A couple of new recipes tried

So a little catching up here — over the weekend, I did something which I thought I had tried before but apparently not, a zucchini, fennel and white bean pasta:

Zucchini, fennel and white bean pasta

Quite delicious — the recipe is here, and as always I removed the salt (seeing as the goat cheese would add enough as it stood).

The other day, wanting something a little lighter, I settled on a snow pea and carrot salad with miso-tamari dressing:

Snow pea and carrot salad with miso-tamari dressing

Now this to me was the real winner, good as the pasta was — a wonderful blend of flavors and textures all around, and a very simple recipe at that. More stuff to come later in the week…

Two recent cooking experiments

Of sorts — the other day, unsure of what to do with a green panther cauliflower I had, I scrounged up this recipe for a spicy/strong cauliflower pasta. Did a couple of adaptations — no anchovies, for a start — but the end result was mighty fine, and really, whatever the sauce/seasonings you want to be is what counts. Going whole wheat with the pasta never hurts either:

Cauliflower pasta

Last night, meantime, having caught up on a variety of work and at a slightly loose end, I wanted to bake something to use up some ingredients and decided to go the savory muffin route. I turned up a recipe for something called fabulous fargozas — and while I suspect the name is some random thing dreamed up by someone, it is pretty nice. Had no mozzarella to hand so the only cheese was the parmesan, but it did work — also used almond milk instead of the real thing:


Now to ponder what next…

Spaghetti with braised kale

Spaghetti with braised kale

While I’ve done a tomato-braised kale pasta dish before, doing one this way — using this recipe — was a first, and turned out very nicely! It’s one of those ‘rewards patience’ dishes, always a good thing — the time spent in finely cutting the kale was key, as was cooking it down along with the onion and garlic. Also, not too heavy considering it’s summer and all — makes a nice later in the evening dinner as was the case here.

Spaghetti with tomato-braised kale

So this came about due to a desire to use up some of the last kale before the next basket arrives on Thursday. Also, I hadn’t made any pasta for a while, so why not? I’d initially thought to make a straight marinara for some pierogis while steaming the kale separately, but a random search turned up this recipe, so I gave it a whirl instead.

Two main substitutions — I had no pancetta to hand (and pancetta is one of the very few meats I’ll cook at home), so I diced some pressed tofu and sauteed it in olive oil, while rather than tomato puree I went for some already diced canned tomatoes I had to hand. End result: v. tasty.

Fusilli Pasta With Kale Pancetta And Oregano

This is an adaptation of this recipe, which as you can see is for a different kind of pasta. But fusilli is what I had, so hey! Pretty tasty if understated.

Angel hair pasta with broccoli raab, pine nuts and currants

The other night I adapted this from a pasta penne recipe here — not bad, I should have added a little something more to it spicewise, though. The fact that it was angel hair instead of penne doubtless had an impact but since I lacked penne I had to go with what I had, so there ya are!

A jury-rigged beet/cucumber pasta salad

Very jury-rigged — the pasta (which as you can clearly see is the same kind as used to make Spaghetti-Os) I’d already made and kept to the side, wondering what to do with it. Some random googling turned up this recipe, which was promising.

The trick lay with figuring out how to modify it — I’d no salmon around, but while I could have gone the mayo route as suggested, I didn’t have any and sour cream is just out. So it was a fairly basic version in the end, relying on dill, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to carry it, along with a bit of olive oil. And it actually worked very nicely, filling but flavorful while the beets, raw instead of pickled, added good crunch along with the coolness of the cucumbers.

Making comfort food from (near) scratch

So today since I was waiting on news about my dad’s surgery I wanted to keep it relatively simple — that meant preparing some fusilli and draining it, then cooking some onions and garlic in margarine briefly, tossing them with a bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese and serving it out. A salad from scratch and some wine and there you go.

A little something basic (for me at least)

Orzo with homemade tomato sauce (patiently waiting in the freezer from last summer) and fresh parmesan, a radish/apple salad with walnuts (interesting combination) and bread with a bit of margarine and garlic. No complaints!

A pasta dish it took six months to make

To explain — the sauce was one of the many tomato sauces I made from the garden tomatoes from summer, stored up frozen in my freezer just for an evening like this the other night. Add in good Parmesan, some lightly sauteed tofu Italian sausage and a fair enough red wine…all great.

It’s incredibly satisfying to do something like this, it has to be said, knowing that things are just there waiting to be used — there was always the occasional temptation to break out the sauces earlier but I wanted to wait for evenings like that where all I wanted to do — and all I had to do — was basic pasta prep. The rest was easy, and the taste was just marvelous. Here’s to working my way through the rest over the next few months.