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Posts Tagged ‘mint leaves’

Looks Good Enough To Eat

Looks Good Enough To Eat

It’s Tasty Tidbits Tuesday and I’ve got a great summer pasta dish for you!  I’m planning on making it the next time we are at the cottage.  If you are a regular reader you probably know that I am enamored with the fresh produce from the Garden State AND I happen to be growing some mint in my backyard!  A while ago I posted a pasta dish that had mint in it and I have to tell you it was with some trepidation that I made that dish.  I’m Italian and have been eating Italian food for a very, very long time and I had never come across any pasta dish with mint in it.   Sorry it took me so long because I’ve made that dish at least twice more since posting it.  That recipe can be found in a previous blog; https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/wednesday-is-prince-spaghetti-day/

So now along comes another pasta recipe with mint as one of the main ingredients and I think it’s going to great.  I normally don’t feature recipes that I haven’t made, however, this one comes from the New York Times and I know it wouldn’t have been printed if it hadn’t been tested.

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 # fusilli pasta

1 TBS olive oil plus drizzling

6 oz. pancetta, diced

6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 quart of cherry tomatoes halved

3 TBS butter

Fresh ricotta

3 cups of whole mint leaves, torn

4 scallions thinly sliced

Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta to 1 minute shy of al dente.  Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta water. 

Meanwhile heat a large skillet or braising pan over med-high heat for 15 seconds, then add oil and heat till it thins out, coats the pan when swirled.  Add pancetta, cook till fat renders – 2 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and a large pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook 2 minutes till fragrant.   Add tomatoes cook til they burst, have golden edges  and begin to shrivel – about 5 – 8  minutes.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the tomato-pancetta mixture; if the mixture looks dry, add a little pasta water a few tablespoons at a time.  Cook over high heat while pasta finishes cooking.  Add butter and toss until it melts and coats everything.

Divide pasta into warmed bowls, garnish with dollops of ricotta and top with a generous mound of mint and scallions.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and more pepper before serving.

NOTES: You can use grape, pear or other diminutive tomatoes and mixing red, yellow and orange tomatoes will make your dish pretty.  Do not add the ricotta to the sauce, you want to keep it distinct so you can revel in the contrast of cool and creamy against hot, spicy and salty.  If you can find red scallions, use them.

 

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This Tasty Tidbits Tuesday I have two delicious Spring soup recipes I want to share with you.  The recipes are simple and easy, using only fresh ingredients and you can make them fairly quickly!  Lately in my house, we’ve been discussing eating only whole foods and trying to keep processed food out our diet.  For me, it’s because I truly do believe that your body doesn’t know how to process chemicals and the calories go into fat storage  and in general I think the more chemicals we ingest the more likely we are to get cancer or heart disease.  Anyway, I’m trying to follow the simple rules of not buying anything that has more than 3-5 ingredients and nothing that contains something I or any other cook would not have in their pantry.  

Now that I’ve given my nutrition lecture and believe me, I’m not one to really speak since I love Salsa and that’s good for you BUT I  like it on Multigrain chips and who am I kidding with the word Multigrain in the label!!

Spring Onion Soup

Spring Onion Soup

Spring Onion Soup   Prep time: 10 min. Total time: 60 min  Serves 4

Spring onions look like scallions but have a larger rounder bulb.  If unavailable use yellow onions.

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

2 lbs spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 1/2 tsp coarse salt

1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken stock

2 cups of water

8 pieces of crisp flatbread, for serving

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent but not brown, about 15 minutes.  Stir in salt, stock and water.  Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, and let cool for 20 minutes.  Working in batches, purée in a blender, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, blending until soup is smooth.  Divide soup among 4 bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with flatbread on the side. 

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living 

Spring Green Soup

Spring Green Soup

Spring Green Soup

This soup can be served straight from the blender, when it’s still frothy or well-chilled during warmer months.  Use sorrel as a garnish; its bright, lemony flavor is a wonderful accent.

1 cucumber, peeled

1/2 lb. pencil-thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed**

2 cups cold water

1/4 lb. spinach, rinsed well, tough stems removed

4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths

1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves plus more for garnish

2 TBS lemon juice

3/4 tsp coarse salt

freshly ground pepper

4-6 sorrel leaves for garnish (optional)

Halve the cucumber lengthwise; cut one half into eighths and the other into 1/4 inch dice.  Set aside.  Cut asparagus spears into  2 inch lengths.  Purée in a blender with 1/2 cup cold water.

Add spinach, scallions, cucumber eighths, and another 1/2 cup water.  Blend until thoroughly puréed.  Add avocado, mint leaves, and lemon juice; purée until smooth, adding the remaining water a little at a time until soup is desired consistency.  Add salt, and season with pepper.  Scrape down sides of blender with a rubber spatula and blend 5 seconds more.

Divide soup among four bowls;  garnish each with diced cucumber, and a mint spring (and sorrel if using).  Serve immediately.

** If you can’t find pencil thin asparagus, trim thicker stalks with a vegetable peeler or paring knife.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living

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