Category Archives: Pasta

Sautéed Tomato Sauce

Sautéed Tomato Sauce

When most people think of tomato sauce they think ‘simmering.’ For this recipe you start by sautéing the tomatoes. This gives them a rich hearty flavor and it’s ready to eat in about a half an hour.
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup olive oil divided
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • 10 – 12 plum tomatoes
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lb. short pasta (ziti, penne, rotelle, etc.)
Start a pot of salted water for the pasta.
Sautéed Tomato SauceHeat ¼ cup of the oil in a large frying pan and season it with salt, black and red pepper. Cut the stem end off the tomatoes, cut them in half lengthwise and place then cut side down in the pan. Cook on medium-high heat until they begin to soften and color. Depending on their ripeness and thickness they might take 8 – 12 minutes. 
Sautéed Tomato Sauce
Season the top side and then turn them and cook for another 8 – 12 minutes. Start cooking the pasta in the boiling water.
Sautéed Tomato Sauce
The tomatoes should be soft now so add the minced garlic, basil, and parsley and the remaining ¼ cup of oil.

Sautéed Tomato Sauce

Add some of the pasta water to the sauce, blend and deglaze the pan. A ½ cup might be enough but add more if needed to get a saucy consistency.

Sautéed Tomato Sauce
When the pasta is almost al dente add it to the sauce and mix to finish cooking. Serve with grated Parmigiana.

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Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans

 

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans can also be made with broccoli or broccoli rape. There’s an informative article about their differences here.


Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ lb. broccolini, washed & stems removed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, hot or sweet, skins removed
  • 2 gloves, minced garlic
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 – 15 oz. can white beans strained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiana cheese
  • ½ lemon – zest & juice
Start a pot of salted water for the broccolini and later the pasta.
Remove the rough stem tips and roughly chop the broccolini and boil on high for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove the broccolini and add the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, in another pot add the olive oil and break up and cook the sausage meat. When it’s lightly browned, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes then add the wine and deglaze the pot and stir for a few minutes.

Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans
Add the cooked broccolini and the beans. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and a cup of the pasta cooking water and toss.
Pasta with Broccolini, Sausage and Beans
Remove the pot from the heat. Add the butter, cheese, juice of ½ the lemon and zest. Mix until the butter is melted and serve with additional cheese.

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Pasta alla Bottarga

Pasta alla Bottarga

Pasta alla Bottarga
Don’t expect an assertive taste like caviar or anchovies. Bottarga is subtle. It’s the roe sac of a fish, usually mullet or tuna, which is salted, pressed, and dried.
Pasta alla Bottarga
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or linguini
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic clove thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. grated bottarga divided
  • red pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped parsley divided
  • ½ cup toasted breadcrumbs
Start with boiling the water for pasta.
Add the oil, garlic, red pepper and ½ the parsley to a pan over medium heat. Fry for a few minutes. Don’t brown the garlic. Reduce the heat to low and add a tablespoon of bottarga. Stir and simmer for few minutes.
Pasta alla Bottarga
Save a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta and another tablespoon of the bottarga to the pan with the sauce and some pasta water if needed.
Pasta alla Bottarga
Turn off the heat and add the toasted breadcrumbs and remaining parsley. Serve, topping individual plate with the remaining bottarga.

 

Pasta alla Bottarga

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Swiss Chard Pasta

Swiss Chard Pasta

Swiss chard pasta – it’s just a few simple ingredients and easy to prepare. 

Swiss chard pasta

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. short pasta
  • ¼ cup Parmigiana cheese
Swiss chard pasta
Start a pot of salted boiling water. You’ll use this for both the Swiss chard and then for the pasta. While the water is heating, lightly sauté the garlic in oil in a pan with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat.
Swiss chard pastaSwiss chard pastaWhen the water in the pot comes to a boil, add the Swiss chard, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the Swiss chard and without draining it, place it right in a blender. Add the sautéed garlic and oil. Blend until it’s a fine thick puree. Check for seasoning.
Add the pasta to the still boiling water and cook until almost done. Drain it, saving one cup of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the Swiss chard sauce and coat the pasta while it finishes cooking. Add more of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.

Swiss chard pastaServe with additional Parmigiana.

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Zucchini Pasta Glassata

Zucchini Pasta Glassata

Not too many ingredients but there’s a lot more work to this recipe than you might expect for a dish of pasta. I hope you think it’s worth it. Zucchini Pasta Glassata means glazed zucchini pasta. In the  glassata  cooking technique the pasta is partially cooked, as usual, in salted water but it’s finished in the liquid from a vegetable, in this case zucchini. It can also be made with beets or carrots but you’ll need a juicer for them.

Zucchini Pasta Glassata

Ingredients:
  • 4 or 5 zucchini depending on size
  • 16 oz. pasta – your choice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Parmigiana
Place a dishtowel in a large bowl and grate the zucchini on the mid-sized holes of a box grater.  Squeeze the liquid out of the towel into the bowl. You need one cup of liquid. Set aside the shredded zucchini and its liquid. You can freeze and save any extra.Zucchini Pasta Glassata
Zucchini Pasta Glassata

Zucchini Pasta Glassata

Cook the pasta as usual in salted water, but only for half the time recommended on the package. Reserve one cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
In the now empty pasta pot, bring the cup of zucchini liquid to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often until the liquid is absorbed.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil and lightly sauté the garlic, salt and pepper. Don’t brown it. Add 2 cups of the shredded zucchini and cook on medium for 8-10 minutes and add it to the pasta.Zucchini Pasta Glassata
If it seems too dry, add some or all of the reserved pasta water. Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmigiana. Serve with additional grated cheese.

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Pasta e Ceci Stew

Pasta e Ceci Stew

Pasta e Ceci stew is a Roman recipe. It’s sort of a vegetable stew with pasta. You can use any kind of greens you like – Swiss chard, escarole, even kale. I’m using a mix of arugula and spinach.

Pasta e Ceci Stew

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • Salt, black and red pepper to taste
  • 2 tsps. finely chopped  rosemary
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed 
  • 1 cup ditalini
  • 4 cups chopped greens

Pasta e Ceci Stew

Lightly sauté the onion in oil in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper. When the onion starts to soften add the garlic and rosemary.  Cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chick peas. Crush about a half cup  of the chickpeas with a spoon to thicken the stew. Pasta e Ceci Stew

Pasta e Ceci Stew

Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, stirring often. Ditalini has a way of sticking to the bottom of the pot . After the pasta absorbs the water you may want to add some more if you’d like it soupier.  Add the greens and stir. They’ll cook in a minute.  Serve with grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.Pasta e Ceci Stew

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Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

Cauliflower comes in colors so be creative. And don’t let that little bit of anchovy put you off. It adds a savory hint and doesn’t taste fishy. Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula is an inexpensive dish that’s delicious and easy to make.
Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula
Ingredients:
  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt, black and red pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste or 2 anchovies (optional)
  • 2 cloves sliced garlic
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ lb. small pasta

Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

Boil cauliflower pieces for 10 minutes in salted water. Remove the cauliflower and add the pasta to that same boiling water.

Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in another pot. Add salt, black and red pepper, and anchovy. Add the garlic and simmer on low heat for five minutes until the anchovy dissolves and the garlic flavors the oil. Add the cooked cauliflower and arugula, stir and coat with the oil.

Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

When the pasta is almost done, add it and ½ cup of the pasta water to the pot with the cauliflower and arugula to finish cooking. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

Pasta with Cauliflower and Arugula

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Easy Clam Sauce

Easy Clam Sauce

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So, when you can’t get fresh clams, use canned. You don’t need fresh clams for this one. Clam sauce and linguine traditionally go together but if you can’t get linguine use whatever pasta you like.

Easy Clam Sauce

Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil and more for drizzling
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
Salt, black and red pepper
1 can of clams
1 bottle of clam broth
½ half cup of chopped parsley divided
1 lb. linguine
Put up a pot of salted water for the pasta. You can make the sauce as the linguine cooks.

Heat the oil in another pot on medium heat and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Give the garlic a few minutes to flavor the oil. Strain the canned clams, saving the liquid and add them to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes, add half the parsley and the liquid from the canned clams and the bottle of clam broth. Let it simmer for a few minutes.Easy Clam Sauce
When the pasta is almost done add it to the pot with the sauce to finish cooking. Remove it to a serving dish, sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley and drizzle it with some olive oil. Most Italians agree that’s it’s a mortal sin to put cheese on seafood.

Easy Clam Sauce

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Pasta Fazoole

Pasta Fazool

Pasta Fazool

In Italian its pasta e fagioli – that means “pasta and beans.” Some people call it pasta fazool. Both pronunciations are correct. In the Neapolitan dialect its pasta e fasule, often spelled pasta fazool in America.
Pasta Fazool
Ingredients:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup trinity
  • 1 lb. beans (whatever kind you like)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sm. can cherry tomatoes – optional
  • 1 lb. small pasta
  • 1 cup arugula or spinach – optional
Pasta Fazool
Pick through and rinse the beans.
Pasta Fazool
In a large pot, cook the trinity in oil. When the vegetables are soft, add the beans and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered for 2 hours.
Pasta Fazool
Add salt and pepper, the cherry tomatoes, 2 more cups of water, and the pasta. If necessary, add more water as the pasta cooks. When the pasta is almost done, throw in a couple of hands full of arugula or spinach. I’m using a mix of both.  When the greens whilt, it’s ready to serve.
I think it’s tastier reheated the next day. Just add some water to the pot and stir over a low flame.
A pound of beans and a pound of pasta can rally grow as they cook. You might to cut those 2 ingredients in half.

Pasta Fazool

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