Happy Monday Friends!
As our regular readers know, we've been promoting Meatless Monday every week with a meat free entree of some kind.
Well, this week rather got away from me and here it is, time to post, and what to do?
Well, as it happens, I did make something. It just happens to be a dessert, but since I'm a firm proponent of an occasional "Dessert for Dinner" night, and since it happens to have pasta in it- we're good!
Yesterday while shopping our local co-op market, I ran across some pomegranite seeds. Since I have 2 children that would actually clean their rooms for pomegranites (hey, we do what we have to!), I bought a bunch.
While driving home I started thinking of Mrs. R. This was a rather random thought, but I tend to do these things.
Mr and Mrs R. were our landlords many years ago when I was expecting my third child and we were house hunting on Long Island. We lived in a 3 bedroom apartment on the second floor of their house and already had 2 adorable, but definitely active little boys. Mr R was a rather gruff, very round little man who spoke almost no English, but made himself CLEARLY understood. Mrs. R was a very sturdy (read strong as a bull!) taller woman who seemed to never be still. They kept a meticulous home and their garden was beyond belief. Mrs. R's pride and joy was her patch of Cock's Combs which were almost as tall as I was and an amazing velvety crimson. They grew figs, tomatoes, peppers, persimmons, and countless other vegetables. Everything was frozen, canned, preserved, and turned into amazing meals.
Mr R would regularly head up the stairs to inform me of some mischief my boys were getting into and she would be right behind him saying "Basta! Later, later..deve mangiare!" ("Enough! Later..now she has to eat!") She would be carrying a shot of strong, creamy espresso to "settle my stomach" and a plate of some wonderful concoction.
One that she made frequently was a "cake" made with angel hair pasta and dried or candied fruits. Sweets made with pastas are common in many areas of Italy and many are traditionally served during the holidays.
This is my homage to Mrs R who took such good care of me and baby Christopher
Torta di Capelli D’Angelo con Melagrana
(Angel Hair Cake with Pomegranite)
1 cup pomegranite seeds
1 TBLSP Chambord
1 1/4 cup ricotta
4 eggs separated
4 ounces mascarpone
scant 1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 large orange
scant 1/2 lb cappellini- more like 7 ounces
1/2 cup almond meal, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the pomegranite seeds in a bowl and stir in the Chambord. Set aside to macerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
With a hand mixer, beat the ricotta, egg yolks, mascarpone, sugar, and zest till smooth and blended.
Break the angel hair pasta into 2 or 3 pieces and drop into a pot of salted water which is at a rolling boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes- pasta should be pretty al dente. Drain and quickly rinse lightly to cool a bit.
Stir into ricotta mixture.
Stir in reserved pomegranite mixture and 1/4 cup almond meal.
Beat egg whites till stiff and fold into ricotta/pasta mixture.
Butter springform pan and shake reserved 1/4 cup of almond meal into pan to coat
Bake for 50-60 minutes till set and golden. Cool 5 minutes on rack, run a thin knife around edge and remove sides of pan. Allow to cool till warm.
Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with Creme Anglaise flavored with Chambord (BELOW) and sprinkle with more pomegranite seeds
Crema D’Anglaise Chambord
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1/3 cup sugar
5 large or extra-large egg yolks
1 tblsp of Chambord or more to taste
Heat cream, milk, vanilla beans and seeds in a small saucepan. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Reheat cream to barely simmering. While whisking quickly dribble just a bit of the hot cream into the yolks. Put yolk mixture back into saucepan of cream and stir constantly over medium low heat till custard reaches 175 degrees- do not boil. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in 1 tblsp of Chambord. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate till cold
Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie