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Late Winter Ragout with Pappardelle

Pappardelle is a wide noodle pasta which is very comforting with richer sauces. Perfect for fall or winter dining.

Note: serves two healthy portions – – 4 smaller portions. Italians prefer to just “coat the pasta” with any sauce as the pasta is the star of the meal. If you want big portions of the ragout, you may want to double the ragout portion of the recipe.

Late Winter Ragout with Pappardelle FINAL


  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 4 ounces ground pork
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small can whole peeled tomatoes, 14.5 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 ounces pappardelle
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino cheese


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat.
  2. When oil is shimmering, add ground beef and pork, breaking up with back of a spoon. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove browned meat from pan onto a plate and set aside.
  3. While meat is browning prepare your vegetables. Rinse celery stalk, pat dry, and cut into ¼-inch dice.
  4. Peel onion and cut into small dice.
  5. Peel carrot and cut into ¼-inch dice.
  6. Slice garlic into thin slivers length-wise.
  7. Drain tomatoes and discard liquid. Add tomatoes into a small bowl and crush by hand.
  8. Add another tablespoon olive oil into the same pan used to brown meat, and bring up to a shimmering temperature over medium-high heat.
  9. Add celery, onion, carrot, and garlic to pan, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about  4-5 minutes.
  10. Return ground beef and pork to pan, along with any accumulated juices from the plate, and stir to combine.
  11. Add tomato paste to pan and cook, stirring into the meat and vegetable mixture until fully combined about 3 minutes, allowing flavors to develop.
  12. Add red wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 -3 minutes.
  13. Add crushed tomatoes and bay leaf and stir to combine, bringing to a slight boil.
  14. Reduce heat to medium low heat, cover, and cook until sauce has thickened, at least 10 – 30 minutes.
  15. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt to the water.
  16. You will need to plan and time the cooking of  your pasta: Follow pappardelle package cooking directions. As you get close to the time where the pasta will finish cooking and the ragout is developed, add the pasta to the boiling water and stir so pasta doesn’t stick together. Cook pasta until al dente (to the tooth), about 8 – 9 minutes.
  17. Drain pasta.
  18. Taste the ragout and adjust seasoning (salt & pepper) as necessary.
  19. Discard the bay leaf.
  20. Pour the drained pasta into the pan with the ragout and gently toss together until everything is incorporated.
  21. Divide the pappardelle and ragout mixture into bowls and garnish with grated pecorino cheese, to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Pappardelle Ragout FINAL

Pappardelle tossed in Ragout and plated




Keenan House in Ossining closes


Keenan House in Ossining has suddenly closed.

The owners cited “personal reasons” and are seeking a new owner.

The restaurant, formerly Mauros, was under renovation for quite sometime and was quite a “good looking” space.

Hopefully someone will take interest in the space with great ideas for the local community.


Plated… Never worry about what to eat or where to find the ingredients…

plated logo

Have you ever come home after a long day at work and wondered what to have for dinner – – to follow a recipe or not, and are the ingredients around to make it? Well, Plated is a new concept that has the potential of making our nightly dining experiences much easier. First, they have created the menu for us. Next, they provide every ingredient with small exceptions like water, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

We decided to give Plated a try, and to date we are very pleased. Below we’ve shared our Plated pics from our own kitchen. Certainly, we have our own cooking styles. Some of their recipes wait to the end and advise to taste and adjust for salt/pepper — to us, that is too late in the cooking process. We build flavor profiles as we cook along and season, layer by layer, but this is just a guideline and of course we all have the freedom to make it our own!

Ingredients received and labeled for the week

Ingredients received and labeled for the week

Chicken Milanese breaded in Panko and with a sauté of kale

Chicken Milanese breaded in Panko and with a sauté of kale

Fish tacos with creme fraiche

Fish tacos with creme fraiche

Soy Ginger Salmon Burgers with garlicky potatoes
Soy Ginger Salmon Burgers with garlicky potatoes
Stuffed Acorn Squash with a delectable side dressing

Stuffed Acorn Squash with a delectable side dressing

Plated is not sending you pre-prepared meals, you’re still cooking. You must wash and trim and cut the produce. You cook everything. They provide the ingredients and a succinct recipe. The ingredients come packaged, labeled, and pre-measured.

As for the quality of the ingredients, they are mostly better than what you can find in the local markets. Rather than try  to explain….

This is what they have to say about themselves:

We’ve worked hard to build relationships with the same reliable, quality-controlled companies that supply top-notch ingredients to some of the finest restaurants in America. Want to get these specialty, high-quality ingredients on your own? Well, you’d have to drive to the farm to do it!


Plated strives to support local suppliers and American farmers by limiting the number of imported ingredients included in our recipes. We pay close attention to sustainability of resources, and keep environmental implications at the forefront when scoping out new suppliers.


There’s a reason why our menu varies from one season to the next: Out-of-season produce is typically either grown in hothouse or shipped from around the world, which negatively affects taste. Additionally, eating seasonally helps support sustainable farming!

Fruit and Vegetables

Each Plated meal contains a generous helping of fruits and vegetables essential to a healthy diet. Since the fruits and veggies we put in each box are sourced direct from farmers, your Plated greens are fresher than what you’d buy at a grocery store. Your Plated box is bursting with essential vitamins and other valuable nutrients, so it’s good for your taste buds and your well-being.

Fat Content

Part of a healthy diet is including good-for-you fats like avocados, nuts, and salmon. Super foods like this are full of essential nutrients that help you to absorb more vitamins than you would otherwise. With Plated, you don’t have to worry about heavy meals that are laced in fat. We specially curate recipes that have a low saturated fat content.


Our typical entrees fall between around 600-800 calories, and each estimated calorie count may be found on each week’s menu. Meals are flavorful and filling, but not gluttonous enough to guilt-trip you to the gym.


Each Plated box includes a filling and flavorful portion of protein. We only source antibiotic-free meats that are raised humanely and without the antibiotics to ensure that our customers are getting the best of the best.

Carbohydrates, dietary fiber and whole grains

While some of our recipes do focus on pasta, rice, and other carbohydrate-rich ingredients, we also take care to include menu options that are carbohydrate-free and gluten-free.


We’ve worked hard to build relationships with the same reliable, quality-controlled companies that supply top-notch ingredients to some of the finest restaurants in America. Want to get these specialty, high-quality ingredients on your own? Well, you’d have to drive to the farm to do it!

Back to our thoughts:

Plated is based out of Manhattan and presently has approximately 15 full-time employees.  It is the vision of founders Nick Taranto and Josh Hix. They discovered, as young guys living in NYC, that it was difficult after working many hours a week, to pour over recipes, compile a shopping list, hope that the stores have the ingredients you need, then take everything home to prep, cook, and finally, clean-up.

They decided to eliminate some essential steps in order to get people back into the kitchen without menu planning, shopping, etc. You go to the website, and select which dishes you’d like to make for the week. The minimum order is 4 plates (which represents two meals for two people on any given night) per week. If you’re a member which is $10 monthly, your dishes are $12 per plate (essentially $24 a night for two people — translation: cheaper than eating out — and that includes FedEx shipping to your doorstep). The thing to remember here is that they ship to you almost everything you could possibly need to make the meal. You may need to provide, water, oil, and of course cookware. All ingredients come to you neatly packaged in a refrigerated box. Everything is pre-measured for you. One example is a dish we tested the other evening needed 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar. The perfect measurement arrived in a little container. Therefore, there is also no waste involved. You do not need to go out for a particular dish and purchase an entire jar of a spice which can be costly to be used once or twice and then you end up throwing the balance away when its ability for use arrived.

This is a really great concept for busy couples without children or single people (bonus: you get more than one meal out of each serving ) or empty-nesters. Overall, we find that we get 3 servings out of each “plate” which they say should serve two people. Although, sometimes they are spot-on that it will serve two people. The chance that you may have extra to take to work the next day for lunch is quite good.

Also, because the menu changes weekly and thousands of people are having what you are most likely having for dinner that night, they have a social-media component to their website where you can post comments, ask questions, or simply post your photo of  your meal.

Plated, we found, “forces our hand” to eat a variety of meals across each week, ingredients being locally sourced and better quality than the food stores, and portions that contribute to our health and not our demise! Also, we can see that one could save a lot of money by not eating out each night! So, stream your Pandora, pour a glass of wine – – cook with the ingredients they have shipped and enjoy the evening!

WestchesterEats likes Plated and hope that they succeed!

Sala on Hudson to close its doors


Unfortunately, Sala on Hudson in Croton-on-Hudson will be closing its doors on December, 29th. If you are a fan of tapas, now is the time to get your last bite at this lovely locale.

It will be interesting to see what goes into the space next as no tapas venue has succeeded there, despite quality and nice wine offerings.

44 Maple Street

Croton on Hudson, NY 10520

914- 862-4100

Sala-on-Hudson extends Prix Fixe

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week provided Sala-on-Hudson with a great response to the idea of a prix fixe menu. Certainly, Sala has had a Sunday Brunch prix-fixe option, but this is a new opportunity to have tapas at a great price across various courses, everyday at dinner. To date, this menu goes through December 31st.

Sala brunch through 12 31


44 Maple Street

Croton on Hudson, NY 10520

914- 862-4100


Monday  & Wednesday 5-10pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

Thursday – Saturday 5-11pm

Sundays  – Brunch begins at 11:00 service then continues through dinner

Spatchcock chicken you say? Easy and worth it.

Spatchcock final plating FINAL

The plating of Spatchcock Chicken – – bright flavors with the lemons and parsley 

Spatchcocking is an older cooking term in which a small bird is split down the back, which opens it out. It is then flattened into two sides much like a book. It allows for cooking the bird usually in a heavy cast iron pan in the oven in much less time had the bird been whole. It results in crispy skin and tender/juicy meat.


◦                     1 3 ½ or 4 pound chicken spatchcocked*

◦                     Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

◦                     Extra Virgin Olive Oil

◦                     1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

◦                     Zest of 1 lemon

◦                     Fresh lemon juice (for serving)

◦                     Fresh Italian flat parsley leaves (for serving/garnish)


1.Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Season the spatchcocked chicken with coarse salt and ground pepper on all sides.

2.Drizzle all sides with extra virgin olive oil, which will greatly contribute to a crispy skin.

3.Place, breast side up, in a cast iron skillet or other heavy-duty pan.

4.Roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add chickpeas rinsed and drained, all around the sides of the chicken.

5.Return the pan to the oven and roast chicken until juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), about 15 minutes.

6.Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest at least 5 – 10 minutes.

7.There will be delicious pan juices at the bottom of the pan. Stir that into the golden roasted chickpeas. Add lemon juice to taste and stir in the zest. Check for seasoning and balance if necessary.

8.Place the chickpea mixture onto a platter.

9.Carve the chicken and place on top of the chickpeas.

10.Sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves and serve.

We like to provide extra lemon wedges for squeezing if one so desire.

This recipe** easily serves four.

*Using kitchen shears, turn the bird breast-side down so the back of the bird is facing up. Cutting from the bottom of the bird up, follow the backbone on either side. When both sides are completely cut, remove the backbone and freeze it to use it for making stock. Turn the chicken over (breast side up) and using the palms of your hands, press down on the breast to flatten the bird out completely.

 **Adapted from an Everyday Food recipe

removing backbone

Use shears to follow and cut along side the backbone on both sides to remove it entirely

spatchcock ready to cook FINAL 

Chicken seasoned on all sides and coated in Extra Virgin oil which creates a crispy skin

spatch in cast iron cooked FINAL

Chicken cooked as well as the chickpeas having turning a golden delicious hue

spatch on board with parsley lemon zest FINAL

Roasted spatchcock chicken on board resting to allow juices to redistribute – – lemon zest and parsley at the ready



Spanish Tapas for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week


Sala on Hudson, a Spanish Tapas restaurant, is offering a prix-fixe menu for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. We have always enjoyed our meals/time there – – so happy they are participating in this great event. The menu follows. As an aside, they were named by Westchester Magazine for Best Paella. Also, they have a Happy Hour Special daily at the bar … Two for the price of one and applies to wines by the glass, draught beer, and sangria (from 5 – 7pm).

Sala HVRW Nov 2013

Sala on Hudson

44 Maple Street

Croton on Hudson, NY

(914) 862-4100


Mon, Wed, Thurs: 5-10pm

Tuesday: Closed

Friday – Saturday: 5-11pm

Sundays: 5-9pm
BRUNCH: Sundays from 11-4

Don’t discard your rinds… Enhance soups!


When your block of cheese, particularly Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan (hard cheeses) have been mostly used up, place them into a sealed freezer bag and store them in the freezer. When making your next batch of soup, place a chunk of a rind into your soup and let it cook down in the soup. You will not sense any “cheesiness” in the soup, but it adds a flavor dimension and texture that makes one smile. Prior to serving, discard any of the remaining rind. Save them! Use them! Take your soups to another level.



Hudson Valley Restaurant Week – – it’s that time!



It’s that time! Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, November 4 – 17. 3 courses $20.95 for lunch and $29.95 for dinner.
Go HERE to learn more.

Minestrone – – fall beckons


Minestra is an Italian word for “soup” similar to “zuppa.” MinestrONE refers to a BIG soup. Sometimes all vegetable, but in this case I incorporated pancetta. I also placed grilled pieces of ciabatta at the bottom of the bowl for extra texture. Perfect for fall and winter weather.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped, with leaves preferred
  • 3-4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pasted
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 32 oz. can of chicken stock
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Optional: cut crusty bread into cubes and sauté in a cast iron skilled drizzled with olive oil until crispy


Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor or an immersion blender until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and  cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.). Optional: place grilled bread cubes at bottom of bowl and ladle soup over the top. Drizzle the top of soup with extra virgin olive oil and grate extra cheese on top, if desired.