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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Having no boys around last week (at boy scout camp), my daughter and I had a few good meals.  The first was Farfalle with Mushrooms and Peas.  My husband does’t eat mushrooms so anytime he is away for dinner is an excuse to use mushrooms.  This was a light, summer pasta dinner that was easy to put together.  I tend to not measure a whole lot as I cook or watch the clock either so your mileage may vary.

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1/2 box Farfalle (bowties) cooked according to package

1 pound mushrooms, cut any way you like.  Daughter likes them chunked but you could slice them thinly or halve them.  It doesn’t matter.

  • 1 package frozen green peas. You can defrost them if you want but it isn’t necessary as they will cook quickly.
  • 1 – 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese.  As much or as little as you want.

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.  When done,  turn flame off but keep warm for a few minutes until you are ready to pop it into the mushroom/pea pot.
  2. In a heavy bottomed large saute pan, heat olive oil (enough to go around the pan once) until shimmering.
  3. Add the shallots and the garlic. You should hear that lovely sizzling sound.  Stir them around and let them cook a few minutes until they are golden brown but not burned.  Add the lemon zest and a pinch of salt.  Be careful, they can flip in an instant from one to the other.
  4. Add the mushrooms and stir them to coat with oil.  Cook about 5 minutes.  If you are like my daughter and like her mushrooms crispy, then cook a few minutes longer.
  5. Stir in the peas and let cook another few minutes.  Now you can add the wine and lemon juice along with any seasonings you may wish to add.  Red pepper flakes, rosemary, fresh herbs from the garden such as oregano, parsley or basil would be lovely additions.
  6. Once all the flavors have melded together add the pasta that you ave been keeping warm and mix it all up.  Add the cream and let that cook together a few moments.
  7. Scoop into bowls and top with cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve it up with a nice bread and a salad and you have a quick and easy dinner.

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We try to plan our menus for the week on Sundays.  This week my daughter asked for Spaghetti Bolognese.  I’m not sure where she had it before or heard of it but she wanted it.  Fine by me.  I looked up a few recipes and was dismayed to find that not only did they contain pancetta but that they also contained butter and cream.  Since we keep kosher that was a big problem.  Luckily I stumbled on a version that touted itself as the Perfect, Authentic Italian Bolognese Sauce.  That is quite a claim!  Not sure it if is the perfect sauce or not but it was s big hit at our house.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 or so slices pancetta (I used turkey bacon)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • stick of celery, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground veal or lamb (I used sweet Italian Veal sausage that I took out of the casings)
  • 2 cans (400g) diced or chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large glasses Red Wine (nice precise measurement, maybe that is why I love this recipe! I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pasta (enough for 4 people, cooked.  Recipe suggested tagliatelle, but we used spaghetti)

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and fry the bacon until golden brown over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and the garlic, sauteing until slightly browned and softened.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute until the beef is browned.  Remove from pan to a bowl.
  • Add the veal or lamb and saute until browned.
  • Add the onions, garlic and beef back to the pan.  Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced in volume by about a third.
  • Reduce temperature to medium-low and add in the tomatoes, celery and carrot.
  • Allow to simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the sauce has reduced considerably.  Stirring now and then.
  • Pour sauce over the cooked pasta.  Enjoy!

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Jeff’s mom gave me this recipe when we first got married because it is a family dish that Jeff adored as a child.  He still does as do the kids and I.  It is quick and easy to prepare.  I’ve made a few tweaks over the years.  Tonight I made it with ground lamb instead of ground beef because that’s what we had in the freezer but either works well.  Since our herb garden is producing nicely, I used a small handful of fresh oregano that I chopped and a child sized handful of fresh thyme as well.  The recipe doesn’t call for thyme but it was a spur of the moment addition and it worked well.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper cut into a large dice
  • 1 red or yellow pepper cut into a large dice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced. Remove seeds and membrane.
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (10.5) ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup black olives, cut in quarters (we had some fresh cured Italian olives in the fridge so we used them – HUGE difference for the better in the flavor but I did cut back on the salt that was used to compensate for the intrinsic brininess of the olives)
  • Extra wide egg noodles, cooked according to directions on the package.   (I used these noodles by Rozoni, the whole 12 oz bag)

Directions:

  • In a dutch oven or small stock pot, heat 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently until slightly browned.
  • Add the jalapeno peppers, the green and yellow or red pepper.  Saute for 3 – 5 minutes until the peppers are softened.
  • Remove the pepper and onions from the pot and set aside.
  • In the same pot, add the ground beef or lamb, salt and pepper.
  • Brown the meat until it is no longer pink.
  • Add the peppers and onions back to the pot.  Stir in the corn, the crushed red pepper flakes and the oregano and thyme.
  • Add the tomato sauce.
  • Let simmer for 1o  – 15 minutes.
  • About 5 minutes before serving, add the olives.
  • Serve over the egg noodles.

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Last night we had a great dinner at home.  Just us and the kids.  Hannah asked for fried fish and Peter asked for Broccolini.  Easy enough.  I breaded the flounder with whole wheat bread crumbs and pan fried it in a mixture of olive oil and butter.  The broccolini was sauteed in a bit of olive oil with salt and pepper.  At the last minute I splashed some balsamic vinegar over it and accidentally left it sit for longer than I meant to.  No worries though, it just caramelized a bit.  Yum.  I like having pasta with a red sauce with my fried fish.  It goes back to childhood.  For some reason whenever my Mom made fish sticks she made pastina with red sauce.  I didn’t use pastina, rather we had little shells in the house so we used that but I did make a red sauce to go with it.   I’ll give you the actual recipe rather than the notes I scribbled on a piece of scrap paper.  That has no measurements or directions just ingredients.   No picture today, sorry.

Arribata Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 box Pomi crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (you could put in more or less, we like olives so I probably put in more)
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan
  • Stir in onions and garlic
  • Let cook for a few minutes until they get browned
  • Add the red pepper flakes and stir, let cook another minute
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes, olives, capers and sun dried tomatoes
  • Let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring now and then.  The sauce will break down and start to reduce.
  • Add the basil and fresh diced tomato.
  • Cook another minute or two.

Serve over your choice of pasta.

 

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I am no use at clever names.  I envy people who can come up with them.  This was lying in the clippings file that was recently cleaned out.  Since last night was the first time I made it, I didn’t tweak with it much.  The kids and Jeff were full of suggestions to improve it next time.  We were all pleasantly surprised at how much we liked the kale.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta (we had penne so that’s what we used)
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped. (make sure to remove the thick stalk from the center)
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Parmiggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup white wine (we had a bottle of Savignon Blanc in the fridge but any dry white wine will work)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to directions on package and set aside keeping warm while the kale cooks.
  • Heat olive oil in a deep saute pan.  Add the garlic and let cook 2 – 3 minutes or until golden.  Stir often so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add the chopped kale. Depending on your pan you might need to add it in batches.  As it cooks, it will wilt down releasing moisture.  Stir often.
  • Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Let the kale cook down for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and stir.
  • Pour in the cream.  Bring to a boil.
  • Add the wine and the lemon juice.
  • Let cook another 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Toss it into a large serving bowl and add the pasta, butter and cheese.  Mix it all together and serve.

 

 

 

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