Pasta a la Limone

I came across this pasta recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, which is one of Joanie and my FAVORITE websites!  I watched the video and could almost taste the lemon and basil.  My mouth was watering, I had to make it.  I was slightly skeptical that it wouldn’t turn out very flavorful because it uses pasta water and a splash of heavy cream for the main ingredients in the sauce.  Boy was I wrong!  This pasta is a really good summer time dish.  It’s very light and refreshing, tasting of lemony tartness and fresh basil!  I’m in LOVE!!  I usually tweak a few things in recipes to suit to my taste, for this one I doubled the parmesan and added a little more lemon zest.  If you are preparing this recipe for less than 6 people you might want to cut recipe in half, unless you want leftovers.  The recipe says it feeds 4-6.  Using a whole pound of pasta, this recipe feeds at least 8, especially if you’re using it as a side dish.

This makes a quick and easy weeknight meal, taking only minutes more than the time it takes to cook the pasta.  Buon appetito!!  ~Janna

DSC_0065

Ingredients:

Table salt
1 Lb spaghetti
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 heavy cream
2 Tsp finely grated lemon zest and 1/4 of fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 Oz finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
ground black pepper
2 Tbs finely shredded fresh basil leaves

Method:

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a dutch oven or large pot.  Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water, cook stirring frequently until cooked al dente, about 7 minutes.  Reserve 1 3/4 cups of the pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the now empty pot over medium heat until oil is shimmering and hot.  Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes.
DSC_0322
Whisk 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water and cream into pot.  Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove pot from heat, return pasta to pot and stir until coated.  Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Cover and let pasta stand for 2 minutes, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency with remaining 1/4 pasta water if necessary.
Chiffonade
Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, drizzling individual portion with oil, a sprinkle of cheese and a bit more basil.Picture3

Advertisements

Pork Curry

Janna:  Curry is probably my husband Erik’s favorite foods.  Erik has been asking for curry for weeks now, so I decided to make him suffer no longer with a curry dinner!!  This curry is pretty simple to make, I use a good red curry paste instead of all the different spices because it’s easier, cheaper and I think the taste is better.  You may have to do a little searching for the red curry paste and the fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves, the kaffir lime leaves you can leave out if need be and just use fresh basil, but they do add another layer of delicious flavor.  If you have a local Asian Market in your area, they will surely have what you need.

In this recipe I’m using pork, but in the past I have used chicken, steak, tofu and also duck, which are all fantastic!  You can make it vegetarian by just adding more vegetables or tofu in place of the meat (though I don’t think fish sauce or curry paste are vegetarian, curry paste is made with shrimp paste).  Red, yellow and green peppers, onion, green onion, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, potato, water chestnuts, baby corn are all great additions to this dish!  Feel free to play around with the veggies and let me know what you used and how it turned out!  Serve this curry over rice (brown or white)  cook the rice according to package directions.  This recipe makes about 8 large servings.  This dish is spicy, on a scale of 1-10 I’d call it a 5, you can make it spicier by adding more chili paste, cayenne pepper or I’ve even chopped fresh jalapenos in it!

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil
4-5 Tbs red curry paste
1 1/2 lb boneless pork chops or pork loin, cubed
1 green bell pepper, cut in large chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks or an assortment of bell peppers
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
2 zucchini, sliced
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
4-5 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 cans coconut milk
4 green onions, thinly sliced (use white and part of the green)
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 can bamboo shoots
3 Tbs fish sauce (plus more to add later if needed)

Pour olive oil in large frying pan, add curry paste and stir, heat until sizzling and aromatic.

Add the meat and cook through, turning meat occasionally.

Add vegetables and kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves, cook until veggies are tender.

Add coconut milk and bring to simmer.

Add pineapple, bamboo shoots and fish sauce.

Serve over rice and garnish with basil leaves, enjoy!

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Joanie:  This recipe is definitely one of my most requested!  I don’t know if this qualifies as a true bruschetta since there is no olive oil in the recipe, but it’s still delicious!  You could substitute olive oil in place of the butter, but I have yet to try that.  This would actually be a perfect recipe to use Janna’s Homemade Butter.

***********************

Ingredients:

1 narrow baguette, French or the like

2 cups fresh diced tomatoes

1/3 cup minced red onion

Fresh basil, approx 20 large leaves (dried will NOT do!)

1/2 cup butter

Fresh garlic cloves (I use 4 or 5 large cloves, I like a strong garlic flavor)

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

***********************

Start with red, ripe tomatoes.  Finely dice yield approximately 2 cups.  Set aside in a bowl.

Mince red onion, add to tomatoes.

Chiffonade basil leaves by stacking them, rolling them lengthwise, and slicing them into thin ribbons.

Add basil to tomato mixture.  Salt to taste.  Set aside.

Heat oven to broil.

Slice baguette on the diagonal to desired thickness.  I like mine about 3/4 inch.   Arrange on a baking sheet and gently toast them on broil in your oven.  WATCH THEM CAREFULLY so they don’t burn.  You want these to be slightly golden and crusty.  They will go back into the oven for final step so don’t let them get too dark.  Remove when toasted.

In microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of butter and minced garlic.  Microwave until melted and creamy.  Give butter mixture a stir, then add generously to each slice of toasted baguette.  I like to make sure the garlic pieces are evenly distributed on the bread.  Don’t go cheap on the butter!  This adds SO MUCH flavor to the recipe.  Next, use small slotted spoon to add tomato mixture to each slice of bread.  Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Place back in the oven and broil.  Again, WATCH CAREFULLY!  They are ready when cheese is melted and bruschetta is hot.

Most of this batch was eaten within minutes, so this is all I could get for a picture!

//