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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: Pasta


RECIPE

Serves 1

A CookTale

Basil plucked from the garden is reason alone to miss the joys of Summer. In December it’s Basil plucked from the counter at Adam’s. Though this could very well be a mind thing, it can never smell or taste the same, or the Pesto be as bright a green. Oh well, be grateful for what you get. Not that it’s required, but for the sake of continuity here is my recipe for Basil Pesto.

INGREDIENTS

A large bunch of Basil (leaves removed)
3/4 of a cup of EVOO
2 TB of toasted Pine Nuts or Walnuts (popular in the North of Italy)
2 TB of fresh Parmesan Cheese
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper (sparingly)

METHOD

1. Combine the Basil, Garlic, & Pine Nuts to a food processor & pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the EVOO & process until fully incorporated to a smooth paste. Sparingly season with Salt & Pepper.

2. If you prefer a lighter version, add the remaining 1/4 cup of EVOO & pulse again until thoroughly blended.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl & mix in the Parmesan cheese.


 

 

 

RECIPE

A CookTale

The one thing that I do that’s as dependable as the morning sunrise is my daily perusal of the New York Times Diner’s Journal on the web. Every so often, I find a recipe that stops me in my tracks. The idea of oven baking the classic dish, Broccoli Rabe with Orecchiette, and melting Parmesan on top did just that. A simple idea, but that’s what Mark Bittman’s food is about. I knew that some evening, looking forward to an easy dinner, it would happen. Last evening was it. I spontaneously added a sweet Italian Sausage. Thanks MB.

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe (washed & trimmed – I go to the trouble of peeling each stem, it makes a difference)
2 Sweet Italian Sausage
2 TB of EVOO (plus 2 TB for sauteing )
5 Garlic Cloves (peeled & sliced)
3/4 of a cup of Parmesan Cheese (shredded)
4 oz. Orecchiette

METHOD

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Drop Broccoli Rabe into the boiling water & cook until bright green and tender, 6 minutes. Remove, and plunge into ice water. Drain.

3. In the same pot of water, cook the Orecchiette according to the package directions. The DeCecco package recommends 11 minutes. Drain.

4. Place 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large saute pan, & turn heat to medium-high. Add the Sausages & cook until browned & tender. The internal temperature (if you want to bother, should be 140F). Set aside. Like all meat, the longer you cook it, the drier & less juicy it gets. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice.

5. With a paper towel, wipe out the saute pan. Add 1 TB of EVOO & toast the Garlic until golden. Chop the Broccoli Rabe into pieces, about an inch or two long, & add to the saute pan. Toss, saute for a few minutes. Then turn off heat. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl & gently toss together.

6. Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof baking dish. Generously top with the shredded Parmesan, drizzle on EVOO & bake until the Parmesan cheese melts & the mixture has completely heated through, about 10 minutes.



RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

A four-ingredient Pasta that I love adapted from a Mario Batali recipe. Each ingredient stands on its own, but when combined they just detonate with flavor. If you’re a fan of Lemon Juice and its compatible partner, fresh Sage leaves, here’s a winner for a simple dinner. A side dish of salad greens works, or, as in our dinner, one or two three-ounce grilled Beef Sliders.

INGREDIENTS

4 oz of Spaghetti (or Linguine)
4 TB of Butter
12 Fresh Sage Leaves (sliced in half horizontally)
Juice of 1 Lemon + Lemon Zest
1/4 cup of Parmesan-Reggiano (shredded)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water & cook for the recommended time, about 8 minutes to al dente.

2. While the Pasta cooks, melt the Butter in a large deep-sided saute pan & cook until it just begins to brown. Add the prepared Sage Leaves & remove from the heat. Pour in the Lemon Juice & Zest & set aside.

3. Drain the Pasta, but save 1/4 cup of cooking water. Gently pour the Pasta and water into the saute pan & turn the heat back on. Add the Parmesan Cheese, add the Salt & Pepper, toss to coat & serve.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Summer is seven months and seven days away, when Northeastern gardens will be blooming with sweet Basil. Until then, it’s the supermarket or… there’s Olio Carli in Maryland, distributors for the Italian food company, Fratelli Carli. Their Basil Pesto in 4 ounce jars are a decent and available substitute when in a pinch. I added toasted Pine nuts to round out the flavor. The result, never as wonderful as homemade…But

INGREDIENTS

4 oz of Fusilli (imported DeCecco preferred)
4 oz jar of Basil Pesto
2 TB of Pine Nuts (lightly toasted)
1 tsp of Butter & 1 TB of Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1/4 cup of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

METHOD

1. Set a pot of water to a boil. Add the Fusilli & cook following package directions, 10 minutes to al Dente.

2. Transfer the Basil Pesto to a large bowl. Toast the Pine Nuts, add the Fusilli & gently toss together. Toss in the 1/4 Cup of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley.

3. The (optional) Butter & Parmesan Cheese is up to you.


 
RECIPE
Serves at least 3

A CookTale

If its getting repetitious excuse me but with each chance I get, I continue to gravitate to the Pasta shelf. With Cathie away overnight, and me not anxious to cook a proper dinner for one, what could be easier than this? The ingredients for the Baked Penne have a distant resemblance to a plate of Antipasto. Genovese Salami, Provolone Cheese, & Tomatoes, plus toasted Breadcrumbs and topped with Mozzarella. I could have used those Neapolitan Accordions for atmosphere and company.

INGREDIENTS

4 Ounces of Penne Rigate (quill shaped rigged pasta)
8 Ounces of Marinara Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)
4 Ounces of Genovese Italian Salami (preferred, thinly sliced)
3 Ounces of Provolone Cheese (imported preferred, thinly sliced)
1 Tomato (seeds removed & diced)
2 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
1 TB of EVOO for the mixture + 1 TB for the Breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup of Breadcrumbs (pan toasted in EVOO)
1/3 Cup of Mozzarella Cheese (grated)

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 400F degrees.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the Penne & follow package instructions & cook them to alDente. They will continue to cook in the oven in the final stage.

3. Drain & transfer the Penne to a large bowl & add a tsp of the EVOO to prevent them from clumping together. Add the Marinara Sauce, Genovese Italian Salami, Provolone Cheese, Tomato, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic & Salt & Pepper. Sprinkle on the Breadcrumbs & top with the Mozzarella Cheese.

4. Transfer the mixture to an oven proof casserole & cover with foil until 10 minutes before dinner time.

5. 10 minutes before serving, place the casserole in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until it’s thoroughly heated through & the Mozzarella has melted. Simply judge their progress with an occasional peek.

6. Ready to plate & serve


RECIPE
Serves 1

A CookTale

Last evening Cathie had a steamed Artichoke with Mayo and I had Peppers and Anchovies, with a starch. Cathie had a true diet dinner, while I was kidding myself. Intentionally! I can’t begin to describe what a starch can do to enhance Peppers and Anchovies, which starts out with a great taste and then detonates in your mouth. What does it is the sauce — melted Anchovies and Garlic in EVOO, the Red Pepper Flakes and Parsley, topped with slivers of the real thing. I turned an appetizer into an appetizing dinner.

INGREDIENTS

2 Ounces of Linguine
Sea or Kosher Salt
1/3 Cup of EVOO
4 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
6 Anchovy fillets (chopped for the pan)
6 Anchovy fillets (whole for the top of the pasta)
1 large roasted Red Bell Pepper (stemmed, seeded & thinly sliced)
1/2 Cup of fresh Bread Crumbs+ 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese (there will be leftovers)
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1/4 Cup plus 2 TB of chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1 Half a Lemon

METHOD

1 Bring a pot of water to a boil add 1 TB of Salt.

2. Toast the Bread Crumbs in a TB of EVOO until they start to color. Remove to a bowl & when cooled, add 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese. Set aside

3. Meanwhile, heat the 1/3 cup of EVOO in a wide, deep, saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced Garlic & the chopped Anchovies, cook for about 3 minutes, mashing the anchovies until they disintegrate. Add all but six of the sliced Red Pepper & cook for another 3 minutes, until they have softened. Add the Red Pepper Flakes, stir & remove the pan from the heat.

4. Cook the Linguine according to the package directions to al dente. When the Pasta is done, drain & add to the pan with the Anchovy & Pepper mixture. Add half of the the Bread Crumb mixture. Squeeze the Lemon Juice, (to taste) on the Pasta.

5. Plate & add the remaining Bread Crumb mixture & Parsley. Top with the six Anchovy fillets & the six Red Bell Pepper slices.

 


RECIPE
Serves 2A CookTale

Give me the opportunity and a pasta dish will be on my side of the dinner table. This version is so simple and so delicious that if it weren’t for the carbs and calories, it would be my staple. Under the circumstances, it is an occasional treat and something to always look forward to savoring.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of EVOO
3 Garlic Cloves (peeled & sliced)
2 TB of freshly chopped Italian Parsley
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
4 Ounces of Spaghetti (deCecco preferred)

METHOD

1. Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water & 1 TB of Salt to a rapid boil in a large pot. Add the pasta . Boil for the recommended length of time on the package, usually 8 minutes to al dente. When the pasta is cooked, drain it.

2. Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-low. When the oil is hot, add the sliced Garlic & stir frequently.

3. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the Garlic turns slightly golden. Remove the Garlic from the pan with a slotted spoon.

4. Add the pasta to the skillet & sprinkle in the Parsley, Pepper & Salt Toss the pasta to combine.

5 Garnish with the Garlic slices (optional) & to stay hot, serve immediately.