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    More Food Porn: An Honest Lasagna

    This is from a few years ago, back when I had the time to make my own pasta. Here are but a few of the ingredients – Flour, water, canned tomatoes, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and heapin’ dose of love.

    More Food Porn: Bolognese

    Ahhhh…much better.

    More Food Porn: Rotini Puttanesca

    Oh the red! The RED!

    From an early dinner I had in Boston with Andrea and Dawn.

    Spicy Chicken and Shrimp Macaroni

    This recipe comes from Food & Wine, and it hit the perfect trifecta concerning the quality of the recipe. And by “trifecta” I mean that out of the three people who tasted it, no one had the same opinion of it.

    Tara flat out didn’t like it, saying there were too many flavors trying to compete with one another. Michelle liked it well enough, but found it too spicy to eat in great quantities.

    I loved it. I loved it for the reasons mentioned above, although I didn’t think that the flavors competed against one another as much as they complimented one another – with the exception being the spiciness. It can be hot, but we ate this meal on a summer day, typically a better time for spicy food than not.

    If I were to make it again (and I’ll probably won’t, because I like to have culinary consensus when I cook), I’d cut back on the jalapeno, but keep everything else in place.

    By the way. This is one of the better pictures I’ve taken in quite some time. Natural lighting is an amazing thing. Anyone know how I can recreate natural light on the cheap?


    • 1 Tbsp Tamari
    • 1 Tbsp Dry Sherry
    • 1 3/4 curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • ground Pepper (to taste)


    • 2 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
    • 2/3 lb medium sized shrimp(shelled and deveined
    • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
    • 2 Tbsp corn oil
    • Salt
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
    • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
    • 2 scallions, sliced
    • 1 small carrot, sliced
    • 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
    • 3/4 cup chicken stock
    • 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

    Mix the tamari, sherry, curry, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil into a medium to large bowl. Season with pepper. Add the chicken and coat with the marinade, and then follow with the shrimp. Coat well, cover the bowl and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

    Cook the macaroni “al dente” as directed by the instructions on the box. Set aside.

    In a wok or large non stick skillet add 1 tablespoon of corn oil. Place over medium/medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet and season with salt. Stir and cook until all of the shrimp become opaque (2-3 minutes). Remove the shrimp from the skillet onto a plate and set aside.

    Add the second Tablespoon of corn oil to the wok or skillet. Add the chicken and season with salt. Lower the heat to medium and allow to cook until lightly browned (4-6 minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, scallions, and carrot. Allow these ingredients to saute/cook together for 4-5 minutes. Pour in the oyster sauce and mix in well. Add the chicken stock, and allow to come to a simmer. Add the shrimp and macaroni and cook until both come to temperature.

    Serve in a bowl or on a plate. Top with the basil.

    Serves 4

    Asparagus and Pancetta Spaghetti

    I’m not sure if there is an “official” Italian name for this dish – I mean one other than “Asparagus and Pancetta Spaghetti”. But, authentic Italian or no, it’s certainly a recipe that should be kept on hand when the asparagus season arrives.

    The basic concept is similar to that found in the Sauté of Leeks, Endives and Radicchio with Spaghetti recipe from a week back. You have a slightly bitter ingredient (in this case the asparagus) balanced against the salty of the pancetta and the slightly savory of the Parmesan cheese. Add a little more ground pepper than usual, and “voila!” – there’s the best received dish I’ve had in quite some time.

    • 1 lb spaghetti (or other similar pasta)
    • 1/2 lb pancetta, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3/4 lb asparagus, chopped into 1″ bits
    • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
    • black pepper, ground

    Make the spaghetti according to the directions on the package.

    While waiting for your pasta water to come to a boil, fry up the pancetta over medium heat for about seven minutes. Add the garlic, and fry for another minute.

    Once the pasta water gets to the boil, add the spaghetti to the water. Then, add the asparagus to the pancetta frying pan, and fry until soft, roughly 7-10 minutes.

    Drain the spaghetti and place into a large glass bowl. Add the olive oil and mix into the pasta. Then add the pancetta and asparagus, as well as 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Toss well.

    When plating, sprinkle the spaghetti with another helping of parmesan cheese and top with ground black pepper (to taste).

    Serves 4-6

    Pasta with Roasted Chicken Sauce

    I made this while up in Canada, and wanted to add it to the recipe archive. It’s a bit of a savory dish, perfect for a winter’s day.

    • 8 pieces of chicken (any combination of thighs, breasts, drumsticks and wings will suffice)
    • 1 cup flour
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup white wine, dry (I used an oakey Chardonney)
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, seeded and sliced
    • 1 lb dried pasta (I used penne)

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

    Pat dry the chicken pieces, and then dredge in the flour that has been lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Place the floured pieces in a lightly-oiled medium sized roasting pan. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with the rosemary and garlic. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until the chicken is lightly browned.

    Remove the pan from the oven and add the wine, stock and olives. Return to the oven, cooking for another 20 minutes, turning the pieces of chicken over every 4 minutes.

    It is at this point that you will want to start cooking whatever pasta you wish to use in this dish.

    After the 20 minutes, remove from the chicken from the oven, and place the chicken under an aluminum foil tent to keep warm. Scrape the bottom of the roasting pan thoroughly and pour all of the contents (stock and fronds) into a large skillet that has been placed over high heat. Cook the stock until reduce by half, approximately 4-5 minutes.

    Pour the sauce over individual servings of the pasta, along with one or two pieces of the chicken. Garnish with any remaining rosemary.

    Serves 6-8

    Technorati Tags: recipes, Chicken, pasta,

    Tuna Noodle Casserole

    As you can tell from the picture, the previously requested recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole (referred to as ‘TNC’ from here on out) was completed and eaten in all of it’s glory. Here are some of the thoughts I had:

    1. Cream of Mushroom Soup is a losing proposition. There’s a better way to get a creamy texture without resorting to the Campbells soup travesty.
    2. When it comes to TNC, I am a snob. As I was making the dish, I kept thinking that I was lowering my food standards. This is kind of unfair in my opinion, as I believe that there is a good recipe in here, hiding somewhere amongst the crushed potato chips and frozen peas.
    3. No matter how you dress it up, if you use canned tuna in the recipe, it’s gonna taste kinda less than you’d expect.

    Overall, it was well received by the Birthday Girl. the TNC didn’t look as she remembered it, but tasted almost exactly as she recalled.

    Many thanks to Chris, Jennifer, Lisa, Stacey, Zazzy, Lorrie, Rebecca, Steve, Jessica, Yana, Maureen, Diana and
    Sally. They all offered some hint or insight that I used. I didn’t use one specific recipe, but took bits I liked from everyone. The results were pleasantly mediocre, which in my snobbish opinion, is as good as a TNC can get.

    • 16 oz. wide egg noodle
    • 3 cans Tuna


    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 8 oz. fresh button mushrooms, sliced
    • 4 Tablespoons butter
    • 4 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
    • 20 0z. Whole Milk
    • 6 oz Montery Jack cheese, shredded
    • 2 cups frozen peas


    • 4oz. Parmesan Cheese, shredded
    • 8 oz. Potato Chips, slightly crushed

    Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Cook Noodles as per instructions on package. When done, drain, and rinse with cold water. Place in a glass bowl and combine with the tuna fish. Pour noodles in a 3-Quart glass baking dish and set aside in the refrigerator.

    Place a medium skillet over medium heat on the stove top. Place in the olive oil and onions, and cooking until the onions juuust start to look translucent. It’s at this point that you should ad the mushrooms. Cook the onions and mushrooms until the onions start to turn brown or the mushrooms lose their “raw” look, whichever comes later. Remove from heat and set aside.

    In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium/medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a roux. Whisk in the milk, 4 oz. at a time, ensuring the milk is fully incorporated before adding any more. This will create a thinner Béchamel Sauce (If you want an even thinner sauce, add more milk, 2 oz. at a time). To the sauce, add the shredded Jack cheese and allow to melt thoroughly. To this cheese sauce add the frozen peas and onions/mushroom mixture.

    Pour cheese sauce over noodles in the baking dish. Stir in, if you wish, or simply allow to sauce to seep into the noodles. Top with the Parmesan cheese and crushed potato chips.

    Cover baking dish with Aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes more.

    Serves 8-12

    Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Tuna Noodle Casserole