De Ma Cuisine

Pasta Archive

Saturday

15

July 2017

0

COMMENTS

Sunday Afternoon

Written by , Posted in Dinner, Pasta, Short Stories, Thoughts

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The smell of garlic burning brought her out of her daydream. She swore and clicked off the flame. She dumped the scorched garlic into the compost, wiped out the cast iron skillet and set it back on the stove. She minced a few more cloves, setting aside their papery skins to use in veggie stock. The carrots were in the oven already. They’d soon be browned at the edges and sweetened by honey, with a touch of salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cayenne. The bread had come out just before the carrots had gone in. When she leaned in close she could hear it crackling as it cooled. She inhaled and closed her eyes.

Freshly baked bread took her back to childhood. Mom pulling out the fresh loaves of her signature bread, read to be slathered with butter (or margarine, it was the 90’s). It took her to early memories, hazy enough that they could have been a dream. Oma’s hands showing how to shape the Zwiebach buns, her little hands trying to mimic the motion. Praise from Oma, her gentle voice encouraging her young granddaughter as she learned a generations old recipe. Her eyes flitted over to the framed recipe on the wall. Written by Oma’s hand. She would make them again soon aided only by memories this time.

She turned the stove back on and added a bit more oil. She loved the way it rippled when it got hot. She added a big pat of butter and then another and watched as they sizzled and began to brown. She threw in the garlic and the smell wafted up to her nose. She breathed deeply. The garlic just needed thirty seconds. This time it wouldn’t burn. She added some white wine and turned the heat down to low. It would reduce into a simple sauce, perfect to coat the homemade pasta she’d spent the afternoon rolling and cutting. She didn’t mind. That kind of work was good for the soul.

She opened the screen door and the dog shot past her. Hopping and barking at the tree where he’d seen a squirrel earlier. Then running over to her husband at the barbecue. She smiled. She bent over her garden box to see what was growing. The beans had popped up, some squash plants were flowering, and the tomatoes were getting tall. She snipped off some garlic chives and plucked a big handful of basil leaves. The smell was intoxicating. No wonder the bees wouldn’t leave the basil flowers alone. She walked over to the barbecue. Her husband pulled her over and hugged her tight. He smelled like campfire. “Chicken’s almost ready” he said. She smiled and called the dog to come back inside and keep her company.

She washed and dried the herbs, chopping them with her sharpest knife. They’d be passed around the table for people to sprinkle on the pasta as they wished. The salted water was boiling. Huge rolling bubbles, sometimes jumping over the edge of the pot and making the flame sizzle. She added the pasta, stirring so it wouldn’t stick. It would only need a minute. She tasted the browned butter sauce. It had reduced nicely, but still needed to be seasoned. Just salt and pepper this time. She added a bit of the starchy pasta water to the sauce before draining the pasta, then added the pasta to the skillet. She stirred it gently then tasted it. She sighed. It was good. She took the carrots out of the oven. They needed a pinch more salt. The best way to bring out the flavors of a dish.

She pulled the parmesan cheese out of the fridge and scraped it along the grater, transparent curls falling and melting over the hot pasta. The dog ran over, eyes begging for a taste. She laughed and tossed a chunk of the rind that bounced off his nose and fell to the floor. Her smile widened as she shook her head. As she sliced the bread she heard children laughing outside. Not hers. Maybe someday. Her heart ached a little at the thought. For now, this was enough. She walked to the stove and took another taste of pasta. The cool breeze through the open window mingled with the smell of the sauce. They were like refreshment to her soul. She heard voices outside. These she recognized. Their family away from family. The doorbell rang. She took a breath and walked over to open the door.

Thursday

12

November 2015

0

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Roasted Broccoli and Squash with a Basil and Tahini Sauce

Written by , Posted in Condiments, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Rice, Roasting, Sauces, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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As I type this, I’m practicing my songs for the Christmas concert in December. This seems wrong because the weather doesn’t match the feel of the songs. I don’t know if it will ever not be weird to me to have 90 degree weather in October, but I’m coping. I try to avoid using the oven too much when it’s hot. But, today I made an exception. It just has to be done earlier in the day when it’s still cool out. And, even though it warms up the house a lot, it’s worth it to be rewarded with roasted veggies.

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Roasted broccoli is one of my favorite things. Sure, it can make the house smell like toots, but it tastes so good that it doesn’t really bother me. And roasted summer squash, I can eat the entire pan by myself. Easy.

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I tossed them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Simple.

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While they roasted I blended together some sauce (which could be a dip, just make it a little thicker). It contained things like garlic, ginger, basil, tahini paste, and homemade yogurt. I’m totally on a homemade yogurt kick right now. It’s the best, and it’s not too difficult to make. When I make it, I feel like I’m winning at life. Same with homemade bread. I guess we all have our things that make us feel like we’ve accomplished something great. Those are two of mine.

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This sauce might be another. It’s a bit Asian-inspired, with the soy sauce (liquid aminos if you’re gluten-free) and the tahini. If you have leftovers, you might use it on an Asian Chicken Salad or a Napa Cabbage Slaw. If you don’t have tahini paste (which is ground up sesame seeds), you could use almond or peanut butter.

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I served the veggies drizzled with the sauce, over some brown rice. Other options would be to serve it over pasta, spaghetti squash, chicken, tofu, or just dip the veggies in the sauce. They’re great that way too.

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I see cooler weather in the forecast. It’s almost the season for all the roasted veggies, soups, and stews.

Happy Eating!

Roasted Broccoli and Squash with a Basil and Tahini Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2

Roasted Broccoli and Squash with a Basil and Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (stems too, just peel the tough outer skin)
  • 1 medium or 2 small summer squash, cut into sticks
  • 1 t olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • pinch cayenne
  • sauce: 1 T tahini paste
  • 1 t soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2" cube fresh ginger (or good pinch dried)
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2-3 T plain yogurt (Greek or coconut) or silken tofu
  • 1/4 t dried thyme or 1 t fresh
  • 2-3 T fresh basil
  • to taste olive oil
  • cooked rice, rice noodles, spaghetti squash, chicken, tofu, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss broccoli and squash with oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Roast for 10 minutes, flip, and roast for 10 minutes more (or until a bit crispy outside).
  3. Blend tahini through olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve veggies drizzled with sauce (over rice, rice noodles, spaghetti squash, chicken, or tofu, if desired).
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/roasted-broccoli-tahini-sauce/

Monday

26

October 2015

1

COMMENTS

Pumpkin Pasta

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Pasta, Pork, Roasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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I’m eating this pasta as I type. I refrained from eating more than a bite or two while I was photographing so I could save it for dinner. It’s creamy, has a hint of spice, and it tastes like fall. It feels like the kind of food that should be enjoyed on a cold night with loved ones at your table… Lost in thought, I was envisioning my next dinner party when an errant noodle flung pasta sauce on to the floor. Distraction over.

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It’s pumpkin season and I’m so glad. I love all that there is to do with pumpkins (like I talked about in my Ten Ways to Use Pumpkins post from the other day). They’re versatile and yummy.

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For this recipe I roasted the pumpkin almost whole so that I could serve the pasta in it. It’s as simple as a little olive oil on the inside, flip it upside down, and roast for about an hour. I wanted to save some of the roasted pumpkin for a few other dishes, but if you wanted to use it all, you could totally do that.

Pumpkin isn’t the only option. If you’ve got other varieties of winter squash they’d be great too. I might avoid the spaghetti squashes (and those like them), but other than that, whatever you’ve got on hand should be great.

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Pumpkin (or winter squash) and browned butter are good friends. As they should be. You can use butter or not, olive oil is a great option as well. Equal parts butter/olive oil and all purpose flour work together to make a nice roux. Or, if you want to skip it all together (and for a gluten-free option), milk and cornstarch will thicken up nicely.

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The pumpkin, milk, and thickener heat slowly on the stove until they’re nice and thick. Then cheese and some seasonings are added and everyone gets blended together until you’ve got a nice smooth sauce.

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Whatever pasta you prefer will work perfectly. I made some fresh pasta today, cut in a fettuccine (ish) width, so that’s what I wanted to use. But, elbows, spaghetti, or fusilli would be great too. I opted for a creamy sauce without any add ins or toppings. Sometimes I just don’t want anything extra. But, next time I think I’m gonna try it with some mushrooms, greens, and sage… or maybe corn, crispy shallots, and bacon.

Happy Eating!

Pumpkin Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Yield: 6

Pumpkin Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin or small to medium winter squash (any except spaghetti squash) (about 2-3 C cooked) (could also use roasted or steamed carrots or cauliflower)
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/4 C butter or olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4 C all purpose flour or 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 C milk (any kind)
  • 1/2 C plain yogurt
  • pinch cayenne
  • to taste salt
  • good pinch coriander
  • good pinch ginger
  • 1 C cheese (Parmesan, cheddar, or Gruyère), grated
  • (could also mix in: 2-4 cloves roasted garlic, sautéed mushrooms, greens, sage, onion, leek, shallot, corn, lemon zest)
  • 6 servings pasta
  • toppings optional: fresh herbs, chopped; poached eggs, bacon, or nuts

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Cut the lid off the pumpkin (if you're going to serve in it, if not you could just slice in half), scrape out seeds. Rub the inside with 1 t olive oil. Roast for about 1 hour.
  2. Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter, if using. When it starts to brown, whisk in flour. Cook for 30-60 seconds. If doing gluten-free, skip the butter and flour and whisk milk with cornstarch. Pour in milk (with or without the cornstarch), whisking as you do. Add pumpkin. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until thickened (it should coat a spoon without all running off), stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Season with cayenne through ginger. Stir in cheese. Blend with a hand blender (or in batches in a regular blender with the center plug removed and the hole covered with a clean tea towel) until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Stir in any additional mix ins.
  4. Cook pasta. Drain and toss with sauce. Serve topped with desired toppings, or just serve as it is.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/pumpkin-pasta/

Thursday

24

September 2015

0

COMMENTS

Carrot Pasta with Tarragon

Written by , Posted in Beans, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Lentils, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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If I told you that this was another dish where versatility is key, would you be surprised? It’s the way that I cook, so as often as possible, I will offer alternatives. Just in case it’s a different season when you read this post, in case you have something else in your fridge, in case you don’t care for something that I’ve used.

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I wanted to do a pasta dish of sorts, using veggies as the pasta. Here’s where you can pull out that spiralizer, if you’ve already jumped on the veggie pasta bandwagon. I have far too many tools in my kitchen, so I opted to use a knife to cut carrots and summer squash into long, thin, pasta-like sticks (kinda like a long julienne). Other veggies that would be great: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, and fennel. Just mix and match based on what will go with the fresh herbs that you have on hand (for help with parings The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is a great kitchen tool).

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I cooked the “pasta” in boiling salted water. I cooked for just three minutes – quick and easy.

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To top the “pasta” I made a simple sauce of sorts. I used butter today, but for a vegan option, or just because it’s yummy, olive oil would be fabulous. I chopped up some small radishes, a shallot, and some garlic. Other veggies that would be great: peas, greens, cabbage, and green beans – again, mix and match based on the other veggies and herbs that you have on hand. Today’s herbs were tarragon and parsley. Other herbs to consider (these all go with carrots, if you want to keep them as the main veg): basil, Thai basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, and thyme.

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You could leave things as they are. That’d make for a great dish. But, I wanted to bump up the protein, so I added some lentils. I’m kinda obsessed with green lentils right now. They hold their shape well and taste great. I want to eat them all the time. Garbanzo beans or black beans would be fun too, if you’re not as in to lentils as I am.

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The lentils and tarragon, along with the dijon mustard that I added to the sauce, resulted in a dish that felt kinda French inspired. Topped with fresh tomatoes, this was a fabulous lunch. By the time I got to it, it was more room temperature than hot, but it was delicious. So, serve it either way. You could also top with more fresh herbs or nuts, even cheese, if you’re feeling cheesy. It would be great with some garlic bread or cornbread alongside, and a hearty spinach salad… But, just on its own is wonderful too.

Happy Eating!

Carrot Pasta with Tarragon

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2

Carrot Pasta with Tarragon

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 C radish, diced
  • 1 shallot or small onion, diced
  • to taste salt
  • (could also add: peas, greens, cabbage, green beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 C lentils (or garbanzo or black beans), cooked
  • 1 to 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • 1 C carrot, thinly sliced into strips and then into long noodle-like sticks
  • 1/2 C summer squash, thinly sliced into strips and then into long noodle-like sticks
  • (could also use or substitute: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, or fennel)
  • 1-2 T fresh tarragon, chopped (with other veggies could substitute basil, dill, mint, or thyme)
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped, for topping
  • splash white vinegar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. While it comes to a boil, heat a skillet over medium-low. Add 1 1/2 T butter or oil. When it's hot, add radish through salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, lentils (or beans), and dijon, and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 T butter/oil, tarragon, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. While sauce cooks, drop carrots and squash (and any other veggie "noodles") into the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain.
  4. Top "pasta" with lentil sauce, some tomatoes, and a splash of vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/carrot-pasta-with-tarragon/

Monday

31

August 2015

0

COMMENTS

Thai Basil and Peanut Soup

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pasta, Rice, Sides, Soups, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Soup, how I have missed you!!

I’d kinda forgotten about soup. I don’t know how. It’s one of my favorite things to cook and eat. Ever. Ever. EVER! I’m aware of the weather. It’s been about 97,000 degrees out lately and it’s just going to get hotter. But, I just can’t help myself.

This is my take on a Thai-peanut-kinda-spicy-oh-so-good soup. And yes, I said peanut. Peanut butter, to be exact. Just trust me, it works.

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To start, I raided the veggie drawers in the fridge. Cabbage, green beans, lemongrass, and chile peppers all made the cut (bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and greens could also be added, but you’re not missing out without them).

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Then I went to the pantry. Found some peanut butter, ginger, liquid aminos (gluten-free soy sauce substitute – I ran out of the real stuff yesterday), and onion. Along with some tofu from the freezer, the veggies went into a soup pot with some coconut oil to cook away. A few minutes later, the peanut butter and other goodies went in. This soup came together in no time at all.

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I added some veggie stock. Keeping things vegan today. A 30 minute simmer was all it took. If you’ve got less time, that would work too. Just cook until it tastes great to you.

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In the last few minutes of cooking, I added the noodles to some boiling salted water. You can use whatever kind of noodles you prefer – I used soba, but rice noodles would be great too. You can totally add a little more liquid to the soup and cook the noodles that way. I thought about it, but wasn’t sure if we’d have leftovers and didn’t want to risk soup-logged noodles the second time we’d eat it. Since we’re trying to conserve water in the kitchen, I let the pasta water cool and dumped it on the lawn a few minutes ago (ahem – I have no idea if lawns like pasta water, so try at your own risk).

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There are many things that you could do differently. As noted earlier, you could swap some of the veggies and you could use rice pasta if you want to go gluten-free. You could also use rice instead of pasta. It’d be a different soup, but I think it’d still be great. You could also add some coconut milk. I would have done this, but my grocery shopping was already done when I made up the recipe, so it was a use what I have on hand kinda day. However you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. We had it for lunch today and Tim said that it tasted like something you’d find at a fancy restaurant. Well, shucks, honey, that was a nice thing to say. (I agree… I may or may not have licked the bowl.)

Happy Eating!

Thai Basil and Peanut Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 42 minutes

Total Time: 57 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Thai Basil and Peanut Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 C tofu, chopped
  • 1 C green beans, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 chiles, ribs and seeds removed (if desired), diced
  • 1 C cabbage, chopped
  • could also add: bell pepper, summer squash, carrot, broccoli, greens
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, use only an inch or so from the bottom, tender inside layers, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 t ground ginger (or 1/2 to 1 t fresh, diced)
  • 1-2 T liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar, divided
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 4-6 C veggie stock
  • 1/4 lb. soba noodles or rice noodles (or rice, cooked)
  • 1/4 C Thai basil, chopped, some reserved for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat soup pot, add coconut oil. When oil is hot, add tofu through salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic (and if using fresh ginger, add it now), cook for 1 minute. Add dried ginger (if using), soy sauce/liquid aminos, 1/2 T rice vinegar, and peanut butter, cook for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. During the last few minutes of the soup's cooking time, add the pasta to the water. Cook according to package's directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Remove soup from heat. Stir in Thai basil and remaining 1/2 T of rice vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. To serve, pile some noodles in a bowl and pour soup around them. Top with the reserved Thai basil.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/thai-basil-and-peanut-soup/