Category: Pasta/Rice

Italian White Bean Soup with Rice

I’m pretty sure I used the last jar of my grandma’s tomatoes. Or maybe it was salsa. She made that sometimes. Regardless, the tomato based and that’s what I was looking for. We have this habit of saying “Thanks, grandma!” out loud anytime these jars get opened. There aren’t many left.

This came about in a fit of “I don’t know what I want to eat, but I don’t want to go get anything.” I manage to surprise myself with whatever I have in the pantry. It never feels like much until I start digging into it. This is perfectly acceptable peasant food, and for some reason it has me thinking of An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. It’s still sitting on one of my grandma’s bookshelves. I should get that back one of these days.

I thought about going the pasta route, but I need to really be in the mood for pasta and beans. It feels like too much a lot of the time. I went the canned route, even though I did finally make a batch of beans from scratch for the first time at Christmas. What a difference. That would be exceptional here, but canned work. I’m not going to pretend I’m going to go all-homemade-everything around here. That’s a resolution I’m just not making [as I have my first batch of homemade almond milk in the fridge…]. Speaking of resolutions, these cooking resolutions are inspiring. I’ve already got my eye on this pot roast and to freeze some leftovers. That kind of meal planning is unheard of in our house. The fact that I even remembered to take the last of the steaks out of the freezer is worthy of a pat on the back.

Inspiration: Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of cannellini white beans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preparation

Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and celery, cooking it until soft. It should take about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for 30-seconds. Add the stock, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil before stirring in the beans and reducing everything to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the rice before serving. Top with grated Parmesan.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

I’m really, really falling for Cyril’s @ Clay Pigeon Winery lately. They have three of my favorite things — wine, cheese, and charcuterie. They have a lovely space. They have a cheese club that I haven’t brought myself to participate in but follow it with rapt attention. They hosted an urban winery event recently with more of my three favorite things. Fourteen wineries were in attendance. Nonperishables for charity were contributed. It was a great time. Wineries now on my radar that weren’t before — Fausse Piste and Jasper Sisco.

Cacio e Pepe. Cheese and pepper. Two of my favorite things. What don’t they make better? I like to eat vegetables, but I definitely don’t eat as many as I should. I could blame it on a variety of reasons, but I’ll just own it. I did eat a jar of canned beets standing over the sink the other day. That’s the kind of classy vegetable lover I am.

The article from Bon Appetit that spawned this whole thing said a lot of what I feel. It spoke to me. Sometimes I want a certain level of vegetable matter in my dish because a salad just feels silly. Roasting a ton of vegetables, covering them in a buttery cheese sauce and a ton of pepper really makes all of this worthwhile. The pasta is just a filler. I could have easily doubled the vegetables and eaten them as is. I went with sweet potato to finally kill that craving from months ago and some Brussels because it’s the season. The world is your oyster. Just make sure they’re evenly sized pieces so you can let them roast together.

Inspiration: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 5-7 Brussels sprouts — halved or quartered to get them the same size as the sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2lb pasta of choice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a pan with parchment or a Silpat. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato cubes and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on the pan in an even layer. Roast them for about 45 minutes or until soft and browning on the edges.

Cook your pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve a cup of pasta water.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add a ton of black pepper. Add a ladleful of the pasta water and bring the mixture to a boil. Toss the cooked pasta in the mixture. Make sure it’s well coated before adding the vegetables. Grate a ton of Pecorino cheese over everything. It should melt into the hot ingredients and turn glossy. Taste for more salt, pepper, and cheese.

Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

Work and rain. Work and rain. That’s this week in a nutshell.

I don’t have much to add to this one other than the fact that those pretty little basil leaves are from my own plant! It’s still growing. I’m harvesting leaves regularly and freezing them. I’m like a proud mother with this thing. Who doesn’t love pasta, sausage, broccoli and cheese?

broccoli-and-sausage-pasta

Inspiration: Food52

  • 1lb chicken sausage
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 12oz pasta
  • 2 small heads of broccoli [whatever gets you to 4-5 cups]
  • salt and pepper
  • grated parmesan
  • basil

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the red chili flakes and garlic. Stir often for about 30 seconds until everything is fragrant. Add the chicken sausage. Don’t break up too much. You want large chunks. Once it’s cooked through, remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, but substitute in the cup of broth for one of the cups of water. When there are about 5 minutes left on the cooking time, add the broccoli. Before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta and broccoli in with the chicken sausage. Add some of the pasta water to loosen everything up. Season with salt, pepper, grated parmesan, and basil before serving.

 

Chicken Not-Quite-Instant Ramen

I’ve been on a nostalgia tour lately. Andrew was talking about Franz hand pies and I blurted out POP TARTS. Next thing I knew, there was a box of brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts in the house. They are just as good as I remembered. I’m pretty sure there is a solid part of my childhood and teen years where I was personally responsible for the demise of hundreds of Pop Tarts. They were my lifeblood [that and Taco Bell, but that’s another story…]. I can’t believe they were as good I remembered.

Top Ramen falls into that category too. I remember eating many a packet, including the sodium laden seasoning packets. They were kind of addicting. Probably by design. It wasn’t until I was much older I started eating legit ramen thanks to their status as being one of the trendy foods. The ramen shops seem to be popping up at an incredible pace. They are the new cupcake.

The broth is key. I actually prefer more minimal ingredients and just letting the base speak for itself, but no one [read: me] has time to slow cook some great broth. This quick and dirty method worked for me. Soft boiled eggs are key. I didn’t get the timing quite right and it’s a little overcooked, but it was worthwhile. To keep the cook time to a minimum, I bought a store-roasted chicken. Poaching chicken in the broth probably would assist in the flavor department, but we all know I’m lazy.

It was a solid bunch of ramen. Way better than the seasoning packet, and not that much longer on the cook time. I’m planning on making this way more often if only to practice soft boiled eggs.

Chicken Ramen

Inspiration: Fork Knife Swoon & Yes to Yolks

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of instant ramen
  • 1 breast and 1 thigh from one roasted chicken, chopped
  • 1 handful of shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste [I used white]
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 2-3 serranos, sliced for garnish
  • 2 soft boiled eggs for garnish

Preparation

In a large pot, melt the butter at medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and ginger. Stir often for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the miso paste, soy sauce, red chile flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Stir until incorporated, another 30 seconds more. Pour in the 4 cups of stock and the sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Add the chopped chicken and mushrooms. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pot, cook the ramen according to package directions. Don’t use the seasoning packet. To serve, split the ramen noodles into two large bowls. Divide the broth between the two bowls. Garnish with green onions, serranos, and a soft boiled egg cut in half.

Broccoli Raab and Goat Cheese Pasta with Shrimp

[this is currently being written while Roma is waging war against a fly under my desk]

Burger Week is almost over, and I hardly participated this year. I have eaten one burger. Well, one half of a burger. We stopped at one location and the wait was well over an hour [which is expected], so we left and ate falafel at Wolf & Bear’s insteadAn excellent choice. Afterward, we went to Alberta Street Pub. They were also still slow [and still expected], but I didn’t have a case of hangry looming. Beers were consumed. The Olympics were watched because that’s all that restaurants and bars show right now. We split a peach caprese juicy lucy. What is a juicy lucy you say? That is a burger stuffed with cheese instead of cheese on top—so the mozzarella of caprese is inside the burger. The tomatoes were traded into peaches caramelized in bacon vinaigrette. I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

I’ve been craving macaroni and cheese lately. I don’t want to succumb to it for some reason, but it’s there calling my name. I had a craving for a ham, gruyere, and butter baguette sandwich from Addy’s Sandwich Bar for awhile, and I squashed that craving earlier this week. Coco Donuts has been posting all kinds of donuts on Instagram. It gave me a craving one of their signature donuts—a raised donut with chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans. That craving was satisfied this morning. Now this mac and cheese craving comes out of no where, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. I’m not craving a specific place’s mac, so we’ll see how long this sticks around. The odds of me making a batch are slim.

This pasta is the closest thing I’ve made to macaroni and cheese in a long, long time. Since this blue cheese pasta probably. It doesn’t look like I’ve ever made anything remotely traditional when it comes to macaroni and cheese. This mac and not-cheese? Talk about flashbacks. The whole shells and cheese + greens thing is a winner. I could always stand to see some greens in any mac and cheese I’m eating if only to make it look better. Certain bitter greens are great for cutting through richness, but in this case it was subtle. Thanks, broccoli raab [or rapini]. Goat cheese is tangy and lovely. It melts into the warm pasta creating a light creamy sauce, so I added a few fat chunks of it because I like it like that. Since there wasn’t any significant sources of I added shrimp because I had a frozen bag of it staring at me every time I look in the freezer. The shrimp are optional. You could leave it off entirely or add something else of your choosing. I don’t really think you could go wrong.

Shrimp, Broccoli Raab, Goat Cheese Pasta

Inspiration: Saveur

Ingredients

  • 12oz small pasta, like shells or orecchiette
  • 1 bunch rapini or broccoli raab, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 4oz goat cheese, softened
  • 1lb frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boiling water takes forever. Once it starts boiling, add the rapini. Cook for about 4 minutes before removing to a large bowl of ice water. Pat dry the rapini. Don’t drain the water from the pot. Use it to cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir often until it’s golden brown. Add the shrimp, the paprika, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Add the rapini and chile flakes. Toss until combined and then remove from heat.

Mix the drained pasta and the shrimp and rapini mixture together in a large bowl [or pasta pot]. Add half of the goat cheese to the pasta and stir to incorporate. It will melt and distribute. Add the remaining goat cheese as dollops to the individual servings.