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Pesto Pasta and Peas

7 Aug


This is the time to harvest your basil.

What a treat.

I love pesto and I don’t even measure anymore when I make it but this is a good approximation.

4 cups washed basil you can even use the tender stems

4 cups Italian parsley use the tender stems too

2 cups baby arugula

8 to10 cloves garlic depending on their size

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

3/4 cup good olive oil

1 cup parmesan cheese

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Juice of one small lemon or 1/2 large lemon

This takes two minutes in the food processor.

Put the garlic and salt in the processor bowl and process till it is almost smooth

Add the basil, arugula, lemon juice and parsley

Process three or four spins

Add all the oil and process till it is incorporated.

Maybe six to eight spins

Add the cheese and pepper

Taste to see if you need more salt.

Process just so the cheese is blended.

This makes about 30 ounces maybe more.

Cook two pounds of pasta.

Use whatever shape you have.

1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen peas. Cook in the microwave till they are hot.

Take 1 1/2 cups of the pesto and mix it with the cooked pasta

Add the peas

Spoon extra pesto on top

Serve with extra cheese.

Use the zest of the lemon for garnish.

This is worth breaking my carb free diet.




Scallion Pancakes

10 Jul

I have always loved scallion pancakes but never made them.

Last week I made them twice.

Don’t get excited. They are easy but time consuming.

Plus I had to make a double batch and could have used a triple batch.

This is a recipe for a single batch which make six pancakes.

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup boiling water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sesame seed oil for painting and more for frying

2 cups diced green scallions

Canola oil for frying

Take out your food processor

Add the flour, salt and boiling water

Pulse till the dough forms a ball

If too wet add more flour

Take the ball out of the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap

Refrigerate till cool

Cut into 6 equal pieces

I use my pasta machine to get the dough thin

Start with #1 and progress to #3

You should have a 8 to 9 inch piece of dough

Paint with a thin layer of sesame oil and fold in half

Repeat this 2 times

After that paint with the sesame oil again and add 1/6 of the scallions

Now this is a little different

Take one end of the pancake and roll it so it looks like a finger then roll the dough around like a cinnamon bun.

Flatten with your hand and using your rollin pin, roll till it is about 6 inches in diameter

Repeat with the remaining dough

Heat a skillet with three tablespoons canola oil and one teaspoon sesame oil

When the oil is hot add the pancake and cook till it is brown on one side then flip over for another minute

Drain on a paper towel

Continue cooking the rest of the pancakes

Put the pancakes on a moist paper towel and microwave for 12 to 20 seconds to heat them up

I used them to make gyro

I grilled lamb and shredded it

Smeared tsatziki sauce on the pancake, placed a good handful of meat, one grape leaf and a ton of lemon salad with feta cheese.

OMG I will make this over and over again.





Linguine with Clam Sauce

26 Jun

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Whenever I sit at the beach I am starving and thinking about food.

Nothing is better than beach food.

My friend Joan was talking and her favorite meal is linguine with clam sauce so I had to come home and make it.

My Mom always made this for us so I didn’t think too much about cooking it.

1 1/2 pounds of fresh linguine

One stick of butter

One cup canola oil

6 cloves minced garlic

One cup chicken stock

Two pints fresh chopped clams about 32 ounces.

4 tablespoons rough chopped parsley

Salt to taste because sometimes the clams are salty and sometimes they are not.

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper [optional]

Melt the oil and butter in a saucepan

Add the garlic just until you smell that delicious aroma

Add the clams with all their juices and chicken stock

Let this come to a boil and then simmer for at least 15 to 20 minutes

Bring a large pot with water and one tablespoon salt to a boil

Cook the pasta to your liking.

I like mine slightly undercook and chewy.

Drain the pasta and in the same big pot return the pasta and add the clam sauce.

Let it cook on the stove for two minutes for all the sauce to coat the pasta on medium heat

Take off the heat and add the fresh parsley and plate.

If one would like grated cheese by all means let them have it.

This is a fast delicious meal.

You can make the sauce ahead of time , refrigerate it and then just heat it up.


Pasta with Anchovies

24 Apr

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My Dad loved this dish because he loved anchovies.

Every Italian makes it just a little different.

I actually had to measure all the ingredients because I always eyeball it.

1/3 cup oil

6 cloves thin sliced garlic

Zest of one lemon

One can of flat anchovies with the oil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Juice of the one lemon

1/2 cup fresh diced mint. Only use fresh.

One pound linguine

1 cup grated cheese

1/4 cup capers with the juice

Heat the oil and lightly brown the garlic

Cut the anchovies into thirds and add the anchovies with the oil from the can to the oil and garlic.

Cook on medium until the anchovies start to melt

Add the lemon zest and red pepper and cook for two minutes

Add the capers and mint and set aside

Boil the pasta in salted water

Drain and save one cup of pasta water.

Put the cooked pasta into the pan with the anchovies and mix well on medium heat

If it is too dry add 1/2 cup of the pasta water

Take off the heat

Add the lemon juice and cheese

Serve it with crusty bread and steamed broccoli

This dish can also be made with tuna





Lemon Chicken with Pasta and Broccoli

16 Mar

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The secret behind this recipe is to marinate the chicken and this is all you need to flavor the pasta


One big lemon including all the zest and all the juice

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup white wine

Ten cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt

6 boneless chicken breasts or 8 large boneless chicken thighs

You can mix the thighs and breasts together if you like

You can also cut the chicken into smaller pieces

Mix up the marinade in a plastic bag and then put the chicken inside and seal the bag.

Put the bag in a bowl in case it leaks in the refrigerator.

Let marinate over night or  eight hours.

Heat another 3 tablespoons of oil in a oven proof skillet

On medium high heat

Place the chicken in the oil and sear on each side

Try to get as much marinade off the chicken so it will not splatter as much.

Place the seared chicken on a plate till all the pieces are done.

The chicken should not be cooked through.

You just want a nice  brown crust.

Boil the marinade for five minutes in the same pan as the chicken after you remove the last batch.

Put all the chicken in the oven proof pan and pour the marinade on top

Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime , boil up your favorite pasta in salted water

I made one pound  of pasta

About five minutes before the pasta is finished cooking add  about 6 cups of broccoli or one big head of broccoli to the pasta

This should only take 3 minutes

Try not to overcook either the pasta or broccoli

Drain everything in the colander but save one cup of pasta water.

Drizzle the pasta and broccoli with about two tablespoons of olive oil

Take the chicken out of the oven and make sure it is cooked then pour everything on top of the pasta

If the pasta looks dry add the pasta water.

Try to make it look pretty but does it matter?

Add some lemon slices and a lot of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

One of my favorite meals.






Veal with Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato Salad

21 Feb


I love veal but it is so expensive.

The veal at the North End in Boston is to die for.

And the price is also to die from.

So being very thrifty or cheap. Take your pick. I found a reasonable compromise.

The veal for stew was on sale for $5.99 a pound.

So… I bought three pounds of these cubed pieces of veal.

I took them home and pounded them till they were very thin.

This is a great stress release.

I now had these cute little asymmetrical medallions

Then I let them soak in milk for a couple of hours.

My Mom always did this with veal so I do it.

Beat three eggs

Season with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.

Put two cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs in a pie plate with 1/2 cup  grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley.

Drain the milk from the veal.

Put the veal in the egg mixture.

Dredge in the bread crumb mixture

Heat a large skillet with about 1/4 cup of olive oil per batch of veal. Place the veal in the hot oil and don’t make them touch so you have to cook them in batches.

Place on a dish and finish cooking all the meat

Place some fresh spinach in a bowl

Start layering the veal, fresh mozzarella slices and tomato salad

You could serve this warm to melt the cheese or at room temperature for a cold salad.

The tomato salad was the beginning of my Roasted Tomato soup. Just stop after the tomatoes, onion and garlic are roasted and you have a salad.

This stuff is so delicious no wonder why the soup is great.

Enjoy  with crusty bread.

This is a great make ahead meal.

You can also add capers, olives,peppers or any kind of vegetable.


Delicious Plain Pasta

11 Nov


Sometimes things don’t have to be complicated to be great.

All I wanted was a plate of pasta without the fuss.

1/2 pound linguine

1 1/2 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil 4 cups of water with one teaspoon salt .

Add the pasta and cook till it is almost soft

Mix the butter with the cheese, salt and black pepper

Add the drained pasta saving 1/2 cup of the pasta water

Mix well

If it is too dry add the pasta water

Season with more salt and pepper if needed

This was exactly what I wanted.

Easy , fast, basic and only one pot.