Pasta


This was so delicious. Lots of mushrooms and a deep earthy flavor combined in this one for a filling meal.

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What we have here is penne that is soaked in a creamy, ‘shroomy sauce the would have been perfect without the Penne. Honest! I would have licked the spoon, the plate, the skillet. Hazan hit this one out of the park.

I only made 1/2 of the sauce and only used 1/4 of the called for pasta. I like my pasta juicy.

The recipe called for dried porcini, white mushrooms, ham/prosciutto, onions, and cream. All items I keep on hand so this went together quite quickly. The ham I used was almost non-existent by the time all the mushroom flavors came together. Maybe it was the ham I used. While I do keep prosciutto on hand it had been lost in the freezer and turned out to be not usable. So boiled ham it was. Next time – prosciutto.

The recipe is on page 159 of Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta.

Check with Kayte, Peggy, and Chaya for this week’s pasta as we cook our way through Giuliano’s book.

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A delicious vegetarian pasta for any meal, Penne with Leeks, Zucchini, and Peppers is creamy and full of flavor.

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It is a simple pasta made creamy with heavy cream and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. I made just 1/2 of the recipe and it was more than enough for two servings even though I didn’t use all the pasta for 1/2 of the recipe.

The recipe is on page 69 of Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta. Kayte, Glennis, Peggy, and Chaya are also cooking with Hazan’s book so see what they made this week.

Well, that’s NOT what Pepin calls it but that is exactly what this quick dish is. We were challenged this week at IHCC to come up with a dish that was fast – 30 minutes or less. Simple and ready for the table is perfect for this time of the year so when I came across this recipe for Coquillettes au Gruyere(aka Pasta Shells with Swiss Cheese) I figured it would be perfect.

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And it was! Creamy. And different than our every day mac and cheese.

    8 cups water
    10 ounces medium-size pasta shells, preferably imported
    3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh
    1 cup (loosely packed) freshly grated swiss cheese (3 ounces), preferable Gruyere

Cook pasta until tender (about 15 minutes)
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid, and set aside.
Drain the pasta in a colander.
Put the cooking water into a stainless steel bowl large enough to mix the pasta and the rest of the ingredients in. Add the oil, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Add in the pasta and chives tossing to mix well and then add in the cheese.
Serve immediately.

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I loved the mix of the Gruyere and the chives in this simple and quick side. It came together in 26 minutes. FAST!! Just as requested!

The original recipe came from Jacques Pepin’s Table page 338.

How fast were the other’s dishes? Check them out at I Heart Cooking Clubs

The Mystery Box this month for IHCC was challenging. Very Challenging. I mean:

    Chicken
    Seaweed Interesting!
    Sesame Seeds
    Parsley
    Mozzarella Cheese
    Pasta
    Mango
    Brown Sugar
    Zucchini
    Mint

One could go with an Asian Flair.

    A Sweet Treat.

      Or a Pasta.

I took the easy way out – PASTA! But easy wasn’t really EASY!! Because then I had to actually find a recipe with at least THREE of the ingredients which is what the CHALLENGE is all about. At least three ingredients in a recipe from one of our past or present chef.

    Jacques Pepin
    Nigella Lawson
    Mark Bittman
    Giada de Laurentiis
    Jamie Oliver
    Tessa Kiros
    Rick Bayless
    Madjur Jaffrey
    Yotam Ottolenghi
    Donna Hay
    Nigel Slater
    Diana Henry

I was thinking Italian so I was thinking Giada de Laurentiis and after about an hour of cookbook and internet research found this recipe. Four Ingredients!!

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    Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

I knew it would be good!!

    1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) {I used a Whole Wheat Penne}
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
    1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
    1 cup shredded mozzarella
    1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup bread crumbs {I found some whole Wheat Panko – worked greatt.}
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.

Put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the chicken is completely cooked and the onions are tender.
Mix the chicken in with the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, salt and pepper.Stir to combine.
Pour the pasta/chicken mix in a greased 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. Mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it on to the pasta mixture.
Dot the top with small bits of butter.
Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.{Original Recipe}

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Okay. This was good. But not great. It needed to be more…well, more Italian. I would have liked it more if there had been more seasonings. Maybe some oregano. Even some Italian seasoning. I would also add more cheese to the dish and a little more liquid. It wasn’t real dry but it was borderline. We liked it enough to make it again but with more seasoning.

Ready for more Mystery. Check out the I Heart Cooking Clubs website and see the rest of the Challenge dishes.

Of all the foods in all the world Seafood is my absolute favorite. And in Louisiana there is lots of seafood. Crabs. Crawfish. Redfish. Catfish. Just to name a few. There is also SHRIMP!! Lots of good shrimp. That means anytime I get a chance to cook shrimp I do. Like this dish from Hazan.

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    Spaghetti with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Capers

Simple, fresh, and delicious. The only ingredients missing form the title are onions and oregano. The onions are browned. The chopped tomatoes are added to the mix along with the rest of the ingredients. I may have added just a LITTLE extra shrimp! Then all quickly tossed with the pasta. I used Whole Grain since we are trying to eat healthier. Just a little olive oil so it is not only delicious but good for you as well.

Look on page 98 of Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pastas

Our little group of pasta makers is growing. Besides Glennis and Kayte we have added Chaya and Peggy to the Group. Pasta lovers all!

If you want to see what we have all cooked in the past:

Creamy. Rich. Earthy! These are the words I would use to describe this dish from Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta. Full of shrimp and mushrooms and flavor it is a perfect dish on a cold day because it just fills you with comfort and warmth.

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In case you haven’t looked lately fresh porcini in the US are very expensive. That is according to Hazan so he ‘endows’ the button mushrooms with the earthy porcini flavor by soaking dried ones and then using the soaking water in the broth itself. The button mushrooms take on the porcini flavor. Adding the cream takes the flavor over the top and wraps the shrimp and pasta in flavor.

The recipe called for linguini but all I could find in the Whole Wheat/Grain was the thin spaghetti. Worked just fine. Definitely a repeat. The hardest job was peeling the shrimp!.

The recipe is on page 99.

See what Kayte made for 30 Minute Thursdays.

There are some facts you need to know.

    1. One of the ingredients on my ‘wanna try’ list is truffles. But they are expensive little devils especially in the US and difficult to find in Podunk. They have been on my list for a long time.
    2. Back in August 2008 I was visiting a good friends’s blog and noticed she and another soon to be friend were cooking from Guiliano Hazan’s 30 Minute Pasta. All I needed was the book and I could join the fun, too. Well, Kayte gifted me the book and I was on my way. We didn’t make the same thing each week, we just cooked from the book and posted on Thursdays.
    3. One of the recipes I marked was a pasta with a truffle/garlic sauce. (See where I’m going with this?} It was a recipe I was sure I would never make {see Item #!}. We haven’t done 30 Minute Thursdays since September 2012. I guess life just got in the way.
    4. Another good friend from Holland, Marthe, periodically sends me treats from Europe. I reply with treats from the US. In one of the recent boxes was…

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    The circle is complete. NOW I can make that Truffle Pasta!!

These are the ingredients:

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And THIS is what you end up with.

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A rich, earthy, garlicky plate of aromatic pasta.

Hazn called for fresh truffles, but {see #1} so the jarred would have to do.

Someday, maybe, Kayte, Glennis, and I will be back with 30 Minute Thursdays. But for now we are cooking together again with the Eating with Ellie and Wednesdays with Donna Hay groups. It’s nice to have friends to cook with.

If you want to see the other pastas from Hazan…30 Minute Thursdays

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