Sorry for the delay kiddos, it’s been a crazy week for all who partook in last weeks weeknight dinner…

Chuck and Dee hosted and we had the most amazing time!

Of course, they are still adorable. Duh.

And they live in an adorable loft in Jack London Square (Oakland). Their kitchen is dope – it’s like a demonstration kitchen minus the mirror on the ceiling. A huge kitchen island, so ‘spectators’ (aka me and Erik) can sit and watch the magic happen.

This dinner turned into a cooking lesson. A homemade pasta making lesson to be exact. Chuck and Dee are the most fantastic pasta making duo around, and had planned the evening to teach Erik and I how to make Pappardelle.

This hands on lesson was absolutely perfect – Erik and I had received a pasta maker for our wedding, but hadn’t used it yet. We were scared. So scared.

Chuck and Dee took us under their wing and in no time Erik and I were romantically making pasta – flour on our cheeks (added for effect by Dee) and all.

I encourage you to get your pasta maker out (or get one gosh darn it) and play around with making pasta…or get someone to show you. Or at least buy it fresh from the people at your local farmers market. It’s sooooo fun and good. Period.

NO ONE should be eating dry pasta all the time.

If you do – shame on you.

Alright – here’s the starter Dee made….(oh baby was this yummy!!)

Bruscetta with Rosemary, Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Ricotta and Prosciutto

Adapted from Bon Appetit

PRINT RECIPE

  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), quartered lengthwise
  • 12 1/2-inch-thick diagonally cut baguette slices (each 3 to 4 inches long)
  • 12 tablespoons ricotta cheese, divided
  • 6 thin prosciutto slices, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir 6 tablespoons oil, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Add tomato quarters and stir to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lift tomatoes from marinade and arrange, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet (reserve marinade for toasts).

Roast tomatoes until skin is browned and blistered and tomatoes are very tender, about 35 minutes. Cool tomatoes on sheet. Maintain oven temperature.

Meanwhile, arrange bread slices on another rimmed baking sheet. Brush top of each with reserved marinade (including garlic and rosemary bits).

Roast bread until top is golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool toasts on sheet.

Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese on each toast; sprinkle with pepper. Fold prosciutto halves over and place on ricotta. Arrange 2 tomato quarters atop prosciutto. Whisk lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon oil in medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on platter and serve.

And the salad (I’d drink buckets of this dressing)…

Arugula Salad and Ultimate Vinaigrette

Adapted from Tyler Florence

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  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon truffle mustard (or Dijon)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups arugula

Combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, oil, sugar, honey and salt and pepper in a jar and shake to emulsify.

Toss arugula with vinaigrette, to taste.

Wait for it…FRESH HOMEMADE pasta kids…

Pappardelle with Pancetta and Wild Mushrooms

Here is the homemade  fresh egg pasta recipe that Dee swears by. She says out of all the recipes she’s tried, this one is the easiest to work with and tastes best.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

PRINT RECIPE

  • 9 to 11 ounces (250 to 300 grams) wild mixed mushrooms (Chuck and Dee used chantrelle, trumpet and enoki)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1 to 2 small dried red chiles, pounded or very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 pound (455 grams) dried (PFFT) spaghetti (or other pasta – we used homemade fresh Pappardelle)
  • A small handful grated Parmesan
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces (55 grams) unsalted butter
  • white wine

Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a pastry brush or a tea towel. Slice the mushrooms thinly, but tear any larger mushrooms, like girolles, chanterelles. and blewits in half. Put the pancetta in a hot frying pan, cook thoroughly. Remove the pancetta but leave the grease in the pan. Add the mushrooms. Let them fry fast, tossing once or twice, then add the garlic and chile with a pinch of salt (it is very important to season mushrooms slightly, as it really brings out the flavor), and olive oil if needed. Chuck and Dee added wine in while cooking the mushrooms to add more depth. Continue to fry fast for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing regularly. Then turn the heat off and squeeze in the lemon juice. Toss and season, to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the mushrooms, with the Parmesan, parsley, and butter. Toss gently, coating the pasta with the mushrooms and their flavor. Serve, scraping out all of the last bits of mushroom from the pan, and sprinkle with a little extra parsley and Parmesan.

And for dessert, Dee cracked open a most magnificent bottle of bubbly from Iron Horseand I brought a homemade Berry Bonanza pie. Yum yum.

AND, of course, the table was so pretty…