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Recipe: Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta

Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta

Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta

I would say I’ve been slacking with blogging, but I just honestly haven’t had the time. But I’m back on it…I promise.

Since I’m short on time, a lot of my meals have to be prepped and cooked in a hurry, including this Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta. You can go from start to finish in 15 minutes without sacrificing flavor with this recipe.

Mustard Sauce

Use the Oil from the Can of Tuna and Some Whole Grain Mustard to Make this Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 5-ounce cans of tuna (in oil)
  • 2 TBSP whole grain mustard (I always use Creole mustard)
  • 2 TBSP chopped parsley

Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    2. Cook the penne pasta until al dente, reserving one cup of pasta water before draining..
    3. Drain the tuna, reserving the oil in a small bowl.
Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta

Garnish Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta with Fresh Parsley

  1. In a separate bowl, break up the tuna pieces and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the reserved oil with the mustard over low heat.
  3. Add the drained pasta and tuna to the skillet and toss to combine.
  4. Add the pasta water as necessary to create a sauce that clings to the pasta noodles.
  5. Toss in the chopped parsley, mix to combine and serve.

In a way, this is a sort of quick tuna casserole, just without all the baking and extra calories that come with it.

If you’re still sticking strong to your New Year’s resolutions, this recipe is also light on the waistline since it doesn’t involve cheese, cream or butter. Next time you’re in a hurry, give it a try and you’ll realize you can create bold flavors in a short amount of time.

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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese


Full disclosure: this Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese is a Spring dish, but I had a craving so I made it. And I’m not waiting until the earth thaws out to share it.

This recipe combines the pasta, pesto with sweet peas and goat cheese for a dish that’s sweet, pungent and has a light acidity. It’s a great side dish for chicken or fish. Or, you can do like I did, and just eat a big bowl of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated romano (or parmesan) cheese
  • 3 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 pound thawed green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Need a quick side dish? Try Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese.


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in the boiling water until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, but reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  3. In a food processor, process the garlic, basil and pine nuts until very fine.
  4. Add the olive oil and cheese and process to combine.
  5. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Process until all ingredients are smooth.
  6. Spoon the pea pesto into a large bowl then add pasta and toss to coat.
  7. If needed, add pasta water, gradually, to loosen the sauce.
  8. When pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce, crumble in the goat cheese and toss again.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve as a side or as a main course.

The pea pesto will make the pasta look like it’s been hit with green radiation since it’s so bright. That said, this is a delicious pasta dish if you’re looking to trade out alfredo or marinara sauce.

To make this recipe even healthier, I used whole wheat fusilli. Bring some Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese to you’re next dinner and you won’t be disappointed.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

I always enjoy the “challenge” of cooking vegetarian. I use challenge in quotation marks, because it’s pretty damn easy, but I find it scares most people.

Using the fresh eggplants and mushrooms I had on hand, I decided to make a Pappardell with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu. There are a lot of simple flavors in the dish, but what really sends it over the top for me are the fresh garnishes of orange zest, parsley and ricotta cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (peeled or skin-on)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chili flakes
  • Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Eggplant is the Key Ingredient

  • 2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 lb. pappardelle
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grated orange zest
  • Fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Put the olive oil in a large skillet (I used a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, saute the onion and garlic for 1 minute, careful not to let the garlic to burn.
  3. Add the eggplant, chili flakes and Kosher salt. Lower the heat to medium. Saute, stirring occasionally until the eggplant is nearly tender.
  4. Add the red pepper and mushrooms then cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Pour in the red wine, and continue to cook until the eggplant is fully tender. Reduce heat to very low so ragu comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Simmering the Veggies in a Dutch Oven

  6. Boil the pasta according to package directions (usually about 5 minutes). Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the water. Toss the noodles with the ragu, gradually mixi in some or all of the pasta water to achieve a light glaze on the noodles.
  7. Plate the pasta then divide the ricotta, placing a few dabs on each plate. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, orange zest, parsley and black pepper then serve.

This is a delicious vegetarian dish full of some classic flavors. The veggies, garnishes, cheeses and pasta work together in perfect harmony.

If you can’t find or make pappardelle, I would suggest boiling lasagna then cutting it into strips. Make sure you use all of the garnishes, they really elevate this Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup Close-Up

Chicken Noodle Soup Close-Up

The day I made this Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, I was recovering from a massive hangover. So I can officially state this is a great recipe to help cure/soothe a hangover.

It’s not the most traditional Chicken Noodle Soup — I added a few extra veggies. However, it came out well and it’s the perfect soothing meal for those days you just don’t feel like getting of the couch.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, chooped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 package whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked
  • 2 TBSP Cajun seasoning (like Tony Chachere’s)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Sauteing Veggies

    Sauteing Veggies

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, saute garlic and onion in olive oil for about 1 minute.
  2. Add in remaining vegetables, bay leaves, seasoning and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer then place in whole chicken and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, remove chicken from pot and cut into small skinless pieces and add back to pot along with pasta. (If the chicken isn’t fully cooked, you can throw undercooked pieces back into the pot so don’t worry.)
  4. Chicken Noodle Soup

    Chicken Noodle Soup

  5. Simmer/boil until pasta is cooked.
  6. Remove soup from heat and serve, garnishing with fresh cilantro.

You can add whatever vegetables you want to this as Chicken Noodle Soup is a very versatile soup dish. Also, this is a great nutritious meal if you use reduced sodium chicken broth.

I garnished mine with fresh cilantro and served with fresh avocado and cornbread. The cornbread goes really well with the overall dish and the avocado adds a cool element to the hot temperature of the soup.

 
 

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Recipe: Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

The Duck Confit I made was used to make this dish: Duck Ragu with Pappardelle. This is what I served on Thanksgiving rather than turkey. It was a nice change of pace from the Thanksgiving norm.

The pulled duck and the ragu go great with the pappardelle to make a hearty dish that’s perfect for Fall and Winter.

Ingredients

  • Pulled duck meat from the Duck Confit recipe
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb. pappardelle
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and season with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened (about 2 minutes).
  2. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking and stirring until browned (about 8 minutes).
  3. Duck Mix

    Duck with Carrots, Celery and Onion

  4. Add the rosemary and garlic and continue cooking until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  5. Add the duck meat and stir gently to coat with the vegetables.
  6. Add the wine and chicken stock and simmer until 3/4 cup of liquid remains (about 10-15 minutes).
  7. Remove from heat and stir in half of the butter. Cover and keep warm.
  8. In a large pot of water, cook the pappardelle until al dente, drain and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Add the pasta to the ragu and cook over medium heat, stirring gently, until simmering.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the mozzarella and remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Pappardelle should be available in most supermarkets, but if it’s not, feel free to use a thick pasta of your choice. I would advise against using a thin pasta like angel hair or spaghetti. However, this dish is truly at its best when you use pappardelle.

Feel free to add in other veggies or use another cheese if you so desire. This is a great holiday/cold-weather dish that makes a complete meal.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Cookin', Entrees

 

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Review: Pomodoro (Boston)

Pomodoro's Bread

Pomodoro's Bread

I ventured into Boston’s North End (think Boston’s version of Little Italy) on Monday night to have dinner at Pomodoro with friends. The place came highly recommended from one of my friends (who happened to be in our party) and he was spot on.

The place is small and intimate with a definite allure — I wouldn’t hesitate to call it romantic. I’m pretty sure there was only one server for the entire restaurant. For me, that added to the charm and she was never stressed or rushed so it worked.

Normally, I wouldn’t pay any attention to the complimentary bread basket a restaurant, but let me tell you, the bread at Pomodoro is insanely good. The crust has a nice crack and the bread on the inside is light and fluffy. The olive oil is also great. They had olives in the actual olive oil which was something most places don’t do and it really pulled out the olive flavor from the oil. Don’t skip the bread if you go in.

Pomodoro's Antipasto

Pomodoro's Antipasto

We started by ordering the antipasto plate which was an Italian smorgasbord. It was loaded with Tuscan white bean salad, roasted sweet red peppers stuffed with a tuna salad, prosciutto, green beans, poached calamari, lightly fried potatoes, arugula, parmesan, fried artichokes, goat cheese toast and fresh olives. I don’t like olives much, so I skipped those, but the standouts of the board were the stuffed peppers (sweet heat), the calamari (amazing taste and texture) and the goat cheese toast (because it’s goat cheese). I wasn’t a big fan of the prosciutto, it was sliced too thick and didn’t have the saltiness I’m accustomed to. The potatoes had a nice crispiness to them, but completely lacked seasoning so there wasn’t anything to send them over the top. All the beans and arugula tasted fresh and complemented the other elements very well.

One of my friends ordered the Classic Linguini. Pomodoro tosses their linguini with a slow roasted plum tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. That’s it.

Classic Linguini

Classic Linguini

It may sound boring since there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles attached, but let me assure you that sometimes the most simple dish can have the most impact. This linguini was a perfect example. Light, acidic, herbacious, it had all the elements one expects out of a classic tomato sauce and pasta dish. Add some parmesan cheese and the flavor is taken to another level.

My other friend ordered the Veal Scaloppini. The veal was cooked with a sweet onion balsamic sauce and paired with a green olive risotto. While my friend thought it was overloaded with balsamic, it actually worked for me. I liked the acidic balsamic-onion combo especially when a piece of the veal was taken with a bite of the much subtler risotto.

Chicken Carbonara

Chicken Carbonara

I ordered what we all agreed was the best dish of the night: the Chicken Carbonara. Pieces of chicken with wild mushrooms, Italian ham and cracked pepper on a bed of rigatoni. The chicken was juicy and cooked perfectly. The white sauce on everything was beyond belief. All of these elements worked together in harmony to create one of the best traditional Italian dishes I’ve had in year.

After dinner, do yourself a favor and head over to Mike’s Pastry across the street. They have some of the best desserts you’ll find in Boston.

North End in Boston is full of Italian places and everyone who’s ever been to or lived in Boston seems to have their own unique opinion on the best place to go. After dining at Pomodoro, I’ll happily go on record saying it is one of the best Italian places in Boston. The ambiance, food and setting were all exactly what I wanted out of the experience.

Pomodoro is located in Boston’s North End at 319 Hanover Street. Hours are Mon. through Fri. 5 to 11 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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