Thursday, July 28, 2016

7-28-15 Basil Fettuccini with tomato/butter sauce.




Usually I do not enjoy cooking for myself when my dear wife is out of town, but tonight’s experience my change that.  After feeding the canine crowd at 5 o’clock I walked down the street to a reception of new work by the visiting artist at A.I.R. Studio, and returned about an hour later.  Standing in the kitchen, I was sorely tempted to reach for the peanut butter and jelly, when I saw the two Roma tomatoes on the counter.  They were almost a week old, and were beginning to show their age.  I knew if I didn’t use them tonight they would end up in the trash, and wasting a fresh tomato is something I would never do.  And I knew in an instant what I was going to do




INGREDIENTS:

1.     Fettuccini
2.     Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped, seeds included
3.     Olive oil
4.     Shallots, thinly sliced
5.     Garlic, one clove pressed
6.     Basil
7.     Sweet Vermouth
8.     Mozzarella
9.     Butter
10. Oregano


                                            

PROCESS:

While the pasta water is heating, cook the shallots in olive oil until they become soft, then add the garlic and basil, followed by the tomatoes.  Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 5 minutes before adding about ¼ cup of the sweet vermouth.  Cook the sauce for about 15-20 minutes.  Add the butter – I used about one generous tablespoon – several minutes before the pasta is ready.  I added the pasta directly to the pan with the sauce, but it could be mixed in a separate bowl.  Mix in the mozzarella and serve, garnished with some fresh basil and oregano.

COMMENTS:

This is the way I love to cook, making something happen with whatever is hanging around the kitchen.  It was delicious, and I’m sure I will do it again. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Linguini w fresh tomato sauce


7-18-16   Linguini w fresh tomato sauce

      






There was never any question about tonight’ dinner. Looking at all the fresh tomatoes from Patience’s porch garden, the obvious choice was pasta with a light, fresh tomato sauce.

INGREDIENTS:
1.     Linguini
2.     Fresh tomatoes from Patience’s porch garden – grated on the large teeth of a hand held cheese grater. 
3.     Tomato paste
4.     Fresh basil
5.     Parsley
6.      Olive oil
7.     Garlic
8.     Onions – ½ medium onion thinly sliced
9.     Garlic 1 large clove minced
10. Sweet Vermouth
11. Oregano, salt and pepper
12. Mozzarella cut into dice size pieces.
13. Kalamata olives.

PROCESS

Cut the tomatoes in half, remove the “heel”, and grate the tomato over a bowl to collect the pulp.  Set the skin aside.  For the 2 of us I used 6 medium sized tomatoes
Cook the onions in the oil until they begin to soften, then add one large clove of garlic through a garlic press.  Cook for several minutes before adding the tomatoes.  As the sauce is cooking, add a splash of Sweet Vermouth (or a red wine of your choice), a handful of Kalamata olives, fresh basil leaves, parsley, and oregano.  Continue cooking to allow the sauce to thicken.  A tablespoon of tomato paste can be added if needed.

Note – I decided to add the tomato skins to the sauce while it was cooking, and removed them before adding it to the pasta.  I don’t know if this is necessary, but thought I would get all that I could out of the fruit.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, mix in the sauce, and add the dice mozzarella.  Garnish with Basil and serve.

COMMENTS:

This is a great summer recipe.  It is easy and quick and can be a last minute week night dinner.  Any fresh tomatoes can be used.  I’ve done this before with Roma tomatoes. 

Patience and I gave this a 10 plus.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

TRY AS I MAY

Try as I may, I can't stay away from the clay.  A few months ago, after several years of abandonment, the clay began calling me.  At first just a few whispers in my ear, but quickly becoming a noise I could not silence.  I called John at the Paducah School of Art & Design to purchase a bag of kaolin, and quickly began the process of restoring the dry, cracked slab of clay.  Yesterday I pulled the first of a series of small abstract floral prints for the upcoming "In the Garden" show at Gallery 5.  (Opening reception June 16, from 4 to 8 P.M.)

#1 12x9"

#2 12x9"
#6 10x8

#3 11x9

Sunday, May 15, 2016

5-15-16 SPRING PASTA


I wanted the lovely spring day to end with an appropriate pasta dinner, hoping to create an elegant homage to the wonderful month of May.  The goal was a dish that was light, fresh, and simple.


My original plan was for the sauce to be a combination of Asparagus and caramelized Shallots.  Unfortunately I burned the Shallots, but being the tiger that I am, I quickly recovered and move on to chopped onions.

INGREDIENTS:

1.     Angel hair pasta
2.     Asparagus
3.     Olive oil
4.     Onion – ½ medium onion chopped
5.     Garlic 1 clove pressed
6.     Fresh lemon juice
7.     Mozzarella – cut into ½ inch cubes
8.     Grape tomatoes – halved
9.     Fresh basil, dill, and arugula from Patience’s garden – finely chopped

PROCESS:

Cook the onion in olive oil until translucent, and then add the garlic.  Coat the Asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill on a gas or electric grill.  Then cut into 1” pieces and add to the pan with the onions. Cook over low heat and add the juice from ½ lemon.

When the pasta is ready, place in a serving dish and mix in the onion-asparagus sauce.  Drizzle with olive oil and add about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.  Add the cheese, tomatoes, and fresh herbs and serve.

COMMENTS:

Patience’s fresh herbs made this dish an unequivocal success.  It was the perfect way to end the weekend.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A NEW TWIST WTIH BROCCOLI RABE


5-1-16   TRYING SOMETHING NEW 

Chicken, Broccoli Rabe, Sundried tomatoes – ingredients I have often used with my pasta, but never together…at least until tonight.


                             
INGREDIENTS:
1.     Linguine
2.     Chicken tenders
3.     Broccoli Rabe
4.     Sundried Tomatoes in oil   finely chopped
5.     Garlic and onion
6.     Fresh Basil
7.     Olive oil
8.     White wine
9.     Fresh lemon juice
10. Salt & pepper
11. Parmigiana cheese

PROCESS:

Brown the chicken in olive oil, remove and cut into bite size pieces, and return to pan to saute with the garlic, onion, and sundried tomatoes and fresh basil.  After 4-5 minutes add the wine and allow it to cook down.  Then add the lemon juice.
In the mean time bring a pot of water to boil, add the broccoli rabe and blanch for about 3 minutes.  Remove and add to the chicken.
Cook the pasta in the same water, and when finished, mix with the chicken and broccoli rabe.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

COMMENTS:

Save some pasta water if the dish is too dry.  This was an interesting and delightful new way to use Broccoli Rabe with pasta.  We will definitely have this again.

Friday, April 29, 2016

HEAVENLY PASTA


It is hard to be humble after preparing such a dinner...but I will try. 

Thanks to the Italian Grill for making the pasta, and to Midtown Market for selling it.  I went to buy Broccoli Rabe, and saw this:




And with a little bit of inspiration and effort, the result was this:



Pasta with shrimp, sun dried tomatoes, lemon, and cream

 
INGREDIENTS:
1.     Campanelle pasta
2.     Shrimp
3.     Sundried tomatoes in oil – finely chopped
4.     Fresh dill
5.     Olive oil
6.     Leek and garlic
7.     White wine
8.     Tomato paste
9.     Lemon juice - fresh
10. Heavy whipping Cream

PROCESS:

While the pasta is cooking prepare and cook all of the ingredients.  Add the pasta to the sauce, mix well, and enjoy.  A glass of chilled Pinto Grigio will add to your delight.

I enjoyed the Pinot Grigio so much that I’m unable to be more specific at this time regarding the preparation of the ingredients.   Maybe later.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

OH MY GOD




Tonight's dinner was a dust buster - a veritable culinary orgasm.



Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe, mushrooms sauteed over high heat until golden brown, and finished with a sprinkling of chopped Kalamata olives.