Category: Pasta/Rice

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.

Quick Chicken Spinach Bolognese

I had a cooking fail. It’s amazing how much of a rage something like that sends me into. I was trying my hand at a Spanish tortilla. Finally. Finally because I stopped being so scared. Something about it intimidates me. It’s really easy. Maybe it’s because stewing potatoes and onions in olive oil isn’t probably something you should do regularly. No, it’s not that. It’s because it’s intimidating. It’s a perfectly pillowy, yet dense, cake of eggs, potatoes, and onions. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, so if you fuck it up [and I did], it’s obvious. I was doing well until I got to that whole “slide a plate over the top of your pan and flip it over” thing. Yeah, that wasn’t happening. My non-stick pan is losing its non-stick properties. It’s given up on me. I’ve been eyeing this one [but probably an All-Clad], but I’ve been holding out. The one I have was a perfectly good non-stick pan, but once eggs start sticking–even with boatloads of olive oil–you’re dead to me. Needless to say, the tortilla became a scramble. It tasted fine. It tasted just like it was supposed to, but it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. It made me want to throw things. Sigh. I’ll try again someday. Probably not until I get a new pan.

Until that happens, there is this really good chicken spinach bolognese that doesn’t take much time to throw together, and pretends to be super healthy with all that spinach. I wanted something to take to work the next few days, which really turned into the next day only because I ate that much of it for dinner. Pasta is a weakness. I bought a little block of Pecorino Romano to grate on top. Deliciously salty.

I’m starting to understand the whole ‘reserve some pasta water’ thing; it makes all the difference to the consistency of a bowl of al dente pasta. It elevates it from becoming a congealed mass of starch with toppings. It keeps better in the fridge so I can steal multiple bites any time I open the fridge door [read: all the time]. The original recipe called for turkey, but I was hesitant to recreate the feeling of thanksgiving. Every time I cook with it, browned turkey just smells like thanksgiving. Chicken was the easy and obvious substitute. Pork would have been equally delicious, especially of the hot Italian sausage variety.  This is a lot more mellow in flavor that way. Feel free to add tons of red chile flakes. I did.

Quick Chicken Spinach Bolognese

Inspiration: Fuss Free Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1lb pasta of choice
  • Parmesan
  • Red chili flakes

Preparation

In a large skillet, heat a little bit of olive oil on medium high heat. Brown the chicken. Add in the frozen spinach and roasted tomatoes. Don’t drain them first. Stir until well mixed and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Let it simmer together and unthaw the spinach.

While the sauce simmers away, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining, retain 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, and possibly some red chili flakes.

Add the pasta to the sauce. Stir well and add pasta water to get the desired consistency.

Before serving, add a healthy dose of shaved parmesan.

Udon Noodles with Spring Vegetables

Vegetables! Give me spring vegetables.

It can’t be pizza all the time around here. But I wouldn’t complain if it was.  

This came from a fierce craving of something fresh, green, and crisp. It’s rather coincidence that sugar snap peas are all the rage right now. Thanks Spring. I had a handful or two [probably two, lets be real] of dried udon noodles left over in the pantry, so noodles! I spent a crazy amount of time julienning again because it’s turning into a soothing ritual. Who am I? Meditating is all the rage, right?

If I’m honest, I really just wanted the vegetables [of which I ate a ton while cutting them up] and this sauce. The udon noodles just kept me from gnawing my arm off within an hour after eating. I love any excuse to use toasted sesame oil. It’s such a specific, slight overpowering flavor that it takes time to find those recipes that it would be good in. Rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger round out the rest of the flavors. It’s very bright and tangy. It feels almost as crisp as the vegetables. I added red chile flakes and a bunch of the seaweed gomasio, which is sesame seeds, salt, and seaweed. I had to immediately put half of this in a to-go container so I could eat some for work the next day, otherwise I’m sure I’d have eaten all of it in one sitting.

Spring Udon Noodles

Inspiration: Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 6oz dried udon noodles, cooked to package directions and rinsed/drained under cool water
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 2 handfuls of sugar snap peas, halved
  • Green onion, red chile flakes, sesame seeds for garnish

Preparation

In a small bowl or in a jar with a lid, add the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Whisk or shake together.

In a large bowl, add the vegetables and the dressing. Toss everything together before adding the noodles. Serve and top with your garnishes.