Pasta with zucchini recipe

So the other day I wanted to prepare a quick lunch and as usual I opened the fridge and looked for inspiration and there it was: zucchini and Asiago cheese. And there I thought pasta with raw zucchini and diced Asiago!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 oz. short pasta per person (e.g., penne, rigatoni, fusilli)
  • 1 zucchini per person
  • 1 oz cheese per person
  • salt
  • pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. First I put the water for the past to boil. Then, I grated down the zucchini using a cheese grater. I seasoned the zucchini with a pinch of salt, pepper and a bit of oil. I diced the cheese and added it to the mixture. You want to dice up the cheese and add it to the mixture so that the cheese is at room temperature when you add the pasta and it can melt well. Finally I cooked the pasta al dente, drained it and added it to the zucchini and cheese.
  2. A quick pasta that showcases at best flavorful zucchini from your garden or your CSA box!

Pasta with ricotta and celery

The other day I decided to bring pasta to a potluck kind of party. As usual when you bring pasta you should choose something that is good eaten cold, that doesn’t dry out, that doesn’t have any weired ingredient in that people might not like or recognize and so on. To this list I add my personal requirements: easy to make and cheap: after all for these parties is often more about quantity than quality. So this time I made a pasta salad with home-made ricotta and celery.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 1 to 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 celery hearts
  • salt
  • pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. I started out by preparing the ricotta according to my base recipe. Once you have the whey in the fridge or freezer it is really easy to prepare and won’t take you more than 30 min or so. Then I prepared the pasta. I used farfalle from Roundy (Rainbow private label) and I think this will be my last time working with that pasta. While I find that Roundy’s pasta is great for the price and a more than viable substitute to Barilla, they don’t know how to make farfalle: this farfalle break down a lot so that once they are cooked they are more like orzo. Anyway, while the pasta was cooking I sliced the heart of my celeries, including the leaves, and put it in my pasta bowl together with a bit of oil, salt and pepper and of course the ricotta. Finally when the pasta was ready I drained it well, I added it to the sauce and mixed well. If the sauce is too dry, add a bit of the cooking liquid from your pasta.
  2. The pasta was a success, I even saw someone using it as a dip for the tortilla chips……

Roasted tomato pasta and awards

Barbecue season is finally, maybe, starting also in the midwest and with it the question “what do I bring?”. I have a tendency to choose to bring pasta for at least a couple of good reasons: is cheap, is good, can be cooked in a number of different ways, and is easy to transport. This last time I chose to cook pasta with roasted tomatoes. It is very simple and makes quite an impression. I noticed that cooking a simple dish with flavorful ingredients is often more successful than cooking a complex dish, so I am sticking with those sort of dish when I cook for a lot of people: it make my life easier and the guests happy.

Roasted tomato pasta and awards

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 spoon capers
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • EVOO
  • grated cheese (parmesan or pecorino)

Directions

  1. First I started the water for the pasta. Then I prepared a bit of aromatic oil by chopping capers, oregano and a clove of garlic and putting it in a bit of oil. I then sliced the tomatoes and arranged them on an oven dish so that they were not overlapping. I poured the seasoned oil on the tomatoes and seasoned the tomatoes with salt and pepper. I cooked the tomatoes in the oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile I cooked the spaghetti until al dente and drained them. I mixed the pasta with the tomatoes and added a bit of grated cheese (pecorino, parmesan or any other salty cheese works), mixed everything and brought to my first barbecue of the season.
  2. Pasta bowl was pretty much polished by the end of the barbecue and I received a number of compliments on the dish.

Herb pasta recipe

I am happy to report I stuck to this project long enough to make it to post 100! For this post I am going to give you a super simple pasta dish, but mostly I want to thank some of the people that have inspired me in this journey with their blog, their comments and their support. Read the post to the end and grab your well deserved awards!

Herb pasta

Ingredients

  • pasta (your favorite kind)
  • EVOO
  • herbs (your favorites: I used sage, thyme, rosemary and chili flakes)
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. For the pasta I just cooked pasta and tossed it with olive oil and herbs. Pasta was just boiled in salted water according to instructions, for the “sauce” I mixed in a bowl enough olive oil to toss pasta in, rosemary, thyme, sage, and a tiny bit of chili flakes. I put the bowl in the microwave for about 30 sec to warm up the oil and extract the flavor from the herbs and then tossed my pasta with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
  2. It is usually my go to dish when I am home alone for lunch and I’ve been working so hard I suddenly realize I am starving and have to eat something right now!

Easy pasta and greens recipe

Another pasta dish, simple and tasty. Maybe I should start a series on this pasta dishes great for quick lunches or fast dinners that are ready in 20 minutes. What I love about this pastas is that the sauce is so fast that they are ready in the time needed to cook the pasta and they taste so much better than something out of a can, frozen or microwaved. And seriously it takes about the same time.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb pasta per person
  • a bunch of your favorite greens
  • 1-2 spring rosemary
  • EVOO
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • grated parmesan or pecorino (optional)

Directions

  1. First start the water and clean the greens. I used a leafy kind of choi I don’t remember the exact name, but it looks similar to broccoli rabe, anyway any kind of green works for this pasta: spinach, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, turnip greens… I would suggest to pick a variety with tender leaves but other than that feel free to pick your favorite.
  2. When the water starts boiling salt it and add the greens and the pasta. I suggest a short kind of pasta like penne or rigatoni. Let everything cook until pasta is ready (check instructions on packet, but it should take about 10-12 minutes). While pasta cooks, warm up some oil with rosemary, and a couple of crushed garlic cloves. If you like it add also a bit of chili flakes. When pasta is ready drain the pasta and greens and toss them in the pan with flavored oil. Serve immediately and season to taste with pepper.
  3. You can also add a bit of grated cheese to your pasta. Parmesan or pecorino would be my suggestion.