Category Archives: Vegetarian

Seafood Sauce

Seafood Sauce

For this one I used clams, mussels, shrimp and lobster tails. Add what you like, crabs, scallops, octopus, fish filets, etc. It’s important to steam the clams and mussels separate from the sauce. One sandy clam or mussel can ruin a whole pot of sauce.

Seafood Sauce

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt, black and red pepper to taste
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 2 – 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 12 little neck clams
  • 18 mussels
  • 1 doz. shrimp cleaned and shelled
  • 2 lobster tails cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb. linguine
Start a pot of salted water for the linguine.
Lightly sauté the garlic in oil in a pot large enough to hold the sauce and shellfish. Add salt, red, and black pepper to taste and the oregano. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

The clams and mussels need to be steamed in a separate pot in case any are sandy. Heat one & a half cups of water and add the shellfish. (Clams and mussels take different amounts of time so it’s easier to do them separately.) Cover the pot and let it steam 8 to 12 minutes (until they open). Discard any shellfish that didn’t open. Add the shellfish to the tomatoes sauce and carefully pour the remaining broth into the sauce leaving any sand behind.Seafood Sauce
Seafood Sauce

 

Seafood Sauce

Start to cook the linguine and at the same time add the lobster and shrimp to the sauce. When the pasta is done the sauce will be too. Put the pasta, and shellfish sauce in a serving platter and serve. Please, it’s seafood so no cheese on this sauce.

Seafood Sauce

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Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

This is a traditional Caesar Salad recipe. It contains raw eggs and anchovies. Caesar Salad was invented in Mexico by Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who lived in San Diego but operated a restaurant in Tijuana where he could serve alcohol during Prohibition.

 

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup day old Italian bread, crust trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 minced anchovies (or more)
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan large enough to hold the bread in a single layer and turn heat to medium-high. When it’s hot, add the bread, salt and pepper. Toss and brown lightly. Remove and set aside.


Rub the inside of a salad bowl with the garlic clove and discard it.

Beat the eggs and pour into the salad bowl. Slowly add the lemon juice and 6 tablespoons oil, constantly beating. Stir in anchovies and Worcestershire.

Taste for seasoning. Keep in mind that the anchovies and cheese are salty but add lots of pepper. Toss to coat the lettuce. Add the Parmesan and croutons, toss again and serve.

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Roasted Pumpkin

Roasted Pumpkin

Whenever I see a pumpkin I think of Halloween and Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t normally think of Venice. I have a friend who spent some time there who told me that pumpkin (zucca in Italian) is a common ingredient in Venetian cuisine. He’s had it pureed in soup, with pasta, and as a side with meat or fish. Simple roasted pumpkin is even available from street vendors.

roasted pumpkin

Ingredients:
  • 1 pumpkin about the size of a cantaloupe
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • A few sprinkles of nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400o.roasted pumpkin
Wash the pumpkin and cut off the top and bottom. Pull out the seeds * and scrape out the fibers using the edge of a spoon or a melon baller. Cut the pumpkin in 1 inch wide slices.roasted pumpkin
Toss the slices in a bowl with the salt, nutmeg, and oil. Place them in a baking pan skin side down and roast for 25 minutes. Serve plain or as a side dish. You can eat the skin.roasted pumpkin
* If you like you can also roast the seeds. Mix 1 cup of rinsed and dried seeds with 2 tsp. melted butter and a dash of salt. Place them in a single layer on a baking pan and roast at 300o  for 45 minutes  or until golden brown stirring occasionally.
roasted pumpkin

 

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Swordfish au Poivre

Swordfish au Poivre

I found this recipe in the New York Times a few weeks ago. Steak au Poivre is fairly common but that technique also works with swordfish. Swordfish au Poivre, same recipe, different results.

Swordfish au Poivre

Ingredients:
  • 1 swordfish steak (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp. crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Blot dry and lightly salt the swordfish. Apply the pepper to both sides, pressing it into the fish. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and sear the fish on both sides. Remove it to a warn serving dish.

Swordfish au Poivre

Swordfish au Poivre

Swordfish au Poivre

Add the butter to the pan and sauté the shallot for a few minutes. Add the Cognac carefully (it might ignite) and stir until the alcohol burns off. Then add the cream and parsley and stir for a few minutes. Pour the sauce over the fish, cut into portions, and serve.Swordfish au Poivre

 

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Sea Scallops with Brown Butter

Sea Scallops with Brown Butter

sea scallops with brown butter recipe

This is an adaptation of Chef Lomonaco’s sea scallops with brown butter recipe. He was the chef at Windows of the World at the World Trade Center until September 2001.
sea scallops with brown butter
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb.  sea scallops (about 14)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a pan on high heat. Sauté the scallops until browned. Don’t crowd the pan.  If the pan isn’t hot enough or too crowded the scallops will over-cook without browning.sea scallops with brown butter
Remove the scallops from the pan and add the butter. When it melts add the shallot and capers. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the lemon juice and parsley. Return the scallops to the pan and coat with the sauce.sea scallops with brown butter
I would serve 3 scallops for an appetizer and 7 for a main course.

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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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Whiting Stew Korean Style

Whiting Stew Korean Style

Whiting Stew Korean Style

There’s an H Mart not too far from where we live. That’s a national chain of Korean supermarkets. They have great produce and lots of Korean imports and specialties. We were browsing there when I came across a refrigerated package of ingredients for whiting stew.
Whiting Stew Korean Style
According to the package, the ingredients included onion, scallion, mushroom, radish, red long hot, shrimp, watercress, sauce. There were also scallions, tofu, mussels, calamari, and some other veggies and greens that I didn’t recognize.
Whiting Stew Korean StyleThey gave me some simple instructions on how to prepare it. “Put it in a pot with three cups of water and simmer,” and that’s all I had to do to make Whiting Stew Korean Style. 
Whiting Stew Korean Style
The sauce they included was very spicy. A bit was all that was needed to give the individual servings a nice spark. It was delicious and we’ll make it again.

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Lentils and Greens Bruschetta

Lentils and Greens Bruschetta

Here’s an easy one, lentils and greens bruschetta. No cooking necessary. The acid from the tomatoes tenderizes the Swiss chard leaves. And the lentils are canned.

 

Lentils and Greens  Bruschetta

Ingredients:
  1. 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 tsp. kosher salt
  4. 1 tsp. black pepper
  5. 2 tbsp. capers
  6. 2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots (or onion)
  7. 2 tbsp. vinegar
  8. 3 cups Swiss chard – stems removed and leaves cut into narrow strips
  9. 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
  10. 1 can (14 oz.) rinsed lentils
  11. Italian toast
Cut the beefsteak tomatoes in half cross wise. Grate them on the large holes of a box grater over a large bowl. Discard the skin. 

Lentils and Greens  Bruschetta

Now add ingredients 2 to 8 into the bowl. Thoroughly mix and then add the cherry tomatoes. Let it sit for a half hour and add the lentils. Gently mix and serve on the toast being careful not to add too much of the liquid or the toast will get soggy. Drizzle with some olive oil and serve.

Lentils and Greens  Bruschetta

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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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