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)
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.)
Sherried Mushroom Soup
I’ve been making this wonderful creamy and delicious mushroom soup for years, using wild mushrooms when in season, and shitake when out of season. As always, I try to use all organic ingredients, as they taste better and are better for our health and planet.
This recipe can be made with Frey Organic Dessertage Port or Frey Organic Late Harvest Zinfandel as well.
Vegan alternatives are also provided.
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups shitake mushrooms
2 heaping cups sliced meadow mushrooms
2 heaping cups sliced portabella mushroom (usually 1 large portabella mushroom is enough)
1 large leek
3 Tbls chopped garlic. Which was 3 large cloves garlic
2 Tbls fresh chopped thyme. Or 1 tsp dry
6 Tbls unsalted butter (or coconut oil for vegans)
1 cup heavy cream (or almond milk, or coconut milk, for vegans)
1 cup sherry (or Frey Organic Dessertage Port or Frey Organic Late Harvest Zinfandel)
3 cups vegetable stock, or chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black or white pepper
Scallions, cayenne for garnishing
Start by slicing the leek down the middle to the white part. Open the stalks under cool water to remove all the dirt which gathers where the green meets the white. Slice up all of the leek, mushrooms, the rest of the vegetables, and set aside
In a large soup pot melt the unsalted butter. Throw in the mushrooms, leeks, thyme, and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat for 10 seconds, or until the vegetables start hissing (but don't let them smoke!), then deglaze by pouring in the sherry. Immediately turn down the heat and let it all simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and ready to puree. Blend the soup very finely. I use a blender for pureed soups. Return the blended soup to the soup pot. Add the cream and mix it in. Add seasoning, salt and pepper to your liking. Bring the soup back to a simmer ready to serve.
Fill up your prettiest bowls with the soup and garnish with slivered scallions and sprinkled cayenne. If you don’t want it spicy-hot use paprika for color. Serve with a fresh sourdough baguette, sweet butter, a salad, and your favorite Frey Organic White wine.
(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 20101. All right reserved)
A big thanks to all of you who submitted a recipe for our 30th Anniversary Recipe Contest. We appreciated your response. Several excellent recipes were submitted, each one delicious. It was tough to choose a winner.
After much cooking, tasting and deliberation, we chose "Italian Lentils,” submitted by Katie S. from Elizabeth, Colorado. I used Frey Organic Syrah in the recipe. It was a very hearty and tasty Autumn dish. Wonderful with a sour dough baguette and a glass of Frey Organic Syrah! Here is Katie's winning recipe:
7 cups of vegetable broth
2 Tbls of olive oil
1 ½ cups of lentils
1 cup of Organic Frey red wine (any variety works great)
8 cloves of minced garlic
4 cups of diced tomatoes in juice
1 tsp salt (or add salt to taste, especially since your vegetable broth might already have salt added)
1 ½ Tbls dried basil
1 ½ tsp lemon pepper
1 cup of pasta
Sliced green olives
Bring broth and oil to boil. Add lentils and red wine and simmer 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Top with olives.
Serve with red Frey Organic Wine and a crusty baguette for dipping.
This is a simple and tasty mashed potatoes recipe and popular with my customers. It involves a slight variation of the French technique of flash-heating, where you throw some spinach and garlic into a hot pan, for example, for a quick flavor-enhancing searing. But in this case the raw spinach and chopped garlic are added to the piping-hot potatoes while mashing commences. The heat of the potatoes cooks the spinach perfectly, and leaves the garlic pungent.
If the sun is out, use a solar oven to boil the potatoes in a carbon neutral way (see pictures below). We use a Sun Oven, not cheap, but it will pay for itself by reducing your energy bills and keeping your cooking carbon-neutral.
Serves 4 to 6.
6 medium red potatoes. Do not peel. Most of the nutrients are in the vegetable peel. Go organic if possible, as pesticide residue lingers in soil where potatoes grow.
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and chopped.
2 cloves chopped garlic. Add more or less, to taste.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (tasty vegan alternative: extra virgin olive oil)
¼ to ½ cup of whole milk, or half and half, or cream (vegan alternative: save some of the water used to boil the potatoes).
6 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Boil potatoes until soft. Drain the water and start mashing the potatoes until chunky. Mix in the butter or olive oil, chopped garlic, parsley, and chopped spinach. Add the milk or cream to your preferred consistency (if you are vegan, save some of the potato water and use it with the olive oil for the consistency you desire). Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne.
Another delicious option is to add a little feta cheese, either to mash into the hot potatoes or to sprinkle on top when serving.
(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 20101. All right reserved)
Organic potatoes cooking in solar oven, well above the boiling point!
Piping hot, solar cooked, carbon neutral, organic potatoes! Yum!
For 6 to 10 people
1 pound softened goat cheese
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (optional)
dash of salt (optional, to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Press the softened goat cheese flat into a platter with a raised rim (see picture). Choose your prettiest platter for best presentation. The cheese should be flattened to about 1/2 inch thick. With your hands, shape the cheese so the rim rises up about a quarter inch. This will prevent the oils from spilling off the top of the cheese. Use a fork to poke holes into the cheese, (this allows the flavors of the olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to penetrate better into the cheese). Be careful not to poke the rim.
Drizzle half of the oils onto the cheese. Then sprinkle on the fresh chopped herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Drizzle the rest of the oils over the mixture. Put the cheese in the refrigerator and let marinate overnight. This allows the oils and flavors to marry right into the cheese. But this dish can also be enjoyed immediately, with no marinating.
Serve with crostini, gourmet crackers, sliced cucumbers, or carrot sticks.
This appetizer was recently served at a wedding at Frey Vineyards to 450 people. We used 5 gallons of home-made goat cheese!
(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 2010)
The goat cheese before the topping.
This classic butter spread is easy to prepare and a favorite of my customers. Serve it on warm baguettes or fresh sour dough French bread. In fact, it’s delicious on many dishes. Spread it on baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, add it to fettuccini, brown rice, couscous, or quinoa. Also, a fresh tomato garnish goes great with many of the above pairings, though I did not include it in the recipe below. Pair it with your favorite Frey Organic Wine. I especially like it with Frey Organic Sangiovese.
1 pound of unsalted organic butter (the butter should be soft but not melted)
6 finely chopped cloves of garlic
1 heaping tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary
1 heaping tablespoon of chopped parsley (you can also use basil)
¼ cup of extra virgin organic olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor put the butter, garlic, rosemary, and parsley. Blend all the ingredients while adding the olive oil until the mixture is smooth. Put the mixture in a bowl and garnish with rosemary and parsley leaves.
(recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 2010)
The ingredients ready to go.
The first bit of olive oil into the Cuisine Art.
The ingredients thoroughly blended.
Organic Rosemary & Garlic Butter – ready to enjoy!
(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 20101. All right reserved)