Posts Tagged ‘basil’

Farmer’s Market Pasta

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Is it just me, or do the veggies at the farmer’s market look just a little bit brighter and just a little more enticing as the weather gets hotter? In my heat-induced delirium I choose to believe that it is nature’s way of drawing me in as the heat intensifies and my resolve to cook wanes…

Because my resolve to cook is waning… Can’t use the oven, too hot to grill, tired of salads, what’s a cook to do??? With a counter covered in produce and the air filled with the smell of basil, this quick pasta recipe is a lovely way to get dinner on the table!

Gather Up:
3 pounds garden tomatoes, mixed varieties if you wish, peeled and quartered
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
2 teaspoons sugar
½ pound loose Italian turkey sausage
3 zucchini, or summer squash of your choice, sliced and halved
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Large handful fresh basil leaves

In a large heavy sauté pan put the garlic and the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly over medium low heat until the tomatoes are falling apart and their juices have mixed with the olive oil to form a nice sauce, about 30 minutes. Stir in the sugar and taste for seasoning.

In a separate sauté pan, heat a few splashes of olive oil and sauté the sausage until brown and caramelized. Remove. Add another splash of olive oil if needed and sauté the zucchini until caramelized around the edges.

Add the sausage and zucchini to the tomato sauce. Toss in the cooked pasta.

Remove from heat, and gently work in the Parmesan with tongs. Top with torn basil leaves and serve.

Adapted from Tyler Florence: Quick Farmer’s Market Pasta

Ribollita, a Tuscan Stew

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I wanted to make this on Sunday afternoon… It’s the perfect time for the amount of chopping and primping and attention a big pot demands… I can take my time, nibble a few snacks… (Possibly find some helpers…)

But I was blindsided by hungry college-age meat-eaters who happened to spot several big steaks in my freezer! (These are the same offspring who have new perspective on the phrase, “there is never anything to eat around here”, because at their houses there really isn’t!) Did I capitulate? Of course I did!

So I soaked my beans and prepared for battle on a weekday! This dish is a thick and warming stew, made with lots of greens, lots of beans and lots of vegetables. It is thickened with chunks of crusty bread and is EVEN BETTER the next day, hence the name “ribollita,” meaning “reboiled.”

And hence my desire to make it on a Sunday afternoon and send quarts of it out the door with my children… It smells absolutely wonderful, and approaches pure heaven sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and given a swirl of olive oil!

Gather Up:
½ pound dried cannellini beans
Kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
¼ pound smoked bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped savoy cabbage
4 cups coarsely chopped kale
1 teaspoon dried basil
6 cups organic low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups sourdough bread cubes, crust removed
½ cup grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the beans with cold water by 1 inch and cover. Soak overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to simmer for about 15 more minutes until the beans are tender. Set them aside to cool in their liquid.

Over medium heat, heat the oil in a large stockpot. Add the bacon and onions and cook 7-10 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Add the carrots, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Cook 7-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Add the tomatoes and their puree, the cabbage, the kale and the basil. Cook, stirring occasionally another 7-10 minutes.

Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. In a food processor puree half of the beans with some of their liquid. Add to the pot, along with the remaining whole beans.

Pour the bean liquid into a large measuring cup and add enough broth to make 8 cups. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Add the bread. Simmer 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately in bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and drizzled with olive oil.

Cool and refrigerate. Serve reheated, or “ribollita” the next day!

Ur Mom’s Best Pesto Pasta

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

When basil beckons, (and it will…), answer the call with this crazy fragrant pesto that takes you straight out to a summer field and makes you jump for joy! Served over pasta, it is a sublime combination – the fresh pesto coats the warm pasta and it melds together in a marriage made in heaven, accented in this rendition with crumbled feta and sweet cherry tomatoes. Later in the summer, only garden tomatoes will do, but for now we improvise…

So follow along farmer wannabes, because this is so easy and so worth ur time!!! (and it is a sure-fire way for me to get college girl to come running home for dinner…because you can no doubt smell it from here…)

Gather Up:
1 bunch fresh basil
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Juice of ½ of a lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound farfalle pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, or sliced garden tomatoes if available
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Wash the basil, drain and pluck the leaves off the stems. Takes a few minutes, but ur hands will smell so good when you are done…

Lay leaves aside to dry a little while you assemble the rest of the pesto ingredients. If you need to toast the pine nuts, put them in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes, just until their fragrance is released and they have turned slightly golden. In a food processor or blender put in the basil, the toasted pine nuts, the parmesan cheese, the lemon juice, the clove of garlic, a dash of kosher salt, a few grinds of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Give the processor a few initial pulses, and take a look for consistency and to scrape down the sides.

Add 1-2 additional tablespoons of olive oil, depending on how things look – you are going for a nice green smooth consistency. Don’t pulverize beyond recognition. The finished product should have a rustic yumminess.

Taste by eating some with a spoon… Set aside covered while pasta cooks.

Prepare the tomatoes and the feta.

Drain pasta when done, pour into a large serving bowl and add pesto. You should have about 2/3 of a cup.

Stir pesto in until pasta is coated.

Toss in tomatoes and feta cheese and fold in. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if desired.

Dish will hold covered for about 1 hour, and can be served warm or at room temperature. If it looks a little dry before serving add a touch of olive oil and stir through.

Welcome to Like Mother Like gal, stay at home mom, college student. Just 3 girls who love to eat and are dedicated to doing it the old-fashioned way! Plan, shop, cook, bake, clean, sleep, repeat. Hope you enjoy - we are so glad you are here!
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