I had a very busy week last week with Anna, getting her up early every morning and going with her to German “Kindergarten” or preschool. I stayed in the hallway most of the morning while she played with the other kids and got to peek in on her every now and then to see that my now independent (almost 3 year old) daughter was doing just fine without me! According to this particular Kindergarten’s method, the Berlin method, I’ll be going with her for at least another week and letting her stay there for a little bit longer each day. So I’ll be back to Kindergarten again every morning next week!
One draw back to going back to kindergarten (or for the first time) is getting sick. I got the sniffles after my third day there and Anna seems to have picked up a cold too and was battling a low grade fever all weekend which left her cranky, tired and pretty much homebound. We didn’t get to do much on this lovely Indian summer weekend here in Germany. We made it out to the playground a couple of times and took a quick jaunt into the county-side that ended rather badly with a very miserable and tired toddler, so most of our time was spent home this weekend. It was warm here but not so warm that I couldn’t spend some time in the kitchen making us a tasty Sunday supper.
Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic
Plum Gallette with Bourbon Vanilla and Lemon
For the Pasta:
1 Bag of Orecchiette pasta or homemade pasta
1 Cup of reserved Pasta Water
1 Bunch of Broccoli Rabe
6-8 Cloves of Garlic
Cherry (or Grape) Tomatoes
Olive Oil (plenty)
Crushed Red Pepper to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese for serving *optional*
Bring water to a boil and cook the orecchiette while you prepare the other ingredients. Clean and chop the broccoli rabe: leaves, florrettes, and most of the stems into bite size pieces. Put some water in the bottom of a deep frying pan or large pot with the broccoli rabe and simmer until the stems are almost tender. Drain the water and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan/pot. Turn the heat to medium/high and move the broccoli rabe over to one side to make room for the garlic. When the oil is hot and shimmering add the chopped garlic to the bottom of the pan. Add crushed red pepper flakes and stir it in with the garlic and cook until the garlic is just starting to become fragrant. Then mix everything together with the broccoli rabe and saute on medium heat for a few more minutes more or until the stems are tender. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and add to a large bowl with the drained pasta, but be sure to reserve one cup of the pasta’s cooking water before draining. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the pasta as well. Toss everything together and slowly add the reserved pasta water and some additional olive oil until everything is well coated. Serve immediately.
For the Galette:
About 30-40 small Plums
A single Pie Crust (see recipe)
1/4-1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar or Sugar in the Raw
1 packet of Bourbon Vanilla Extract or the seeds from one Bourbon Vanilla bean
Zest from one Lemon
2 Tbs Butter
Preheat the oven to 350° F or 175°C. Wash the plums and remove any stems. Cut them along the slight indent that starts on one side of the stem all the way around the plum, twist to separate and then remove the pit. Cut each half in half and put in a large bowl. Add vanilla and sugar to the cut plums and stir well to combine. Roll out a single pie crust and lay on a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper (parchment paper). Sprinkle the lemon zest evenly over the center of the crust outward until about two inches from the edge of the crust, leave this perimeter free. Empty the plums onto the crust in the center area where the zest is and top with small pats of butter over the top of the plum mixture. Fold the edges of the crust up and around the plums patting it down slightly to secure it. Brush the top of the crust with water and optionally sprinkle the crust with a little bit of turbinado sugar all the way around. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling and oozing out the sides*. Let sit for an hour or more before serving.
*Note: Save the drippings from the galette in a sealed container in the refrigerator and this can later be used as a delicious topping on ice cream, yogurt or anything you want. It adds a sweet and velvety plum flavor and is very delicious, it shouldn’t go to waste.