Tag Archives: Vegetarian Pasta

Tomato Time Pasta

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (2)photo 5 (3)Nothing but beautiful tomatoes out there begging to be eaten in a million different ways. Perfect for a “Meatless Monday” dish or any night of the week . There are tons of local tomatoes out there now. At any local farmers market you can pick up pints of these beautiful babies. This is a lovely light pasta.

I had bought 2 pints of those beautiful little cherry tomatoes and right now there are those gorgeous yellow sunburst tomatoes also available.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. They varied in size so I knew if I made a sauce some were getting cut and some would stay whole. Nothing ever sounds better than a plate of pasta to me,  nothing.   These beautiful tomatoes are only out for such a limited time you have to get them while the getting is good.  Some of the tomatoes were super small and I left them whole while I halved the larger ones. There are so many variations of this sauce and feel free to improvise. We love it this way. So simple and so delicious.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti , I like long spaghetti for this but whatever kind you like is good– I used a whole box but you can use however much you’d like

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced. If you’d prefer you can slice thinly

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* we like it spicy so if you don’t want it that spicy cut to 1/4, I actually used 1 whole teaspoon and it packed a lot of kick.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes or you can use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes of any type. I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and I left the little ones whole.

app. 20 leaves of fresh basil, I just cut them up into small slivers

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste –I used app. 1 teaspoon on tomatoes and added towards the end

freshly grated parmesan at your discretion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to cooking water for pasta. The Italians like to say that their pasta water should be like sea water good and salty.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Be careful don’t want to burn this garlic. Add the crushed red pepper now and the tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. I also added some kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start, you can always add more) and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir for a while to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and tomatoes start to burst and deflate about 5  minutes. I let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for about 15 minutes. Taste for Salt and Pepper. The longer the tomatoes sit in the oil and cook down on a low simmer the better the sauce will be so if you have a little time let it sit.

Once the spaghetti is cooked and you’ve drained it ( remember to reserve a cup of pasta water).  Add it to the pan with tomatoes and over medium-high heat toss the pasta with the tomatoes well. Add the basil and if you’d like add cheese. I let everyone add their own cheese at the table.

Remove the pan from the heat and plate it up.

Yum! and even more delicious the next day.

Kale and Pasta Perfection

photo 4 (40) photo 2 (43) photo 3photo 5 (34) photo 1 (56) photo 1 (55) photo 3 (44)Our daughter Kerri is out visiting in Colorado and it’s a great opportunity not only to ski with her and enjoy our time together but to cook vegetarian style for her. I have been saving this one for her because we all know what a waste this would be for just Joel. I made Joel a separate Bowties Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms which if you have never made you really must check out, it’s on my blog under that title originally posted on July ’11. (see in photo)   I used a Fusilli type short pasta which was perfect. This dish really was so super easy to put together and it will now become one of my go-to pasta dishes for sure. I was also able to buy the Kale from Whole Foods chopped and cleaned already, which only made the prep that much easier . I would say total prep even if you have to chop and clean kale would only be 20 minutes . Super healthy and the kale turned a beautiful shade of deep green and the flavor is amazing. I of course added a little crushed red pepper , just 1/4 teaspoon which is enough for a bit of heat but not too much at all. You can moderate this to your own taste.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Kale , I bought a bag of cleaned , chopped Kale and it was perfect. I used one bag of chopped and cleaned Kale.

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons to cook kale and 1 tablespoon at the end

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 box  (1 lb.) short pasta like fusilli , I used DeCecco brand Fusilli Corti Bucatini which worked out beautifully. Any short macaroni will do.

3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to box directions for al dente.  Make sure you reserve 1 cup of pasta water before you drain pasta. Start to boil water as you prepare the kale.

Prepare the Kale if you can’t find the chopped and cleaned version. Pull the kale leaves from the stems, discard the hard stems and tear the leaves into small pieces. Wash Kale. A salad spinner is perfect for this task.

Chop the garlic.

Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet type pot, large enough to hold and cook all of kale. Heat oil till it shimmers for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1/2 minute. Add the kale and toss with tongs if you have them coating the kale with the oil and garlic as you go. Then add the 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook , stirring a few times and cooking the kale until it is tender 7-10 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat.

Your pasta should be ready by now and you should have your reserved cup of pasta water handy. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the kale in the pan you were using and turn the heat on to a medium heat. Add about 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Bring to a low simmer, add the parmesan cheese and stir, using a wooden spoon to mix till cheese melts and coats the pasta. If you need a little more liquid you can use the little bit of pasta water left. Keep stirring until it’s nice and creamy. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste for Salt and Pepper. Mine was perfect . Serve with a fresh hunk of Parmesan Cheese for grating in a little extra and a little more crushed red pepper.

Perfection.

Meatless Mondays–Tortellini and Butternut Squash

IMG_5927The night I made this it was a very ugly day here on the East Coast and there was no way I was going out again after I had arrived home. I had some tortellini and had already picked up a butternut squash earlier in the day.  This is what I did. I am just saying that this is very fattening and very delicious and sometimes it just has to happen like this. I mean butter and pasta but what could be more comforting on a cold ugly wet Monday in New York?

* I got my inspiration for this from The Pollan Family Table Cookbook– Cheese Tortellini with Butternut Hash and Toasted Hazelnuts Recipe.

Ingredients:

I used 2 8 oz. packages of Portobello Mushroom Tortellini but you can use cheese if you’d like , I used what I had. I like the homemade kind if you can get a hold of some you’ll need approximately  1 lb. and you can spread this to 1 1/2 lbs. just increase a little butter.

I used about 1/2 lb. of butternut squash. I cut it into small diced 1/2″ pieces.

4 Tablespoons unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/3 cup blanched raw hazelnuts

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 small cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

I used shredded Parmesan Cheese , you can certainly use grated.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set oven rack to the middle.

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with Cooking Spray or Parchment Paper

I cut the butternut squash into 1/2″ cubes. I had bought the squash pre-cut and just cut those chunks into smaller cubes , cut into similar sizes for more even cooking.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the squash, oil, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and a couple of grinds of the pepper mill. Spread the squash on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, about 30 – 45 minutes. I like it browned. You will want to flip it 1/2 way through the cooking time. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place the hazelnuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan a few times to stir the nuts so that they don’t burn. Cook until they begin to brown, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Chop the nuts roughly. Set aside.

Prepare Tortellini according to package directions. Cook al dente. Drain in a colander.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the butter turns brown without burning it, app. 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the butter bubbles and the garlic begins to soften up and brown not burn. Turn off the heat and let it cool down for a few minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill or about 1/8 teaspoon.

Add the drained tortellini and butternut squash to the butter sauce and gently toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts and Parmesan Cheese.

Serve Hot.

 

Tomato Time Pasta

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (2)photo 5 (3)Nothing but beautiful tomatoes out there begging to be eaten in a million different ways. Perfect for a “Meatless Monday” dish or any night of the week . There are tons of local tomatoes out there now. At any local farmers market you can pick up pints of these beautiful babies. This is a lovely light pasta.

I had bought 2 pints of those beautiful little cherry tomatoes and right now there are those gorgeous yellow sunburst tomatoes also available.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. They varied in size so I knew if I made a sauce some were getting cut and some would stay whole. Nothing ever sounds better than a plate of pasta to me,  nothing.   These beautiful tomatoes are only out for such a limited time you have to get them while the getting is good.  Some of the tomatoes were super small and I left them whole while I halved the larger ones. There are so many variations of this sauce and feel free to improvise. We love it this way. So simple and so delicious.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti , I like long spaghetti for this but whatever kind you like is good– I used a whole box but you can use however much you’d like

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced. If you’d prefer you can slice thinly

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* we like it spicy so if you don’t want it that spicy cut to 1/4, I actually used 1 whole teaspoon and it packed a lot of kick.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes or you can use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes of any type. I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and I left the little ones whole.

app. 20 leaves of fresh basil, I just cut them up into small slivers

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste –I used app. 1 teaspoon on tomatoes and added towards the end

freshly grated parmesan at your discretion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to cooking water for pasta. The Italians like to say that their pasta water should be like sea water good and salty.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Be careful don’t want to burn this garlic. Add the crushed red pepper now and the tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. I also added some kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start, you can always add more) and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir for a while to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and tomatoes start to burst and deflate about 5  minutes. I let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for about 15 minutes. Taste for Salt and Pepper. The longer the tomatoes sit in the oil and cook down on a low simmer the better the sauce will be so if you have a little time let it sit.

Once the spaghetti is cooked and you’ve drained it ( remember to reserve a cup of pasta water).  Add it to the pan with tomatoes and over medium-high heat toss the pasta with the tomatoes well. Add the basil and if you’d like add cheese. I let everyone add their own cheese at the table.

Remove the pan from the heat and plate it up.

Yum! and even more delicious the next day.

Kale and Pasta Perfection

photo 4 (40) photo 2 (43) photo 3photo 5 (34) photo 1 (56) photo 1 (55) photo 3 (44)Our daughter Kerri is out visiting in Colorado and it’s a great opportunity not only to ski with her and enjoy our time together but to cook vegetarian style for her. I have been saving this one for her because we all know what a waste this would be for just Joel. I made Joel a separate Bowties Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms which if you have never made you really must check out, it’s on my blog under that title originally posted on July ’11. (see in photo)   I used a Fusilli type short pasta which was perfect. This dish really was so super easy to put together and it will now become one of my go-to pasta dishes for sure. I was also able to buy the Kale from Whole Foods chopped and cleaned already, which only made the prep that much easier . I would say total prep even if you have to chop and clean kale would only be 20 minutes . Super healthy and the kale turned a beautiful shade of deep green and the flavor is amazing. I of course added a little crushed red pepper , just 1/4 teaspoon which is enough for a bit of heat but not too much at all. You can moderate this to your own taste.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Kale , I bought a bag of cleaned , chopped Kale and it was perfect. I used one bag of chopped and cleaned Kale.

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons to cook kale and 1 tablespoon at the end

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 box  (1 lb.) short pasta like fusilli , I used DeCecco brand Fusilli Corti Bucatini which worked out beautifully. Any short macaroni will do.

3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to box directions for al dente.  Make sure you reserve 1 cup of pasta water before you drain pasta. Start to boil water as you prepare the kale.

Prepare the Kale if you can’t find the chopped and cleaned version. Pull the kale leaves from the stems, discard the hard stems and tear the leaves into small pieces. Wash Kale. A salad spinner is perfect for this task.

Chop the garlic.

Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet type pot, large enough to hold and cook all of kale. Heat oil till it shimmers for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1/2 minute. Add the kale and toss with tongs if you have them coating the kale with the oil and garlic as you go. Then add the 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook , stirring a few times and cooking the kale until it is tender 7-10 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat.

Your pasta should be ready by now and you should have your reserved cup of pasta water handy. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the kale in the pan you were using and turn the heat on to a medium heat. Add about 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Bring to a low simmer, add the parmesan cheese and stir, using a wooden spoon to mix till cheese melts and coats the pasta. If you need a little more liquid you can use the little bit of pasta water left. Keep stirring until it’s nice and creamy. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste for Salt and Pepper. Mine was perfect . Serve with a fresh hunk of Parmesan Cheese for grating in a little extra and a little more crushed red pepper.

Perfection.