Friday, October 25, 2013

Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese//Chocolate Pasta with Bucherondin, Hazelnuts, and Cherries

Photo: Mrtt Armendariz
Today is World Pasta Day, and what better way to celebrate than with this great recipe from a fabulous new cookbook: Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord (Little Brown).

I have been waiting for this cookbook! I adore Mac and Cheese, and I knew that Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord had been collaborating on this fabulous new cookbook that reinvents the American classic of macaroni and cheese. Their recipes showcase gourmet ingredients with handcrafted artisan cheeses. Each recipe is composed of very unique flavor combinations and profiles. You MUST buy this cookbook.

I've posted Chocolate Pasta recipes before, but none compare to the nuances in the cheese/hazelnut/cherries sauce on this one. Chocolate pasta does not have to fall into the sweet category. This is a wonderful savory dish. I'm thrilled that Steph gave the o.k. to include this recipe here. Enjoy!

And, for your 'viewing' enjoyment, I've attached a video of Steph and Garrett at the end. Be sure and scroll down. MELT!!

Recipe: Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord, Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company
Photo: Matt Armendariz, Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

And in case you want to try some savory dishes, MELT is filled with recipes including:
Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni
Raclette with Farfalle, Cornichons, and Sautéed Onions
Red Hawk Macaroni with Prosciutto and Raspberry Jam
Penne with Garrotxa, Serrano Ham, and Sun-Dried Tomato
Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar with Avocado, Lime, and Shell Pasta
Gruyere and Emmentaler Macaroni with Ham and Cubed Sourdough
Humboldt Fog with Grilled Peaches and Orzo

Chocolate Pasta with Bucherondin, Hazelnuts, and Cherries

Photo: Matt Armendariz
2 to 4 ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa nibs
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
½ cup hazelnuts
12 ounces chocolate pasta (preferably linguine, but use what you can find)
5 ounces Bucherondin, roughly broken apart
1 cup pitted cherries (Bing, Brooks, or Rainier are all lovely varieties)
2 cups whole arugula leaves, washed and dried

You need at least one superbly esoteric recipe in your repertoire, something easy to put together using one or two chic ingredients that will take your culinary reputation up a peg and make you a champion in the kitchen. This is that dish. Bitter chocolate pasta, whole cherries, toasted hazelnuts, and a hazelnut–cocoa nib vinaigrette conspire to produce a savory treat that will amaze your guests.

All this comes together around a Loire cheese called Bucherondin. Bucherondin sounds like the name of a French superhero; taste this lovely goat cheese, and you may very well decide that’s exactly what it is. Smooth and chalky at first, it sheds its mild-mannered identity and reveals an astonishing tang and spice.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the hazelnut oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, ground mustard, cocoa nibs, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine. (A bowl and whisk will do this job just fine too.) Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the skins darken and blister, and the nuts are hauntingly fragrant. Wrap the hazelnuts in a clean dishtowel and leave them to steam for 1 minute. Rub the nuts in the dishtowel to scrub the skins off. Don’t worry if some of the skins stay; you just want the bulk of them removed. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.
3. While the hazelnuts are roasting, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain through a colander and divide the pasta evenly among four bowls.
4. Scatter the Bucherondin over the top of the pasta, followed by the cherries and hazelnuts. Top each bowl joyfully with a carefree handful of arugula, dress with the vinaigrette, and serve.

Alternative cheeses: Bûcheron, Zingerman’s Lincoln Log, Caña de Cabra

Wine pairings: rosés, California Pinot Noirs

Additional pairings for the cheese: preserved cherries, tea preserves, fresh figs, mangoes


Unknown said...

Thank you for the lovely review!!

Stephanie said...

Thanks you so much, my dear! :)

yummychunklet said...

What a great cookbook!