Mediterranean Pasta with Pine Nuts and Feta

Mediterranean Pasta-5

My feta obsession continues with this recipe for flavorful Mediterranean pasta with pine nuts and feta. It’s another quick and easy meal that comes together in about the time it takes to cook the pasta. And, because it has cheese, vegetables, nuts, and carbs it’s a filling main dish (although a side salad never hurt anyone). I was originally inspired by this recipe from the March, 2011 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. The ingredients are basically the same, but the quantities are all different and I omitted basil while adding lemon juice and balsamic for a bit of acidity. I also used fresh red peppers instead of roasted, and I enjoyed the bite that it gave to the dish. Finally, instead of toasting the pine nuts separately, I just added them in with the onions and peppers, which allowed them to get a nice golden brown. Continue reading “Mediterranean Pasta with Pine Nuts and Feta”

Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

Spaghetti all'Amatriciana
Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

If you’re looking for another weeknight pasta recipe to add to your repertoire (I know I always am), then allow me to suggest Spaghetti all’Amatriciana. Hailing from the Central Italian town of Amatrice (hence the name – aha!), this flavorful dish comes together in less than half and hour and uses mostly pantry items. Although guanciale, or pig jowl, traditionally provides the flavor base, pancetta or bacon work as well. I find it’s a great alternative to carbonara, and its spicy, smoky red sauce will keep you coming back for more. Continue reading “Spaghetti all’Amatriciana”

My Summer Vacation, and a Summer Pasta Recipe

I feel like a kid, sitting down to write my first assignment at the start of a new school year. Pulling out a fresh notebook and clean pen, I carefully write my heading: What I Did on my Summer Vacation. Except it’s been more than a while since I was a student, let alone in elementary school. But being a freelancer and having a husband in medical school has its benefits, and that (at least briefly) is a return to summer vacations. I scrambled to hand in articles ahead of time so that I could enjoy every minute of our precious time. And that we did. Continue reading “My Summer Vacation, and a Summer Pasta Recipe”

Drunken Pasta with Vermouth, Breadcrumbs, and Zucchini

Using almost entirely pantry ingredients, this recipe is a great one to have in your repertoire. We discovered it a few months ago and I was immediately intrigued by the use of vermouth, something I always have on hand but typically only use in cocktails. Although it calls for only a few ingredients, this dish is packed with flavor. Between the vermouth, garlic, and red pepper flakes it’ll keep your palate on its toes. Continue reading “Drunken Pasta with Vermouth, Breadcrumbs, and Zucchini”

No Cook Herb Pasta Sauce

It’s getting hot and that means lighter food, and using the stove as little as possible. This easy no cook herb pasta sauce is just what the weatherman ordered. Essentially a nut-free pesto, it can be made with whatever beautiful summertime herbs or greens you have on hand. I used cilantro and parsley (yes, I’ve already written about my obsession with cilantro pesto), but basil, sorrel, spinach, mint, dandelion greens, or even a pinch of dill would all be lovely. This is good warm, but is just as good as a cold pasta salad of sorts. Bring it to a bbq. Or eat the leftovers cold right out of the fridge. Continue reading “No Cook Herb Pasta Sauce”

Pasta with Peas and Bacon

I had bacon in the fridge that needed to be used. I had frozen peas in the freezer leftover from samosas. I had, as always, pasta. I even had a few tablespoons of heavy cream leftover from a ganache that I’ll tell you about later. Have you ever been to a less-than-authentic Italian restaurant and ordered Spaghetti Carbonara? Well, for some reason these places tend to insist that Carbonara is a heavy cream-based sauce with bacon or ham and peas. Not always terrible, but disappointing when you know what good Carbonara tastes like. And for some reason, that dish became my inspiration for the evening. But I wanted to make it good. Continue reading “Pasta with Peas and Bacon”

The Seasonality of Broccoli

I was beginning to think they just didn’t have broccoli in Israel. It turns out that’s just my American mindset, so accustomed to getting whatever produce I want any time of year. Imagine the concept of seasonality. Here, it’s not just a concept, something farmers’ markets try to convince you of, it’s a complete and total reality. If something is not in season, for the most part we just don’t eat it. When forced to actually eat this way, it really is an entire shift in the way you think about food. The point is, for this post anyway, that broccoli is in season. It’s at the supermarket and the shuk, and as one of our favorite vegetables, you’ll be seeing a lot of it. Continue reading “The Seasonality of Broccoli”

Pasta Meets Risotto

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for some time now. It was part of Mark Bittman’s Minimalist series in the New York Times, so I knew it would be reliable. It makes logical sense – why wouldn’t you be able to cook pasta in something other than water? And yet, pasta cooked like risotto just didn’t sound right. Finally, though, this week was the week. There were gorgeous mushrooms as the shuk and this was as good a use as any. Continue reading “Pasta Meets Risotto”

A Weeknight Champagne Sauce

The recipe is inspired by a recent meal I had at Cordelia restaurant in Old Jaffo in Tel Aviv. They served me a ricotta and spinach-stuffed tortelloni with shrimp and Champagne butter sauce (essentially a Champagne buerre blanc) that made me swoon. This is my attempt at a weeknight version of that seductive dish. The sauce is subtle in flavor and buttery, while the shallots absorb the Champagne flavor and lend some bite to the dish. Continue reading “A Weeknight Champagne Sauce”

Fresh Pasta without the Gadgets

It doesn’t get much simpler than fresh pasta: flour and eggs are combined to create a dough, which is then rolled out into any shape and any thickness you want. It’s quite magical really. And while I dearly miss the pasta maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, I’ve made pasta with nothing more than my own two hands and a wine bottle as a rolling pin. Continue reading “Fresh Pasta without the Gadgets”