Posted on January 2, 2013
Visit Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue for extraordinary eats, because, quite frankly, this food is too beautiful for type. Experience it for yourself. I’m grateful for the fact that they don’t offer delivery service because that would be…problematic.
Posted on December 13, 2012
Posted on November 25, 2011
Would you believe that I’ve been haunted? That my waking hours are filled with visions of butternut squash sauces and a butternut squash penne that rivals your beloved macaroni + cheese? Believe me when I say that while I adore the unctuous layers of gouda and cheddar cheeses, while the very thought of a four-cheese mac + cheese gives me palpitations — there’s something magical about a butternut squash sauce.
I was tempted to fix one of these pasta dishes, but since I had a pound of whole wheat pizza dough in the freezer, leftover sage sausage in the refrigerator, it only made sense to turn my favorite dish into a pizza.
AND. OH. MY GOD. THIS WAS THE BEST. DECISION. I’VE. EVER. MADE.
Make this. Make this now. And guess what? It’s healthier than your normal take-out variety. And if you want to be even more virtuous, trade up the pork sausage for turkey and add some sweet caramelized onions for good measure.
1 lb whole wheat pizza dough
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1/2 lb ground sage sausage, removed from the casing
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup smoked gouda cheese, grated
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 garlic clove
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
oil for the cooking sheet
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a large baking dish and toss in the chunks of butternut squash. Add salt and pepper, and toss until the squash is slick and glossy. Roast the squash for thirty minutes or until tender.
While the squash is roasting away, fry up the sausage in a large sauté pan until they’re a sweet, brown and caramelized (approximately 8-10 minutes). Flouring your rolling pin and your counter, roll out your dough until it’s 10×10, 1/4 inch thick. Since my oven is something from the Holly Hobby era not able to fit anything resembling a pizza stone, I’m forced to get creative, so I oil a large cookie sheet. With your rolling pin, roll up the dough and add it to your sheet/stone, if you’re lucky enough to own a brick oven or whatnot.
Once the squash is roast tender, transfer the hot squash into a blender, adding in the milk, stock, chopped thyme + garlic, salt and pepper. Hold a damp cloth over the top of the blender as you blitz to a puree. You don’t want a liquid smoothie, per se, but you want a thick sauce.
Brush olive oil on top of the pizza dough. Spoon a thin layer of squash, leaving a 1/4 inch border. Add the sausage, cheeses, and thyme to the top.
Bake in an oven for 10 minutes, rotating half-way through, until the pizza crust is golden and cheese, unctuous and bubbling.
Serve pipping hot!!
As always, I never use products that contain HFCS or partially hydrogenated oils. I scored my pizza dough from Whole Foods, but feel free to ask your local pizzeria. My milk + mozzarella are part skim (this is purely reflective of my taste), and the smoked gouda gives the pizza depth of nutty, salty flavor — a perfect contrast to the sausage.
Posted on October 15, 2011
After a twenty-hour sojourn, which comprised of four planes, four states, two storms, sweet tea, and an hour-long client kick-off meeting, I came home last night and collapsed onto my couch — face-first. I fell into a deep sleep, the sleep of children, and I woke invigorated and ready to embrace New York autumn in all its plumage. From the terracota leaves on the verge of curling and burning to the pumpkin-strewn windows and sidewalk vendors hocking pashminas, I focused my day on returning to myself. After a grueling workout, I sipped green juice (the triumphant return of KALE!) and found my way to Grano Trattoria, my beloved eatery in Greenwich village. Clearly, I have my friend Kate to thank for leading me to this sweet spot, but every time I want delicious, simple Southern Italian fare, I trek to Grano.
Who could possibly deny a squash and spinach salad replete with local cheeses and toasted walnuts? Who could refuse a bread basket accompanied by spicy ricotta instead of the requisite olive oil and cracked pepper? At Grano, the menu is seasonal and filled with homemade pastas and mouth-watering antipasti.
Today, I chowed down on my mainstay, Cavatelli Pugliesi, hand-rolled pasta with homemade sausage finished in a light tomato sauce. Words cannot even EXPRESS how incredible this dish is. So much so that I order it nearly EVERY SINGLE TIME I set foot in Grano. From the light, al dente texture of the pasta to the sweet, herbed sausage and luscious marinara, I won’t blame you for passing out whilst eyeing these photos.
So if you’re in New York and want to escape the Italian tourist traps, I implore you to check out Grano.