Recipes from chef Bobby Flay: Comfort food for discomfiting times

bobby-flay-spaghetti-and-meatballs-with-ricotta-food-network.jpg

Spaghetti & Meatballs with Ricotta from chef Bobby Flay.

Courtesy Food Network

Chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay offers recipes for Spaghetti & Meatballs with Ricotta, Chicken Soup, and Chicken Salad.

Don't miss Flay on "CBS Sunday Morning" March 22!


Spaghetti & Meatballs with Ricotta

Serves: 4 to 6

Meatballs

2 tablespoons, plus 1 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped to paste with a pinch of salt added
2 large eggs
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound ground chuck 80/20%
½ pound ground pork, 80/20%
4-8 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

2. Whisk together the eggs, 3 tablespoons cold water, sautéed garlic, parsley, cheese and salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. Add the meat and gently mix together until combined.  Begin adding bread crumbs a few tablespoon at a time until the mixture just holds together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.  The longer you let the sit, the more the flavor develops and the better the balls will stay together during frying.

3. Form the meat into 1 ½-inch balls. Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.  Add the meatballs and fry until golden brown on all sides.  Carefully remove the meatballs using a slotted spoon to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.

Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic
1/8 - ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes, depending on how spicy you like
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Two 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes and their juice, pureed in blender
8 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. # 8 or #9 spaghetti, cooked al dente, 1 cup of the pasta cooking water reserved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish
8 ounces fresh ricotta

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chile flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer. 

2. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and parsley, and bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. 

3. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the meatballs have cooked through and the sauce has thickened more, about 15 minutes longer.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

4. Heat a few large ladles of tomato sauce in a large high sauté pan over high heat.  Add the pasta, the butter,  ¼ cup of grated parmesan and the chopped basil and toss using tongs to coat the pasta.  Add more sauce and few splashes of reserved pasta water, if needed.

5. Place the spaghetti on a platter, or in a large shallow bowl and top with the meatballs ladle some of the remaining sauce over the spaghetti and meatballs.  Dollop ricotta on top and grate lots of parmesan cheese over the top and garnish with fresh basil sprigs.


bobby-flay-chicken-soup-620.jpg
Chicken Soup from Bobby Flay. CBS News


Chicken Soup

For his chicken soup recipe, Flay writes, "Cooking in half-chicken broth and half-water will add extra flavor to the broth and the chicken."

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, (4 to 5 lbs.), rinsed in cold water and patted dry
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, skin left on, halved
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
12 sprigs parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 whole black peppercorns
Egg noodles, cooked to al dente
Fresh dill, chopped
Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Carrots, thinly sliced

Instructions:

1. Put the chicken in a large stock pot, add the stock and water, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, salt and peppercorns and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer and cook until the chicken is very tender and the meat is falling off the bone, about 1 ½ hours.

2. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a large plate or baking sheet.  When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard. Use your fingers to separate chicken breast and thigh meat from bones and skin. Discard bones and skin. Use two forks to pull the meat apart into soft chunks, or use a knife and cut into bite-size pieces. (Reserve dark meat for another use.) 

3. Strain the broth into a large bowl and discard all the solids.  Return the broth to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook until slightly reduced and the flavor has intensified, about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the carrots to the broth and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the noodles and the dill and the chicken to the broth and cook for 5 minutes longer.  Ladle into bowls and serve.


bobby-flay-chicken-salad-620.jpg
Bobby Flay prepares chicken salad sandwiches. CBS News


Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

¾ cup prepared mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 medium stalk celery, finely diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups of cooked chicken (white and dark meat) chopped or shredded
¼ cup chopped herb (fresh dill, parsley, tarragon, cilantro) whatever you have on hand…

Instructions:

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, onion and celery in a large bowl until combined, season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the chicken and herbs until combined.   Serve on whole grain toast or on top of dressed salad greens.         

     
For more info: