Tag Archives: pasta

Perciatelli with Pea Pesto

5 Oct

Last weekend, I pretended to be a single girl. And by that, I mean, I cooked and baked all weekend like I used to… I wanted to try out a new pasta sauce, so as soon as Rafe left for Mississippi, I got out the food processor and tried my hand at making a pea pesto, since we all know cilantro pesto also works out amazingly. It was a cinch, and quite tasty!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c frozen peas
  • 1 to 1 1/2 medium clove fresh garlic
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (depending on how much you love salt) and a few presses of fresh pepper
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan or other hard cheese
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 lb perciatelli or other pasta shape

Method

  • Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add a smidge of salt. Then add 2 c of the peas in. Allow to boil for ~2 min. Strain and allow peas to sit in an ice water bath to cool. Set 1/2 c of peas aside to have on top of pasta.
  • Boil pasta according to instructions.
  • Take out your food processor. Toss the 2 c of peas in, along with the garlic, pine nuts, salt/pepper, and parmesan. While the machine is purring, drizzle the olive oil in through the add-in hole (I had wondered what that was for)
  • When pasta is done, toss with the sauce until evenly coated. Serve in a bowl and top with remaining peas.
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Lemony Zucchini Orzo Feta Salad

30 Jul

Served with a lemon twist

Basically yesterday was a marathon of zucchini-related meals. First, zucchini morning glory muffins, then this pretty awesome orzo salad. We were so hungry, as we hadn’t eaten lunch yet and it was already 2:30pm. This meal got whipped together with what we had in the fridge in 15 min, and had us sated lickety-split.

Ingredients

  • one small box of orzo
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 c herbs– we used cilantro, but basil would be tasty too
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan
  • 3 tbsp crumbled fat-free feta
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Optional: pine nuts, halved cherry tomatoes

Method

  • Cook orzo according to box directions. Drain.
  • Chop zucchini. With 2 zucchinis, our version was more orzo-heavy than I thought it would be. Next time, we will use 3!
  • Pam a non-stick fry pan and sautee zucchini in the pan until tender and cooked through. Should be slightly brown. I would recommend lightly salting the zucchini as they sautee.
  • Toss the orzo, zucchini, cilantro, cheese, pesto, olive oil, and lemon juice together in a large serving dish. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Spinach Mac & Cheese

10 Jul

Cheesy and delicious

You can file this under the using-everything-in-the-cupboard-before-we-move category. Whipped this up super easy and fast, a day in advance so that our Monday night (and lunch Tues meals would be a snap).

Ingredients

  • one lb of pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of onion, chopped
  • Italian seasoning/herbs
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • one large can of pumpkin
  • one brick of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 c grated cheddar (or your choice of cheese)
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs

Method

  • Cook pasta in water according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in deep pot on med/high. Add onion and sautee until glassy, stirring constantly. Add in Italian herbs, nutmeg, and salt and stir. Add in all of the pumpkin from the can. Taste, as you might want to add more salt…
  • Break up and stir in spinach (don’t bother thawing, as the pot will take care of that). Finally stir in the milk and all but a handful of cheese, so the sauce is smooth.
  • Dump the pasta in and stir, until all pasta is relatively evenly coated. Put all of this into a large rectangular glass dish. Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. You can let it all cool and store for a few days if you like, or eat tonight… If tonight, then you’ll want to preheat the oven to 400 and allow the breadcrumbs and cheese to get crispy.

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic, Lemon, and Thyme

5 Jun

Finally.

I’ve been curious about spaghetti squash for eons, if not my entire life. And I have been so very pleasantly impressed with how easy this was, how tasty, and how healthy (about 60 calories per serving, and all bc of the olive oil).

Next time I am totally trying it with marinara sauce and oregano!

Ingredients

  • one medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated on a microplane
  • juice of half a fresh lemon
  • salt, to taste

Method

  • Preheat to 400. Cut squash in half, scraping out seeds with a spoon. Roast with the flat side down in a glass dish (filled with an inch of water) for about 30 min. Let cool
  • Once cool, scrape out the “spaghetti” with a fork. Amazing.
  • Heat olive oil in a large fry pan on medium-high. Add garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add thyme and salt. Then toss in the spaghetti, tossing with the garlic and olive oil until jjjjuuuuuuust right. Squeeze in lemon juice, tossing some more.

DONE.

Baked Pumpkin & Spinach Mac N Cheese

1 Dec

This was really too delicious for words. Love love love. Savory, creamy, and crispy all at the same time. Very similar to butternut squash mac n cheese, but pumpkiny (even better).

Ingredients

  • 12-16 oz pasta of any shape
  • A few dashes of cayenne
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • Garlic and onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree (canned), about one 15oz can
  • loads of fresh spinach, maybe 16 oz
  • 1/2 c skim milk
  • 1 c grated cheese (colby jack, parm, whatever)
  • Bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Cook and drain pasta (al dente!). Preheat oven to 375.
  • Sautee onion until glassy (in a tsbp of olive oil) in a large and deep fry pan. Add all spices (garlic, onion powder, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, pepper) with the onion, and recognize that salt is the secret ingredient.
  • Add spinach and cover so that it wilts nicely. Add milk as needed. Add pumpkin puree, stir until smooth, a few minutes. Stir in grated cheese.
  • Finally stir in the pasta into the fry pan until more or less evenly covered. Try not to eat too much before you bake it.
  • Pour everything into a glass baking dish and cover with a mixture of breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp grated cheese (and a drizzle of olive oil). Bake ~20 min, until crispy on top.

So so soooo good, and I love that it’s mac n cheese but much richer and healthier. Mmm. Can’t wait to eat leftovers tonight…

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

1 Nov
Squash week continues. Yes, this is quite similar to the Squash & Pine Nuts Pasta, but different and delicious, I promise.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • olive oil for sauteeing
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • generous salt, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, and thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 1  cup grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan, colby jack, anything works)
  • 1 lb pasta of any shape, I choose elbows or mini-bowties
Instructions
  • Halve, seed and roast the butternut squash at ~400 for about 50 min in a deep roasting pan with about an inch of water on the pan. Let cool somewhat and spoon out all the squashy goodness.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente and drain.
  • Meanwhile, sautee a chopped onion in olive oil along with spices in a very large and deep fry pan. Cinnamon makes it extra autumnal.
  • Once the onion is glassy, add the spooned out squash into the fry pan and stir frequently. The squash should really be a consistency like a good puree (if not, feel free to use a hand blender to get it to pasta sauce consistency). Add the milk until the sauce reaches the right thickness.
  • Once thinned a bit, set burner on low and mix in cheese, continuing to stir often. Stir pasta into large fry pan and serve.

Pasta with Squash and Pine Nuts

18 Feb

Somehow, this fall, I discovered how amazing squash is, when used as a base for pasta sauce. Unfortunately, as it is now mid-Feb, there are absolutely no squashes to be had at the market! Such is life. So instead, I bought a box of frozen squash and started with that!

I have adapted this recipe to my undiscerning needs.

Ingredients

  • 1 box o’pasta
  • 1/3 c. pine nuts
  • 1 box frozen squash
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (yes, out of a jar, *gasp*)
  • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1/4 c. grated cheese (parm or mozz will do)

Method

  1. Start pot of water boiling, get pasta going…
  2. Heat over to 400 and toast pine nuts (with sprinkling of salt) on a baking pan. A toaster oven might also do, come to think of it. 10ish minutes in the oven should do (don’t let them burn!).
  3. Defrost squash in the microwave. 6 minutes on high should do.
  4. In a deep sautee pan, add olive oil and sautee onions, garlic, and 1/2 of the sage until onions are glassy and sage is crispy. Add in squash puree and rest of sage, continuing stirring on medium heat.
  5. Once pasta is done, add in pasta (as long as there is enough room in the pan!), and put on high heat. Make sure pasta is evenly coated and slightly crispy.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. I probably added a good 1.5 tsp. of salt, but hell, I like the stuff.

Voila! It would have been much better with fresh squash, and more chunky than the puree, but beggars (see also, squash lovers after squash season) can’t be choosers.