I love pasta with the simple flavors of olive oil and garlic, which was exactly what I did for this dish. I had been craving a light seafood pasta for a while and we had an extra fillet of catfish I intended to include in one evening’s paella, but it turned out to have too many toppings already. So I set it aside for another day. I wanted to make a quick dish with the catfish and decided on laying it over a bed of pasta.
I sauteed some garlic and added Salsa Amaya (you can replace this with bits of dried fish, sardines or anchovies in oil) and tossed it with the pasta and some chopped fresh parsley. The parsley adds a zest and great color to the pasta. I set the seared catfish (salted and cooked in oil and high heat for three minutes on each side) on top of the pasta. I served it with a slice of lemon for good measure. The wife loved the creation! Being able to make these dishes at home makes it incredibly hard to commit to going out for dinner. Continue reading
Every year during the holidays, my office receives a few boxes of smoked salmon lox as presents. They are too cumbersome for my co-workers to take home so I often end up with them, usually giving one to a friend who is going home for the holidays, and either serving the other one at a party or coming up with interesting recipes. This year we decided to make half of it into a pasta dish.
Salmon lox topped farfalle with artichokes, pine nuts and parsley in a lemon and wine cream sauce. Drool.
It was fun to play with the salmon’s pretty color and combine it with the earthy color of roasted pine nuts and the striking green of parsley. We began by sauteing garlic and onions and simmering a quarter cup of white whine and some lemon juice. Lemon rind was added for additional zest. Continue reading
I was thirteen when I started making lasagna, if only as a continued tribute to this story. Miss Samonte was the name of my Foods class teacher in high school, and junior year was all about baking. After classes that taught us how to make pinwheel cookies and pigs in a blanket, the final recipe was lasagna. We made the pasta with flour, eggs, a lot of mess, and a rolling pin. The weekend after that class, I attempted to replicate it at home.
After a day’s work of rolling and boiling lasagna noodles and making the two sauces for the dish, the house smelled of flavors we all had only previously smelled in restaurants. Surely the youngest daughter of this family didn’t just make lasagna from scratch! But I did, and I pulled the rectangular dish out of the oven too eagerly. Its slipped from my mittened hands and broke into pieces on the floor! Tears welled up in my eyes as I stared at the globs of noodles, sauce and cheese, and smelled the aromas wafting in my face. The shards of thick glass protruded from the heap of ruined lasagna. I ran away from the scene and locked myself in the bathroom for hours. Continue reading
I’ll tell you a secret. Buy bones and keep them in your freezer, then use them to flavor stews and sauces. I did this for my lamb and turkey ragu, which had very little lamb meat in the sauce but all the lamb flavor – from a pound of lamb neck bones.
Beef, pork, and lamb neck bones are an excellent way to flavor soup stock and sauces because bones release gelatine from the collagen and albumen and impart an earthy, musky flavor to your stew. The meat around bones is also the most tender and flavorful, because the bones have the best blood supply in the cut.
I made a simple ragu sauce from lamb neck bones and ground turkey, and came up with a sauce that makes it really, really hard to go to a restaurant for the same thing. Enjoy! Continue reading
Eliminating the pork/beef and oil from an old recipe was hardly noticeable. This sauce gets its taste from the amount of time the tomatoes are allowed to stew, as well as the addition of olives and capers at the end. This pasta sauce was an eye-opener towards the use of leaner ground meats for sauces. The meat is really just for texture and I could even have done without.
Rigatoni and lean turkey meat sauce, mushrooms, capers and olives. Mangia!
Oil-Free Turkey Pasta Sauce Continue reading