Sunday, April 15, 2007

Leftover Osso Buco Pasta


As much as we would like to believe that we live in a universe where we create a new dish for every meal, at some point we have to deal with leftovers. Whether it’s a busy work-week-night when there is simply no time to get yourself elbow deep in prep work, or a lazy Sunday when you want a respite from any sort of activity that entails getting out of bed, time will find you poking at a motley assortment of containers in the fridge thinking, “What am I ever going to do with you?”

The resurrection, and transformation, of leftovers has been a subject of many a blog post. In fact, there is even an event made to celebrate leftovers' many incarnations. I’m all for it. I love the victorious feeling I get when I have triumphed over a sad batch of leftovers and given them a new lease on life, given us a great meal, and avoided waste, all in one fell swoop.

Although I think experience has made me pretty adept in cooking small portions (first for one, then now for two), there are some dishes that just don’t lend themselves to being reduced too much. Substantial, slow cooking stews are a prime example, producing tons of leftovers from my little table-for-two. But how do you re-do a stew?

This is one of my favorite ways with leftovers. The type of dish for which I would purposely generate leftovers. A little background: Osso Buco is one of my mother’s specialties, that I now make too. When we make it though (Italian purists please do not flog us!), it comes out more like a stew than a braise. Reason being that my brother (who is one of the best people in the world to feed**…hence the inexplicable manner in which we all cook to suit his taste) loves to have extra sauce for his rice. If we get a little overzealous with the sauce/liquid, then we are inevitably left with a surplus.

So here is what I like to do: I take all the leftover Osso Buco, stick it in a ziplock bag, and toss it in the freezer. Then one day, when I am just too tired or busy to cook, I unearth it from its frozen depths, thaw it out and heat it. I then prepare some pasta noodles (preferably a really hefty type, like pappardelle…one of my favorites! If you can find the curly type even better. This is a hearty sauce and does well with an equally hearty noodle). I toss the two together and top with some freshly shaved parmesan.

Depending on what your leftovers were like, you may still have chunks of meat in it. Shred this roughly and include in your sauce. This pasta is redolent with the aromatics of the Osso Buco. It has the backbone of the beef drippings, and the essence of the marrow. Lots of oomph here!

(**My brother has the appetite of a warrior, the gastronomic adventurousness of an explorer, and the words and thoughts of a poet. I am blessed to have him as a brother and a taste tester.)

22 comments:

David said...

this looks good, you should definitely join us for Leftover Tuesdays. I just need to confirm this month's host, and will post that in the next day or so.

Mae said...

You are such a sweet sister! I really like the descriptive words you've given to your brother especially "the appetite of a warrior!". You yourself, have the "words and thoughts of a poet". Must be a genetic thing...

I've always loved the way you write; one of the many reasons why i am hooked on your site. :)

mae said...

Oh, must not forget, although i've never made osso buco yet, it's such a great idea to turn the leftover to another level; like this pasta.

Looks great, Joey!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Everything about this is perfect Joey. I also try very hard to make extra sauce whatever dish I'm making. My husband loves to sop it up with bread. Yours is a great plan to freeze and do with pasta!
Lucky you to have such a great brother!

Gattina said...

Your bro certainly a lovely guy! Wonderful idea on left over too!

ChichaJo said...

Hi David! Hooray! I'll be checking your site for the update :) Thanks!

Hi Mae! Thank you for your kind words! You are too sweet :) I am a big fan of your site too :) It's always great when you get to transform a leftover into a new dish...not only do you have a new meal to enjoy, you also end up feeling super clever ;)

Hi Tanna! So you know the phenomenon of "extra sauce"! :) Heehee...here we have rice, and oh boy does rice consumption go up when there are saucy dishes around! I am lucky...he is great :)

Hi Gattina! Thanks! :) He is a winner :)

angelika said...

I once again can only echo Tanna, how lucky you are with such a brother ! And how lucky is HE with such a sweet sister who makes such great dishes, with or without leftovers ! You make me hungry, Joey !

the philosphical bastard said...

it looks so delicious

Michelle said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the *extra* sauce! This sounds wonderful! :)

Mila Tan said...

What a sweet post, more for the sisterly love than the actual dish, but really heartfelt and generous. I'm sure your brother feels blessed to have an open kitchen to try all the delicious things you make. Adopt me!!! lol

Christina at Ramble Magazine said...

My first visit here and you talk about one of my favorites: leftovers. Yes, of course I love the food when it's fresh and all that, but a fridge filled with leftovers is a real treat. Snack on a chicken leg, a couple of raviolis and why not a slice of cold pie for breakfast. Not a bad thing.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Angelika! Thanks! :) You are right, we are both lucky...plus we laugh at each other's jokes! :)

Hi Philosophical Bastard! Thank you :)

Hi Michelle! Thanks :) Always good to have something to eat extra rice or bread with ;)

Hey Mila! It's just the two of us siblings so we are really close :) It helps that we both have a weird sense of humor and love to eat :) I can adopt you! :) How much can you eat? Hahaha!

Hi Christina! thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :) I like how leftovers test my creativity :)

Linda said...

i'm a vegetarian and can obviously not enjoy osso buco, however i am italian and was raised accordingly. osso buco is one of the greats! i have been wanting my boyfriend to devour this dish for as long as i can remember. thank you for sharing.

Franco said...

Just saw your Osso Buco picture.

Oh my God. I seriously need to try that recipe out.

Leftovers might not be available. :)

canDIshhh said...

i ABSOLUTELY love Osso Bucco!! Would you mind sharing the recipe? Hehe..

christine said...

Yes, they're both very lucky! Joey's brother is just as sweet as she is, a real teddybear! :) Jo, this dish looks great! Reminds me of the osso bucco pasta at Cyma that I love.

pom d'api said...

this looks good, everythink it's perfect

ChichaJo said...

Hi Linda! It always seemed to me like ones of those Italian "family" dishes :) Glad you enjoyed the post :)

Hi Franco! Haha! Thanks :) Hope you like it...it's one of those slow-cooking dishes that are such a comfort to make (at least for me) and eat :)

Hi Cadishhh! I love it too :) I have actually posted the recipe before and there is a link on this post (in the paragraph where I talk about the background...) :) If you have questions you can email me at eighty_breakfasts(AT)yahoo(DOT)com :)

Hey Nens! Aaaw! You are such a sweetie! Remember when I visited you in London and I met Carmeli's brother and got all homesick because he reminded me of my own bro? :)

Hi pom d'api! Thank you! And thanks for dropping by :)

Veron said...

That is a great idea joey, I always wondered what could be done with all the tasty osso buco sauce. Thanks for the tip!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Veron! Yes, the sauce is so infused with all the goodness or the vegetables, herbs, lemon, and orange, plus the richness of the beef and marrow...it definitely deserves an encore! :)

in-JeN-iosiTy said...

It looks so good Joey! I think I had the same thing for dinner last night...only mine was lamb...it was more of lamb stew (something redolent of caldereta) and I thought it would be great over pasta...it was =)

I think I owe you some samples Ms Joey..up and coming...my apologies.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jen! These rich stews are already infused with all the great flavors slow-cooked into them...they make the best meat sauces :) And no problem about the sauces...no rush at all and thank you for the kind gesture! :)