Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Lidia’s Baked Rigatoni and Zucchini

August 12, 2014


Zucchini, tomatoes and basil tossed with rigatoni–this pasta dish makes excellent use of later summer produce. I have made this pasta  a few times over the past several weeks and have come to prefer it without the cheese (or with less cheese) and with less pasta in relation to the vegetables. Don’t leave out the fresh basil–that is key to the flavor. If you want to replace the fontina with another cheese, you can.


Broccoli Rabe Pesto Pasta with Heirloom Grape Tomatoes

July 8, 2014


Pesto made with broccoli rabe is pretty popular and it is also super nutritious. You can serve the pesto as a dip or spread for bread instead of as a sauce for pasta. I followed a recipe from Mario Batali’s Molto Gusto. If you follow the link, you will not only find the recipe, but a clip of Mario demonstrating its preparation along with that of two other pasta recipes (pasta with pureed red peppers and goat cheese and pasta with Swiss chard).

The original recipe called for orecchiette pasta, but I substituted farfalle and added in some heirloom grape tomatoes. Later, I served leftovers as a salad, with the addition of more blanched broccoli rabe and some cannellini beans.

The pesto is exceptionally good. I made twice as much pesto as I needed for the pasta, and I have been enjoying leftovers spread onto challah along with lemon chummus.


Cookbook Review: Dairy Made Easy & “180 Cal (or Less!) Cheesecake” Ramekins

May 26, 2014


Disclosure: Artscroll provided me with a copy of this book to review. Opinions are my own.

Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek have released another book in their “made easy” series in time for Shavuoth. Like the earlier books in this series, Dairy Made Easy is a slim book, very attractively designed. The target audience for this book seems to be cooks who already have plenty of comprehensive, basic cookbooks and are looking to freshen up their dairy menus with recipes that are creative but not too much of a patchke.

The recipes in Dairy Made Easy are clearly explained and reasonably do-able for most cooks.  While most of them look fairly easy to make, not all of them are dead simple. Recipes that sound delicious but a little involved: Arancini (deep-fried cheese-stuffed rice balls), chocolate croissants, and cheese buns/babka.

This being a dairy cookbook, the recipes feature lots of butter, cream and cheese. Most don’t have over-the-top amounts, but some do. The Three Cheese Quiche has a pint of sour cream and almost two sticks of butter in the crust and over 2 1/2 lbs. of cheese in the filling. The Cajun Creamy Pasta, the Penne a la Vodka, the Pesto Cream Sauce and the Alfredo sauce all use about a pint of heavy cream.

The authors do include a “Make it Light” page that lists the lighter recipes in the book and provides tips for lightening up some of the richer recipes. A sidebar explains how to use Greek yogurt as a substitute for higher fat ingredients like cream cheese or sour cream. (Throughout the book, the authors suggest using a particular brand of Greek yogurt and another brand of hard cheese.) There is also a “Make it Pareve” page.

Another thing to bear in mind: the book emphasizes pasta and bread, not whole grains and legumes. The main dishes in this book are primarily divided between the chapters “Pizza,” “Pasta,” and “Soups, Salads & Sandwiches.”  There are ten pasta dishes, five pizza/calzone recipes and four sandwich recipes. Besides these bread or pasta main dishes, there is one fish recipe, one quiche recipe and one frittata recipe.

All that being said, the bottom line with any cookbook is whether or not the recipes are appealing and actually work. On this count, the authors definitely deliver. I have liked everything that I have made from this book and there are a number of other recipes I want to try. Here is what I have already made from this book:


Right Before Shabbos Tomato Chickpea Orzo Salad

April 22, 2012

This recipe is from before Pesach, when I was  trying to use up little bits of this and that chometz. I whipped this together right before Shabbos, so I just glanced at the recipe for inspiration and then did my own thing in the kitchen.

For a thrown together salad, it was a surprisingly huge hit. I think this will be especially nice to serve for Shabbos lunch when the weather gets really hot.


Crisp Pan Fried Tofu & Baked Tofu Plus Two Tofu Pasta Salads

August 2, 2011

Tofu makes a nice change of pace when you can’t eat meat or chicken, and don’t want fish.

The key thing is to prepare the tofu in a way that maximizes its texture and allows it to absorb lots of flavor.

Frying is ideal, because it renders the exterior golden, crunch/chewy, and the interior tender and porous enough to absorb any sauce. The critical thing is to thoroughly dry the tofu on paper towels for quite some time before frying it so that the oil doesn’t splatter so much when the tofu hits the pan. The other thing is to fry for a long time, letting the tofu interior dry out and get porous, and the exterior get evenly golden and crispy/chewy. If you just sear the exterior, the inside of the tofu will still be cottony and wet and it will not soak up sauce very well.

Tofu is tastiest, I think, when it is fried, although baked tofu is also delicious (plus easier to make).

If you cut the tofu into cubes before baking or frying, you end up with yummy nuggets that are perfect for adding to pasta salad (or any salad).


Moosewood’s Easy Baked Tofu Over Japanese Noodles

June 8, 2010

This is an easy and delicious dish from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health. (more…)

Buttery Tomato Sauce

January 19, 2010

Smitten Kitchen posted about Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with butter, and it seemed like the perfect thing to serve over spaghetti for dinner.

The recipe is very simple: a 28 ounce can of good quality Italian tomatoes simmered with an onion cut in half and 5 Tbl. of butter (plus salt to taste). (more…)

Lower Carb Mac & Cheese

February 16, 2009

Mac & Cheese

My husband is very focused on comfort food these days. He brought me a magazine with a cover shot of Mac & Cheese. “Comfort Food Tonight: Your Favorite Recipes Made Faster (and Healthier),” the cover of Real Simple promised.  “Could you please make this?” he asked.