Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

I like to make Italian food especially pastas which is easiest and quickest meal to prepare with flavorful ingredients and rich sauce. This dish with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes along with a healthy portion of shrimp and veggies is perfect for a week night dinner or weekend lunch and warms up nicely for leftovers. The tang of cherry tomatoes really brighten the flavor of the dish. This recipe works well with any shape of pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • To roast the cherry tomatoes, wash and slice it in half and place it on a baking dish cut side up. Drizzle with  olive oil and then sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper. Mix the tomatoes around on the tray with your hands so they’re all coated with the oil.
  • Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 2 hour. Let cool on the baking sheet.  You don’t want the tomatoes to be totally dried up, there should still be some moisture left in them.
  • You can store the tomatoes in a jar or container in the refrigerator for a week. Usually I do this step couple of days ago and use it whenever I want. Make sure to collect all the juices released from the tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb bow tie pasta (farfalle)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced in big chunks
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced in big chunks
  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and devined
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • fresh black pepper to taste
Method:
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Toss the shrimp with ginger-garlic paste, salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep aside for 4-5 minutes.
  • Warm a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated shrimp in the pan and sauté the shrimp, turning over as needed, until just cooked through. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
  • Using the same skillet (do not clean), warm the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and garlic. Sauté just until the onions are tender about 2-3 minutes. Season lightly with salt,pepper, oregano and red chilli flakes.
  • Add the peppers to the skillet. Continue to cook just until the peppers is crisp tender about 3-4 minutes.If the pan seems too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and scrape up any browned portions from the pan.
  • Stir in the dried cherry tomatoes, cooked shrimp and stir gently, to bring everything together, and let the mixture cook for 1 minute to bring the liquid in the pan to a boil. Add the cooked pasta, stirring frequently, cook for 1-2 minutes until the pasta is heated through. Taste, and season with black pepper. Add the coriander leaves, and toss to combine.
  • Serve hot.

Pesto

Posted: May 25, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Italian, Pasta
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recently, we have been to farmers market and there I saw some fresh and beautiful basil leaves which was very difficult to pass by. Hence even without thinking of any recipe I have decided to buy two bunches of those fresh herbs. It was so fresh that I was in love with the sweet and pungent smell of the leaves. Immediately after coming home,I started looking for some recipes with it. Then thought the best way to use both the bunches would be making some pesto.

The word pesto derives from the Italian for pestle, pestello. Pesto is a versatile sauce, can be made in different ways using different ingredients. Traditionally it is made with basil leaves and olive oil using a mortar and pestle. I have had a pesto pasta long time ago in one of Italian restaurant. Ever since then, I wanted to make some  at home. To my surprise, this is the easiest and versatile sauce to make. You can pair this with any kind of pasta and make a light and fresh meal anytime. Also, pesto can be used in marination for veggies, fish and chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  •  2 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  •  3 cloves garlic
  •  1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the pine nuts, walnuts, garlic and process for 1 minute or so.
  •  Add the fresh herbs, parmesan cheese and run until it’s a thick paste.
  •  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the paste leaves the sides of the bowl and looks like a thick sauce.
  •  Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin-film of olive oil on top.