Pasta Carbonara, a Spring Template (Many Green Things are Delicious Added to this Classic)

I cook as an expression of love and gratitude and hope and memories and nostalgia. I cook because I simply like to cook and express those feelings, and others. I also sometimes cook, not exactly as bribery, but as way to improve my 12-year-old’s mood.   Pasta Carbonara is pretty much a guaranteed mood-booster in our household. I like Pasta Carbonara, the Roman pasta dish of pancetta, e... Read more »

How to Make the Most of Green Garlic Season + Pasta w/ Green Garlic Recipe

...your front door!   Pasta with Green Garlic   If you have access to fresh pasta, buy or make some! I used fresh spinach pasta from a local market but also enjoy this with regular, dried pasta.   Serves 4-6 (or 3 if you love pasta as much as my family does)   5 stalks green garlic, trim the top 1/3 – 1/2 of the stalk and peel away the o... Read more »

Summer Improv Cooking and Pasta Carbonara with Peas

...black pepper. Boil pasta in generous amount of salted water. Scoop out and save ½-3/4 cup of cooking water and then drain when pasta is al dente. Return pasta to the pan, add peas and bacon, egg mixture and reserved cooking water and mix well. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg and create a lovely sauce. Serve hot with extra cheese if you’d like. Carbonara is... Read more »

Pasta Primavera--in Mid-Summer, Yes!

...much you’re using. Turn off the heat before you think they’re quite tender if they’re going to sit for a while before finishing the dish.   3. Cook the pasta until al dente in well-salted, boiling water. If your cream sauce is quite thick, reserve 1/4 cup of hot pasta cooking water and whisk it into the sauce. Drain pasta and toss with vegetables, sauce and herbs. Taste ... Read more »

Cauliflower Pasta “Risotto”

...pasta, a favorite shape I use in this chickpea dish and generally have on hand to add to soup–a surefire way to get my son to eat anything even if they’re just a few of them on the plate. Serve this dish with a salad of arugula and/or chicories or other winter salad green to add some color and contrasting flavors to the plate. My idea of a perfect winter meal. Cauliflower Pasta &ld... Read more »

Pasta with Agretti, Garlic and Parmesan

This is quick and delicious. I had a few fava beans sitting around that needed using so added them to this version but they are a bit of a distraction so just use agretti.... Read more »

One-pot Tomato and Sausage (or Bean) Pasta with Greens

15 minutes, start to finish, adaptable and delicious and a good reason for having canned tomatoes and small pasta shapes in the pantry. You can use larger shapes and more of it (more like 3 cups of penne). [caption id="attachment_13629" align="aligncenter" width="438"] This version uses tender spring raab for the greens.[/caption]   Variations You can substitute cooked beans/chickpeas for the sausage, to ma... Read more »

When Time is Short – Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich

...well for completely different consistencies. Chickpea and Avocado Salad/Sandwich –inspired by twopeasandapod.com This is delicious as a dip, on toasted bread, as a sandwich filling or just as is. You can adapt this in many ways too—add your favorite hot chilies or hot sauce, different spices or herbs, etc. See more ideas for variations above. I particularly like using mint or basil or a combination. Tarragon and ch... Read more »

Green Garlic, Butter, and Parmesan

...or need, simple, quick recipes to avoid eating processed foods, then this might be your class. If you live in Portland, Oregon you can buy this fresh spinach pasta at Pastaworks/City Market. It’s delicious, beautiful and incredibly inexpensive. Pasta with Green Garlic, Butter & Parmesan You use the whole garlic stalk, much like you would a green onion (scallion). The whole plant is t... Read more »

The Thrill of a Good Template

...very last of the cherry tomatoes a friend shared. And it was a recent facebook post by a friend asking what to do with little bits of different kinds of pasta that had accumulated in his pantry. If you cook (especially small shapes) pasta, like risotto (minus most of the stirring) you get a deliciously creamy result and precise cooking times don’t matter since you’re not after al dente!   This... Read more »

Recipes

Main Dishes   Barley Lentil Soup with Green Garlic and Parsley Bean and Egg Burrito with Greens Bean, Herb and Cheese Quesadilla Japanese Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki) Caldo Verde (Cabbage and Potato Soup with Chorizo) Cauliflower Pasta “Risotto” Chard Patties aka “Daddy Patties” Chard Stem Gratin Chard Tart Chickpeas & Pasta Corncakes Couscous whatever-you-have-... Read more »

Basic Bean (& Chickpea) Cooking Method

 Note: There are many theories about the best way to cook dry beans. I particularly like this one but find whatever method works best for you! Do give this a try if you are not yet in the habit of cooking beans. I recently borrowed an Instant Pot and was impressed with the way it cooked beans.    The two most important things you can do to get hooked on coo... Read more »

Quick Stovetop Mac and Cheese

  My son often asks me to  make mac n' cheese. I don't make it nearly often enough for his liking. When I say I don't have time (to make the bechamel/cream sauce and bake it) he says, "just make the quick version!" So here's the quick, stove top version that he loves almost as much.   Variations Add vegetables such as peas, broccoli, cauliflower or finely chopped kale or chard about 3 minutes before t... Read more »

Quick

Pantry Recipes

Minestrone Talk about a template; minestrone is a bean and vegetable soup and, loosely defined, can use any bean, any shape of pasta (or no pasta), most any vegetable and herb, meat or no meat (diced bacon or a little sausage is good, added when cooking onions) be hearty and stew-like or light and brothy. For me, what makes or breaks minestrone are the beans and the bean broth. You can certainly use canned beans ... Read more »

Even when you think you can't . . .

...cut into bite-sized pieces 1 lb stout pasta, like penne, fusilli or rigatoni 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice or a combination of cheeses Salt and freshly ground pepper Pinch or two red pepper flakes Splash of good olive oil Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and set a timer for 3-4 minutes less than the cooking time for the pasta... Read more »

No More Clumping Cheese: The Carbonara Principle for Mac 'n Cheese

...clove of minced garlic some fresh herbs 1 lb pasta   You whisk everything but the pasta together in a bowl. Cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted water. Scoop out about 1/3 -2/3 cup cooking water just before you drain pasta. Put the pasta back in the pot. Add the egg mixture to the pasta along with 1/3 cup (to start) of the hot cooking ... Read more »

Chicken (Noodle) Soup

[caption id="attachment_20035" align="aligncenter" width="660"] A thicker version with lots of leeks and not much chicken (but plenty of good chicken broth).[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17874" align="aligncenter" width="660"] The brothier version without noodles . . . wonderful either way.[/caption]   My son loves chicken noodle soup, whether made just with chicken stock and lots of vegetable (no chicken meat) or made with veggie b... Read more »

Cabbage and Potato Gratin

...using some kind of pasta you’ll want to add it to the potatoes so they’re both done at the same time. The pasta can be quite al dente when you drain everything though since it will keep cooking in the oven. When the potatoes (and pasta, if using) are almost tender add the cabbage to the pot. Cover and cook for another few minutes until the cabbage is tender. Drain.   Spread th... Read more »

On Food & Love & Adolescence (+ Stove-top Mac n Cheese & Zucchini Lemon Bundt Cake)

...  Variations Add vegetables such as peas, broccoli, cauliflower or finely chopped kale or chard about 3 minutes before the pasta is tender. See this cauliflower pasta and this Brussels sprout pasta for similar dishes with vegetables. Serves 2-3   1 1/2 cups tubetti (or ditalini or small elbow macaroni) 3 1/4 cups vegetable broth, chicken stock or water (if using water you’ll ne... Read more »

Kid-Friendly Meals

...& Pasta Coconut Rice with Corn Corn & Zucchini Fritters Cornbread Eggy Quesadilla (with Herbs) Fried Rice & CSA Fried-Rice w/ Bacon Lentil Soup Margherita Pizza Minestrone One-pot Tomato and Sausage Pasta with Greens Pasta Carbonara w/ Snap or Snow Peas Pasta Primavera Quick Broccoli Orzo Quick Mac and Cheese w/ Herbs (or Veggies) Rutabaga & Parsnip (or Potato/... Read more »

Time Well Spent & Salade Nicoise

...a pasta dish with a raw tomato sauce (just blanch a few tomatoes, peel them and whizz in the blender with 2 handfuls of basil and 4 tbs of olive oil and salt) that you toss with room temperature pasta and diced fresh mozzarella. So I cook the pasta in the morning, toss it with olive oil and it’s ready for the sauce and hungry boys in no time. There are infinite ways to split up the dinne... Read more »

Late Summer Perfection

...thick and syrupy. Taste for vinegar and salt; then pour this syrup over the vegetables. Deborah suggests serving this with slices of grilled polenta or piled on top of grilled bread that has been spread first with a layer of garlic mayonnaise. See above post for further ways to use, i.e. with a fried egg or blended into a smooth pasta sauce, etc. Serve warm or at room temperature. For breakfast with an egg. For dinner with Read more »

What if the Leftovers were so Good you Couldn't Wait to Eat them Again and Again?

...a milder version) or some dried hot pepper if you don’t have fresh ones, to taste 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped 1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika) 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes, finely chopped or 2 tablespoons tomato paste or some chopped sun-dried tomatoes 4 cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas, drained 2 cups chickpea cooking liquid (or water, veg or chicke... Read more »

Oh Yes!

...Add more salt (like 2+ tablespoons) than you think necessary. Cook the pasta until al dente. While the spaghetti is cooking heat the olive oil in a large skillet, that will later accommodate all the pasta, over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and stir constantly for about 3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Mash the anchovies and garlic up a bit while you stir. Drain the pasta an... Read more »

Pasta Carbonara, a Spring Template (Many Green Things are Delicious Added to this Classic)

I cook as an expression of love and gratitude and hope and memories and nostalgia. I cook because I simply like to cook and express those feelings, and others. I also sometimes cook, not exactly as bribery, but as way to improve my 12-year-old’s mood.   Pasta Carbonara is pretty much a guaranteed mood-booster in our household. I like Pasta Carbonara, the Roman pasta dish of pancetta, egg, black pepper and Parmesan–brilliantly made in way that the residual heat of…

How to Make the Most of Green Garlic Season + Pasta w/ Green Garlic Recipe

…your front door!   Pasta with Green Garlic   If you have access to fresh pasta, buy or make some! I used fresh spinach pasta from a local market but also enjoy this with regular, dried pasta.   Serves 4-6 (or 3 if you love pasta as much as my family does)   5 stalks green garlic, trim the top 1/3 – 1/2 of the stalk and peel away the outermost layer and mince the rest 2 tablespoons butter (or…

Summer Improv Cooking and Pasta Carbonara with Peas

…black pepper. Boil pasta in generous amount of salted water. Scoop out and save ½-3/4 cup of cooking water and then drain when pasta is al dente. Return pasta to the pan, add peas and bacon, egg mixture and reserved cooking water and mix well. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg and create a lovely sauce. Serve hot with extra cheese if you’d like. Carbonara is traditionally very peppery so don’t be shy with the black pepper….

Pasta Primavera–in Mid-Summer, Yes!

…much you’re using. Turn off the heat before you think they’re quite tender if they’re going to sit for a while before finishing the dish.   3. Cook the pasta until al dente in well-salted, boiling water. If your cream sauce is quite thick, reserve 1/4 cup of hot pasta cooking water and whisk it into the sauce. Drain pasta and toss with vegetables, sauce and herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt/pepper. Serve, topped with remaining Parmesan.    …

Cauliflower Pasta “Risotto”

pasta, a favorite shape I use in this chickpea dish and generally have on hand to add to soup–a surefire way to get my son to eat anything even if they’re just a few of them on the plate. Serve this dish with a salad of arugula and/or chicories or other winter salad green to add some color and contrasting flavors to the plate. My idea of a perfect winter meal. Cauliflower Pasta “Risotto” –adapted from Around my French Table…

When Time is Short – Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich

…well for completely different consistencies. Chickpea and Avocado Salad/Sandwich –inspired by twopeasandapod.com This is delicious as a dip, on toasted bread, as a sandwich filling or just as is. You can adapt this in many ways too—add your favorite hot chilies or hot sauce, different spices or herbs, etc. See more ideas for variations above. I particularly like using mint or basil or a combination. Tarragon and chives are good and so is parsley. 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas 2…

Green Garlic, Butter, and Parmesan

…or need, simple, quick recipes to avoid eating processed foods, then this might be your class. If you live in Portland, Oregon you can buy this fresh spinach pasta at Pastaworks/City Market. It’s delicious, beautiful and incredibly inexpensive. Pasta with Green Garlic, Butter & Parmesan You use the whole garlic stalk, much like you would a green onion (scallion). The whole plant is tender and delicious so just barely trim it. And if you don’t have pasta you can gently…

The Thrill of a Good Template

…very last of the cherry tomatoes a friend shared. And it was a recent facebook post by a friend asking what to do with little bits of different kinds of pasta that had accumulated in his pantry. If you cook (especially small shapes) pasta, like risotto (minus most of the stirring) you get a deliciously creamy result and precise cooking times don’t matter since you’re not after al dente!   This Pasta “Risotto” Template is going to get a lot…

Recipes

Main Dishes   Barley Lentil Soup with Green Garlic and Parsley Bean and Egg Burrito with Greens Bean, Herb and Cheese Quesadilla Japanese Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki) Caldo Verde (Cabbage and Potato Soup with Chorizo) Cauliflower Pasta “Risotto” Chard Patties aka “Daddy Patties” Chard Stem Gratin Chard Tart Chickpeas & Pasta Corncakes Couscous whatever-you-have-on-hand Salad Crepes with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes Eggplant, Sweet, Hot and Sour Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Salsa Verde Fried Rice Frittata with Greens Green Risotto…

Pantry Recipes

Minestrone Talk about a template; minestrone is a bean and vegetable soup and, loosely defined, can use any bean, any shape of pasta (or no pasta), most any vegetable and herb, meat or no meat (diced bacon or a little sausage is good, added when cooking onions) be hearty and stew-like or light and brothy. For me, what makes or breaks minestrone are the beans and the bean broth. You can certainly use canned beans but home-cooked beans with their…

Even when you think you can’t . . .

…cut into bite-sized pieces 1 lb stout pasta, like penne, fusilli or rigatoni 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice or a combination of cheeses Salt and freshly ground pepper Pinch or two red pepper flakes Splash of good olive oil Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and set a timer for 3-4 minutes less than the cooking time for the pasta. When the timer goes…

No More Clumping Cheese: The Carbonara Principle for Mac ‘n Cheese

…clove of minced garlic some fresh herbs 1 lb pasta   You whisk everything but the pasta together in a bowl. Cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted water. Scoop out about 1/3 -2/3 cup cooking water just before you drain pasta. Put the pasta back in the pot. Add the egg mixture to the pasta along with 1/3 cup (to start) of the hot cooking water and stir like mad for a few seconds. Add more cooking water if…

Cabbage and Potato Gratin

…using some kind of pasta you’ll want to add it to the potatoes so they’re both done at the same time. The pasta can be quite al dente when you drain everything though since it will keep cooking in the oven. When the potatoes (and pasta, if using) are almost tender add the cabbage to the pot. Cover and cook for another few minutes until the cabbage is tender. Drain.   Spread the vegetables in a large baking dish. Pour…

On Food & Love & Adolescence (+ Stove-top Mac n Cheese & Zucchini Lemon Bundt Cake)

…  Variations Add vegetables such as peas, broccoli, cauliflower or finely chopped kale or chard about 3 minutes before the pasta is tender. See this cauliflower pasta and this Brussels sprout pasta for similar dishes with vegetables. Serves 2-3   1 1/2 cups tubetti (or ditalini or small elbow macaroni) 3 1/4 cups vegetable broth, chicken stock or water (if using water you’ll need 1/4 teaspoon salt) 1/2 cup heavy cream Plenty of freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups…

Kid-Friendly Meals

…& Pasta Coconut Rice with Corn Corn & Zucchini Fritters Cornbread Eggy Quesadilla (with Herbs) Fried Rice & CSA Fried-Rice w/ Bacon Lentil Soup Margherita Pizza Minestrone One-pot Tomato and Sausage Pasta with Greens Pasta Carbonara w/ Snap or Snow Peas Pasta Primavera Quick Broccoli Orzo Quick Mac and Cheese w/ Herbs (or Veggies) Rutabaga & Parsnip (or Potato/Carrot, etc. ) “Latkes” Spaghetti and Nettle Pie Savory Swiss Chard Pancakes Tomato Bulgur w/ Basil & Garlic Zucchini & Rice Fritters…

Time Well Spent & Salade Nicoise

…a pasta dish with a raw tomato sauce (just blanch a few tomatoes, peel them and whizz in the blender with 2 handfuls of basil and 4 tbs of olive oil and salt) that you toss with room temperature pasta and diced fresh mozzarella. So I cook the pasta in the morning, toss it with olive oil and it’s ready for the sauce and hungry boys in no time. There are infinite ways to split up the dinner cooking whether…

Late Summer Perfection

…thick and syrupy. Taste for vinegar and salt; then pour this syrup over the vegetables. Deborah suggests serving this with slices of grilled polenta or piled on top of grilled bread that has been spread first with a layer of garlic mayonnaise. See above post for further ways to use, i.e. with a fried egg or blended into a smooth pasta sauce, etc. Serve warm or at room temperature. For breakfast with an egg. For dinner with pasta and basil….

What if the Leftovers were so Good you Couldn’t Wait to Eat them Again and Again?

…a milder version) or some dried hot pepper if you don’t have fresh ones, to taste 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped 1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika) 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes, finely chopped or 2 tablespoons tomato paste or some chopped sun-dried tomatoes 4 cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas, drained 2 cups chickpea cooking liquid (or water, veg or chicken broth) 2 cups canned tomatoes Chopped cilantro and thinly sliced scallion, for serving…

Oh Yes!

…Add more salt (like 2+ tablespoons) than you think necessary. Cook the pasta until al dente. While the spaghetti is cooking heat the olive oil in a large skillet, that will later accommodate all the pasta, over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and stir constantly for about 3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Mash the anchovies and garlic up a bit while you stir. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the garlic and anchovies,…