Posts Tagged ‘Onion’

So I’m still perusing The Talisman Italian Cookbook by Ada Boni and searching for pasta dishes I feel I can post.  These dishes have definite roots in Southern Italy and Sicily, the emphasis is on very few ingredients that are readily available and relatively inexpensive.  Many of these meals are what I would call peasant food. This is not a derogatory term by any means because so many of the meals we ate in my home were of this ilk. If I weren’t in the throes of my Macaroni Marathon, I could tell you about Giambotta which is supposed to Vegetable Stew but in my house was a combination of peppers, eggs and onions, maybe some tomatoes – NOT my favorite! Or a lunch of chicken hearts, liver and kidneys – You see, the meals followed the rule of Waste Not-Want Not! 


1 lb spaghetti

1 lb chicken livers

2 TBS olive oil

1 onion, chopped fine

2 cups tomato paste

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 lb mushrooms, trimmed

1/2 lb butter


Cook spaghetti in rapidly boiling salted water until tender and drain.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in large frying pan, add onion and brown until golden in color.  Add tomato purée, salt and pepper. Add spaghetti and keep over low flame, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated.  Sauté mushrooms and chicken livers in butter.  Place spaghetti mixture on serving dish, pour over it the mushroom and chicken livers and serve with sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Recipe from The Talisman Italian Cook Book

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Mushrooms seem to be, well just mushrooms…no brilliant color like a red pepper, no deep green like a bunch of kale or broccoli rabe, no heartiness of a baked potato, nor the crunch of a carrot.  Is the best you can say about a mushroom is that it has virtually no calories?  Of course not!  Porcini mushrooms are particularly noted for their strong nutty and slightly meaty flavor and as they’re cooking, the aroma is delicious.  There’s also portabello mushrooms which will lend substance and hardiness to any dish.  And those are just the more common ones we find in grocery stores as well as Shitake, Oyster and Chanterelles.  Imagine cooking with Hen-of-the-Woods, Black Trumpets, Morels, Hedgehogs and Trumpet Royale!  Well now if you’re wondering why I led you down this path of edible funghi, I’m not surprise AND I’m not even sure why I did, except to add a bit of interest and knowledge to the recipe of the day.

Mushroom Pasta with Ricotta

Mushroom Pasta with Ricotta


Coarse salt and ground pepper

12 oz. rigatoni or other short pasta

2 TBS butter ( I always use unsalted)

1/2 small onion finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 lb white button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1 cup ricotta

4 tsp fresh lemon juice

shaved Parmesan, for serving


In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 TBS butter over medium.  Add onion and cook until softened , about 4 minutes.  Add wine and cook until almost evaporated, 4-6 minutes.  Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1 TBS butter.

Add mushroom mixture, ricotta, and lemon juice to pasta; stir to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce.  Serve topped with Parmesan.

Recipe from Martha Stewart EVERYDAY FOOD October 2009

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This Tasty Tidbits Tuesday is really the simplest of meals and no recipe needed.  I was looking for a really quick and economical supper for this night.  In the Spring and Fall, many of the avenues in New York City are closed to traffic and hundreds of booths line the streets selling everything from socks to sheets, hats to hot dogs, fresh squeezed lemonade to ladies’ dresses, shawls, scarves and sweaters, jewelry to junk and best of all Sausage and Pepper Subs. I don’t call them subs as in submarine sandwiches because I come from Connecticut and we know these sandwiches are grinders!  Well whatever you call them, they’re delicious and we always feel decadent eating them and why not since they are loaded with fat.  

Tonight I made a healthier version and clearly it was an economical meal.  We had Sausage with Peppers and Onions on a roll and steamed asparagus.  I used hot poultry sausage.  I don’t normally calculate the cost of the meals I make or the recipes I post, however, this meal was really, well, cheap!

English: Red bell peppers. Suomi: Punaisia pap...

 Red bell peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sausage (6) cost  – $5.36  

Mixed sweet bell peppers (6) – $5.99  I only used 5 

2 fresh-baked rolls – $1.40

1 lg Spanish onion – $0.74

Asparagus – $4.79 – purchased at COSTCO (2 lb) This is the second side dish, and still have a third.

Total cost: $17.54

There is pepper and onion mix and 1 1/2 sausages left over for a lunch. 

The key to making this meal delicious is sautéing the peppers and onion really slowly.  The onion caramelizes and sweetens the mixture.  I only use red, yellow and orange peppers – that’s why there is one left over; It’s green! 

English: onion

 Onion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello Mushrooms

It’s Tasty Tidbits Tuesday and as long as this weather stays so cold and I stay indoors, I’ll be making soups.  I have made this soup many times and it’s always a hit.  Flavorful and delicious.  This is one of quickest tastiest homemade soups I’ve ever made. 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1/2 lb sliced portobello mushrooms

1 medium carrot chopped

4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

Kosher salt

1/2 cup of orzo

1 (16 oz) can cannelloni beans drained and rinsed

2 TBS chopped parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onions, garlic and carrot in a large saucepan until onion are soft 4-5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add broth and bring to a boil; then lower heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Add the orzo and cook 10 minutes.  Add the beans; cook until orzo is completely tender and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes longer.  Season with salt to taste. Add the parsley and  serve with Parmesan.

Recipe from PASTA VERDE  – more than 140 vegetarian recipes for soups, pasta sauces, salads and baked pastas


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It could be the slight nip in the air or just that time of the year, whatever it is, soup is on my mind and a few others as well.  I’m planning on making a chicken noodle soup tomorrow night with dumplings.  It will be the perfect Sunday night supper. Today I read on Facebook that a friend of mine made a delicious onion soup yesterday and the recipe came from the New York Times.  It reminded me that I need to check the Times’ Wednesday edition, which has the Dining Section.  I have gotten some really great recipes from there, especially around the holidays.  Anyway, Linda made the soup and gave it rave reviews-that’s good enough for me!

Here’s the recipe from the Florence Fabricant column in the New York Times.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 large red onions, about 3 pounds, peeled, quartered and sliced thin
  • 3 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • Salt
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 cups dry hard cider
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 ounces Cheddar, slivered
  • 6 or 8 thick slices country bread about 4 inches in diameter, toasted


Melt butter in a 5- to 6-quart saucepan on very low heat. Add onions and garlic, dust with salt, stir in apples, cover and cook until onions are very soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in sugar, increase heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, until onions start to brown. Stir in cider vinegar, scraping bottom of pan.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in cider, soy sauce and stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and, if needed, more salt. Meanwhile, pile the cheese on the toast slices, covering the bread completely.
Heat broiler. Divide soup among 6 to 8 ovenproof ramekins, deep bowls or big mugs with about 12-ounce capacity. Place a slice of toast and cheese on each, place ramekins on a baking sheet and broil just until cheese melts and starts to bubble. Serve at once.
6 to 8 servings
Onion Soup with Gratinee  with Cider

Onion Soup with Gratinee with Cider

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Did you know that in Manhattan all the coffee shops serve certain soups on specific days?  I learned this when I moved here and now I know if it’s Thursday, then it must be pea soup day!  So bearing that in mind, I made some Vegetarian Pea Soup this morning. It bears no resemblance to what would come in that thick crockery cup served within a minute of ordering it.  My soup is thick and chunky and it was delicious and the perfect meal on a night like tonight as the temperature dropped into the 20’s.


3 TBS olive oil

1 medium-size onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 rib celery, finely chopped

1 medium-size carrot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic (I use 2) pressed or finely chopped

1 cup dried split peas

6 cups of vegetable broth

1/2 cup orzo or other small pasta shape

Kosher salt

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onion, celery, garlic and carrot. Cook till onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add the split peas and broth; bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until peas are tender and the soup is thick and smooth.  

Raise the heat to medium-high. Stir in pasta  Cook until pasta is tender but firm, al dente, 7-10 minutes longer. Season with salt to taste. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Pea soup 3

Pea soup 3 (Photo credit: Dvortygirl)

Recipe from Pasta Verde cookbook

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English: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and ...

Sweet potatoes, onions and garlic

This is the last of the BEST Thanksgiving Side Dishes because tomorrow I will be preparing the foods I’m bringing to our dinner.  I made this dish one Thanksgiving spent at my parents house when they lived in Florida.  Trust me, it is yummy.


2  3/4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1 ” cubes

8 TBS Canola oil

3 garlic cloves minced

2  1/2 tsp salt

1  1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1  1/2 lb red onions (3 medium), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise in 1/4 ” slices

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 TBS chopped fresh parsley

Set on rack in center oven and one on lowest position.- preheat oven 375 degrees

Line 2 large baking sheets with foil.  Place sweet potatoes on one; drizzle with 6 TBS oil.  Sprinkle with garlic, 1  1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Toss to coat, then spread in single layer.

Place onions on second baking sheet, drizzle with 2 remaining TBS oil, sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.  Toss to coat, spread in single layer.  Place potatoes on center rack and onions on lower. Roast until potatoes are tender and onions are tender and brown around edges, stirring every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes total for potatoes and 35 minutes for onions.

Can be prepared 4 hours ahead of time, let stand at room temperature, covered loosely with foil.  Rewarm in 375 degree oven about 10 minutes.  Combine potatoes and onions in shallow bowl.  Sprinkle with Parmensan cheese and rosemary and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Whole Living



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This was truly a Tasty Tidbit Tuesday!  I made Split Pea soup for dinner tonight.  It was delicious and so simple. 

3 TBS olive oil

1 cup dry peas

1 medium onion – diced small

1-2 garlic cloves minced

2-3 carrots chopped into small pieces

1 large celery stalk cut into small pieces

6 cups of vegetable or low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup small pasta like orzo

Kosher salt

Parmigiano cheese

Heat the oil in large saucepan over MEDIUM heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery.  Cook till onions begin to soften. 

Add broth, cover pot and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Bring soup to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook over MEDIUM HIGH heat till the orzo is al dente.

Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Recipe from Pasta Verde cookbook

Creamy and Tasty Pea Soup

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Don’t want to eat your veggies? That’s just so…what? 50’s? Nowadays everybody knows you just gotta eat a lot of vegetables and this one easy and delicious way to ingest a bunch of vitamins and anti-oxidents and it is absolutely delicious.

1 TBS Olive oil

1 pkg (8 oz) chopped onion

1 TBS peeled garlic

4 small (2 lbs) zucchini, 1/2 inch dice (about 6 cups), divided

1 carton (32 oz) Chicken stock

1/2  bunch of cilantro, stemmed, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup) divided

Salt and pepper to taste

You’ll need: Handheld blender/Immersion blender

Heat olive oil in stock pot on MEDIUM-LOW. Add onion and garlic; reduce heat to LOW.  Cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent, but not browned.

Add about 4 cups zucchini to pot.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add stock; bring to a simmer on HIGH.

Add half the green onions. Reduce heat to MEDIUM; simmer 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add cilantro.

Puree soup carefully with handheld blender until smooth.  Return to MEDIUM heat. Add remaining 2 cups zucchini.  Simmer 8-10 minutes until zucchini is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper; ladle into warm bowls.  Garnish with remaining green onions.

Option:  Garnish with Creamery Goat Cheese and thinly sliced radishes.

Recipe from Wegman’s

Wegman's  cilantro, zucchini, green onions,

Zucchini Soup

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A sweet potato.

Image via Wikipedia


Last week in the New York Times, there was an article heralding the merits of Sweet Potatoes and their rise in culinary popularity.  Lighter in sugars than yams and with a bit of protein, they are now appearing on menus all around town; sweet potato fries, baked sweet potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes.  This recipe is is a favorite of mine and I think more suited to a Christmas dinner than Thanksgiving!  This could be the beginning of the  Count-Down to Christmas Dinner.

2 3/4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1″ cubes

8 TBS of Canola oil

3 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper

1 1/2 lb red onions (3 medium), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 TBS chopped fresh parsley

Set one rack in center and one on lowest position – preheat oven 375 degrees.

Line 2 large baking sheets with foil.  Place sweet potatoes on one; drizzle with 6 TBS of oil.  Sprinkle with garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper – toss to coat, then spread in a single layer.

Place onions on second baking sheet, drizzle with 2 remaining TBS oil, sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, toss to coat.  Spread in single layer.

Place sheet with potatoes on center rack and sheet with onions on lower rack in oven. Roast until potatoes are tender and onions are tender and brown around the edges, stirring every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes total for potatoes and 35 for onions.

Can be prepared 4 hours ahead of time, let stand at room temperature, covered loosely with foil.  Rewarm in 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Combine potatoes and onions in shallow bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

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