Saturday, February 3, 2018

2-3-18 Gemelli with ham

There was just enough leftover baked ham in the fridge to use for tonight’s pasta.

1.     Gemelli pasta
2.     Baked ham coarsely chopped
3.     Sundried tomatoes chopped
4.     Olive oil
5.     Butter
6.     Carrots
7.     Celery
8.     Dried tarragon
9.     Garlic
10. Leeks
11. Sweet Vermouth
12. Chicken Broth
13. Red pepper flakes


 Cook the Leek, carrots, and parsley in olive oil until soft, add the garlic and sundried tomatoes and continue cooking. About 5 minutes later add the tarragon and chicken broth and continue cooking while waiting for the pasta. When the broth cooks down add some wine.  Add the past and some pasta water and cook for another 1-2 minutes before serving.


Wow, this was good, a unique flavor that we really enjoyed. It was worth taking the time to write this up and post.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

1-17-18   POET’S PASTA

Our delightful dinner guest tonight was poet/writer Ahron Taub from Washington DC, and current artist in residence at AIR studio in Lowertown.

1.     Gemelli pasta
2.     White mushrooms
3.     Artichoke hearts
4.     Sundried tomatoes- coarsely chopped
5.     Leeks
6.     Garlic
7.     Olive oil
8.     Aurgula
9.     Dried basil
10. Sweet Vermouth


Cook the Leek and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms start to brown. Lower the heat, add the wine, basil, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts and continue cooking over low-moderate heat. When the pasta is done, add it to the pan and mix well, then add the arugula and allow it to wilt from the heat before serving.  Top with your favorite grating cheese.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

1-13-18 Kick Ass pasta

I spent all day thinking about this, and tonight I am pleased to say it worked as planned, a simple, no frills, dinner.


1.     Spaghetti
2.     Mushrooms
3.     Asparagus
4.     Olive oil
5.     Onion
6.     Shallots
7.     Garlic
8.     Fresh chopped parsley
9.     Butter
10. White wine
11. Lemon juice
12. Dried Tarragon


I cooked the mushrooms and shallots in olive oil and garlic over high heat until the mushrooms started to brown. I removed them from the pan, deglazed it with wine and set them aside.

Next – cook the onion and garlic in olive oil and add about 2 tbsp of butter and fresh parsley. Add the juice from ½ lemon.  Keep warm while the pasta is cooking.

Wrap the asparagus in wet paper towels and nuke for  one and half minutes.
When the pasta is ready, mix it into the the sauce and transfer to the plates. Top with the mushrooms and add the side of asparagus. Sprinkle with some parsley and enjoy.


Patience loved this, and that says it all.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

12-9-17 Gemelli w artichoke hearts & bottoms

I had dinner all figured out. It was going to be my precious Patience’s favorite ingredients – artichoke hearts and peas.  Alas, not long into the preparations I discovered there were no peas in the freezer. What could I do? What goes with artichoke hearts... artichoke bottoms, which we happened to have in the freezer, and dinner was saved.


1.     Gemelli
2.     Frozen artichoke bottoms
3.     Artichoke hearts in water
4.     Leeks
5.     Garlic
6.     Celery
7.     Olive oil
8.     Fresh dill and dried tarragon
9.     Lemon juice
10. White wine
11. Butter
12. Pancetta diced
13. Red pepper flakes
14. Chicken broth – about 1/3 cup


Note – I’m describing the steps I took as I worked my way through this dish. The key is the ingredients, and how you use them is up to you.

Cook the pancetta, remove and set aside, and remove the grease from the pan.
Add olive oil to the pan and cook the leeks and celery until soft, and them add the garlic and continue cooking over low heat.  Add the chicken broth, artichoke bottoms and hearts, and red pepper flakes, plus a splash of wine, and cook covered  until the artichoke is totally defrosted and soft.  Add the herbs and about 1 tbsp of butter and cook uncovered to thicken the sauce.  Before the pasta is done, add the lemon juice and pancetta .

Add the pasta with some pasta water to the pan and mix well.


We both gave this a 10, easily.

Friday, December 8, 2017

12-8-17 Aglio Olio

The pasta gods have been good to me, granting me another night in pasta heaven.  Working on the outline for a Pasta Journal, I realized that for years I’ve been making Aglio Olio Crudo (oil and garlic uncooked) and not the traditional Aglio Olio. Tonight I decided to change that.


1.     Spaghetti
2.     Olive oil
3.     Garlic – 1large clove thinly sliced
4.     Butter –about 1 tbsp
5.     Red pepper flakes
6.     Parsley
7.     Salt and pepper
8.     Grating cheese


Cook the garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil until golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the butter, parsley, and the pasta and mix well. I added about a ¼ cup of pasta water and a few drizzles of olive oil.  Serve with a parsley garnish.


Of all the pasta dishes I prepare this is the most personal. It triggers immediate treasured memories of my parents and our extended family. If I were to be granted oneƄ last meal, it would be this, and I would depart with a smile on my face.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

12-7-17 Spaghetti with anchovies and Ciabatta crutons


If you like anchovies you will love this dish.

I was cooking for myself tonight, so I decided to try something that I know would not be a favorite of Patience.  She appreciates “anchovies light” and I’ve been anxious to try a little “anchovies heavy”.


1.     Spaghetti – linguine or angel hair could easily be substituted
2.     Olive oil
3.     Garlic – 1 large clove pressed
4.     Anchovies – 4 fillets finely chopped
5.     White wine – about 2-3 tablespoons
6.     Red Pepper flakes
7.     Fresh oregano and tarragon
8.     Salt and black pepper
9.     Ciabatta bread cut into bite sized cubes


Coat the bread in olive oil and toast on the stove top (or oven if you prefer). Set aside.
In a small bowl mix the anchovies, garlic and wine and cook in olive oil with the herbs and red pepper flakes until the achovies break down, in a skillet large enough to eventually accommodate the pasta.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with some pasta water and black pepper. and mix thoroughly. Serve with fresh herb garnish and the croutons.


If you love anchovies you will love this dish. All I can say is I loved it and can’t wait to do it again – the next time I’m alone.

With a sprinkling of salt, the croutons are a great snack with a glass of wine.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12-6-17 Spaghetti w Leek, Zucchini, and Anchovies

This is a “refinement” on a dish I first prepared 2 years ago. (I think refinement sounds much better than variation.) I want to include it in a Pasta Journal I’m working on and thought I could improve on the original recipe by adding 2 ingredients, sundried tomatoes and pancetta.

1.     Olive oil
2.     Garlic- pressed
3.     Anchovy fillets – 3- finely chopped
4.     Pancetta
5.     Leek  white and light green part thinly sliced
6.     White wine
7.     Basil fresh or frozen
8.     3 sundried tomatoes coarsely chopped
9.     Tomato paste – 1 tablespoon
10. Salt and pepper
11. Spaghetti


Cook the pancetta and remove from the pan – set aside to drain. Mix the garlic and chopped anchovies with 1 tablespoon of white wine, then cook in the same pan, adding a little olive oil, until the anchovies dissolve.  Add the Leek , Zucchini, salt and pepper, and Basil and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown.  Turn down the heat, add a splash of wine, the sundried tomatoes, and the tomato paste, mixing thoroughly.

Add the pasta and the pancetta to the sauce, plus pasta water as needed and mix thoroughly.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve with grated Grana Padonna cheese.


I had a lot of misgivings about this the first time I made it…until I tasted it.  It turned out to be a winner.  I loved the rustic appearance and taste, the combination of Leek and Zucchini with the Anchovy base is incredible. The addition of the new ingredients made it even better.

NOTE – for all Anchovy haters – they add a richness to the flavor without an Anchovy taste.  Patience always tells me not to tell our guests when I use Anchovies in this way.