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Cooking with Cal: “DIY” Sun Dried Tomatoes and Impressive Pesto!

Cooking with Cal: "DIY" Sun Dried Tomatoes and Impressive Pesto!
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Cal from Bruno’s of Brooklyn in Downtown Fort Myers joined ABC7 More in the Morning to cook up some of his favorite meals.

Appetizer – DIY Sun Dried Tomatoes

Tip…the key to knowing when the tomatoes are done is when they’re very dry but still soft to touch. When you squeeze them between your fingers they should be manipulated but they should not be watery.

Equally important is to monitor your tomato’s daily. In ideal conditions (lots of sun and dryer air) the drying process should take about 5 days.

If the tomatoes are dried too long they’ll become tough. However if they’re not dried long enough and are left with moisture they risk a chance of developing mold.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Lbs. Ripe and Firm Plum Tomato’s, relatively all the same size washed and cut in halves
  • 4 Oz. Coarse Mediterranean Sea Salt
  • Wooden Board
  • Cheese Clothe or Similar

Method:

  • Place tomatoes, cut side up on a flat wood tray or board
  • Salt the tomatoes with your Sea Salt
  • Place cheese clothe over tomatoes to protect from flys and foreign objects
  • Place in direct Sun Light for 2 days
  • Flip your tomatoes over to place the cut side down
  • Salt the tomatoes with Sea Salt
  • Place cheese clothe over tomatoes to protect from flys and foreign objects
  • Place in direct Sun Light for 2 days
  • Flip your tomatoes over again to expose cut side up for an additional 1 day
  • Place cheese clothe over tomatoes to protect from flys and foreign objects
  • At this point the tomatoes are ready for use, use immediately or place in a glass jar covered with Olive Oil

Entree – Fresh Sausage Clusters with Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Fresh Cavatelli

Broccoli rabe, known more commonly as rapini, is a green vegetable that looks like leafy broccoli but is more closely related to the turnip. Grown throughout the world, including California, and often featured in Italian food, the entire vegetable is edible and used as a cooking green. It’s best in autumn and has a sharp, bitter flavor that adds to its charm, though that can be tamed by blanching. Roasting or sautéing broccoli rabe is most common

Friarielli is Italian for “Broccoli Rabe.” The pronunciation is “FREE-ah-RYEHL-lee

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Bunches Broccoli Rabe or Rapini
  • 3 Oz. Whole Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Garlic, Sliced
  • 2 Oz. Heavy Cream
  • 4 Oz. Sausage Meat with Fennel
  • 1/2 Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 8 Oz. Fresh Cavatelli Pasta
  • Himalayan Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil First Cold Press Olive Oil

Method:

  • Bring 2 Quarts of water to a boil
  • Coat the bottom of a medium sauce pan with Olive Oil and place on high heat
  • Place whole Garlic cloves into sauce pan and brown
  • Trim the bottom 1/2 inch of the Broccoli Rabe and rinse under cold water
  • Pat dry and place in sauce pan
  • Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and add Red Pepper Flakes
  • Continue cooking and flipping Rapini for 3 minutes
  • Remove from heat and after cooling place in a food processor
  • Pulse ingredients and add Olive Oil to create a smooth firm Pesto
  • Coat the bottom of a medium sauté pan with Olive Oil and place on high heat
  • Drop your fresh Cavatelli in water for 90 seconds
  • Place your Sausage meat in the sauté pan and begin browning about 2 minutes
  • Drain your Cavatelli and hold to the side
  • Place your sliced Garlic with Sausage meat and continue browning about 2 minutes
  • Add 3 Oz. of your fresh Pesto to sauté pan and mix well
  • Add your fresh Cavatelli and plate immediately
  • Garnish with Chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Shopping List:

  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Coarse Mediterranean Sea Salt
  • Wooden Board
  • Cheese Clothe or Similar
  • Broccoli Rabe or Rapini
  • Whole Garlic Cloves
  • Garlic, Sliced
  • Sausage Meat
  • Fennel
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Cavatelli Pasta
  • Himalayan Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil First Cold Press Olive Oil
Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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