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Posts Tagged ‘red pepper flakes’

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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Tasty Tidbits Tuesday has been missing in action more often than I would like to admit.  I made the pasta dish I featured a week or so ago – the Penne with Cauliflower and Swiss Chard.  OMG, I have to tell you it was sooooooo delicious.  It had a delightfully light flavoring yet strong enough that you could savor every bite.  I admit I couldn’t taste the  Swiss Chard but since it added a different texture and the goodness of a dark leafy green vegetable, I was happy it was in it.

Actually it wasn’t the ingredients as much as it was the cooking technique that brought such flavor into every mouthful.  If you recall, the cauliflower was blanched for 3 minutes in the pot of boiling water that would also be used to cook the pasta.  So when the pasta was cooking in the water that the cauliflower had been in, it absorbed a light flavor that was as I said, delicious!  

Well my passion for pasta got me thinking about how many of my Tuesday recipes were pasta dishes and so I’ve decided to make a new category on the blog; We Called It Macaroni.  And I’m going to be publishing a LOT of pasta recipes! I’m no Lydia however, I’m taking on the job of educating my readers to the joys of Italian cooking, particularly PASTA, and taking them beyond red sauce and meatballs!  You can now search the blog category We Called It Macaroni for any of the pasta recipes published previously.  “Mangia”

Lovely light and flavorful pasta dish.

Lovely light and flavorful pasta dish.

Orchiette with Brocolie Rabe, Oregano and Lemon

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3/4 orchiette or other small pasta shape

1 bunch broccoli rabe (1 lb) – trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 ” pieces

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 TBS fresh oregano leaves, for serving

2-3 TBS fresh lemon juice , for serving

In  a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to directions, adding broccoli rate 4 minutes before the end of cooking.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle, 2 minutes.  

Drain pasta and broccoli rabe and return to pot.  Add oil mixture and toss to coat;  season to taste with salt and pepper.  * I always sprinkle a little Peccorino-Romano or other Italian grating cheese on top of my pasta dishes

To  serve, sprinkle oregano over pasta and drizzle with lemon juice.

** As you can see, this recipe uses only olive oil as the sauce for the pasta dish;  Therefore you should definitely use the small pasta shapes such as orchiette and secondly when I see a recipe calling for so little sauce I often save a cupful of the pasta water to add to the sauce. Also I would use as many garlic cloves as I wished and just shake the red pepper flakes in and not measure.

***  You can also add cherry tomatoes with the garlic and cook them till they burst, add yet another dimension of flavor and texture to your dish.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food

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