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Za’atar July 12, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in African, Recipe, Spices.
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4 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. dried thyme
4 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. dried sumac

Heat sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic.  Let cool.  Combine sesame seeds with dried herbs and grind in a mortar and pestle.

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes

Difficulty: 1/10


Za’atar is a spice blend common in Northern Africa and the Middle East.  It is used in cooking and as a table condiment.


Fettuccine in Butter, with Corn, Prosciutto, and Sage July 1, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Entree, Pasta, Recipe.
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1/2 lb. fettuccine
1-1/2 cups corn kernels
2 ozs. thinly-sliced prosciutto, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter
5 fresh sage leaves, chopped coarsely
fresh ground pepper
Reggiano, shaved

Boil water for pasta in a large pot, lightly salted.

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large bistro pan or skillet at medium-low heat.  Add prosciutto, mixing evenly into the butter.  Using a wooden spoon or two, tease apart some of the more stubborn slices which might be stuck together.  Cook until pink throughout, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Stir in a tablespoon of water to relieve the prosciutto.  Add 2 tbsp. butter, sage, and a few twists of fresh ground pepper.  Mix contents agreeably, then let them rest to infuse melting butter.

Add pasta to boiling water.

A few minutes before pasta is finished, move skillet to burner at medium heat.  Add remaining 4 tbsp. butter.  Add corn and cook until warm throughout.  (Add a tablespoon or two of water from the pasta if the corn mixture seems too dry.)  When corn is warmed, reduce skillet to lowest heat.

Drain pasta when cooked and add to skillet.  Toss pasta with skillet mixture.  Salt to taste.  Serve immediately, offering Reggiano on the side.

Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

Difficulty: 3/10

Serves: 3-4 people


Easy to make and requiring very little time, this could be a “weekly” dish in late spring or early summer when corn is at is freshest.  Two or three ears of corn should be plenty.  (But it’s also fine to substitute quality frozen corn kernels at other times of the year, if need be.)

Though the Reggiano cheese is served on the side, without it the pasta lacks soul.