week!
PASTA: Fettuccine with Bolognese Sauce
5 tbsp Bertolli Classico Olive Oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp of rosemary sprig
1 & 1/4 cups chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1.5 pounds ground beef
2 cups dry red wine
3/4 cup tomato paste
2 cup fresh crushed tomato from a can
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus additional for passing
1 lb Fettuccine
12 heaping tbsp flour
1 tbsp Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Quickly beat eggs in a food processor with a pinch of salt and pepper. (Use 1 egg per person you are feeding). Add heaping “Italian” tablespoons of flour and Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil to food processor and mix until dough begins to form into a ball.
Pass dough through pasta press twice until ¼ inch thick. Roll dough onto itself into a burrito shape and chop width-wise to create fettuccine.
Add fettuccine to boiling water over high heat, stirring occasionally until it floats, approx. 5 to 8 minutes.
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add next 5 ingredients. Cook until vegetables are soft but not brown, 12-14 minutes.
Add beef, increase heat to high. Cook until meat is brown, breaking into small pieces with back of spoon, for about 15 minutes.
Stir in the wine, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until sauce is thick, flavors blend, and juices are reduced, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
FILET CUTLETS WITH MUSHROOM
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
4 (6-oz.) pieces filet mignon, cut in half lenghtwise (for total of 8 pieces)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
1 lb. Oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced, or your favorite variety of mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped shallots
2/3 cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. of Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tsp. flour
1 cup Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
1 tsp. sugar
Pound beef until ½-inch thick. Season both sides of beef with rosemary, salt and pepper.
Heat Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook beef, turning once, 6 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove beef and set aside.
Add mushrooms, garlic and shallots to same skillet and cook, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until wine is reduced almost completely . Add Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil and flour. Add oil mixture stirring until dissolved and cook until sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Heat Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until liquid is reduced by a quarter.
Place mushroom mixture on serving plate. Top with steaks. Drizzle beef with Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil and balsamic reduction, season with pepper.