Archive for the ‘Pasta/Noodles’ category

Garlic Scape Pesto

July 18th, 2011

Garlic scapes

Imagine my delight on Saturday morning, while cruising through the farmers’ market, when I saw a big bin full of garlic scapes.  Imagine the increase in that delight when I read the tag on the box that said they were free for the taking!  I grabbed a big bag full, not entirely sure what I would do with them all, but knowing it would be wonderful.

Garlic scape pesto

My first inspiration for the scapes was Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for garlic scape pesto.  After a few minutes standing over a whirring blender, I had the most beautiful spring green sauce, ready to spoon over some spaghettini.  Later this afternoon, I’ll be making an even bigger batch of the pesto to freeze.  This way, I can enjoy the crisp taste of the fresh scapes through the rest of the year, long after they aren’t giving them away at the market.

1 cup garlic scapes, cut into inch-long pieces
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper

In a blender or food processor, pulse together the ingredients until they resemble an almost-smooth paste.
If the blender stalls, and the pesto stops turning, slowly pour in more olive oil through the hole in the lid.  Once there is enough liquid, the pesto will start to churn and chop again.
Once the texture is to your liking, taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Spoon over pasta to serve, or use as a sauce with fish or chicken.

Salmon garlic scape spaghettini

The pesto will keep, refrigerated, for about a week.  I keep mine in a small glass mason jar.
To keep the pesto for longer, freeze spoonfuls of the sauce in an ice cube tray.  Once solid, dump the cubes into a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and return to the freezer for future use.

Turkey Meatballs

February 20th, 2011

Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce

Nigella hits it out of the park yet again!  This is the second recipe I’ve tried from Kitchen, and it was just as successful as the first.  I’ve been happily munching on these meatballs for the past few days, in various formats.  The first few were eaten over whole wheat spaghetti, the next few in an old English cheddar-topped sub, and the last were finished off with another bowl of pasta (because why mess with a classic).

1/2 onion, chopped super fine
2 sticks celery, chopped super fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 large tin diced tomatoes
1 small tin tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
rind from Parmesan cheese wedge (optional)

1 package ground turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp thyme (or Italian seasoning mix)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Mix together the chopped onion and celery on the cutting board.
Set aside 2 tbsp of this mix in a large bowl (for the meatballs) and put the rest in a Dutch oven over medium heat, along with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Once the onion and celery have softened, add the tomatoes, thyme and Parmesan wedge.
Bring to a slow simmer and let cook uncovered.

Dump the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the celery and onion.
Gently squash all the ingredients together with your hands – if you overwork the mix, the meatballs will be tough.
Once the ingredients are evenly blended, form into small balls and drop one at a time into the simmering tomato sauce.
Cook the meatballs in the sauce for 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
Serve over pasta or rice, or in toasted buns with cheese for a meatball sub.

Meatball sub with cheese

Tubettini with Beans and Salami

February 10th, 2011

Nursery supper a la Nigella

I love Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home.  I’ve loved all her previous books, but this one, being so homey and welcoming, is the perfect cookbook fix for a cold winter’s reading.  It’s really too bad it only comes with one red ribbon bookmark – there are so many recipes I want need to try that I’ve resorted to marking the pages with Post-it notes.  The entire edge of the book is now rimmed with pale yellow.

Most of Nigella’s recipes make entirely too much for one person to eat at one sitting. Thankfully, she’s included options for freezing, re-heating and most usefully, re-using leftovers in new iterations of the dish.  This means I get one initial meal, one re-made meal, and a couple of re-heated work lunches out of each dish I make.  Lovely, cozy and sensible.  Just the cookbook I need right now.

This funny little pasta dish was the one of the first recipes to catch my eye when I opened up the book.  I’ve had a bag of Tubettini sitting in my cupboard for a while now, waiting for another batch of minestrone to be made.  Instead, it got used in this snuggly little nursery supper, squidged together with tomatoes, salami and Cannellini beans.  It was great the first time around, and even better after sitting in the fridge for a day and being reheated.  All the best winter pasta dishes are like that.

150 g salami, sliced into thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large can of tomatoes
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
4 cups cooked Tubettini pasta

In a large dutch oven or deep saucepan over medium heat, fry the salami and garlic in the olive oil.
Once the garlic has softened, add the tomatoes, beans, rosemary and seasoning.
Cook the sauce for 15 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
Remove the rosemary and take the pan off the heat.
Stir in the pasta, spoon into bowls, top with a bit of grated cheese (if desired) and serve.

Pasta in Rose Sauce

September 25th, 2010

Pasta with rose sauce

I made this dish a few weeks ago, but put off posting it to the blog.  Now I’m regretting that, since I have absolutely no idea how I made the sauce – all I remember is that is was absolutely, fabulously delicious.  Something along the lines of chicken, mushrooms, goat cheese and tomato sauce, I think…

Memo to self: write things down!

“Baked” Eggs

July 28th, 2010

Eggs with spinach and pasta

Two days a week, I work an evening shift at the library.  This means I work from 1:oo – 9:oo pm, with an hour off for supper.  Thankfully I live close enough to my work that I’m able to zip home and throw together some proper food for dinner.

This is fast becoming one of my go-to dishes for just such a time.  It’s fast, easy and has lots of flavour.

1 handful of egg noodles (or other bite-sized pasta)
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/3 cup pasta sauce
2 eggs
salt & pepper

Boil the noodles in a small pot of water.
One minute before they are finished cooking, stir in the spinach.
Drain the spinach and the pasta, then return to the pot and stir through the tomato sauce.
Put everything in a bowl.
Make a well and crack in two eggs.
Cover the bowl with a plate and microwave for a minute or two, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
Grind on some salt and pepper and devour.

Note: If I weren’t in a rush, and it wasn’t the middle of summer, I might use the oven instead of the microwave to cook the eggs.  Then again, that seems like a lot of energy and heat for a single-person dish.

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