Tag Archives: pasta

Something to spice up the night [or at least dinner]…

Tonight it was necessary for a quick dish to be thrown together, so what simpler to do than bucatini tossed in amatriciana sauce.
This super spicy [if you’re like me] bucatini hug is made of the simplest of ingredients, but the end result will have you dreaming about it while sleeping!
Everything started with a rendering of some diced pancetta; once browned and crisp, the pancetta was set aside in a bowl and the chopped onions and crushed red pepper were sweated away in the rendered fat. While the onions were getting their workout, I got mine by passing two cans of San Marzano tomatoes through a food mill. This pulpy purée if you will was added into the sautéed onions and crushed red pepper, some salt tossed in and set off to simmer for a while!
The dish came together beautifully with a quick, rough stir of the pasta, a hand of grated pecorino and a drizzling of finishing oil…
The heat factor was just enough to make your tonsils feel the heat, but not too much to make you sweat. Love having this dish recipe in my arsenal!

at a low simmer…
-R

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simple saturday supper…

So with Saturday night upon us, the question always arises… ‘What’s for dinner’. After a pretty exhausting day, and little desire to get dressed up to go out, I decided dinner would be home cooked!
A rich pasta ‘bake’ from one of my fave home cooks, Nigella Lawson… after looking through her newest cookbook, the whole wheat pasta with brussels sprouts, cheese and potato really stood out. I have made a dish like this in the past with some slightly different ingredients, but decided to give it a go…
The process is as simple, as simple can be… in one pot of boiling, super salty water the pasta, brussels sprouts and potato are cooked together. A slight amount of the pasta liquid is reserved before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, I cubed up some gruyere cheese and measured out some fresh ricotta. This lovely, creamy mixture was tossed with the drained pasta, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
After everything was coated, it was into a baking dish, drizzled with some oil, sage and a heavy hand of grated pecorino. Baked for roughly thirty minutes, then a slight resting period and it was time to eat!
The flavors all complimented one another and made me question… how could this possibly serve anymore than two??

at a low simmer…
-R

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nothing wasted…

So after playing around with what would be for dinner, I realized that I had some lonely grape tomatoes sitting out just waiting to release their juicy goodness! What better to do with them, but make a quick, but flavorful sauce to toss with some pasta…
I simply sautéed the tomatoes in some olive oil until they softened, wrinkled and began to let out their sweet juices. Once those juices started flowing, in went some minced garlic and a touch of super rich balsamic vinegar! As soon as the sauce began to reduce and dash of salt went in, a quick stir and then of course… a taste!
Sweet, salty, slightly acidic and full of that perfect punch. Tossed with some beautiful, ribboned pasta and it was time to experience sensuality…

at a low simmer…
-R

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my ‘clam’ to fame…

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve taken a dinner journey on the deep blue sea, so tonight was just that…
While walking around the fish counter at the local specialty food market, there was a beautiful bounty of rock hard, tight lidded little neck clams just begging to become a satisfying dinner!
Since it’s only two of us, instead of appearing glutinous, three dozen seemed an ok portion to purchase for the meal masterpiece.
Once home, a quick added scrub and then a thirty minute soaking [these little necks are pre-cleaned, but I take no chances] to expel any potential hidden grit…
To get this party started, a nice glass of white wine for the chef, some chopped up garlic, butter, red pepper [as I always advise it’s personal preference regarding spice level], salt and of course wine for steaming the little necks! Getting my little necks drunk makes this dish even more stellar…
Once all of my little necks pop open, it was time to shuck them out, and then toss them back into the pot full of liquidy broth, along with the tagliatelle pasta I cooked. Some freshly chopped parsley, a heavy handful of pecorino and rapid tossing and it was time to plate this luxurious dish up…
The bursts of flavor were intense, slightly spicy thanks to the red pepper, a wonderful freshness from the parsley and a slight saltiness from the cheese…

at a low simmer…
-R

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a true Italian classic…

So since today was such a cold and snowy day, I decided that something with a bit of spice was perfect for dinner! Originally I had other dining ideas, but figured that can be done tomorrow… To warm us up this evening, I made some luxurious bucatini amatriciana!
I started by rendering some pancetta, once crisp they hung out on the side… then in the same pot and using the pancetta fat, it was time to sauté onions and a healthy handful of crushed red pepper. After the onions became translucent, into the pot went a can of San Marzano tomatoes that I passed through the food mill, along with a can of tomato purée. After seasoning appropriately, back in went the rendered pancetta and I let the sauce simmer down a bit…
While simmering, I threw some bucatini into boiling, salted water and cooked till al dente. As soon as the pasta was just right, into the pot of sauce it went for a vigorous spin to coat perfectly, finished off with freshly grated pecorino and then it was to the island to devour!!
Spicy from the crushed red pepper, salty from the pancetta and all around delicious… I love recreating these classic restaurant dishes when dining out during the week isn’t an option!

at a low simmer…
-R

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dishing it up!

So tonight I decided on a simple pasta dish for dinner…
To start this delightful meal, I sautéed some beautiful chicken sausages until nicely browned. Once these were cooked, I pulled them aside and in the same pan heated some olive oil, along with chopped garlic and crushed red pepper. After everything became fragrant, I added in a can of chickpeas that I had smashed up… this mixture simmered for a few minutes and then the sausage was added back in!
For the finale, I tossed this creamy concoction with some beautiful ribbed pasta and finished everything off with freshly grated pecorino and chopped parsley!
The flavors were fresh and vibrant, a touch spicy, but absolutely popping!
The only sad part would be that this left not much for leftovers… guess it will be a pb&j for my lunch tomorrow [not that I’m complaining]…

at a low simmer…
-R

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bursting [literally] with flavor…

So tonight for dinner, I utilized the beautiful pint of heirloom tomatoes that arrived in my CSA basket! Once I noticed them peeking out at me, I couldn’t contain myself and had to sneak a taste of one of those plump little jewels! Wow the flavor was intense, almost candy-like… and what better way to enjoy them than in a garden fresh pasta dish!
I dry roasted the tomatoes and then tossed them into a pan with some garlic and olive oil until the tomatoes gently finished bursting, letting a ‘sauce’ develop. Into the sauce went some cooked whole wheat pasta, chopped basil leaves [from my garden], a pinch of crushed red pepper and some freshly grated pecorino romano… a vigorous stir and it was time to plate and garnish!
Sweet from the tomatoes, spicy from the crushed red pepper and slightly salty from the pecorino… This was such a light and delicious meal, there was practically nothing left for someone’s lunch tomorrow… I might be in trouble!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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no boxed meals here…

Tonight was a play on an old comfort food… amped up mac and cheese! For mine, I incorporated shards of four different Italian cheeses. The players in this food game were asiago, pecorino romano, parmesan and provolone.
I started by rendering some pancetta [then set aside], then cooked an onion that I diced in the pancetta fat and a few tablespoons of butter. Once softened, I added some flour and whisked till it was a grainy texture. Then I slowly added some milk and stirred till it began to thicken. Once the mixture started to boil, I reduced the heat and cooked for a few extra minutes. For a little spicy kick, an addition of some cayenne pepper and then all of the cheeses. Everything was stirred till melty. Lastly, the pasta shells that were cooking got tossed into the cheese mixture, as well as the pancetta that was set aside…
Onto a plate and thrown quickly under the broiler to brown and crisp everything up, and then dinner was served!
Salty from the pancetta, gooey thanks to the cheeses, and just a touch of heat from the cayenne brought everything together…

at a low simmer…
-R

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pazzo for pasta…

So tonight I made a spicy pasta sauce chock full of goodness! I started by rendering some pancetta, then added in homemade tomato sauce with a healthy ‘pinch’ of crushed red pepper. After simmering for a bit, I added one of my super secret elements… a touch of aged balsamic vinegar [I know who knew] to add some additional depth of flavor. That cooked for an additional twenty minutes to really thicken the sauce and bring all the flavors together.
While the sauce was coming down the home stretch, I boiled water to cook some perciatelli. Prepared till just al dente, the pasta was tossed and then swirled into the simmering sauce until completely coated! Freshly minced herbage for freshness and dinner was served…
Someone is the lucky recipient of leftovers for lunch!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Hump day = YUM day!

Today was truly a ‘hump day’… lack of sleep made for a difficult day to push through. One thing that will never suffer… dinner!
So for tonight I decided to make a great oil and garlic pasta dish. For the sauce, my infamous [ok ok maybe in my, and everyone else who has ever eaten its opinion] oil and garlic is pretty simple, but I add different elements from your average dish to make it ultra special. The basics are oil, minced garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Heated through until fragrant and the extra secret ingredients added… the sauce rests until ready to be combined with the pasta… Tonight’s pasta selection were gorgeous tagliatelle nests! Cooked in salty boiling water till just al dente, then tossed gently into the oil and garlic. To finish bringing everything together… some fresh grated pecorino romano and chopped parsley. In order to assure that no oil and garlic went to waste, some super rustic Italian bread to sop it up!

at a low simmer…
-R

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