Posts Tagged ‘Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese’

Aglio e Olio - Photo by Shutterstock.com

Aglio e Olio – Photo by Shutterstock.com

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that on Fridays when I was growing up, we had one of three standard dinners;  Pasta Fagiole, Spaghetti Marinara or Spaghetti Aglio e Olio – that’s the way it was in an Italian Catholic household.   We had meatless meals every Friday until the mid-1960’s when the no-meat-on-Friday ban was lifted.  Of course Lenten Fridays still require this abstinence.  So it’s fitting that on this Friday during Lent, that I share this tried and trued and extremely simple recipe.


1 lb spaghetti

5 TBS olive oil

10 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano

1 1/2 cup pasta water


Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water till al dente according to package directions.

Meanwhile heat 3 TBS of oil in a large skillet or braising pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, shaking the skillet and stirring, until pale golden, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.

Ladle about 1 1/2 cups of pasta water into the sauce.  Add the parsley, the remaining 2 TBS of olive oil and salt to taste.

Using a pasta spoon,* scoop out the spaghetti and add it to the braising pan.  Toss to coat pasta and cook for about one minute.  Add the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper and add more red pepper flakes if desired.

Recipe adapted from Lydia’s Italy


Spaghetti spoon - Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond $6.99

spaghetti spoon – Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond $6.99

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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.


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


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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Back on the if it’s from Tuscany it must be good bandwagon.  Not because I believe that Italian food from Tuscany is the best but because Wegman’s latest Menu magazine is themed on the Mediterranean Diet and the flavors of Tuscany.  So now I’m exploring and experimenting with these recipes. 

This is a great soup for a Sunday night supper, served with a great baguette or with Miche bread which is a blend of whole wheat, rye and white flour. 

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Makes 6 cups – Active time 15 min – Total time: 55 min.

1/2 tsp Wegman’s Tuscan Seasoning Shak’r **

1 TBS olive oil

1 1/2  lb cauliflower florets

Salt and pepper to taste

1 carton of vegetable stock (32 oz)

Italian grated Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350º

Add Tuscan seasoning and olive oil in a large bowl; mix to combine.  Add cauliflower florets ; toss to coat.

Arrange cauliflower in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Roast 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned and tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add roasted cauliflower to stock in large pot.  Bring to boil on HIGH; reduce heat to LOW; simmer 5-8 minutes until cauliflower is soft.

Purée soup to desired texture; season to taste.  Garnish with grated cheese.

recipe from Wegman’s Menu Fall 2014

** I bought a bottle of Tuscan seasoning and I would have to cook with every day for a year to use it all I’m sure.  And if you don’t live near a Wegman’s, you can make a version of your own.  I’m  going to list the ingredient list and I think if you pick out what you think are the essentials you’ll be fine.  I was going to do that because the shelf was empty where the shakers were but Nick, an employee on the floor went in the back and found a case and brought me one.

2.82 oz.


Salt, Mustard Flour, Turbinado Sugar, Black Pepper, Allspice, Chili Pepper, Coriander, Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper, Nutmeg, Fenugreek, Cardamom, not more than 2% Silicon Dioxide added to prevent caking.

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