Thirty Minute Thursday: Oops…

24 03 2011

Look Who’s Cooking!

It looks like the only one cooking Thirty Minute Thursday this week is Chaya of Bizzy B. Bakes!  I confess…my week has been really busy, today there was a service I really needed to attend, and then we came home to no electricity.  Combine dark rooms with a raging storm outside, and cooking wasn’t high on my list.  I’m glad Chaya cooked, even though her review isn’t very flattering for the book…that sometimes happens!

Chaya made the Simple Meat Sauce and found it decidedly simple…too simple for her tastes.  I have to admit…that wouldn’t be a recipe I selected either.   Especially not after having made some really fine Bolognese from Giuliano’s mother’s recipe (we prefer the earlier Classic Italian cookbook’s recipe).  I have to agree with Chaya…a meat sauce, especially a good one, is going to take some time.

No worries…I’ll be pretty much back on task next week.  There won’t be so many interruptions in my week for awhile again now!  I actually have ricotta in the house right now, so I’m thinking something with ricotta is coming up soon!

This just in…
Kayte from Grandma’s Kitchen Table has taken on Farfalle ai Piselle e Lettuga…Farfalle with Peas and Lettuce in English.  This dish looks absolutely gorgeous!  White with colorful bits and pieces…  Kayte says it would make a great potluck dish.  I’m going to remember that!  We occasionally have potlucks where I work, and something so close to a vegetarian dish like this is wonderful!


Thirty Minute Thursday: Fettucine Limone~

17 03 2011

My menu selection this week came about because I needed to cook some lovely salmon, and I needed a side.  Hubby suggested a nice, creamy pasta…so with that and salmon in mind…I went searching through the pages of Thirty Minute Pasta to find just the right “go with” dish.  When I ran across Fettucine with Lemon, I thought I had a match!  The salmon was cooked according to Tyler Florence’s Pan Roasted Soy-lacquered Salmon…seriously a yummy dish!  It’s got a little teriyaki flavor, and the lemon sounded like a great foil for the salty-sweet salmon.

Pasta, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter and cream…what could be simpler?  The recipe went together in no time flat.  It was a great package too.  I put the water for the pasta on, and when it came to a boil, I started the salmon.  Next time, I’ll add the pasta to the water, and then start the salmon.  The timing will work a little better that way.  The salmon needs 12-15 minutes in the oven…the pasta needed about that much time to cook.  I’d have been happier with the salmon a little less done, and have the ability to be hands free long enough to make a little glaze for the fish.

Tasting Notes~
The lemon taste in this dish is smoothed by the addition of heavy cream, but it’s bright and utterly delightful!  I found I wanted a bit of salt I didn’t see in the recipe…just enough to enhance the lemon flavor!  I was a little worried about the citrusy flavor of the pasta sauce with the teriyaki…and then I saw that Tyler dresses the plate with fresh cilantro and lime…lime! Lime and lemon are like Burns and Allen!!  They get along perfectly!  The balance of the flavors was really wonderful.  The salmon was slightly salty-sweet…so the lemony pasta really was an ideal foil.  Each of the flavors enhanced the other for a perfect combination.  Try this one.  I think you’ll really like it!

Look Who’s Cooking~
Kayte from Grandma’s Kitchen Table has created Linguine alle Zucchine e Cipolle (linguine with zucchini and onions).   Oooh…this looks wonderful!  I can’t remember if I’ve made this one yet, but I did buy zucchini to be able to do a few of the zuke pastas.  I have a bad habit of thinking of zucchini as ONLY a summer food!  Shame on me!  LOL!

Chaya from Bizzy B. Bakes has created Fusilli Margherita…fusilli with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese…Mmmmmm!! Tomatoes, oregano and mozzarella cheese….  I want this when there are tomatoes galore in my garden.  I love bringing fresh tomatoes and basil in to cook with!!  This is a colorful and stringy dish!  It’s a lot of fun to eat too!  Chaya says she doesn’t need an excuse to fix pasta…I’m getting to be the same way.  It’s so versatile, and really works with a lot of foods!

Thirty Minute Thursday: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca Bianca~

10 03 2011

For Thirty Minute Thursday this week, I selected Spaghetti alla Puttanesca Bianca….or Spaghetti with Olives, Capers, and Anchovies.   This recipe is found in the Seafood section of Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta.

I have to tell you…this goes together incredibly quickly.   You’ll have plenty of time to do the little bit of chopping and prep work, put your feet up for 10 minutes, and then start your pasta and sauce.  It’s quick!  Ok, I halve all the recipes, but it doesn’t take much longer to chop 2 Tablespoons of something than it does to chop 1 Tablespoon!

Don’t even bother to start cooking your sauce until you’ve added the pasta to the water.  This sauce cooks in less than 5 minutes, start to finish.  I didn’t find that my anchovies “melted” into the olive oil the way it described…although it came pretty close.  I was able to find pitted kalamata olives at Trader Joe’s.  When I saw those, there was NO way I was leaving without at least one jar!  *Ü*

Tasting Notes~
I’m not even going to try and say that you won’t taste the anchovies in this dish.  I’ll say you may not taste them…and, depending on your ability to appreciate those savory tastes that lean toward fishiness…like anchovies or sardines or mackerel…you may enjoy this dish immensely!  My husband really enjoyed it.  He thought it made a great side dish to cold fried chicken.  I guess the textures were opposite and the flavors complementary.   I, on the other hand…went and got the cold fried chicken that was left from last night, because, sadly, I do not have the ability to enjoy that fishy taste.  I can usually eat anchovies…on a Caesar salad…if I can control the amount I’m eating.  I find it takes just a little bit for me to enjoy the flavors.  I think that was where I ran into difficulty with this dish.  The anchovies may have been too heavy for my taste, and if I reduced it some, it might be fine.  It wasn’t bad, it was just more of a fishy taste than I could eat a plate of.  I’ve made other sauces with anchovies and not had this problem.  Like I said, Bruce enjoyed it and couldn’t quite place the “fishiness” I commented on, and if he did…that was one of the flavors he liked and was intrigued by.

Look Who’s Cooking…
Joining in and cooking some great dishes from the same book are:

Chaya from Bizzy B. Bakes.  Chaya made Penne with Spinach and Ricotta this week, and does it ever look good!  So far, Giuliano is keeping within the time lines in her kitchen!  Lovely presentation Chaya!

Kayte from Grandma’s Kitchen Table is also with us, and she created Linguine al Limone, or Linguine with Lemon.  She says this one is a keeper…and she’s already working up her own combinations for additions!  You GO Kayte!  I have to agree with you!  And you won’t ever know just how close we came to doing the same recipe on the same night! LOL!  I was looking at this and the lemons on the butcher block!  I’m glad you made it first though…now I know to make sure and add half a pound of the shrimp in the freezer!

Thirty Minute Thursday: Pappardelle ai Piselli~

3 03 2011

For Thirty Minute Thursday this week, I selected a recipe I never thought I’d try…Tagliatelle ai piselli…or Taglitelle with peas.  Peas?  As a pasta sauce?  I just couldn’t wrap my head around this one very well.  What a combination!  And I mean…What a great combination!!  I subbed pappardelle for the tagliatelle, otherwise the recipe is the same.  I also halve almost every recipe I cook.  There are just 2 of us.  That’s another thing I love about this book, Thirty Minute Pasta…the recipes are easily increased or decreased to suit your family.  Now…back to the pasta…

I had my heart set on having a roasted pork tenderloin for dinner.  No matter what I did all day, I kept ending up back at the pork tenderloin.  I even decided to make Chicken Yakitori at one point today…came home and promptly cut open the cryovac on the pork.  Decision made!  Now…what the heck to have with it?  I had settled on a bacon wrapped tenderloin recipe I found on line, which was really on the savory side.  What could I put with it?  And it’s TMT too…so I went to Thirty Minute Pasta.  After a bit of diligent perusal, I decided this recipe solved several interests for me.  1)  A recipe for TMT, 2) a side dish for the pork that would complement the savory pork, and 3) it added a vegetable to our meal.  What more could any (in)sane working woman ask for on a Thursday night??  Onions, peas, oil, and seasonings added to freshly cooked pasta…nirvana!

Tasting notes ~
I was so very pleasantly surprised!  The onions are caramelized, the peas cook just to sweet tenderness, a little seasoning magic and toss with pasta…wide, flat pasta!  This dish is incredibly sweet, but in a nice, fresh way.  The colors absolutely pop!  It’s pretty…it’s tantalizing…and it foils a savory dish that’s a bit on the salty side extremely well!  We both enjoyed this dish and agreed it was a keeper as a side dish.  I think we could both enjoy it as an entree, but it serves better as a side or as a primi course.  Who knew??

Look Who’s Cooking! ~
I’m joined this week by Chaya from Bizzy B. Bakes.  Chaya chose a vegetable-sausage-pasta soup recipe this week, and it looks hearty and filling…just the thing for a chilly late winter day!  Like me, she works…and she’s found that this cookbook is a working woman’s friend!  Quick, nutritious, and fresh pasta meals hit your table in just about 30 minutes!

Care to join in?
If you’d like to join me in cooking my way through Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta, please drop me an email (the link is in the sidebar), pick up a copy of the book, and choose a recipe!  I want you to have fun, and cook what works for you at any given time.  We all have different tastes and seasons…it makes it easier for everyone.  *Ü*  I’d love to have you cook with us!

Thirty Minute Thursdays: Linguine al Gamberi (Linguine with Shrimp)~

24 02 2011

I have to tell you that it feels good to want food again and feel like creating some!  That was a rough one! LOL!  We both had it…upper respiratory guck with body aches and fever…no fun!  So…it’s good to be back in the kitchen again!

This week, I’ve made Linguine with Shrimp, from a different Giuliano Hazan cookbook, Every Night Italian.  Although the recipe doesn’t appear in Thirty Minute Pasta, it still requires only 30 minutes to put together.   That 30 minutes will yield lots of compliments afterward…so relax and enjoy!

The recipe calls for just a few ingredients…tomatoes with a flicker of red pepper flakes, garlic, olive oil for the pan, linguine, cream and shrimp.  That’s all.   It goes together really fast and it was wonderfully creamy and full of full tomato flavor.  I did depart from the recipe ever so slightly…  I found I had no linguine in the pantry, so I used fettuccine.  It was a little heavy, but the sauce was solid enough to hold up to it.  The other departure had to do with subbing home canned tomatoes for insipid, out of season tomatoes from the grocery.  I have San Marzano tomatoes canned from last summer.  I don’t hesitate to use them!

Tasting Notes~
This sauce is close to a vodka sauce, but not quite.  It’s incredibly creamy rich, and so full of tomato flavor, with just a hint of garlic and underlying heat that stays in the mouth just a tiny bit.  We both really enjoyed this dish, and agreed it was a keeper.  I keep frozen shrimp around…usually uncooked so I can cook them fresh and the way I want to…so this works together in mere moments.  In the time it takes to heat cold cooked shrimp in the sauce, you could be having fresh.  It’s that quick.  I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this to guests.  It’s really light in flavor and without tremendous spice or oil.  The cream in the sauce is minimal…just enough to change the color and texture.  Make this.  Eat it with a friend or loved one, and let them pat you on the back…you deserve it!

Look Who’s Cooking!~
Welcome to our newest guest chef, Chaya from Bizzy B. Bakes!  Chaya just found us, and we’re thrilled to have her join up with us!  Her first dish is Fettuccine with Zucchini and Onions.  Yumm!!  Chaya uses alternative pasta which is gluten free.  Chaya…it’s great to have you with us!  I can’t wait see what you select to cook next!  The recipes in this book are indeed, low in fats, and full of fresh flavors!  I got hooked when I had way too many tomatoes all coming ripe at one time.  I could manage to avoid canning on a work night by cooking up a batch of something with a tomato sauce.  We fell in love!  I hope you do too!

Anyone else out there this week?  Let me know…I’ll add your link as well!

Until next week…Let’s remember our friends in New Zealand, and in Christchurch in particular…so many have lost so much…

On Sick Leave…

19 02 2011

We apologize for any inconvenience…however our kitchen is currently closed due to the flu.  We’ll be fine…as soon as these bugs get out of our bed and go live with someone else or DIE!  There just isn’t much cooking going on..and I’m totally off schedule with everything, and I do mean everything! I made it to work one day this week…  Quickie soups are about the extent of my energy level.  We play thermometer roulette for major chores…the one with the lowest temp gets to do the chore of the hour!  We feel lousy, but we’re managing to survive!  We’re being doted upon by our loving and protective dog, Jasmine.  If I could only teach her to do some of the other chores too… Right now, she specializes in bed-warming and pillow stealing.  But she’s a love…until she kicks me in the face in the middle of the night! *giggle*cough-cough-cough*  Wish I could kick the symptoms!  I’ll be back on deck, cooking up a storm as soon as I can…

Anyone with TMT posts is still welcome to send them in to me for round-up!!  I can manage to round up the participants meals, even if I can’t toss one together myself just yet!  That will probably be one of the first meals I attempt though…something easy and soothing…  See you back here real soon!

Thirty Minute Thursdays: Fusilli with sausage and cream~

4 02 2011

Whenever I’m pressed for time, this recipe comes to mind… Fusilli with sausage and cream from Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta… The sausage is made by hand with few ingredients…I wouldn’t worry about having a meat grinder.  Finely chop some pork in your food processor.  If you put it in the freezer, just until it gets firm but not at all hard, it will chop beautifully.  Mix the pork with the remaining ingredients and set aside.  I know Giuliano recommends letting it sit overnight.  That’s best, but it still works out great if it gets just a short marinating time.  This is another recipe that cooks very quickly and will be finished inside the 30 minutes, easily!

Tasting Notes~
As I said, this is a great quick supper meal.  It’s soothing…the cream makes it so comforting on a cold night!  I added a few mushrooms to this particular pan…we had fresh mushrooms from a kit, and it seemed like a nice place for them!  The cream and the cheese blend nicely into a sauce that pulls in the homemade sausage, and the fusilli captures a nice bit of sauce with a few bits of sausage for a lovely, creamy, soul-satisfying bite.

Look Who’s Cooking!
It’s official!  Abby has joined us for Thirty Minute Thursdays!  Welcome to you Abby!  Your dishes have been looking marvelous!  This week, Abby made Fusilli with Sausage and Zucchini, and it looks scrumptious!

Kayte from Grandma’s Kitchen Table made Penne with four cheeses… Kayte said, “my oh my oh my is this one decadent and delicious.  Did I say it was good?  Oh yeah, and by the way, this is really good.  Great really.”  If that’s not a huge recommendation for a recipe, I don’t know what is! LOL!  Love it Kayte!

If you’d like to join us, drop me an email, and send me your URL, if you’re a blogger.  Pick up a copy of Thirty Minute Pasta, and choose a recipe!  It doesn’t matter which day is your “30 minute” day.  I collect everyone’s posts for a round-up on Thursdays.  Tuesday is my “30 minute” day.  Check the sidebar for my email, and come cook with us!