April 17, 2024

Dining In with Restaurant-Inspired Recipes

Inside the Ingredients
By Nora Rae Pearl | Feb. 17, 2024

To dine in or eat out? That is the question…and we have the answers.

For a night on the town, head to Nonna’s Ristorante at The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor. Start the evening off right with a signature Old Fashioned or a bottle of Caymus. Pair your drink with the raclette made with the pinky’s very own Leelanau Cheese. Nibble on fresh baked house-made focaccia while you await a plate of their famous bolognese or short ribs, and finish the evening with the chef’s favorite, Espresso Panna Cotta with a Caffè Corretto.

Sounds amazing, right? There’s just one problem: Nonna’s is open only on Friday and Saturday nights, so here’s a plan to eat like you’re in Italy the other days of the week.

Pro tip: For these recipes, stop into Raduno in Traverse City for fresh made pasta and Leelanau Cheese in Suttons Bay for their award-winning raclette.

No Knead Overnight Focaccia

Who needs dinner rolls when you can have focaccia?

2 1/2 cups room temperature water
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cups flour
3 tablespoons potato flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Flaky sea salt

To make the dough: The night before dinner, stir together the water, honey, and yeast in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, both flours, and salt. Stir until a dough forms and no dry spots remain. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes, then put in the refrigerator overnight.

To make the bread: The next day, line a 10x14 inch or similar sized baking sheet with parchment. Make sure the parchment has a 2-inch overhang around all sides. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the parchment. Take the dough out of the fridge. Pick up the dough out of the bowl, being careful not to deflate. Place on the oiled paper and press to the edges of the pan. (If the dough seems to bounce back, just let it sit for 15 minutes and come back to press it out.)

Cover and let rise till puffy, two to three hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Uncover dough, dimple all over with your fingertips. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons of olive oil and thyme. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until nicely golden. Once the focaccia comes out, drizzle on another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle on flaky sea salt. Let cool slightly before slicing.

Cauliflower Bolognese

A mighty, “meaty” vegetarian dish.

1 small cauliflower, broken into chunks
1-8 oz. box white mushrooms
1 cup walnuts
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2-8 oz. packages of Raduno Fresh Pasta Creste
Leelanau Cheese Raclette
Dried parsley

To make the sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until finely chopped. Empty the processor, but don’t clean, and do the same with the mushrooms. Empty, and repeat with the nuts. Put the cauliflower, mushrooms, and nuts onto the prepared sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and fennel seed. Toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes, then toss the mixture. Return to the oven, bake for 20 more minutes or until nicely browned.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and carrot. Cook until just starting to brown. Stir in tomato paste, cook for two minutes. Deglaze pan by stirring in balsamic vinegar. Stir in 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Once smooth, stir in 2 more cups of water. Stir in all the browned cauliflower mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes. If too thick, add more water.

To make the pasta: Cook pasta as directed till al dente. Drain, then divide between six plates. Add 1/2 cup sauce to each. Although less traditional than the usual parmesan—but equally delicious—grate some raclette cheese over the dish and then sprinkle on some parsley. Eat it while it’s hot!

Nora Rae Pearl is 99 percent foodie and 1 percent chef. When she is not writing about food, she can be found waiting in line at the farmers market hoping to get a croissant before they run out. Photo credits Cody Werme.


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