Category Archives: pasta

What to do with a whole lot of leftover cilantro? Make pesto! I don’t normally like pesto, but I am a big fan of this version. Not sure why, but it has a creamier texture than normal (maybe the walnuts?), and the cilantro and cayenne give it a little bit of an extra kick.

1 bunch fresh cilantro
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I combined some white wine and some vinegar)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup walnuts
salt to taste
¼ cup olive oil

In a food processor or blender, blend the cilantro, garlic, vinegar, cayenne, walnuts and salt. Add the olive oil and blend. Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Pour pesto into a saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until pesto begins to simmer. Pour over cooked pasta and toss.

P. S. sorry I keep forgetting to take pics of my food, but pesto just looks like a bunch of goop anyway.


My friend Eunice made the most amazing mac n cheese last week, and ever since I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. She went out of town, so I wasn’t able to get her exact recipe, but she did mention that hers used a mix of extra sharp cheddar and gruyere cheese. So, this was my version…

Mac n Cheese with Gruyere

  • 8 oz short pasta
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup canned vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cups (packed) grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cups (packed) grated gruyere cheese


1. Cook macaroni in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain.

2. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Mix 1/2 tablespoon with breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Add flour to remaining butter; whisk over medium heat 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and broth. Bring to boil, whisking constantly. Add green onions. Whisk 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until melted.

3. Preheat broiler. Mix macaroni into sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle crumbs over. Broil until crumbs brown, about 2 minutes, and serve.

Thoughts: Very good, for some reason I especially like that you get to bake your dish in a pie pan, but my friend Eunice’s was still amazingly better. One day I will get her recipe and hopefully, post it on this here blog.

YUMMM! We’re leaving for vacation on Thursday, so I was trying to make a pasta dish that would last two days and only two days. Well, mission accomplished, there are no leftovers, but sadly this was so good that we consumed the entire pound of pasta and clams each and the accompanying ingredients in one night. Oh well, tummy is very happy!

Clam Linguine

all the ingredients, the only pre-cooking prep is to soak/scrub clams and chop parsley!

  • salt
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound New Zealand cockles or 24 Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in with juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped


1. In large pot over moderately high heat, combine 8 quarts of water to boil and salt. Bring to boil, then add linguine and cook to 1 minute short of al dente according to package directions (pasta should still be quite firm).

simmering sauce, clams are buried in there somewhere

2. Once pasta has been placed in boiling water: In a large sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat 4 tablespoons extra- olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add clams and 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes and juice, and 1/2 cup parsley and simmer, uncovered, just until clams open, 7 to 8 minutes.

3. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain linguine and add to pan. Simmer, tossing occasionally, until linguine is just tender, about 1 minute. If necessary, add some of reserved cooking water to keep moist. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, and extra-virgin olive oil, tossing to coat. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.

yum! - FYI, this dish does have some kick from the red pepper flakes

A few months ago I came across this recipe for pasta simply flavored with sausage and cheese, with some added greens. Every month or so it would cross my mind, but I never got around to making it until last week. I bought all my ingredients from Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, they only sell chicken and turkey sausage, which was sufficient, but I think pork sausage would have really given more flavor. We also only had about half the amount of parmesan the recipe called for, which I think also decreased the flavor, however despite these two setbacks, the dish was still wonderful!

Pasta with Sausage & Greens

1 pound pasta (I used TJ’s little pennes)
Olive oil
1/4 pound Italian or spicy sausage, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, minced
Four big handfuls of seasonal greens like baby spinach or arugula
1/2 cup grated Pamesan cheese

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In the same big pot you cooked the pasta in, heat a little olive oil and add the crumbled sausage and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is cooked through.

Add the greens and cook until barely wilted, then add the pasta and cheese and stir until all is combined and gooey – about two minutes. Serve with extra cheese.

We are cooking up a storm today! Due to being prego (we’re about 12 weeks in now!), I kind of lost the desire and inspiration to prepare food so I haven’t cooked hardly at all for the past few weeks. I think I’m finally past that stage and (hopefully) I’m back!

Tonight, I welcomed the cool, October weather with my favorite roasted brussel sprouts (thanks again to Lil for this recipe, which I’ve used numerous times) and white-wine scallop pasta. Both excellent and comforting dishes. I’ve made these brussel sprouts for many gatherings and they are always loved by lots. People who don’t even like brussel sprouts have asked me for the recipe – it’s that good. I think, if you love cabbage like I do, you’ll like these. The scallop pasta is another favorite of Noah and mine. Aside from obtaining the scallops, both dishes are actually amazingly easy to prepare.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Pecans


2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 c pecans (or walnuts), roughly chopped
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss all the ingredients together. Turn the brussel sprouts cut-side down. Toast until golden and tender, 20-25 mins.

Scallops With White Wine Sauce


2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

2 T minced shallot or red onion
1/2 c white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 c butter
1 lb sea scallops
chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the garlic and then the onions.

2. Pour in the white wine and lemon juice. Cook and stir until most of the liquid has been reduced. Stir in the butter until melted.

3. Cook the dry scallops in the butter sauce until the center is opaque (about 2 mins on each side), making sure not to overcook the scallops.

4. Remove pan from heat and remove scallops from sauce. Set aside.

5. Toss 1/2 lb of pasta (I used linguine) with the wine-butter sauce and the chopped parsley. Serve and top with scallops.

We’ll be out of town for a little over a week, so today I did my very best to use up all the leftover veggies that were in the fridge. Thanks to the Martha Stewart Living magazine that Erin happened to give me, I found the perfect recipe for the rest of the basil and tomatoes from this week’s CSA share:

Tomato & Basil Pasta (I halved all the ingredients for a smaller batch)

Combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Toss in 1 pound cooked and drained short pasta. Tear 4 medium tomatoes and 1 pound burrata or mozzarella cheese; scatter over pasta. Garnish with small basil leaves, and sprinkle with pepper.

We didn’t have mozzarella or whatever burrata is, so I tossed my pasta with goat cheese, used regular sea salt and spaghetti pasta, and didn’t understand what it meant to tear tomatoes, so I just diced mine instead. The pasta was the perfectly salty and cooked perfectly al dente. And, since I looove goat cheese, I really loved this dish.

And then after lunch, I contemplated what to do with the last 1/2 of a zucchini and decided upon baked zucchini chips! And now we have a snack for our flight back to Seattle.

These taste… healthy. 🙂 It is a little bland, I think next time I would maybe add some spice (cayenne?) to give it a little kick. And also use the entire egg instead of just the whites for a little more heartiness or depth to these. But, I do like that when you take a bite you can still actually taste the zucchini, and that’s yummy.