Basil

It’s basil season on Edgecliff and we’ve got lots…

I grew four kinds this year. The standard genovese variety…
…a red variety I forget the name of – different than the one I usually grow (and don’t like it as much)…
…thai basil (going to try thai basil mojitos this weekend)…
…cinnamon basil – too pretty to pick.
If one has lots of basil then of course one needs to make pesto:  One huge load of basil…
…about three heaping cups once trimmed and cleaned…
…about 1/3 cup of pine nuts…
…a couple cloves of garlic (this beautiful garlic is from our CSA and is so much fresher and such a huge difference…who knew)….
Swirl it all together in the Cuisinart with a healthy dose of good olive oil et voila.
Pasta with super fresh pesto and lots of herbs, zucchini with lots of basil and some really cool purple carrots (sauteed in butter and maple syrup).  A beautiful summer plate of freshness.

Shrimp and Feta Vermicelli

Live from beautiful Grayton Beach… a great recipe for a quick pasta for a large group.  We have been in Grayton Beach, Florida since Saturday and tonight was Mom’s night to make dinner and she made this tasty pasta dish. 

Nice easy dinner

 

the chef hard at work

 

the chef harder at work 🙂
tomato sauce in a red bowl

yeay vacation

Shrimp and Feta Vermicelli

XXXX via Linda Holzheimer

  •  1 pound unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp – peeled
  • 1/8 t. dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 t. chopped fresh basil or 3/4 t. dried basil
  • 1 1/2 t. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 8 0z. dried vermicelli, cooked
  • chopped fresh basil for garnish

Saute shrimp and red pepper in 2 T. oil in a large skillet for just a few minutes until slightly pink.  Arrange shrimp in a greased 11 x 7 baking dish; sprinkle with feta cheese and set aside.

Add remaining 2 T. oild to skillet’ ccok garlic over medium heat 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and jice’ cook 1 minure.  Stir in wince and next 4 ingredients; simmer uncvored, 10 minutes.  Spoon tomato mixture over shirmp.  Baek, uncovered at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Serve over cooked vermicellie.  Garnish.  Yield 3 servings.

Sophie on the beach after dinner

Monday Night Pasta

We have been trying to do meatless mondays for quite a while now.  We have come to perfect this pasta dish over the past few months.  It is quite adaptable and is a good way to clean out the refrigerator on a Monday night.  It is definately worth it to make your own beans instead of using canned.  They are firmer and stand out better with the pasta.

beautiful swiss chard from our garden
the swiss chard wintered over from last year and is growing great
lots of garlic is always a good thing
the beans and greens before putting the pasta in
in goes the pasta and lots of parmesan

Monday Night Pasta (Pasta with Garlic and White Beans)

Serves 4-6

  • 6-8 cloves of garlic or more, sliced very thin
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • bag of cannelini beans, or any white beans  (canned beans work just fine too)
  • bunch of swiss chard, or broccoli, or broccoli rabe or whatever is left in the refrigerator
  • vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes if feeling spicy
  • 1 lb of penne, rigatoni or whatever pasta you want
  • parmesan cheese

Soak beans in a pot of water overnight. The next day drain them and rinse them.  Boil in a pot with salt until tender.

In large saute pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon or so of butter.  Saute the garlic on very low heat making sure you don’t burn it.  Take your time and get them nice and soft.  Don’t be stingy on the olive oil.  When the garlic is nice and soft, about 15 minutes, add the greens to the pan and saute them for a few minutes.  Add a few splashes of broth and put a top on the pan to help the greens cook.  After the greens wilt put the beans in and keep the pan on low.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente or even a touch under al dente as it will cook a little bit more with the sauce.  When pasta is done, drain the pasta but keep a cup of the pasta water.  Once the pasta is drained, put it in with the beans and greens.  Mix everything up and add enough pasta water to get it to a nice creamy consistency.  Adding pasta water is a great trick that brings everything together.  Add salt and pepper if you want and last but not least lots of parmesan.  Serve and enjoy.

Pasta Sauce Raphael

New Basics

We like this over tortellini but works with any kind of pasta.

  • 2 jars (6 oz. each) marinated artichoke hearts in oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • ½ t. dried basil
  • 1 T. coarsely ground pepper
  • ½ t. salt
  • Pinch of dried pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Drain the artichoke hearts, reserving the marinade

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onions, garlic, oregano, basil, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and reserved artichoke marinade.  Sauté over medium-low heat until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent, 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes

Add the artichoke hearts, Parmesan, and parsley.  Stir gently, and simmer another 5 minutes

6 portions; enough for 1 lb. pasta

Linguine with Garlicky Clam Sauce

Bon Appetit

This is so good.  As with most pasta sauces, save a little bit of the cooking liquid after draining the pasta and throw it all in the mix.

  • 12 oz. Linguine
  • 3 T. butter
  • 5 T. olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 10 oz. Minced clams, drained, juices reserved
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T. fresh oregano or 1 ½ t. dried
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

Cool linguine pasta until al dente.  Melt butter with oil in large skillet over low heat.  Add garlic until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.  Add juices reserved from clams, wine, carrot and oregano.  Increase heat to high and boil until reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 12 minutes.  Stir in clams and all but 1 T. of parsley.  Simmer until just heated through, 1 minute.  Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Drain linguine well; add to skillet of hot clam sauce.  Gently toss to blend.  Transfer pasta to large serving platter and garnish with reserved 1 T. fresh parsley.  Serve immediately.