Monday, April 20, 2009

Food + Friends = Living the good life

I can't think of many things that are more enjoyable in life than good food and good friends. Throw in a few drinks, some guitar hero, and sitting outside for the first time of the season - and you have one damn good weekend.

Saturday - Dinner party for 8. Scate bakes up a big batch of Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti in the afternoon and set aside to "air dry." Then, I put on the uber tasty sweet Tomato with Onion and Butter sauce to slowly simmer and whip up a quick batch of pasta dough. H. prepared two chickens for the rotisserie and a fun celery/apple/walnut salad. The dinner was billed as a 'wine and scotch tasting' night - so the number of bottles on the table is real - and what we wanted for the evening. I don't know enough about wine to tell you much - we had some great bottles and a lot of tasting. I'm glad I didn't have far to go that night!

Appetizer/First Course: olives and spiced nuts
Pasta Course: homemade linguini with basic tomato sauce
Meat Course: Rotisserie chicken (rubbed with rosemary butter) and slow-cooked glazed carrots
Salad Course: Apple/celery/candied walnut/soft italian cheese salad
Dessert: Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti with assorted ice creams (coffee and vanilla hagen daz)

Pasta Recipe
3.5 cups flour
5 eggs
*the trick is to hand knead for 10 full minutes, let it rest for at least 30 - then use a magical pasta roller to make your noodles. I rolled and cut the noodles while everyone was watching. It took a little longer than I had anticipated and got our guests to jump in and help with the noodles. This got flour everywhere - but added a little entertainment factor.

Pasta Sauce
3 15oz cans of whole stewed tomatoes
15 TBSP butter
2 onions - cut in half through the root end
* let simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour until that fat seperates (you will see the fat "float" on top)
* throw away the onions before serving.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
from - click title for recipe
* the skins took some time to remove from the hazelnuts. It also made a pretty big mess! I used the nuts with some skin left on them (I couldn't get them off!) to grind up for the dough.
* I threw in about 2 cups of chocolate chunks and mini chocolate chips that I had on hand. These stayed soft when eating - and was a great way to up the chocolate!
* the ground hazelnuts really added a nice flavor to the cookie.
* This recipe makes a lot of cookies! I should have made 3 logs instead of just 2 to keep them the size I like.
* I baked for 20 minutes on the second round because they were still "fudgy" looking after 10 minutes. These are forgiving - but i should have baked longer on the first round.
This batch of biscotti made enough for dessert on Sunday night too! The multi-purposed dessert allowed time to complete my 12 mile run on Sunday morning, visit a brand-new baby and parents in the afternoon, and go to dinner with friends that evening. These were even tastier when not preceeded by many hours of wine tasting - or maybe my memory is more clear... Either way - it was a great weekend! You know it was good when it's all gone!


Donna-FFW said...

Scate am I invited next time.. This looks fantastic.. Delicious and the biscotti.. yum.. stop by my blog if u get a minute and enter my giveaway..

Anonymous said...

Everything looks fabulous! Delicious biscotti!

Claudia said...

That was a great night! I stopped hand rolling my pasta when I discovered it was a magnet for animal fur. Great to meet a fellow-Minnesotas (I'm a refugee from NYC but been here awhile). And your biscotti - do you have any left?

Tangled Noodle said...

Great dinner party - all the food looks and sounds so delicious, especially your hand-rolled and cut linguine! But please do share info on your wines and scotch - I was curious to see how the food and drink pairings were!

Sara said...

Sounds like a really delicious menu! I love homemade pasta, I need to pull my pasta roller out, dust it off and get to work :)

Pearl said...

hi! thank you for visiting my blog and providing such sweet words :). the photos proved that you throw such amazing dinner parties! hopefully when i start throwing dinner parties, they'll be as incredible as yours :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

Looks like a fabulous evening and you're doing this again this Saturday night right? I'll be there with bells on! The hand rolled pasta - YUM!

Kate said...

yum yum yum! When I have guests, we tend to have pizza... So, I am quite jealous of your culinary skills!