Archive for the ‘Pasta’ tag
Last week’s Food52 contest was for “Your Best Pasta with Seafood”. I entered my pasta with smoked salmon, cream and dill, but I didn’t make the cut. The winner was LastNight’sDinner, who submitted a recipe for Linguine with sardines, fennel, and tomato. She describes it as “pantry meal” because the majority of the ingredients are things that you can always keep on hand, and this dish can be thrown together in 10 minutes. It packs a lot of flavor, uses sustainable seafood, and it definitely deserved to win! Here is a link to the post on Food52. The only thing I did differently was to add some parmesan cheese (because that always makes pasta better!)
It has been a long time since I have contributed to Food52, and I’ve felt like a total slacker. But this week’s contest was for “Your Best Seafood Pasta”, and anyone who reads this blog with any frequency knows that I cook lots of seafood, and lots of pasta, so I had to work up something great to submit to this contest. What I decided to do was a twist on a traditional recipe that I’ve been cooking for years (the first iteration of this dish was when I was back in High School in Arizona, and my Mom would have leftover salmon, and my favorite dish in the world was fettuccine alfredo).
See, this dish is GOOD FOR YOU, because it has peas and salmon in it! Nevermind the cream, butter, and pasta. It’s totally healthy. Or something…
Yesterday I went to the beach to watch the sunset, and it happened to be low tide. I had planned to make a big pot of red sauce with spaghetti for dinner, but as I walked out onto the flats I saw the telltale marks of a clam bed, and within 5 minutes I had a dozen steamers. Dinner plans changed from a red sauce to a white wine and butter sauce with clams.
This is the type of dish that I love cooking on the Cape. One fresh local seafood ingredient, paired with the most straightforward flavors and cooking methods, cooked up after a day at the beach. You can feed a hungry group of people in 20 minutes, start to finish. Serve it with some crusty bread and a good white wine, and you’re in business.
The second Food52 contest this week was for spring peas. I decided to put together a little spring pasta with a cream sauce, just because that’s my favorite way to eat pasta. Peas always go well in cream sauces (I have made one with smoked salmon and peas before that is great) and diced prosciutto is another favorite. Put all this together, and you get this:
So it’s Saturday morning. It’s too early to go to dim sum, and I’m not in the mood for a traditional breakfast. What to do? Make bacon and egg pasta!
My cousin Erik, who lives out in Boulder, CO, recently sent me a recipe that he loves. He prefaced it by saying that this recipe “wasn’t pretty” and that I would need to do something to “dress it up” for the photos on the blog if I were to cook it. He was correct, in that the chicken comes out rather purple, since it is cooked in wine, and everything else winds up a dark shade of red. However, that aside, this dish was great. Warming, tangy, and filling. If this is what the peasants eat, I’d never want to be King.
A couple years ago I bought a copy of the Balthazar cookbook from a street vendor on my way back from the supermarket. It’s a pretty serious and technical French cookbook, but the few things I’ve made from it have been excellent.
For the uninitiated, Balthazar is the crown jewel of Keith McNally’s New York restaurant empire, and quickly became a SoHo institution after opening in 1997. I’ve eaten there a handful of times, and there are few dining experiences that match the unbridled seafood extravaganza of the “Le Balthazar” tower. 3 tiers of raw (and some cooked) piscatorial delights; about 4 feet worth of oceanic ecstasy. Clams, oysters, shrimp, lobster, scallop ceviche, periwinkles, scungilli, crab…and more. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it. Since I wasn’t going to run out and buy $100 worth of seafood, I opted for a pasta dish instead.
For Christmas I received a pasta maker, which I have used a few times with great results. I figured that fresh pasta with a wild mushroom cream sauce from the Balthazar cookbook would be a delicious dinner. If you’re not making your own pasta try to get it fresh. If you have the right tools, however, it’s pretty easy (and satisfying) to make your own (and you can read about it here).
Yesterday I was reading a fellow food blog, Choosy Beggars, and came across a little contest that they had held looking for the cheapest, easiest, and tastiest meal that their readers could come up with. Answers ranged from a peanut butter, pickle, and jalapeno sandwich (intriguing, but I’m not jumping up to make it); Kraft Dinner and cut-up hotdogs (someone has been reading my mind, or maybe my blog); and the winner was: French onion soup pasta. So easy, and it makes so much sense, that I had to try it: