Tag Archives: garlic

Tomato, Sausage, and Peccorino Pasta

I initially ate pasta, then black listed it, and now i’m bringing it back.  I have such a love-hate relationship with pasta.  But I love it more than I hate it, so I can’t steer clear forever.  I came across this on the Cooking Light website and thought this would be a great way to add pasta to my meals with out domming myself and slipping into a carb coma.  It was delicious and even a hit with Brad.  Win-win!  I will definitely be making this again and SOON.  Also, this is a shout out to Michelle who really wanted to see this recipe up three weeks ago. 🙂  Better late than never, right?

My only substitution was instead of using fresh tomatoes, i used canned diced tomatoes with some oregano and basil seasoning.  I cut corners where I see fit.  I hate chopping tomatoes.

You’ll need:

8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

Delish! Go make this now. I’m serious.


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Garlic Soup with Spinach, Pasta Shells and Chicken

Talk about a soup that will warm you from the inside out on a chilly day.  I’ve never made my own broth before.  This recipe required you to.  I mean, who sells garlic broth?  Right.  So I had no choice but to make my own.  And it was… rewarding!  Thank you New York Times for this recipe.

You’ll need:

2 heads of garlic
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon olive oil
A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley, and a fresh sage leaf
Salt to taste
1/2 cup small macaroni shells
6 1/2-inch thick slices country bread, toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
4 egg yolks
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice and water. Separate the head of garlic into cloves and drop them into the boiling water. Blanch for 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain and remove the skins from the garlic cloves. They’ll be loose and easy to remove. Crush the cloves lightly by leaning on them with the side of a chef’s knife.

Place the garlic cloves in a large saucepan with 2 quarts of water, the olive oil, bouquet garni, and salt to taste, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Strain and return the broth to the saucepan. Taste and adjust salt, and bring back to a simmer.

If you wanted to make your broth ahead of time and make the rest of the soup later, just stop here and pop the broth in the fridge or freezer.

Add the macaroni shells to the broth and simmer until cooked al dente.

Distribute the garlic croutons among soup bowls and top each one with a heaped tablespoon of cheese. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Making sure that it is not boiling, whisk in a ladleful of the hot garlic broth.

Add the spinach to the simmering broth and stir for 30 seconds to a minute, until all of the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the tempered egg yolks. Stir for a minute, taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle the soup over the cheese-topped croutons, and serve.

I also tossed in some shredded chicken for a lil more oomph into this delish soup.  I LOVED this soup. LOVED LOVED LOVED.  Make it.  Now!

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Jalepeno Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Say that five times fast.

This little gem of a soup popped up in my inbox thanks to myrecipes.com daily recipe.  WOW is all I have to say.  W.O.W.


You’ll need…

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-in. cubes
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Crème fraîche (optional)
Heat olive oil in a 4- to 5-qt. pot over high heat. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not yet browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cayenne and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add squash, broth, brown sugar, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
In a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, then pour back into the pot. Stir in cream and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot, with a swirl of crème fraîche if you like.

This soup was surprisingly amazing.  I knew it would be delicious but I did not expect it to be amazing on a whole nother level.  Creamy, sweet, hot, delicious. Perfect soup for the fall.  And it’s REALLY easy on the waste line.  Win win!

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Pink Leek Pasta Revisited

A while back Julia made Pink Leek Pasta and from what I remember it was quite delicious.  I saw pre-packaged leeks at Trader Joe’s during my last trip and I immediately thought to make some PLP.  I followed the same steps except that I halved it but put in all of my leeks.  I had quite a bit left over for a few days and I couldn’t get enough.  This is so simple, quick, easy, pretty and ridiculously delicious.  I think next time I’m going to throw in some chicken.  Yum!

For the original post, click here.

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Fat Tuesday Chicken Gumbo

Fat Tuesday was a combination of reasons why I made this dish.  Ian, with the help of Tim, got me this ridiculous cookbook for Christmas, The Total Banana.

And ever since, we’ve been talking about having a banana dinner night.  After thumbing through the banana book, I found “Chicken Gumbo” (with plantain balls) and Fat Tuesday was only a couple of days away.  A few text messages later the banana dinner was in place!  I picked chicken gumbo from the book because it seemed to be one of the easier things to make.  I thought to ease myself in to the Total Banana.

The recipe called for okra and I’ve never worked with okra before.  I did not prepare it the best way possible and it was a little bit slimy.  Not in a gross way, but a definite acquired taste.  A better way to use okra is to fry it up and add it at the end, almost like a garnish to your dish.  I will definitely go that route next time I use okra.

I do not have the recipe on hand currently.  Tim has The Total Banana, since we decided that we should take turns hosting the banana dinner.  Tim is unfortunately next.

It was a pretty straight forward recipe with green peppers, onions, garlic, chicken stock, okra, spices, etc.  I added sausage into it to give it a little more oomph.  My coworker gave me some southern cookin’ staples and I added gumbo file at the end.  Deeeelish!  Once I get the banana book back, I will update with the recipe.

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easy pad thai

yep.  EASY!  i’ll never forget when julia and mark tried to make pad thai.  they used fish sauce and man did it stink.  i found a recipe over at Brownies for Dinner for pad thai and had to try it, noticing that fish sauce was nowhere to be found in the ingredient list.  i never made pad thai but i was up for this easy challenge.

you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • a couple squirts of Sriracha (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large eggs, light beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts

soak noodles according to the package and drain.

in a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.

in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant. add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set. Transfer eggs to a plate. this process takes about a minute, from scallion to egg.

add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft.  add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.

serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with peanuts.

besides soaking the noodles, this dish took about 5 minutes to make.  it was delicious.  now that i have a great pad thai base, i will be making this more often with more things such as chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc.  and of course i will post!  definitely use this recipe if you have ever wanted to make pad thai.  it couldn’t be any more simple.  enjoy!


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scalloped tomatoes

this should have been posted a while ago but somehow i let this one slip through my fingers.  at any rate, for the family christmas dinner, everyone brings something.  i took a different route this year and made ina garten’s scalloped tomatoes from her new book “How Easy Is That?”   something fresh to stand out of the cheese and carb loaded dishes.  yes, it would be better in the summer but a little summer in winter never hurt anyone.

you’ll need:

  • Good olive oil (in the spirit of Ina)

  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.   add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil.  cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.

meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  when the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  off the heat, stir in the basil.

pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish.  sprinkle evenly with the parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.  serve hot or warm.

the dish was simple and a lot of reviews said that is super easy to make ahead.  it was a hit at christmas dinner.  i will be making this in the summer with a few tweaks.  overall, yum!


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