In many parts of the country, Exploring Music airs right around mealtime, and many listeners have written in to let us know that we join them at the dinner table. (They also write in to let us know we join them in the shower, but that’s another story…)
Always the gastronome, Bill McGlaughlin offhandedly solicited some culinary suggestions in our recent “Arias and Barcarolles” week, and we’re happy to share this submission from Loann Scarpato. She tunes in via WRTI in Philadelphia, and shared the recipe for what sounds like a very delicious soup.
Acorn Squash Vegetable Soup
2 large leeks
1-1/2 Tbsp butter
2 acorn squash, approx. 18 oz each, cooked, seeds and skin discarded, flesh pureed
5-1/3 cups chicken stock
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz sliced mushrooms
6 canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 oz fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
Trim roots and most of green leaves from leeks. Chop finely, wash well and drain, and cook in butter in large pot until soft, about 3 min. Add pureed squash to pot with stock and seasonings; cook 10 min. Stir mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach into soup; remove from heat. Let stand 2-3 min. before serving.
Yields 2 quarts.
Source: “The Cuisinart Cook,” Oct. 1987
As a main course, Producer Cydne Gillard tracked down this intriguing ravioli recipe from Nicolo Paganini, courtesy of the Library of Congress and NPR.
2 lb. lean beef
1 1/2 lb. flour
1/2 lb. lean veal
A calf’s brain
pinch of borage
For a pound and a half of flour, two pounds of good lean beef to make the sauce, place in the frying pan some butter, then a small amount of finely chopped onions, and brown slightly.
Put in the beef, and cook till it begins to take on a bit of color. For a thick sauce, take a few pinches of flour and gradually sprinkle them into the meat juices to brown, then take some tomatoes, break them up in water, pour some of the water into the flour in the frying pan and mix well to dissolve. Finally add some finely chopped and pounded dried mushrooms, and that’s the meat sauce.
Now for the pasta. To lift the eggless dough: a little bit of salt in the pasta will help with its consistency.
Now for the filling. Using the same pan as for the meat, in the sauce, cook half a pound of lean veal, then remove, chop it and pound it. Take a calf’s brain, cook it in the water, then remove the skin covering the brain, chop and pound well, separately take a little lugano sausage, remove the skin, chop and pound separately. Take a good pinch of borage, boil, squeeze out thoroughly and pound as above.
Take three eggs, sufficient for a pound and a half of flour. Beat them thoroughly and add the various ingredients listed above, which should be pounded again, adding a little Parmesan cheese to the eggs. And that’s the filling.
For a ravioli, cut the pasta slightly wet, and leave for an hour covered to give thin sheets.
If there’s still room for dessert, there’s always Justi Mahler’s Marillenknoedel, which her brother, Gustav, immortalized in his song cycle “Des Knaben Wunderknödel”.
Justi Mahler’s Marillenknoedel
2.2 lbs. potatoes
8.75 oz. flour
Pinch of salt
3.15 oz. butter
3.5 oz. bread crumbs
13 oz. apricots
Preparation: Place the potatoes, cut and peeled, through a mill once, then work them into the flour, egg and salt on a cutting board while they are still warm to make a smooth paste.
With a rolling pin, or by hand, knead the paste, flatten it and cut into fine slices, carefully enclosing an apricot in each slice. Then let the knoedel cook for five to 10 minutes in a sauce pan of boiling salt water. Drain. During this time, melt the butter in a frying pan and brown the bread crumbs over a low flame. Then roll the knodel in bread crumbs and sprinkle with sugar before serving.
—use cream cheese in place of the potatoes, so as to augment the amount of flour
—replace the apricots with prunes or cherries
—add yeast to the paste
—place a cube of sugar inside each apricot slice
—serve the knoedel with ground poppy seeds in place of bread crumbs, moistening them afterwards with butter and sugar
Posted by Jesse McQuarters (Producer, Exploring Music)