With Thanksgiving just around the corner, celebrity chef Scott Contant, who curated the menu at Cellaio Restaurant at Resorts World Catskills, shares two recipes to make this year’s holiday dinner with your loved ones tastier than ever. Give both of these a try this Thanksgiving and be sure to make extra, because we have a feeling everyone’s going to be asking for leftovers!
1. Scott Conant’s Pumpkin Parmigiana
For the Pomodoro sauce:
- 5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- One pinch chile flakes
- ¼ bunch fresh basil
For the pumpkin parmigiana:
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 2½ pounds)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ⅓ cups freshly grated Parmesan
- 15 fresh basil leaves, torn
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serves: 4 to 6
For the pomodoro sauce: Bring a pot of water to a boil; prepare an ice water bath. In 2 batches, blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 1 minute, then shock in the ice water. Remove and discard the skins. Seed the tomatoes. Strain the seeds from the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer; reserve the liquid and discard the seeds.
Put the peeled tomatoes, tomato liquid and a large pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix the salt into the tomatoes and set aside.
Put the garlic in a saucepan and cover with olive oil. Cook over very low heat until the garlic is golden and soft, about 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the oil.
Add the infused garlic oil and chile flakes to a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot. Turn the heat to low and slowly bloom the chile flakes, about 2 minutes. Add the salted tomatoes and liquid to the stockpot and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a slight boil and skim any foam that rises to the top. Lower the heat to a simmer. Smash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Cook until reduced by one-fourth, 25 to 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt.
Remove from the heat and submerge the basil in the sauce to infuse it as it cools down. Set aside 2 cups of the sauce for the parmigiana; reserve the remaining 4 to 5 cups of sauce for another use. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 3 months.
For the pumpkin parmigiana: Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
Peel the pumpkin, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it cut-side down on a cutting board and slice it crosswise into half-moons approximately ¼-inch thick.
Coat the bottom of a glass or ceramic deep-dish pie plate with ½ cup pomodoro sauce and arrange one-third of the pumpkin pieces in a single layer on top of it. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with ⅓ cup Parmesan and scatter one-third of the basil leaves over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon ½ cup sauce to cover this layer, then repeat two more times, layering the pumpkin pieces, oil, Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper and sauce until just below the lip of the pie plate. Scatter the remaining ⅓ cup Parmesan on top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake until barely tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until browned on top and most of the liquid around the sides has evaporated, an additional 30 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
2. Scott Conant’s Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with ‘Nduja Vinaigrette
For the ‘Nduja Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ pound ‘nduja
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds fingerling or other small potatoes, cooked in salted boiling water until just tender, then drained and patted dry
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan ribbons
- Handful chives, sliced
Serves: 4 to 6
For the vinaigrette, place oil, shallots, and garlic in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and sweet, about 30 minutes. Add the ‘nduja and cook, breaking down the sausage, until the fat is rendered and pieces are small about 15 minutes. Deglaze with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, for the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, in a large cast-iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cooked potatoes and pan-roast until browned and crispy, tossing frequently for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and then transfer to a paper towel to drain.
In a mixing bowl, toss potatoes with enough vinaigrette to coat, reserving any leftover vinaigrette for another use, such as spreading on toasted bread or adding to pasta sauce. Arrange potatoes on a serving platter and garnish with parmesan ribbons and chives.
If you loved these recipes, don’t forget to pay a visit to Scott’s restaurant, Cellaio, during your next stay at Resort World Catskills. The Italian-inspired steakhouse serves USDA 100% Certified Black Angus beef and boasts a delicious raw bar of seafood as well as fresh-made pastas and market salads. The warmth and hospitality that radiate throughout Cellaio will keep you coming back time and time again and through these Thanksgiving recipes, you can bring those welcoming feelings straight from Scott’s table to your own.