Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Pesto

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

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I like to make Italian food especially pastas which is easiest and quickest meal to prepare with flavorful ingredients and rich sauce.

Traditionally, this sauce is served with spaghetti, although you can use any pasta you like. The flavors of Kalamata Olives and Capers in this dish compliment each other very well.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounce Spaghetti, cook as per package directions
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 anchovies fillets, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small white onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon capers, washed and drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in halves
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large fresh tomato, chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese for garnishing

Method:

  • Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat, add onions, garlic, anchovies fillets and crushed pepper. Cook until onions are translucent and anchovies completely melted in oil about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add onions, tomatoes, capers to the skillet and cook covered until the sauce is bubbly and thickens a bit.Stir occassionaly about 7-8 minutes.
  • Now add kalamata olives , black pepper to taste and cook until your pasta is ready.
  • Toss sauce with cooked pasta, basil leaves, grated cheese and serve.
Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

 

Recipe Adapted from: Food network

 

Receipe Yield: 2-3 servings

Broccoli Rabe with Penne pasta

Broccoli Rabe with Penne pasta

INGREDIENTS:
6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1 bunch broccoli rabe
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Table spoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large carrot, cut into  julienne
1 small egg plant, cut into cubes
2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Sait to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside.

Cut the ends off broccoli rabe, coarsely chop it and add it to a pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan. Cover the pan and bring the broccoli rabe to a boil. When the rabe is reduced down into the pan, salt it. Simmer the rabe for about 5 minutes until tender and no longer bitter. The color should remain deep green. Drain the rabe and reserve.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add chopped garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cubed egg plants and carrots to the pan and saute over high heat for 3-4 mintues or until it gets cooked. Also add Worcestershire sauce to the veggies.

Now add broccoli rabe mix well with other veggies in the pan. Add pasta with lots of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper, to your taste. Serve hot.