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Posts Tagged ‘PASTA’

It’s in the Can…

In Food on June 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’m kind of in awe of this Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato recipe I stumbled upon via Food52.For one thing, just about all the ingredients are CANNED: tomatoes, breadcrumbs, sardines. It also makes me wonder, what else can I be making with tinned sardines? I love how meaty they are—and cheap. As a starving student in Paris, I used to eat a tin of these for dinner.

What I love about this recipe is that you pour off the olive oil from the sardines into a skillet and sauté garlic in the olive oil until fragrant. You then add sliced fennel and red chile flakes, then some canned tomatoes and your sardines, dry vermouth and lemon juice for a little brightness and then your linguine. It’s all topped with toasted breadcrumbs with lemon zest and all in takes about 15 minutes to prepare, making it our new favorite weeknight go-to. And the dish is just LOADED with flavor. Serve with a very cold glass of rosé. For the full recipe, click HERE.

Penne alla Vodka

In Drink, Food on January 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

If there is one dish that is dreadfully out of fashion that I unapologetically adore, it’s penne all vodka. Yes, that’s vodka pink sauce my friends and no, it is not 1972. I love Lidia Bastianich’s version, which includes a hit of heat from crush red pepper. Go liberal on that. And, if you’re feeling like you need to class up the joint, serve with a smoky, smooth bottle of 2009 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino ($30) from Tuscany, available at Larchmont Village Wine & Spirits and BevMo.


Pasta with Swiss Chard & Bacon

In Food, Recipes on October 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

If you haven’t already checked out Los Angeles Magazine‘s Farmers Market issue, get thee to the newsstands immediately! I have a short item in there about my weekly CSA bag on page 143! While the headline is a bit provocative (“Why I Skip the Market”—I don’t. I go religiously every week), the piece mentions my very favorite part of participating in a CSA, which is a friendly neighborhood challenge I have with a few friends to use everything in the bag each week. This week we were handed an exorbitant amount of Swiss chard.

I remembered a super comforting recipe we ran in Bon Appétit several years ago for Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta. You sauté some bacon, then sauté onions in bacon fat (do I have your attention yet?) and add Swiss chard until it wilts, then sprinkle with parm and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Toss in fresh fettuccine or linguine. That simple, that delicious. And bye-bye, chard, for this week anyway. For recipe, click HERE.

Fusilli with Kale and Cauliflower

In Food, Recipes on April 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Our weekly CSA farm box continues to throw out more challenges for using kale. Which is a good thing; we should all eat more kale. In fact, my friend Andrea has a weekly kale night. I riffed on a Suzanne Goin recipe from Sunday Suppers, but simplified it a lot.

1 pound cavolo nero, or dinosaur kale

3/4 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 sprig rosemary

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets

1 pound fusilli pasta

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4-6 cloves garlic, minced or chopped

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Grated parm (optional)

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch kale for 2 minutes. Drain and cool greens on baking sheet. When they have cooled, squeeze out excess water.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add rosemary sprig and red chile flakes and cook for about 1 minute. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add kale and a couple more tablespoons of olive oil and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

While kale is cooking, boil cauliflower for 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve pot of boiling water to use for cooking pasta. After kale has been cooking about 20 minutes, add cauliflower, thyme and garlic to kale/onions in Dutch oven. Add additional olive oil as needed. Cook 8-10 minutes, until cauliflower starts to caramelize, scraping pan often with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile add pasta to pot of boiling water and cook to desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add drained pasta to vegetables and toss to combine with vegetables. Cook for a couple minutes and add 1/2 cup pasta water to pan. Stir to combine, and add more water if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in toasted pine nuts and add additional olive oil (and, if using, grated parm) if desired. Serve.

Pasta with Poached Egg and Cracked Pepper

In Food on February 19, 2011 at 10:18 am

We often find ourselves trying new recipes and promising to put them in regular rotation and then we promptly forget and move onto the next thing. Not this time. The other night I wanted to cook from the contents of our fridge and use up a few pieces of bacon, some wilting tarragon, an orphaned wedge of parm and an opened box of Barilla Plus spaghetti. What resulted was this Peppery Pasta Carbonara with Poached Egg—a sort of deconstructed carbonara with a poached egg on top in which good old bacon stands in for guanciale. I cut back on the butter by about half and trimmed the bacon of serious fat before cooking, so our version was slightly more virtuous, but only slightly…

Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A., Recipes on February 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). For $25/week, each Wednesday I pick up a huge bag of produce from local farmers at the nearby Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

I can’t tell you how much I dig this—I totally look forward to Wednesdays now. And have been having so much fun challenging myself to use everything in my haul each week. It kind of forces your hand as a cook. Like this week, when we discovered a gorgeous chartreuse sci-fi head of romanesco. Sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Romanesco Cauliflower, it’s a form of cauliflower with a slightly nutty flavor. And it’s beautiful beyond belief.

The conical florets remind me of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. I mean, if Gaultier were going to design a vegetable, surely it would be le romanesco, non?

I’d like to think that Jean-Paul would approve of this romanesco pasta creation, which I’d like to humbly say was something of an inspiration. And I realized as I was serving it that—added bonus—it’s vegan, unless of course you liberally sprinkle it with shaved Pecorino Romano as we did.

Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers

1 head of romanesco

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons red chili flakes

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped capers

1 lb bucatini, cooked to desired doneness

Salt and pepper, to taste

Break off romanesco florets and soak in ice water for about 10 minutes, to preserve color.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. In a separate skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté minced garlic, red pepper flakes, mint and capers for 30 seconds to a minute.

Remove from heat. When water is boiling, drain romanesco from ice bath and add to boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until al dente. (Don’t overcook—you want a little texture from the florets.) Drain and toss in skillet with garlic and mint mixture.

Mix with pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Leftover Prime Rib Stroganoff

In Food, Recipes on January 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Happy New Year! What a gorgeous beginning to a brand new year! Last night we rang it in at a very swish party down the street, where our friends John and Jamie completely outdid themselves. Think slices of gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, braised short ribs, terrines of everything you can imagine and individual chocolate pots de creme sprinkled with sea salt. Jamie did all the cooking, and for quite a crowd. We of course did all the eating and drinking. And waking up this morning, with the cheery memories of last night still lingering, I have to say that 2011 is off to a pretty great start.

A start that doesn’t involve doing any dishes, the downside of which is that it doesn’t involve any leftovers either. But for those of you who are lucky enough to have prime rib in your fridge from last night’s feast—as I did last week after Christmas dinner—I thought I’d share a rather decadent use for it.

I found this stroganoff recipe from Molly Stevens that calls for tri-tip, but instead I subbed in leftover, cooked prime rib. Also, because it is so rich I skipped the grilled bread she calls for and instead used a more virtuous Barilla Plus farfalle, which is higher in protein than regular pasta and has omega 3 and fiber.

Leftover Prime Rib Stroganoff

Adapted from a recipe by Molly Stevens. I like to use a mix of crimini and oyster mushrooms, which won’t break the bank.

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, oyster, crimini, and stemmed shiitake), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Coarse kosher salt

1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry Sherry

1/4 cup crème fraîche

1 1 1/2-pound leftover prepared prime rib, cubed

1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 4 large)

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 cup beef broth

1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley.

16-ounce box Barilla Plus farfalle, cooked to desired doneness

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced wild mushrooms to skillet; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper and sauté until mushrooms release juices, about 6 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; sauté until mushrooms are tender and brown, about 4 minutes longer. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Remove from heat. Let stand at room temperature.

Add vermouth or sherry to mushrooms and boil until almost evaporated but still moist, scraping up browned bits, about 1 minute. Stir in crème fraîche; remove from heat. Season to taste with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Cover; set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in another large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef pieces to skillet and sauté just warm, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer beef to plate; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Add sliced shallots to same skillet, reduce heat to medium, and sauté until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste (mixture will clump). Add broth and paprika and whisk to blend, scraping up browned bits. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

Add prime rib and any accumulated juices to shallot mixture in skillet; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, then stir in sour cream. Remove from heat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Rewarm mushroom mixture over medium heat.

Add beef mixture to mushrooms and stir to combine. Divide pasta into 4-6 bowls and spoon beef mixture over. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Elf Help: La Dolce Vita Edition

In Food on November 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Yup, the Christmas lights are up at our house and I can’t believe that Hannukah starts on Wednesday! Herman Miller asked me to share a holiday gift guide on its LIFEWORK blog, which you can check out by clicking HERE. But that’s just scratching the surface, so in the coming weeks I hope to share some of my favorite ideas for giving—and receiving! Starting with this:

Oh yes, a gift box from Olio & Olive! Talk about la dolce vita. My friend Gaia brought over this gorgeous handmade wooden basket of Italian indulgence and I nearly died. Though Olio & Olive offers gift baskets in all price points, this particular splurgy basket retails for $189.90, so that special someone on your list had better have been exceptionally nice this year. I don’t even know where to start—it’s loaded with classics like aged balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, red sauce, penne, parm, olives, polenta, salami—all of it the stuff the pros use. And I loved experimenting with the jar of Tartuflanghe Parmigiano Reggiano and Truffle Cream ($24.90) tucked in there, which by itself would make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Gaia added that it’s best to save some of the starchy pasta water to mix with the sauce and pasta, which we tried. She was right. It totally helps the sauce coat the pasta better.

We enjoyed the sauce both with a bowl of bucatini and some farro pizzichi from Rustichella d’Abruzzo (you want a fairly toothy pasta to stand up to the richness of the sauce):

But what I loved best about the rich and aromatic sauce—and in fact this basket—is that it has the true hallmark of a perfect gift. That is, something that makes someone’s day just that much better while reminding them that friendship is the most nourishing gift of all.

Happy Halloween!

In Baby Love, Food on October 31, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Happy Halloween! Tiny G is getting his “friends” ready—the creatively named Doggie, Pumpkin and Baby Witch—to take to a friend’s birthday party later this afternoon. He’s excited that there could be cupcakes on offer. I’m excited because this friend’s father makes the best damn chili around. Post-party we’ll dress up Tiny G in his skeleton costume to embark on his first real trick-or-treating adventure, and then I’ll put on a pot of my dad’s pasta e fagioli to enjoy while passing out candy and hoping that Mr Foodinista won’t notice that a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups has gone missing…

Update 11/1/10: Greg’s chili, below. See what I’m talking about?

A Pound of Brie

In Food on September 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

“Hey, Ann,” I asked our hostess at our last book club. “Why is this pasta so insanely good?” Answer: there’s a POUND of brie in it. Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I made a batch of this rich and satisfying Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil from The Silver Palate Cookbook yesterday and took it over to my friend Selena’s bbq. It’s quick, easy, vegetarian and heart-stoppingly good. And really, what’s a pound of brie among friends?