This is one of my favorite pasta dishes, easy to make and delicious
Earth Pasta, by Chef Tamara Frey
I’ve always loved the flavorful combination of dessert wines and cream boiled down to a sauce. In culinary school most of these rich and fabulous sauces they teach are from concentrated meat stock bases. I wanted to develop a sauce that was vegetarian and easy to make, but still used the classic French technique of reduction. I came up with Earth Pasta when I developed the first menu for the newly opened Daily Planet Restaurant in the early 1980s.
I remember my father loved cooking with mushrooms and onions sautéed in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper. He enjoyed it over steak, but the combo works for many dishes, and I included them in this Earth Pasta.
INGREDIENTS (May I suggest you use organic ingredients if you can, to help out our planet, and small farmers)
20 snow peas, leave them whole
4 cups sliced mushrooms (packed in)
2 cups sliced onions
1 cup Frey Dessertage Port (or Madeira sweet wine)
2 cups heavy cream, enough to make a nice sauce for the veggies at the end
linguini for 4 people, cook al dente. Add a dash of salt and a splash of olive oil to the water while pasta boils
Sauté snow peas, mushrooms, and onions with your favorite cooking oil (I recommend unsalted butter, extra-virgin olive oil, or extra-virgin coconut oil). When they’re done, turn up the heat and pour in the Dessertage Port (or Madiera, which was used in the original recipe and it would flambé over a gas stove; Frey Dessertage Port did not flambé for me when I used it for this recipe, but it still tastes great in this dish). Reduce the spirits so the alcohol burns off and the essence remains, then add the heavy cream and bring to a boil and simmer, until thickened to desired consistency for pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh finely grated Romano parmesan or Asiago cheese, fresh-chopped parsley, scallions, and fresh cherry tomato-halves if in season.
This dish goes great with Frey Organic Pinot Noir, one of our lighter red wines.
Instead of cream, use coconut creamer or soy creamer. I tried it with coconut creamer and it tasted great, but I have yet to try it using soy creamer, which may curdle. You may also try it using a thick miso broth as a cream alternative.
Instead of the cheese garnish, try a vegan parmesan made by Eat in the Raw.
(Chef Tamara Frey is working on a cook book about cooking for large groups. We'll announce it here when it's released!)
(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 20111. All right reserved)
San Francisco-based Organic Conversation Radio show with Helge Hellberg and Mark Mulcahy recently interviewed Katrina Frey and others as part of their "Celebrating Women Leadership" Earth Day special.
Katrina was interviewed first, where she talks about the fight to keep added sulfites out of organic wine.
You can hear the complete show and all the interviews at Organic Conversation's website.
Katrina Frey with Kirstie Alley and Karen Black!
Katrina Frey with actor Ed Begley Jr.
Jon and Katrina Frey danced with the stars at Kirstie Alley’s Celebrity Block Party in Los Angeles on March 9th, 2011. The party was attended by Hollywood bigwigs who loved tasting Frey wines, the nation’s premium award-winning organic wine. Kirstie has developed Organic Liaison Rescue Me, the first USDA certified organic weight loss product. Thanks, Kirstie, for choosing organic products and promoting the green lifestyle!
Spring is in the air, in the barn, and in the fields! All the animals are enjoying the lush pasture from the rains, and have been steadily munching for months. Our goat herd has grown, and the goats that kidded in March now have attentive young following them on the goat walks through the vineyards. Because of the "bud break" (when the grapevines begin to sprout new shoots for this year's growth), the goats, cows, horses, and sheep are moving out of the vineyards to find forage instead in the meadows and grasslands. The chicken flock has also matured, making eggs for Easter omelets. The free-range eggs reflect the nutritious green grass of the pastures, as the chickens who graze on it have the beta-carotene needed to produce really rich and orange egg yolks. One of our hens went broody and hatched out her first nest of little chicks this week. And we have several "teens" strutting around the barnyard too, enjoying the bugs and grasses that this season brings.
Fresh farm eggs.
I created this salad to take advantage of a totally new, superbly rich wine here at Frey Vineyards: our just released Organic Tannat, vintage 2010. Balsamic vinegar reductions are one of my favorite ingredients to make from scratch, so I had to try the same reducing technique with this tasty tannat and its thick-as-ink texture. I was most surprised and pleased. The best flavors of the wine permeated the vinaigrette, along with its gorgeous color.
Roasted Beet Salad with Frey Tannat Vinaigrette.
The vinaigrette is added to a roasted beet salad, with red butter lettuce, fresh avocado and strawberry slices, a touch of onion, and raw chopped almonds. Enjoy with a warm baguette and a glass of Frey Organic Tannat wine.
I use all organic ingredients when possible.
1 large beet
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 large head of red butter lettuce
1 large avocado
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup raw chopped almonds
4 slices red onion
3/4 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese)
3/4 cup Frey Organic Tannat wine (a deep red wine)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon maple syrup
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Let’s start with the beet. Cut it into 1/4" thick strips, just like French fries but healthier! Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in a 350F oven until soft (approx. 20 min. to 1/2 hr.). Let it cool. Then toss with 2 teaspoons of the Tannat vinaigrette, which you will make soon. Set aside.
Roasted beets with Tannat vinaigrette added.
Now on to the main salad ingredients. Keep each separated for now, and handle some ingredients carefully as later you will use some for garnish. Wash and dry the red butter lettuce and tear into pieces by hand (otherwise you will have to eat the salad with the help of a knife, which I prefer not to do). Slice up the avocado and strawberries. Chop up the raw almonds (I prefer the almonds raw, as they are more nutritious and I love the flavor, but you may toast if you prefer). Separate the rings from the red onion slices. Shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano (I use a potato peeler which makes paper-thin translucent slices that are beautiful).
Slicing Parmigiano-Reggiano with a potato peeler.
Time to make the Frey Tannat Vinaigrette! Put into a sauce pan the Tannat wine, balsamic vinegar and the orange zest. Bring to a boil, then let it simmer until it reduces to around 1/4 cup, which takes about 15 minutes. Important: keep an eye on it because it’s possible to reduce it to thin air! Let cool a few minutes, then pour into a blender. Add the salt and pepper and maple syrup. With the blender running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream. It will thicken nicely (emulsifying technique) and the color will turn to a shade of purple.
Add 2 teaspoons of the vinaigrette to the roasted beets. Mix until the beets are coated.
One quick note about the remaining vinaigrette. I added half a cup to the rest of the salad and found that to my liking. You may prefer to add more or less to your taste. Adding all of it might be too strong for some. If you have leftover vinaigrette, you may use some as dip for the baguettes, marinate a steak in it, or save it for tomorrow’s salad!
Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss in the salad bowl, so the dressing coats everything. Tossing tends to send the heavier ingredients to the bottom to hide under the lettuce. So for presentation, set aside 4 or 5 beautiful slices of the avocado and strawberries, the onion rings, and some chopped almonds – enough to garnish to your heart’s delight.
(Recipe & images copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 2012. All right reserved.)
Six kids joined the barnyard scene this week. They came every other day, twins for each of our three mama goats. Everybody is nursing well and looking very adorable in their warm little goat coats. The baby goat below was born just this afternoon and the pictures taken during its first hour. It's being licked clean by its very caring mother while it tries out its legs for the first time on fresh hay.
Frey Vineyards recently attended this year's Millésime Bio at Montpellier, France, the largest organic wine gathering in the world. One of the Frey grandsons, Alex, was mentioned on the popular news website HuffingtonPost.com, along with his mugshot! Below is a screen shot from the HuffingtonPost.
Our goats are ripe and ready to give birth, all of them are full term. On our goat walks through the vineyards I see the kids moving around from inside their mother's bellies. Goat gestation is about 5 months, and last fall we bred our does to a Nubian buck, which should make them all excellent milking kids. For now, we're keeping the barn stocked with fresh hay, and checking on the mothers all day long. This is the other part of animal husbandry: animal midwifery!
January on the farm has the taste of fresh grass for all our hoofed friends. The cows, horses, and goats are pasture feeding in the vineyards again, in-between rows of cultivated wheat and oat. Our herds have the dual purpose of fertilizing the vineyards and keeping the grass populations in check, like live-powered mowers. Our daily goat walks take us through the vineyards to favorite oak trees where acorn browsing gives the goats rich, luscious coats for the winter weather. And, while they munch on the wild blackberry hedgerows, the pregnant ones get a dose of herbal medicine to help tone their reproductive tract before the Spring kidding. We're expecting several births in the next few months, which makes this time of year extra exciting.
Our chicken program has also taken to the vineyards, where egg layers are happily scratching up grubs and weeds along the edges of the cultivated vines. All these animals make the land seem more like a farm, where a walk along the rows now has the sound of moos, neighs, and clucks! For biodynamic agriculture the element of having the animals on the land is especially important because the animals impart a special quality to the land. Additionally, the farm animals help us maintain the land as a sustainable system, which feeds us while we feed it with "black gold" manures.
In the gardens our family members are ordering seeds and getting out old saved seeds from the previous year to grow cabbages, peas, kale, broccoli, and other early crops. I just pruned the raspberries in our garden last week, and the fruit trees are next.
Our biodynamic farmer friend Hugh Williams of Threshold Farm was here for the past two weeks, teaching workshops on apple orchards and pruning our trees using his unique method. We also just hosted the Winter meeting of the Biodynamic Association of Northern California here at Frey Vineyards; it was a wonderful success and inspiring to have all the farmers come together to discuss truly sustainable agriculture amidst the backdrop of the vineyards. Frey Vineyards, which has become a model for biodynamics, was the first BD certified winery in the United States. Also, Katrina Frey is now a member of the Demeter board, spreading the conscious farming movement in the hopes that more farms will join.
For now, it's time to get back out into the fields, making flat mixes to sow our seeds in for the first crops of the year!