Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Unrecipe of the Week: Pasta With Seafood + Marinara Sauce

April 3, 2014

This is a perfect unrecipe for those of us lucky enough to live near a place to get the freshest seafood, pasta made daily, and even a homemade marinara sauce in a jar. For me, it’s a quick trip to Chelsea Market.

4093602369

I purchase freshly caught Atlantic shrimp and scallops at The Lobster Place, one of New York’s very best fish markets. I sear them with very little seasoning, as the marinara sauce from Buon Italia is full of diced garlic, rich red tomatoes, and slick with olive oil, which coats Rana’s homemade pasta beautifully.

5045300047

Sure, this can be done with commercially jarred marinara sauce, and dried pasta with acceptable results. For a few extra minutes

(ok, maybe 15 extra minutes,) you can create the sauce yourself. It’s that simple. It’s that easy. It’s that good.

Shrimp and Scallops in a Spicy Marinara Sauce Over Pasta:

Clean and devein shrimp, rinse scallops and pat dry. It is important to get as much moisture off of the seafood so it sears and browns.( I figure about 1/2 pound of seafood per person )

White garlic from Lomagne

Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté 3 or 4 cloves of diced garlic until soft. Place the seafood in a single layer in the pan so that each piece touches the hot surface. Don’t over crowd the pan. If necessary, do this in batches. Flip it and sear the other side. This should only take a few minutes.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

Add a can or box* of diced San Marzano tomatoes and a liberal dose of salt. Add a little red pepper and lay a leaf or two of fresh basil across the top of the mixture. The leaves will wilt into the sauce naturally. Heat until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook briefly, and serve over pasta.  Enjoy!

*canned tomatoes are a good news/ bad news item. They are healthier, due to the higher levels of lycopine than fresh tomatoes, but their acidity makes the chemicals in the can even more harmful. Whole Foods carries San Marzano tomatoes in tetra pack boxes, which is a much healthier alternative. If you can’t find them, you can use Pomi brand, which has always come in boxes.

photos: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr, Instagram and Pinterest too!

Peas Please

July 8, 2013

IMG_1729

It’s pea season, and the farmer’s markets are brimming over with shell peas. Pop the pods open and roll out the tiny green peas nestled inside. Each pod only contains a few, so if you are thinking about peas for a crowd, invite someone else to join in the task.

Lots of pods...

Lots of pods…

There are lots of reasons to eat your peas. They are high in protein, vitamin C, fiber and other healthy micronutrients and antioxidants.

Once extracted, the peas can be eaten raw, boiled for 20-30 seconds just to soften them slightly, or quickly sautéed. They are great as a side dish, with just a little butter and salt, or tossed into a salad. Peas are versatile, and can be used in pastas with a creamy or lemony sauce, or pureed into soups, and spreads. Add them to risotto, or grind them into pesto. There isn’t much these little green wonders won’t work with.

Not so many peas...

Not so many peas…

Feel free to share your favorite pea recipes in the comment section!

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too

Unrecipe of the Week: Cooking with Garlic Scapes

June 24, 2013

Garlic scapes are the green leafy stalks of the garlic plant that grow above the ground shortly after the first leaves appear. They are long and curly at the ends, and are usually cut off, as they inhibit the growth of the plant, resulting in very small garlic bulbs. Most garlic scapes are tossed into the compost heap, but they are completely edible and delicious. The farmer’s market is full of them right now, but act quickly, as these are only available in the early summer.

IMG_1703

Think of these green stalks relating to garlic cloves, in the way that scallions relate to onions. They possess the same garlicky flavor, albeit a bit milder.
We experimented with some of these unusual stalks, and found them to be quite versatile.
Here are just a few ways to use garlic scapes:

Use them to make pesto:
Instead of using basil (or any other green vegetable you like) and garlic cloves, place chunks of garlic scapes into the food processor, with a large handful of pignoli nuts. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil until the sauce forms a smooth consistency. Add Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta, or spread over grilled fish or chicken.

IMG_1705

Use them in dips and spreads:
Take 1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) and some garlic scapes (we used about 16”-20” worth, cut into chunks) and put them in the food processor. Add a handful of parsley if you like and process until finely minced. Add the juice of one lemon, and with the machine running drizzle in olive oil until it forms a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pita, or grilled vegetables, or as a sandwich spread.
Use them in a traditional vinaigrette, with olive oil, Dijon mustard and either balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice.

Finely chop them and sprinkle them in salads, over pasta or vegetables.

They cook quickly, so if you are using them in a recipe, add them near the end to avoid them browning.

Now that we have gotten you started, surely you will come up with lots of great uses for garlic scapes.  Let us know in the comments what your favorite uses are.

Enjoy!

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too!

Pastapaluzza!

January 28, 2013

I was at a dinner party last night, hosted by a lovely Italian couple. The hostess was a wonderful cook. Her food was simple and authentic, filled with the fresh flavors of her native cuisine; just the way I like it.

At some point, the talk turned to pasta, and rave reviews were given to Giovanni Rana, a popular pasta maker out of Verona,Italy, who recently opened an outpost in New York City’s Chelsea Market. Since I just live down the street from the market and shop there often, I immediately headed that way to check it out.

IMG_1391

The array of fresh, homemade pasta is beautiful to behold. There are about 30 different types, both plain and filled. The dough choices vary from the classic to more creative beet, pumpkin and squid ink varieties. The filled options are vast. There are vegetable and cheese versions, such as radicchio and gorgonzola, spinach and ricotta, and artichoke and smoked mozzarella ravioli. There was also lovely ricotta and fresh truffle raviolini wrapped in a poppy seed dough. Various meat combinations exist as well. In addition, every possible cut of unfilled pasta is available, in a plethora of flavors and shapes.

IMG_1390

The freshly made pasta is available by the pound to be prepared at home, or cooked on site and tossed with the sauce of your choice to go. There is also a 140 seat restaurant attached to the shop for a more traditional dining experience.

Giovanni Rana Pastaficio & Cucina 

p.s. We just finished dinner and the pasta did not disappoint. The dough was light and delicate, with the fillings just hearty enough to provide flavor and substance,without overpowering the feathery outsides. With just a touch of melted butter and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and black pepper, both the spinach and ricotta ravioli and the prosciutto tortollini were a hit!! They took just 2-3 minutes in boiling water to cook. It just doesn’t get easier than that!
Verdict:Delicious as advertised.

It’s Only Money

January 10, 2013

4116100515

While the world speaks of economic woes, some folks seem to have enough disposable income to indulge in whatever strikes their fancy.
In some cases, it could be this over –the –top pasta dish being served for a limited period of time at New York City’s Bice restaurant.

The dish consists of mixed wild mushrooms, 2 pounds of lobster and shaved black truffles over house made pasta. It’s served on a limited edition plate, signed by the late designer Gianni Versace.

While a single order of pasta costs $2,013, the diner gets to keep the plate as a keepsake.(such a deal!)

Hurry, it’s only being served until February 15th.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Bolognese Sauce

October 25, 2012

My family loves pasta with Bolognese sauce. I try to make it in a large batch, so that I can freeze the leftovers in small containers for a quick weeknight meal. It’s easy to make, and can be left on the stove to simmer for a few hours while you do other things.

Bolognese Sauce

Sauté a diced onion and several cloves of garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Add about a pound of ground beef and season with dried basil, dried oregano, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Don’t be shy with the seasoning, as some of the flavor will diminish during the long cooking time. Continue to cook until the meat is browned.

Carefully drain off any excess fat, and transfer the meat mixture to a large pot.

Add several cans (or boxes which are generally BPA free) of crushed tomatoes to the pot, along with a couple of bay leaves. Simmer gently with the cover on the pot, for a few hours.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Taste and correct the seasonings before serving.

Serve the sauce over cooked pasta and enjoy!

Tune into Huffpost Live today at 4:00 EST, for another lively discussion of this week’s hottest stories!

Follow me on Twitter at indigojonesnyc!

Unrecipe of the Week

January 6, 2010

This is our go-to dinner option when we want it fast, want it delicious, and want it vegetarian. In the time it takes to boil the water and cook most dried pasta, the sauce is done. Want a yummy fast dinner? On your mark, get set, GO!

Pasta with Quick Rustic Tomato Sauce

Finely dice a couple of cloves of garlic and quickly saute them in olive oil

Add several diced fresh tomatoes (4 or 5) to the pan and continue to cook on medium heat, stirring often

Season liberally with salt and pepper.

The tomatoes will soften quickly and create a chunky sauce in about 10 minutes or so.

When the tomatoes are ready, add about a tablespoon of butter to the sauce and stir it in. (yeah, butter..it really makes a difference!)

Sprinkle in a large handful of chopped, fresh basil leaves.

Mix the cooked, drained pasta into the sauce until it is completely coated, and serve with freshly grated parmesean cheese.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 412 other followers