Posts tagged pasta
Posts tagged pasta
I’ve tried several recipes recently that feature the awesome combination of littleneck clams and Italian sausage (see my last post for steamed clams with spicy sausage here). So far, this is my favorite! You start of by toasting your noodles (vermicelli if you’ve got it, spaghetti if you don’t). I used canned fire roasted tomatoes instead of plum tomatoes. The zucchini was a nice touch. Oh, and the recipe calls for just 12 clams to feed two people, but I don’t like to skimp, so I added a dozen clams to each bowl (half in shells and half without). I’d definitely make this dish again.
Ramps and fiddle heads are both in season now. It’s spring on a plate! The ramps added a great tang to the pesto. And I’d never heard of an avocado cream sauce before, but it actually worked out (avocados just melted into into the butter and milk). It’s hard to add this to the “regular rotation” since ingredients aren’t available for long, but this was a fun spring recipe to try.
Local wild little-neck clams were on sale at FreshDirect, so I decided to give this recipe a try. I’m not a fan of East Coast clams. Every time I cook these clams it makes me homesick for the sweet and tasty little Manila clams of my Seattle youth. I know Manila clams are an invasive species that came over from Japan. So if they invaded the West Coast, can’t they invade the East Coast, too? Maybe one day. Until then, these little-necks did a fine job, and the spicy Italian sausage added a great flavor contrast. I’ll make this recipe again - maybe next time with Manilas.
Here’s an easy and healthy weeknight meal. Shrimp will keep fine in the freezer if you shop for them in advance. I defrosted my shrimp under cold running water while I boiled water and prepped the other ingredients. Then it’s a matter of a quick stir-fry job on the shrimp and veggies (with some garlic and red pepper flakes for seasoning). It’s a picture-perfect dinner and on the table in less than 30 minutes.
My new pasta roller and cutter have arrived! After my hand-crank died I decided to get the Kitchen-Aid powered model. The roller worked like a charm. I didn’t even need to go all the way to the thinnest setting. After I rolled the pasta sheets I put them through the cutter. I must have been having a good time with that cutter, because I completely forgot to take a picture of the cut pasta! To dress the pasta I whipped up some roasted zucchini with fresh bread crumbs per the recipe above. The end result was pretty good. I see more fresh pasta in my future.
This dish practically made itself. Super easy. Can you boil water? Can you toss in some penne pasta and cook until it’s done? Can you dress the cooked pasta with tomatoes, olives, herbs and goat cheese? Check, check, check. The recipe called for Kalamata olives and basil, but I used green olives and thyme. The creamy sauce created by the melting goat cheese was the finishing touch.
Picaso had his Blue Period. I’ve officially entered my Italian Period. It all started when we moved to Carroll Gardens (an old Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn). Then I hosted an Italian themed housewarming party. Then I bought a copy of The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual (it was technically a birthday gift for my husband, but I admit to borrowing it a few times!). So now I’ve started making homemade pasta. We have a Villaware pasta roller (also gift for my husband - is this a bad pattern?). We were never happy with the quality of the machine - a bolt fell inside early on and has been rattling around and the roller came apart from the base. So a new machine has been ordered. But I figured I’d give the old roller one last hurrah before it’s kicked to the curb. The pasta actually came out pretty well. I made different recipes on two different nights. First was ravioli filled with beef (actually the leftover meatballs from our housewarming) and ricotta. Next was simple hand-cut noodles with tomato sauce. My pasta recipe is pretty basic so far: I used one egg, a cup of flour and enough water to get the right consistency. The first time I used regular flour. The second time I substituted in some semolina. I liked the semolina better, but this recipe obviously begs for improvement over time - just as soon as my new roller arrives in the mail.
Maple-Soy Glazed Mackerel with Tomato Salad and Squid Ink Pasta
I was rushing home from work this evening. Hadn’t planned dinner in advance, so I stopped at Eataly for some fresh fish. The local (Long Island) Spanish mackerel looked good. And I’ve got a go-to mackerel recipe that involves a maple-soy glaze. So what sides to serve with maple-soy glazed mackerel? I knew I had ripe tomatoes and celery at home. So I bought some pumpkin steads to toast and toss with those to make a salad (I added some salt and white pepper to season). Then there was some squid ink pasta making eyes at me in the fresh pasta case. Wouldn’t it look great to serve the mackerel on top of a bed of black pasta and next to a red tomato salad? Take a look at the pictures and judge for yourself, but I think this is a beautiful plate!
I just moved to Carroll Gardens - a neighborhood with beautiful brownstones, old social clubs, and tasty tasty Italian sausage. I found this sausage at the farmer’s market on Sunday, so I froze it until I needed it, and whipped up this pasta tonight. The most time consuming part of the recipe was shelling the fava beans. But the flavor was so delicious that it was well worth the effort.
Tortellini with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
“Help! There are bell peppers dying in my fridge.” That’s what I thought last Sunday when I opened my fridge and saw three peppers: beautiful red, yellow and orange…all on the verge of wilting. I didn’t know what I’d do with them, but I knew they would last longer if I roasted them. So I did the roasting and peeling, and stuck them back in the fridge. Tonight they came out, got chopped and sautéed with some garlic, red pepper flakes and rosemary. Then I put the pepper mixture in my food processor and pureed with about 1/2 cup of half and half. The sauce went back on the stove while I cooked the tortellini (just 3 minutes). When the tortellini was done it took a quick swim in the sauce, and then I plated it with grated Parmesan and some chopped roasted pepper for garnish. Bell pepper crisis solved.