Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant & Bread Crumbs)

Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant & Bread Crumbs)

This is a delicious eggplant and pasta dish. This recipe makes a big batch and freezes well.

Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant and Bread Crumbs)

2 medium Italian eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1 ” cubes (Japanese eggplants can also be used, you’ll need about 4) – you don’t have to peel them
salt
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 pound rigatoni
2 cups of your favorite marinara or tomato pasta sauce
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated

Toast the fresh bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

In a clean skillet, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high.  Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes (sometimes I have to add a bit more olive oil to the pan if the eggplant is sticking to the bottom).  Season with salt to taste. Add marinara (or pasta sauce) to the eggplant and bring to temp. Lower temperature and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook rigatoni according to package directions. When just tender, drain well. Add to the warm eggplant and tomato sauce mixture. Add the toasted bread crumbs and mozzarella and mix well. Serve with grated Parmesan.

This recipe is adapted from:  Italian Classics:  Fourteen Favorite Recipes from the Pages of Saveur Magazine (World Publications, 2003).


Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables 2 (640x480)

I love this recipe. Not only is this dish beautiful to look at, it is delicious and healthy, as well. This dish is perfect for summer because it’s not too heavy and it is bursting with fresh flavors, but it is also good anytime of the year.  Frozen corn works perfectly well when fresh is not available.  If you are gluten free you can use the corn spaghetti (which I get at the health food store) instead of regular spaghetti. I like crumbled goat cheese over the top, but parmesan or feta is good also.

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables (640x480)

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables

8 ounces spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons corn oil or butter
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 cups corn kernels, from 3 ears of corn
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 tomatoes, halved, seeded and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 ounces queso fresco, feta, goat cheese, or parmesan

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the scallions, corn, bell pepper, and chile. Saute over high heat for 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes, most of the cilantro, and a ladle of the pasta water. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little pepper and turn the heat to low. Drain the pasta, shaking off the excess water. Add it to the vegetables and toss well. Divide among pasta plates, crumble the cheese over the top, and add the remaining cilantro.


Cavatappi with Rapini

I bought a beautiful bunch of rapini (also known as broccoli rabe). I thought it would go really well with pasta for a quick meal suitable for my low iodine diet. I thought this dish turned out better than expected. It’s so simple and not too heavy. Once off LID, I would probably add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Cavatappi with Rapini

Cavatappi with Rapini

1 large bunch of rapini (broccoli rabe), washed, stem ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound (1/2 a box) cavatappi or other pasta (like penne, fusilli, rotini, etc…) (I used Ronzoni brand cavatappi)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 Roma tomato, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of Kosher salt and the rapini. Cook until the rapini becomes bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

In a large pot, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes. Next, add the cooked and drained rapini, white wine, and chopped tomato. Bring to a boil and then add the drained pasta. Stir to combine and let cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Veggie Pasta Salad

This is an easy pasta salad that is open to interpretation. It is great for parties.  Play around with the pasta shapes and the types of veggies added.  If I don’t have Salad Supreme, I’ll add a few shakes of Mrs. Dash instead. My mother-in-law makes this pasta salad using spaghetti. It’s the best thing she makes.

Veggie Pasta Salad

1 16 oz. pkg. small shell (or fusilli or rotini) pasta – cooked, rinsed and drained
8 oz. Wishbone Italian dressing (or your favorite italian dressing)
4 T. McCormick’s Salad Supreme (this has cheese in it…so you could leave it out or use something else)
5 cups of assorted raw vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces
some veggies you can use:
cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
broccoli florets
carrots, peeled and sliced
grape tomatoes, halved
red onion , chopped
bell peppers (any color), chopped
black olives, sliced

Combine all ingredients and marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours.


Anthony Bourdain’s Baked Macaroni

I have never made/baked macaroni this way. I usually make a bechemel type sauce, add shredded cheddar cheese to make a creamy cheese sauce to mix with cooked macaroni (I usually also toss in steamed broccoli or cauliflower too). I almost never bake my macaroni.  Anyway, I wanted to try this method.  I cut this recipe out of some magazine years ago and saved it because I enjoy Anthony Bourdain’s shows (A Cook’s Tour and No Reservations) and books.  The recipe was easy to put together, but I thought it turned out kinda greasy, dry, and lacking flavor.  I didn’t really care for the crunchiness of the mac either.  It just wasn’t what I am used to.  So, I will stick to my version of macaroni and cheese which always turns out creamy and excellent.

Anthony Bourdain’s Baked Macaroni

1 lb macaroni, such as elbow or penne
3/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
16 ounces (about 4 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 T. butter
1 quart (4 cups of whole milk

Cook pasta in boiling water 3 to 5 minutes less than package directs.  Drain well.

Meanwhile heat oven 400 degrees and grease a 13 X 9-inch baking dish.

Spread about 1/3 of the pasta in the prepared dish.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, some pepper, and 1/3 of the cheese.  Dot with 1/2 T. butter.  Repeat layers twice, dotting the top layer with 1 T. butter.  Don’t tamp down the pasta; it will make the dish too dense.  Pour milk over top.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how crisp you like the top.


Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus, and Walnuts

Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus, and Walnuts

farfalle 3

From February 9, 2005:  I made this for dinner last night…it was delicious.  I’m not a big walnut fan and don’t usually have them in the pantry,  so I used toasted pecans (it’s a Texas thing) instead and it tasted just fine.  The Marscapone cheese is a little bland, so make sure to season well with salt and pepper.  This recipe makes A LOT!

 

Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus, and Walnuts

Salt
1 pound farfalle pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 cup mascarpone cheese
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.   Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the Mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the pasta in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.

farfalle 2

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis,   http://www.foodtv.com


Summer Spaghetti with Corn and Tomatoes

corn spaghetti 1

I love this recipe. Not only is this dish beautiful to look at, it is delicious and healthy, as well. This dish is perfect for summer because it’s not too heavy and it is bursting with fresh flavors, but it is also good anytime of the year.  Frozen corn works perfectly well when fresh is not available.  I like to use the corn spaghetti (which I get at the health food store) instead of regular spaghetti for a gluten-free option.

Summer Spaghetti with Corn and Tomatoes

12 ounces corn-flour or regular spaghetti (be sure not to overcook)
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil or butter
1 small onion, quartered and sliced
2 cups corn kernels, from 3 ears of corn
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 yellow squash, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, halved, seeded and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 ounces goat cheese or queso fresco

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package. If using corn pasta, take care not to overcook it. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion, corn, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Saute over high heat until softened, about 3 minutes, then add the diced squash. Saute, stirring often, until the veggies are all tender. Add the tomatoes, most of the cilantro, and a ladle of the pasta water (about 1/2 cup). Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little pepper and turn the heat to low. Drain the pasta, shaking off the excess water. Add it to the vegetables and toss well. Divide among pasta plates, crumble the cheese over the top, and add the remaining cilantro.

corn spaghetti 2

Original Recipe Source: “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” by Deborah Madison