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Posts Tagged ‘linguine’

The Macaroni Marathon takes a quick step today with one of the easiest and healthy pasta dishes I know.  I made this last night and served it to a guest.  I was able to prep it before my company arrived and all I had to do when we were through with cocktails was to cook the pasta.

I had bought a large bag of asparagus at Costco and knew when I purchased it that one of the dishes I would make would be this favorite of mine.

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 TBS EV olive oil

Fresh asparagus  ( 1 bunch) cut into 2″ pieces

15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

3/4 cup of chicken or vegetable broth

3 TBS pine nuts (optional)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 lb linguine or penne

Grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese

Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil in large braising pan over Medium heat.  Add garlic and asparagus to pan and lightly sauté.  Add cannellini beans  and pine nuts (if using) and cook another 4-5 minutes.  Add broth and simmer for a few minutes.  Add pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta per directions to al dente. 

Add drained pasta to pan with asparagus and beans, add pasta water as needed and toss pasta to coat with a think sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese.

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Today’s entry in the Macaroni Marathon is a tasty pasta dish just perfect for the winter.  With fresh local vegetables out of reach and certainly we’re not buying any of those pink tennis balls that are being passed off as tomatoes, right?  Well of course not;  First of all you can make the best tomato sauce from canned tomatoes.  There are lots of sauces that can be made using the seasonal vegetables of winter and we’ll get to them too, but today I’m using those sweet cherry or grape tomatoes – I never eat any other kind in the winter because well really, they’re not really tomatoes.

Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS:    

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 lb linguine

1 TBS olive oil plus more for serving

3/4 lb cherry tomatoes halved                                         

1/4 cup plus 2TBS tapenade

2 cups baby arugula

2 TBS chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)

DIRECTIONS:

Cook linguine according to package instructions.  Drain pasta.  In pot, heat oil over medium.  Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

Return pasta to pot, stir in tapenade and cook until heated through.  Add arugula and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Divide among four bowls, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with parsley and feta.

Serves 4

Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

Recipe from Everyday Food

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When I was growing up my mother would often use this expression;  Like “You haven’t cleaned your room in a month of Sundays” or “It seems like a month of Sundays since you called” – the latter said to me as an adult no longer living at home, obviously meant to be a minor guilt trip.  Just think how long a real month of Sundays is!

Anyway, I feel like I’ve been gone a month of Sundays when in fact it’s been just over a month.  I don’t know why I went on hiatus from my blog – I just did.  I had some distractions – work being a major obligation of late; then I got hooked on watching Orange Is The New Black and every night and free minute I had I would escape to Netflix and indulge myself with back to back episodes and no commercials.  And then, OMG my neighbor gave us the complete set of Breaking Bad which we watched every night into the wee hours of the next morning.  Not excuses, just reasons.

I’ve decided to devote a week or two (or three?) of blogs to my second favorite food – PASTA!  Well actually we called it macaroni.  I think this obsession/passion for pasta is the direct result of dieting.  After all, when you are abstaining or at least eating a lot less of some favorite food of yours, don’t you find yourself hungering for it (pun intended)?  I just love cooking and eating pasta and although I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these recipes are just not your mother’s macaroni.  In my house we had two kinds of macaroni meals;  Shells, Ziti or Rigatoni with gravy (red sauce) and meatballs or Linguine with olive oil, garlic and parsley.

Today being Sunday, I’m starting my macaroni marathon with the meal I made tonight.  The butter coaxes the sweetness from the cabbage.

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

SPAGHETTI WITH SAVOY CABBAGE AND BREADCRUMBS

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz of spaghetti, linguine or angel hair pasta

5 TBS unsalted butter

1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced

1/2 cup fresh  (not dried) breadcrumbs (from a rustic loaf)

9 cups of thinly sliced Savoy cabbage (1 medium head)

1/2 cup water

3 TBS heavy cream

1/4 cup grated  Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Bring pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta until al dente according package directions.  Reserve 1/2 – 3/4 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 TBS butter in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook garlic till fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Melt remaining 3 TBS butter in large high-sided skillet or braising pan over medium high heat.  Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat, cook until slightly wilted 3-4 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water.  Cook, covered until tender about 4 minutes.  Uncover, and let any water evaporate.  Stir in cream.  Cook until sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat cabbage, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and reserved liquid to cabbage.  Cook for 1 minute.  Stir in cheese.  Transfer to platter.  Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top, and garnish with more cheese.

OPTIONAL: Serve topped with fried or poached eggs or crumbled bacon to add some protein.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living

You can find all of my pasta recipes in the categories: We Called It Macaroni and Tasty Tidbits Tuesday and Everyday Food

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This Isn't Your Nonna's Macaroni

This Is Not Your Nonna’s Macaroni

PASTA WITH FRIED LEMONS AND CHILE FLAKES

Well not exactly because in this cook’s kitchen, Barilla pasta reigns supreme.  I love the flavor of their macaroni products.  I worked late tonight and I still have to pack for my long-awaited trip to Florida to see my daughter and my grandchildren.  I knew I wanted to make a simple pasta dish so tonight I made yet another version of a vegetarian pasta dish.  And referring to it as vegetarian is a bit of a stretch.

INGREDIENTS:

4 lemons

1 lb. linguine or spaghetti

4 TBS EV olive oil, more for drizzling

1 tsp kosher salt, more as needed

Pinch of sugar

3 TBS unsalted butter

3/4 tsp. chile flakes (could not find so I used crushed red pepper)

2/3 cup Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese, more to taste

Black pepper as needed

1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)

1/3 cup parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)

Flaky sea salt, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Finely zest 2 of the lemons and set aside.  Trim the tops and bottoms from the other 2 lemons and cut lengthwise into quarters;  remove seeds.  Thinly slice the quarters into triangles.  Blanch the lemon pieces in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a dish towel.  Blot dry.

In the boiling water, add pasta and cook until just barely al dente.  Drain, reserving 1/2-1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet ( I used my braising pan), heat 1 TBS olive oil over high heat.  Add the dried lemons pieces and season with a pinch each of salt and sugar.  Cook until the lemons are caramelized and browned at the edges, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Melt the butter with the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat.  Add the chile flakes and zest of both lemons;  cook until fragrant.  Whisk in the reserved pasta water.

Toss in pasta, juice of 1 lemon, cheese, black pepper and the remaining salt.  Cook until pasta is well coated with sauce.  Toss in the caramelized lemons and the celery leaves and parsley if using.  Taste and add lemon juice if needed.  Serve, topped with a drizzle of oil, more cheese if you like, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Recipe by Melissa Clark, New York Times

This was an amazingly different, delightful and very delicious dish.   My husband was astounded, he had wondered just how these pieces of lemon were going to taste in his favorite pasta, linguine!  He was so surprised;  about every 5 minutes he said, how tasty the pasta was and how delicious the lemon pieces were.  Quite frankly, although I pride myself as someone who can discern a good recipe just by reading it – well even I was pleasantly surprised at the flavors melding in my mouth.

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This was a very good Tasty Tidbits Tuesday – we just finished dinner and it was delicious and as my husband put it “very interesting, very unusual and it tastes delicious too and I’ve never tasted anything like it”.

Last night Angela and Seth joined us for some wine and apps on the porch.  It was a warm evening and since it’s getting dark so early these days, we scattered candles all around giving the porch a soft and inviting atmosphere.  We sat and talked for quite some time drinking most of the bottle of Malbec they brought.  Angela brought us a bag of Heirloom cherry tomatoes that one of her customers from the bakery brought her!  It was an Ocean Grove food chain lol.  Turns out Angela is not really fond of tomatoes, there’s something about the consistency that she doesn’t like – all the better for me who LOVES tomatoes, JERSEY TOMATOES and even better FREE JERSEY HEIRLOOM TOMATOES.

I popped a few in my mouth, God they were like candy and there were a lot.  I started to think about what I could make with them.  This morning I saw just how many tomatoes there were and decided to leave some on Michael’ s porch (hope he found them when he got home tonight) and left some watermelon on Angela’s porch – the food chain continues….

Tonight I made Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel Sauce with linguine, well actually half linguine and half whole grain spaghetti.  It was so good, I plan to make it again soon.

Fennel

Fennel

1 Fennel bulb cut up

2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, half of them halved ( I gave away too many, so I chopped up half of medium tomato)

1/4 cup white wine

3 TBS olive oil

5 sprigs of Thyme (I didn’t have any, so I used dried thyme leaves )

pinch of sugar* (I didn’t use any, the tomatoes were sweet enough)

Coarse salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, toss together the fennel, tomatoes, wine, oil and thyme.  Add a pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper.

Bake, stirring occasionally until fennel softens and pan juices thicken, 35-40 minutes, maybe less.

I reserved a full cup of the pasta water and used it to create the sauce.  I didn’t have a lot of pan juices and some of it burned along the edges of the pan.

Toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with grated Parmesan

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food – November 2009

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Marinara Sauce aka Sailor's Sauce

Marinara Sauce aka
Sailor’s Sauce

I love pasta! Actually other than my passion for ice cream, pasta is my favorite food.  Think about the various shapes, the many ways to prepare it and of course the myriad sauces.  This particular sauce is one from my own childhood.  We often had spaghetti with marinara sauce on Fridays – those were the days when Fridays were meatless.  I think it’s a wonderful light summer sauce and a great way to incorporate a vegetarian dish into your weekly dinners.

MARINARA SAUCE

3 TBS olive oil

2 cans of whole Italian plum tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced

Red pepper flakes – 1/2 to 1 tsp

1 medium onion – chopped

3/4 cup of fresh basil leaves – torn

2TBS fresh oregano – chopped

Salt and pepper

Add olive oil to pan ( I used my braising pan)

Squish the tomatoes into a bowl and set aside

Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté till onions are soft and translucent and garlic is fragrant

Add the tomatoes and pepper flakes to the pan, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until sauce thickens.

Add the basil leaves and oregano, season with salt and pepper

I cooked the linguine and would have added it directly to the pan except that this batch of sauce was huge.  I scooped out enough sauce to fill a quart container and then added the pasta to the pan.

I sprinkled it with grated parmigiano-romano cheese and served it in the braising pan.

 

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Well, it wasn’t exactly a clash but I thought the title might catch your eye!  Last night was “erev” Yom Kippur which means it was the eve of the holiday.  Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish faith, a day of reflection and atonement.  Being a Catholic it seems like it’s a day where you think about your sins and ask for forgiveness, sort of like a day long confession.  However, the Jews take it one step further and not only ask forgiveness from God but also from those to whom they may have done harm to during the year.  Very nice idea.

Having said all that, I am married to a non-practicing, atheist but somewhat cultural Jew.  He doesn’t go to synagogue unless there’s a Bat Mitzvah or wedding and he eats shellfish, pork and dairy at the same meal as meat.  In other words it’s very easy for an Italian Catholic to be married to him since I don’t engage in my religion although I deeply espouse it.  It’s a marriage not of compromise but rather one of peaceful co-existence regarding religion.  Fortunately for us, we don’t have any children together and we didn’t raise any together so their religious training or lack thereof has never been issue.  We have a crucifix in the bedroom and a menorah in the living room.  Christmas is celebrated as is Passover and Rosh Hoshana, the latter two dependent upon invitations from friends and family.  I am a good cook but I haven’t ventured very far into Jewish traditional cooking and would rather leave the making of tsimmis to my sister-in-law.

This past week or so I have been playing a lot of Mah Jongg and all of the women in my group are Jewish, what a surprise!  Anyway much discussion has taken place about the holiday food, the going to Temple, and the traditions in general.  The other day lots of talk was centered around the tradition of the Yahrzeit candles.  These candles are purchased and lit on the anniversary of the death of a loved one and also at sundown on the eve of Yom Kippur in memoriam of those who have passed away.  There are also several other occasions when one might light a Yahrzeit candle.  We have never done so in our house.

I guess it was the culmination of much discussion and the one holiday falling on the heels of the other that inspired me yesterday to surprise my husband with some “treats”.  We were planning a quiet evening and dinner at home so on my way  home from work I stopped at Fairway and bought gifilte fish, potato latkes, and noodle kugel as well as 4 candles.

I waited till he had made himself a martini and then brought out the gifilite fish with some horseradish (a tradition).  He loved it.  I looked up online when sundown was to occur and precisely at 7:10pm last night I produced 4 candles lit in honor of both of our parents who have been long gone but not forgotten.  There was no praying just the lighting and it made me cry when I thought of what this stood for and how much I have missed my mother my whole life, since she died when I was 9 years old.

English: A lit Yahrtzeit candle, a candle that...

English: A lit Yahrtzeit candle, a candle that is lit on the Hebrew anniversary of a loved one’s death. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now here’s the clash (in some eyes perhaps but not ours);  I made dinner which was a pasta dish I created while cooking .  I sauteed aspargus in lots of garlic and oil, tossed in a small can of drained and rinsed garbanza beans and then the ale-dente-cooked linguine to the braising pan with the asparagus.  I topped it off with some shredded parmigano-reggiano cheesw and I have to say it was delicious as evidenced by the fact that there was none left over.

Once the dishes were cleared and we were settled in to watch Minority Report, I went into the kitchen and came back with two dishes of noodle kugel.  I thought it was great, so full of cinnamon, he thought it a bit dry, but what do I know?

A s you can see cultures don’t have to clash;  They  can mesh into a lovely evening and a delightful if not varied dinner.  Today true to his own set of beliefs, he is not fasting  but I keep reminding him of his sins LOL LOL. He’s also wearing a suit!

 

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