Have you ever gone to dinner at someone’s house and before they serve you the food they say, “Uh, I hope you like garlic,” with just the slightest touch of hesitation? Like garlic? Are you kidding? I can’t get enough!
Now, to be fair, I have on occasion turned down an everything bagel because I was afraid of starting the day off with garlic breath, but by lunch, it’s all over. You might just want to sit on the other side of the conference room if I have a meeting with you in the afternoon.
And of course there’s garlic and then there’s roasted garlic. Don’t you just love restaurants that serve roasted garlic with thick, crusty bread to smear it on. Well, if you like that, you’ll love this pasta dish. The lemon adds a nice tang to the sweet, rich flavor from the roasted tomatoes and garlic, while the beans add both protein and a nice flavor and texture, and the basil adds a nice earthy sweetness to top it all off.
I get so carried away sometimes with finding new recipes and cooking that I forget to actually blog about the things I cook! Case in point, I was on the phone with my sister yesterday and she said that as soon as I’m back on my feet she’d love to see a risotto recipe on Pixelated Crumb. As soon as she said it, I realized that we had in fact made one and had photographed it and everything, but I’d never actually gotten around to posting it. Which is a shame because it’s really good!
When I went back to find the photos, I found several other recipes that I haven’t posted yet. Recipes that are really, really good, but I just forgot that I hadn’t posted yet! The good news for all of you is that I’m laid up recovering from knee surgery, so I have plenty of time to revisit them, starting with the risotto.
Running out of Thanksgiving leftovers? Trying to squeeze in some healthy food to make up for all that pie and stuffing? Well, look no further than this lightened up version of mac n’ cheese.
I should tell you up front that this mac n’ cheese is not going to be the same as the ooey gooey traditional stuff overflowing with cheese. But neither is it a sad pile of flavorless, plasticy macaroni. It’s actually one of my favorite dishes because it it satisfies my craving for mac n’ cheese without making me feel guilty. What’s the secret? Pureed winter squash. But don’t worry, there’s still cheese — real cheese — but now you’re also getting veggies in your mac n’ cheese! Can’t you just feel your reservations melt away?
Ok, so clearly we’re really into fall foods. We just can’t stop buying butternut squash. One Monday night when we had a butternut squash lying around waiting to be eaten, I saw this recipe on the kitchn and thought, perfect! A quick Monday night dinner and we have all the ingredients! The problem was that I was only right on the latter. You see, once you have to roast something, your time is just going to go up and we just didn’t factor that into our timing. So it ended up being a late night dinner, but it was totally worth it for this delicious autumnal pasta.
One of the things that really made this dish shine was the truffle salt that we put on just before serving. Now, this is totally optional, but trust me, it’s totally, totally worth the money. This last Valentine’s Day I got Joseph Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home and a jar of truffle salt from Williams Sonoma. Now, this may be a teeny, tiny far of salt that costs nearly 30, yes 30, dollars. But trust me!!! It’s so worth every penny! We use it all the time and yet you can barely tell that we’ve made a dent in it even though we’ve been using it since mid-February! If you don’t believe me, just check out all 30 reviews with the average of 5 stars. If you’ve never had the extreme pleasure of getting to try truffles, do yourself a favor and get this salt. If you have had truffles and you know how extraordinary the flavor is, I shouldn’t even have to tell you to get this salt. It imparts a lovely, earthy truffle flavor to everything you add it to from scrambled eggs to your pizza to your pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts. Put the salt on your Christmas/Hanuka/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Whatever list and you’ll thank me the second you open the jar and get a whiff of what lies inside. Continue reading
It’s amazing to me how quickly fall came. It’s like it was 90 degrees one day, and 50 the next. I like fall a lot, but I hate how short it is. But when it cooled off, I was thinking about food (as I very often do, especially when I’m consoling myself over the weather) and about how I can now make pasta (thanks to our wonderful new pasta roller), and I suddenly had this craving for a warm, cozy dish that I haven’t had in years.
I am so excited to tell you about this dish. My sister and brother-in-law gave us a pasta roller attachment for our KitchenAid mixer and I’ve been itching to try it. But we’ve been going out of town nearly every weekend and it didn’t seem wise to try to tackle it for the first time on a work night. So we decided today was finally the day and in preparation we went to one of my favorite places in the Boston area, Hutchins Farm.
Hutchins, in beautiful Concord, MA, is an organic farm that Joseph and I found on a bike ride shortly after we had moved north. It was my favorite place to pick up produce when I worked in Concord a couple years ago. It’s still my favorite place to get fresh produce, but it’s harder now that I’m not working in the area. But it’s well worth the trip for their amazing fruits and veggies, especially when you have something special in mind. Something like my making your own pasta for the first time! Continue reading
I mentioned before that my sister had sent me a zucchini pasta recipe super similar to a Smitten Kitchen recipe that I was already planning on making. My sister raved about this recipe from Cooking Light, so I had to try it and see how it compared. The recipes both share all the same key ingredients: whole wheat pasta, zucchini (of course), lemon, olive oil, almonds, and pecorino romano. The two main differences between the two dishes are the cut of the zucchini (simple dice vs. painstakingly cut little slivers), addition of tomatoes, and number of ingredients.
The Cooking Light pasta adds both mint and thyme. As much as I love mint in certain situations (like mint and chocolate, which I love), I’m wary of it in certain food combos such as pasta. I just feel like it has a strong flavor and can overwhelm the dish. I might have been a bit light-handed when I added it, but I thought it was fine, adding just a subtle mint flavor. Continue reading
There are a few food blogs that I check pretty regularly, but hands down my favorite is Smitten Kitchen. When I saw this recipe of hers there was no question about whether I was going to make it, it was when. You see, I love any quick simple pasta that involves lemon. Oh, and there’s cheese!
When I had already picked up the zucchini for this recipe, my sister sent me a different but similar zucchini pasta recipe. When I responded that we were once again on the same wavelength, she wrote back that she had seen this recipe and wasn’t going to make it because she didn’t have a mandoline. Oh. Oops, I missed that part. But it wasn’t going to stop me! I had a fleeting thought that I could just cutting them thicker, but scoffed at the idea. I would do it by hand! So I painstakingly cut the first zucchini into teeny tiny slivers. Then Joseph came along and finished the next two double time with his master cutting skills. Continue reading
Joseph and I love to have the ingredients around for this pasta from Ellie Krieger because it’s fast, easy, relatively healthy, and the ingredients keep for a little while so you don’t need to make it right away. In fact, we got the ingredients before our trip to Europe a few weeks ago and didn’t make it until last night. I guess if you have to buy parsley, you might need to make it a little sooner. That’s the beauty of growing your own herbs! No more finding small packages of overpriced herbs that have slipped and been forgotten under all your other produce in the fridge and spoiled.
Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce
Adapted from Ellie Krieger
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or a 6-ounce block
1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers and saute until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Place the roasted red pepper mixture in a food processor with the stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Cook the pasta. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding the pasta water bit by bit if extra moisture is needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among pasta bowls and sprinkle with parsley and the remaining feta cheese.