pasta

Bolognese Sauce

I usually plan dinner parties weeks in advance – tinker with the menu, what wines to serve, what kind of tabletop I want to have etc until I settle on exactly the look, taste and feel I want.  However, there is something to be said for spontaneity and this sauce and the dinner party it spawned is a good reminder to me that I should trying to be less planned.  I have been working on my bolognese sauce for a couple of years, trying to meet my husband’s exacting standards.  I had been getting pretty close so when our good friend Dave was staying with us for the weekend I thought it would be a good way to try out the latest incarnation.  We were having a bunch of people over to watch the Patriots so the notoriously long cooing sauce could just sit and bubble away while the game was on.  Well smelling the sauce for a couple of hours drove my friend Baker to distraction – he offered up a deal.  Could he and his fiance Erikka stay and have dinner with us if he provided fresh pasta??  That was much too good for me to pass up and so suddenly a dinner for 3 because a party of 5 with a fresh pasta lesson to boot.  I was able to round up a nice salad to start and figured out some sort of dessert with what I had in my pantry.  Baker schooled us all on making pasta by hand (something that I am determined to conquer this year).

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It was one of the most fun nights in recent memory and the sauce was just perfect with the fresh pasta strands.  This sauce would actually be good on cardboard so if you don’t have fresh pasta just used boxed like I had planned to.  This makes a ton and freezes really well so you too can have an impromptu dinner party!

Bolognese Sauce (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  fresh pasta in the house!
Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 5 ounces chicken livers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • parmesan for serving
  • pasta (fresh or dried) for serving – its also great as pizza sauce!

Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium temperature.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to the pot and season with salt and pepper.

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Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.  Add the chicken livers and the thyme and increase the heat to medium high.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the livers no longer look raw.

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Add in the ground beef, pork and lamb and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the pieces with your utensil occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, then add the tomato paste, pepper flakes and the parmesan rind (if you have one).  Cook the tomato paste for a couple of minutes until it is totally incorporated with the rest of the sauce.  Add the red wine, stir to combine, and then stir in the cream.

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Bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat to low and cook for 2 hours at a minimum, 3 to 4 hours if you have the time.  If at any time the sauce looks a little too dry you can add in a splash of wine or cream to loosen it up.   Remove the rind before serving. This sauce keeps well in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for several months.

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Bolognese Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 3 to 5 hours depending
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 5 ounces chicken livers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • parmesan for serving
  • pasta (fresh or dried) for serving – its also great as pizza sauce!

Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium temperature.  Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.  Add the chicken livers and the thyme and increase the heat to medium high.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the livers no longer look raw.  Add in the ground beef, pork and lamb and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the pieces with your utensil occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, then add the tomato paste, pepper flakes and the parmesan rind (if you have one).  Cook the tomato paste for a couple of minutes until it is totally incorporated with the rest of the sauce.  Add the red wine, stir to combine, and then stir in the cream.  Bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat to low and cook for 2 hours at a minimum, 3 to 4 hours if you have the time.  If at any time the sauce looks a little too dry you can add in a splash of wine or cream to loosen it up.   Remove the rind before serving. This sauce keeps well in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for several months.

Happy Holidays from A Capitol Contessa!

I am going to take next week off to relax and hang with family and friends but I wanted to wish all of you a great holiday season.  If you are looking for some festive recipes to celebrate with here are a couple of ideas.  See you in 2017!!!  XOXO, ACC

Lamb Ragu

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Individual Apple Crisps

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Happy Hour

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Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Turkey Pot Pie Turnover

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Mulled Cider

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Goat Cheese and Radicchio Risotto

Whoa baby is it cold outside!  I think most of the country has been hit with some kind of cold snap over the last week – DC certainly has.  I may have grown up in Boston but I have lived down here long enough to become a complete wimp when it comes to the cold.  I just want to snuggle by our fireplace with a kitty and a nice glass of red.  This quick dinner is perfect for a cold night when you want some comfort food.  Sure you have to stand over the pan the whole time but think of it as a way to warm you up!  If you have forgotten, here are my risotto rules.  This version includes two of my favorite things – goat cheese and a bitter lettuce, namely radicchio.  The two really play off of each other nicely and if you add some chives at the end you can get red and green for the holidays!  Thankfully we haven’t had to shovel yet (eek!) but I think this would be a great way to defrost after doing so.

 

TITLE (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:
Special Equipment:  none

  • 6 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
  • chives

Add the stock to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  In a high sided skillet or larger saucepan melt the butter over medium heat with the olive oil, then add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir it around until all the grains are coated in the butter.

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Reduce the heat to medium low.  Splash in the wine and use your spoon to stir the rice.  Once almost all of the wine has cooked off you can start ladeling in the stock.  Add 1 ladelful at a time, stirring near constantly.

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Once the rice starts looking dry add in another ladelful.  After about 25 minutes I start checking the doneness of the rice but usually it will take closer to 30 or 35 minutes to cook.

 

Once the rice is done (its tender with just a little bit of bite to it) stir in the goat cheese and radicchio and cook for another minute or two more, allowing the radicchio to wilt and the goat cheese to melt in.  Sprinkle with chives and season with salt and pepper.

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Goat Cheese and Radicchio Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 6 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
  • chives

Add the stock to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  In a high sided skillet or larger saucepan melt the butter over medium heat with the olive oil, then add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir it around until all the grains are coated in the butter.  Reduce the heat to medium low.  Splash in the wine and use your spoon to stir the rice.  Once almost all of the wine has cooked off you can start ladeling in the stock.  Add 1 ladelful at a time, stirring near constantly.  Once the rice starts looking dry add in another ladelful.  After about 25 minutes I start checking the doneness of the rice but usually it will take closer to 30 or 35 minutes to cook.  Once the rice is done (its tender with just a little bit of bite to it) stir in the goat cheese and radicchio and cook for another minute or two more, allowing the radicchio to wilt and the goat cheese to melt in.  Sprinkle with chives and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Stuffed Shells with Chicken and Spinach

Continuing with the make ahead theme these cheesy rich shells are just what Santa ordered for Christmas Eve dinner.  Make them several days ahead and then just pop them in the oven when people get hungry.  This dish also makes a great gift for a neighbor or friend that has extra family in town and no time to cook!  I give you several sizes that work for this recipe – you can chose to make one mega dish or several smaller ones to share or make throughout the week.  The shells are pretty rich with the bechamel sauce and all the cheese to I would only estimate 3 or 4 shells per person with a nice Caesar salad on the side.  There are a bunch of steps to this (might be the longest directions I have ever written) but since you can do it in advance no one needs to see you sweat.  Also sometimes its nice to bury yourself in the kitchen for a little alone time!

Stuffed Shells with Chicken and Spinach (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  feed a crowd
Special Equipment:  a large baking dish or several smaller baking dishes

  • 12 ounces jumbo shell pasta
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces of diced pancetta
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Follow the directions on the pasta box and cook the pasta slightly al dente (the Barilla brand actually tells you how long to cook it for a baked pasta versus just serving them as pasta – if yours doesn’t just cook it a couple minutes shy of done).  Drain and spread the shells out on a baking sheet to cool.

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Once cool, toss any broken pieces.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and pancetta to the pan and saute for 5 minutes or until the shallots are softened and the pancetta has cooked.  Start adding the spinach in large handfuls to the pan.

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From this…

As you add the spinach use tongs or a spoon to fold the spinach into the shallot mixture.  The spinach will start to wilt and you can continue to add until it all fits in the pan.  This should take about 3-4 minutes to get it all wilted down.  Once it is wilted, crank up the heat to medium high and cook off the liquid the spinach has released for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Take off the heat and reserve.

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..to this!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, if planning on cooking the shells right away.  In a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, lemon zest, half the mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and the spinach mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.  Now that your pasta shells have cooled they are ready to be filled.  I use my hands but use a teaspoon if that helps.  To make sure I have enough to fill all the shells I divide the filling mixture in 4 and then fill a quarter of the shells and then continue until they are all filled.

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In a saucepan heat the butter over medium heat.  When it is melted add the flour and stir with a whisk until combined and the flour has cooked, for about a minute.

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Slowly pour in the milk while whisking so there are no lumps.  Increase the heat to medium high, just until the milk starts to bubble.  Then lower the heat to medium low and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and 1/3 of the grated Parmesan cheese.

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This recipe makes one very large tray of shells in a 9 x 13 pan, a medium sized 9 x 13 and a 7 x 5 pan, or two 9 x 9 pans.  It all depends on how tightly you pack in the shells and how many people you want to serve at once (for these pictures I have a 9 x 13 pan and a 7 x 5 pan which served a family of 4 and a family of 2 respectfully – with leftovers).  Once you have selected your pans spread a thin later of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Then fill the entire pan(s) with the shells, open side up.  Top with the rest of the sauce and then sprinkle on the other half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

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Cover the pans with tin foil.  If you are making the shells later, let the shells cool completely and store in the fridge for several days before baking.  If you are baking them right away bake the shells covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then take off the tin foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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Stuffed Shells with Chicken and Spinach

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Print

Special Equipment:  a large baking dish or several smaller baking dishes

  • 12 ounces jumbo shell pasta
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces of diced pancetta
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Follow the directions on the pasta box and cook the pasta slightly al dente (the Barilla brand actually tells you how long to cook it for a baked pasta versus just serving them as pasta – if yours doesn’t just cook it a couple minutes shy of done).  Drain and spread the shells out on a baking sheet to cool.  Once cool, toss any broken pieces.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and pancetta to the pan and saute for 5 minutes or until the shallots are softened and the pancetta has cooked.  Start adding the spinach in large handfuls to the pan.  As you add the spinach use tongs or a spoon to fold the spinach into the shallot mixture.  The spinach will start to wilt and you can continue to add until it all fits in the pan.  This should take about 3-4 minutes to get it all wilted down.  Once it is wilted, crank up the heat to medium high and cook off the liquid the spinach has released for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Take off the heat and reserve.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, if planning on cooking the shells right away.  In a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, lemon zest, half the mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and the spinach mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.  Now that your pasta shells have cooled they are ready to be filled.  I use my hands but use a teaspoon if that helps.  To make sure I have enough to fill all the shells I divide the filling mixture in 4 and then fill a quarter of the shells and then continue until they are all filled.

In a saucepan heat the butter over medium heat.  When it is melted add the flour and stir with a whisk until combined and the flour has cooked, for about a minute.  Slowly pour in the milk while whisking so there are no lumps.  Increase the heat to medium high, just until the milk starts to bubble.  Then lower the heat to medium low and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and 1/3 of the grated Parmesan cheese.  This recipe makes one very large tray of shells in a 9 x 13 pan, a medium sized 9 x 13 and a 7 x 5 pan, or two 9 x 9 pans.  It all depends on how tightly you pack in the shells and how many people you want to serve at once (for these pictures I have a 9 x 13 pan and a 7 x 5 pan which served a family of 4 and a family of 2 respectfully – with leftovers).

Once you have selected your pans spread a thin later of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Then fill the entire pan(s) with the shells, open side up.  Top with the rest of the sauce and then sprinkle on the other half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Cover the pans with tin foil.  If you are making the shells later, let the shells cool completely and store in the fridge for several days before baking.  If you are baking them right away bake the shells covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then take off the tin foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Burrata Pasta and Cooking Local

I am still on the no to low cook march – DC is hitting historic heat levels and I know most of the rest of the country is too.  So why not do as little cooking as possible and take advantage of nice summer tomatoes?  This pasta dish I came up with last month when I was in Boston cooking for my mom.  We had found some beautiful cherry tomatoes at Allendale Farm, an urban farm that was one of my favorite places growing up and even more so now as an adult who cooks.  Then I grabbed some fresh pasta at Boston Public Market flavored with parsley and garlic.  Last but not least we had some super creamy burrata from Russo’s in Watertown, MA in the fridge.  If you have never had burrata you need to run out and get some – its like mozzarella and cream had a baby and it just oozes and runs yummy cheesy goodness everywhere.

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Delicious on its own, I thought burrata could actually stand in and make its own sauce since it’s so creamy.  Inspiration struck and it delivered a delicious pasta dinner where all you have to do is boil water.  I replicated it back in DC and it proved one of my fundamental cooking rules – if you are going simple, you have to use the highest quality ingredients.  I made this dish using grocery store tomatoes and cheese on dried pasta – NOT the same.  It was still good, don’t get me wrong, but please if you make this please do run down good ingredients.  It reaffirmed that spending a little more and frequenting local purveyors really does make all the difference.  I will have to make this again soon using the best ingredients DC has to offer and see if it stacks up to the Boston version.  So remember – cook local!

Burrata Pasta (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   local summer ingredients
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pint of local cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh pasta (or dried if that’s all you have)
  • 2 small or one large ball of burrata (approximately 8 ounces) at room temperature
  • a couple of sprigs of basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

In a bowl toss the halved cherry tomatoes with the crushed garlic, red wine vinegar, sugar, olive oil and some salt and pepper.  You can do this right before you boil the water or leave it out for several hours – the more time you leave it the more the flavors will combine and the more juices the tomatoes will give off.

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Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta – if it’s fresh pasta that should only take a couple of minutes, dried takes longer but just follow the instructions on the box (short cut pasta is best here).  Drain the pasta and add to a large serving bowl.  With clean hands, rip up the burrata over the pasta letting any cream or small pieces fall into the bowl.  Once its all ripped up toss the pasta with the burrata.  Add the tomatoes and any juices accumulated and toss again.  Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cut ribbons of basil and top the pasta.

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Burrata Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pint of local cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh pasta (or dried if that’s all you have)
  • 2 small or one large ball of burrata (approximately 8 ounces) at room temperature
  • a couple of sprigs of basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

In a bowl toss the halved cherry tomatoes with the crushed garlic, red wine vinegar, sugar, olive oil and some salt and pepper.  You can do this right before you boil the water or leave it out for several hours – the more time you leave it the more the flavors will combine and the more juices the tomatoes will give off.  Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta – if it’s fresh pasta that should only take a couple of minutes, dried takes longer but just follow the instructions on the box (short cut pasta is best here).  Drain the pasta and add to a large serving bowl.  With clean hands, rip up the burrata over the pasta letting any cream or small pieces fall into the bowl.  Once its all ripped up toss the pasta with the burrata.  Add the tomatoes and any juices accumulated and toss again.  Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cut ribbons of basil and top the pasta.

 

Pasta Primavera

Spiralizing veggies is all the rage these days.  Pinterest is just loaded with zoodle recipes (zucchini noodles) and I get it – good for people trying to cut back on carbs or who are gluten free.  However, no one is ever going to convince me a plate of zucchini is going to be as good as pasta!  I mean it’s pasta people.  Far be it from me not to try out a new kitchen gadget though, so when my aunt put a Veggetti in my stocking at Christmas I started trying out different dishes with it.  One of my favorite has to be this Pasta Primavera.  Usually this dish has large chunks of veggies that are either overcooked or under cooked tossed with pasta as almost an afterthought.  Zoodles are the perfect antidote to this – if I spiralized the veggies they could commingle right alongside the real deal pasta and elevate this dish to another level.  While there is some cream and yes good old fashioned pasta in here because half the dish is totally made up of vegetables and feeds an army you can still feel good about it.  This is also a great dinner to make in the summer months when the zucchini and summer squash are really huge and tender.

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Now I like my little Veggetti – its small, dishwasher safe and under $10.  For those of you who are really serious about spiralizing there are gigantic versions that probably work a bit better, perhaps have less food waste.  These things can run you up to $250!  I asked around and this one from Williams Sonoma has good reviews and is still under $50 but will take up more space.  I say get a small one and see if you really use it before making a bigger money and space investment.  My little guy has two settings, thin and thick and I used thin for this dish.

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If you want to make this gluten free then by all means nix the fettuccine and add another carrot, zucchini and summer squash to the mix.  Just don’t try and pass it off as pasta…

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Pasta Primavera (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  zoodles zoodles everywhere!
Special Equipment:  a spiralizer

  • 1 large summer squash
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves thinly sliced

Spiralize the summer squash, zucchini and carrots.  Make sure to break off the strands every once and a while so they are not too long – you want them approximately the same length as the fettuccine.  Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it and toss in the fettuccine (cook as long as directed on the package, usually about 8 minutes).  Drain and set aside.  While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, some salt, pepper and the pinch of red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

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Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the summer squash, zucchini and carrot and turn up the heat to medium high.  Toss everything together and cook for 3 minutes until the vegetables are just starting to soften.  Add the pasta to the pan and toss again until everything is combined.

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Add the cream and again toss to combine.  Taste for salt and pepper and let cook for another minute or two so the flavors can blend.  Add the tomatoes and basil at the end, toss and serve.

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Pasta Primavera

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Print

Special Equipment:  a spiralizer

  • 1 large summer squash
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves thinly sliced

Spiralize the summer squash, zucchini and carrots.  Make sure to break off the strands every once and a while so they are not too long – you want them approximately the same length as the fettuccine.  Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it and toss in the fettuccine (cook as long as directed on the package, usually about 8 minutes).  Drain and set aside.  While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, some salt, pepper and the pinch of red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the summer squash, zucchini and carrot and turn up the heat to medium high.  Toss everything together and cook for 3 minutes until the vegetables are just starting to soften.  Add the pasta to the pan and toss again until everything is combined.  Add the cream and again toss to combine.  Taste for salt and pepper and let cook for another minute or two so the flavors can blend.  Add the tomatoes and basil at the end, toss and serve.

 

 

 

Creamy Avocado Linguine

Always looking for ways to incorporate pasta into my day I concocted this dish the other day.  I was hoping to use up items in my fridge and pantry and since there is always some rotation of peppers hanging around I thought a pasta with an almost guacamole type sauce would be good.  But we can be more refined than that right?  So blend all the ingredients together and get a silky smooth yet spicy and complex sauce.  DONE.   A great vegetarian main course or side for some grilled chicken.  I topped it with sliced fresno chilis (sometimes called red jalapenos) which are easily my favorite pepper to use these days but you could leave those off, use another pepper or just sprinkle on red pepper flakes if you need more heat.  I also had queso fresco on hand, a semi hard salty Mexican cheese, but parmesan would be a good sub.  Or omit the grated cheese on top and you will have a super creamy but creamless vegan dish on your hands (I could not help myself and of course added the cheese).

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Creamy Avocado Linguine (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  guacamole pasta
Special Equipment:  food processor

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or veggie oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 pound of linguine (I used fresh…from Wegmans)
  • 2 fresno chilis
  • queso blanco

Preheat your broiler and stem the poblano.  Place the poblano on a cookie sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered and blackened.  Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.

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Peel and seed the peppers (I like to do this with plastic gloves on).  Put the poblano into the food processor.  While the peppers are steaming, heat the oil over medium heat in a small skillet.  Sautee the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until softened but not browned (lower the heat if you need to keep it from browning).  Scrape the onion mixture into the food processor.  Cut the avocado in half, get rid of the pit and scrape all of the meat into the food processor.

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Pulse a couple of limes to combine then add the lime juice.  Run until smooth then taste for salt and pepper.  Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt the water and cook the pasta according to the directions.  While the pasta cooks, finely slice the fresno chilis and grate the queso fresco for the pasta.  Drain the pasta and toss with the avocado sauce.  Top with the sliced chilis and cheese.

Creamy Avocado Linguine

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

Special Equipment:  food processor

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or veggie oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 pound of linguine (I used fresh…from Wegmans)
  • 2 fresno chilis
  • queso blanco

Preheat your broiler and stem the poblano.  Place the poblano on a cookie sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered and blackened.  Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.  Peel and seed the peppers (I like to do this with plastic gloves on).  Put the poblano into the food processor.  While the peppers are steaming heat the oil over medium heat in a small skillet.  Sautee the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until softened but not browned (lower the heat if you need to keep it from browning).  Scrape the onion mixture into the food processor.  Cut the avocado in half, get rid of the pit and scrape all of the meat into the food processor.  Pulse a couple of limes to combine then add the lime juice.  Run until smooth then taste for salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt the water and cook the pasta according to the directions.  While the pasta cooks, finely slice the fresno chilis and grate the queso fresco for the pasta.  Drain the pasta and toss with the avocado sauce.  Top with the sliced chilis and cheese.

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