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.
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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

Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Arugula

simple, fresh and tasty
the arugula is prolific in the garden now and our first crop of the year
yeay summer

Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Arugula

Bon Appetit, March 2005

1 pound spaghetti, dry
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup baby arugula   (I would use twice as much)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Accompaniments: freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, squeeze of lemon

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, broth, basil, salt and pepper and raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.

Drain pasta, return it to its cooking pot and immediately pour the heated sauce over it, along with the arugula and parsley. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta and sauce together. Transfer pasta to heated serving bowl. Top with grated Parmigiano-reggiano, a light sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pasta with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

check out the fresh snap peas from our garden too. yummmm.

The ingredients in the refrigerator last night led me to this simple and very tasty pasta recipe.  Roasted tomatoes are wonderful and the goat cheese made it nice and creamy.  Grace announced that this is now her favorite pasta.

roasting makes the tomatoes nice and sweet and flavorful

Below is the recipe that I followed pretty much as is except I cooked the tomatoes at 300 degrees for about an hour and they were perfect.  I also used a different kind of pasta and didn’t have too much basil yet so used a bit of parsley, basil and oregano from the garden.

Pasta with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Sara Moulton, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds red and yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Halve each tomato and place cut side up in 1 flat layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle on the salt. Roast until the tomatoes are dried around the edges but still moist, about 2 hours.

Crumble the goat cheese into large chunks and refrigerate until ready to serve the pasta.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve. Drain the pasta well and return to the pot. Add the tomatoes, goat cheese,basil, reserved cooking liquid, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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.

Fettuccine with Ham, Mushroom and Peas

This is a weekly stand by that we have been making for years and years.  It’s not really much of a recipe, but we base it on a recipe from a cookbook that I think somebody gave us as a wedding present – almost 23 short years ago.  Everybody likes it and it couldn’t be easier to make.  (Jack always gripes about the mushrooms but tough luck Jack.)

We made this last Sunday and made it even better because we made homemade pasta.  We haven’t made pasta in a super long time and me and Sophie had fun doing it together.  I don’t think she ever made it before.

The pasta dough recipe we use is from the New Basics. It makes about the equivalent of one pound of dried pasta:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs

Place the flour in a food processor, and with the motor running, add the eggs one at a time.  Continue processing for 15 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it has formed a smooth, firm ball.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the ball into 5 pieces.  Use pasta maker to roll out each ball for whatever kind of pasta you want.

Back to the ham, mushrooms and peas: in goes the butter:

Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta, Marie Simmons

Paglia E Fieno

  • 6 T. butter (we usually use much less)
  • 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup heavy cream (we usually use skim milk because it’s in the fridge and it works fine…but of course tastes better if use use whole milk or half and half)
  • 1/2 cup slivered cooked ham
  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • lots of parmesean
  1. Heat 3 T. butter in skillet; add mushrooms and saute for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the peas and cook for a few minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of cream, heat to boiling and simmer until thickened.  Add the ham and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine in boiling water until cooked al dente.  Drain when done.
  3. Throw the fettuccine in the skillet with the mushrooms, ham and peas – put in more butter and cream if you want it.  A scoop or two of pasta water is good also.  Add lots of parmesean cheese and more salt and pepper if you want.

Enjoy

Vegetable Lasagna

Jane Brody

  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion (1 ½ large)
  • 2 large cloves , finely minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 3 T. sherry
  • 1 T. butter or margarine
  • 2 large stalks broccoli chopped (about 4 cups)
  • ½ lb. spinach, washed well and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • ½ t. low salt alternative
  • 16 oz. (2 cups) low-fat cottage cheese
  • 4 oz. part-skim mozzarella, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 3 T. grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 T. dried
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ t. salt, if desired
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (homemade or canned)
  • 8 oz. lasagna noodles, cooked al dente

In a large skillet, sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms in sherry and butter until the vegetables are soft.

Add the chopped broccoli, spinach, and salt.  Stir to combine the ingredients, reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender-crisp.

In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, pepper, and salt.

In a baking pan approximately 13 x 9 x 2 inches, spread ½ cup of tomato sauce on bottom.  Layer the lasagna ingredients as follows: Arrange three strips of lasagna noodles on the bottom.  Spread half of the cheese mixture on noodles, then half of the vegetable mixture, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce.  Repeat, starting from the noodles.  End with a layer of noodles topped with the remaining ½ cup of tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the top of the lasagna with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Bake the lasagna at 375 for 25 minutes.  Let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving it.