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Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

 

Fast pasta

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I was working on my computer all day and realized at 7.30pm that I had almost passed dinner time.
It is all about having things in the food pantry and in the fridge. And don’t let them see you sweat.

Just throw something together. A fast pasta does the trick.

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fast apsta 1*

Fast pasta with swiss chard, tomatoes and bacon.

Serves 4.

1 package of pasta, any kind (make sure it serves 4).

1/4 of a package of bacon. Finely chopped.

2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes.

1 medium size bundle of swiss chard (ab.out 6 cups)

1 cup of heavy cream or creme fraiche (you could also just use a stock if you don’t want the dairy)

3 garlic cloves.

1-2 tbsp. of soy sauce.

A splash of hot sauce.

1 tbsp. anchovy paste.

1/3 cup grated parmesan.

2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard (optional).

Pepper to taste.

Directions;

Fry the bacon bits until crispy. Lift them out and let drain on a paper towel.

Take out some of the rendered bacon fat, leave about 1 tbsp. Add the garlic and anchovy paste. Stir for 30 seconds.

Clean the Swiss chard and cut into bite size. Add to the bacon fat. Fry for about 3 minutes. Add the split cherry tomatoes. Let simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the pasta to some boiling water. Boil until “al dente” (with a little bite not too soft).

Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

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fast pasta 2

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Plate the boiled pasta. Add the sauce over the top. Sprinkle over the bacon bits. Finish with some grated parmesan cheese and a little sprig of any herb you have at home.

Enjoy!

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fast pasta 5

 

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I can have cravings for a plate of a good old spaghetti and meat sauce, served with parmesan and a cold beer! A plate of something old fashion, “everyday meal”. Something your mama used to make.

I think that many of us has pasta as a “go to” or a “fast fix” meal. For me, one of the easiest sauces to make is a meat sauce. You can switch the meat out for anything else that you would prefer. Perhaps some tuna, pulled pork or just keep it vegetarian if you prefer that.

I don’t measure anything. I just take a little of this and a little of that. Whatever I have in the fridge will be the base of it all.

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Good old Meat sauce.

Serves 4.

10-16 oz. Ground beef.

1 medium or large onion. Any color.

1-3 cups of chopped fresh vegetables. I usually use a mixture of fresh mushrooms, peppers, carrots, celery.

1 medium can of crushed tomatoes. If you are lucky and have fresh tomatoes, cube those up and use those instead.

Lot’s of garlic. I like it a lot so for me, it will be about 6 cloves but if you only want one, that is good enough.

3-4 tbsp. of tomato paste (or ketchup if you don’t have tomato paste).

Any kind of fresh or dried herbs. About 1-2 tbsp.

Salt & pepper to taste.

A splash of hot sauce in my case but that is optional as always.

Milk or heavy cream. You could also use creme fraiche. If you don’t want to use dairy, just use a broth.

Directions;

Chop or shred your vegetables while you fry up the ground beef in a skillet on medium high heat. When the meat is done, pour over to a bowl. Fry the chopped onions and the vegetables in the same skillet. When the onions are getting a little translucent, pour in the fried meat. Add the tomato paste or ketchup. Start with half the amount since it is easier to add than take out. Let the garlic fry with the veggies and meat just a few minutes so they don’t burn. Add the crushed tomatoes  and the milk/heavy cream/ broth or whatever liquid you prefer to use, to the skillet. Let boil down for anything from 15-30 minutes. It all depends on how much liquid you have added. I add about 2 cups of liquid. If it gets to “dry” before I get a loose and soft sauce, I just pour in more milk. Salt & pepper to taste. Add the herbs the last few minutes.

I serve this with any kind of pasta. This is such an easy weeknight dish. The trick is to cook a lot of sauce and freeze it in badges. You just take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge over night. boil the pasta when you get home and heat up the sauce. Super fast. Just the way I like it. And that cold beer is just the crowning of this easy, basic dish.

Add some shredded parmesan and call it a day.

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wouldn’t it be nice if Valentine’s day would be an official holiday without work?

I personally would love for it to be a day off with nothing else to do, than to hang out with my husband.

I don’t need any grand celebrations. Simple is fine. I know I go a little crazy with a love theme every Valentines, but that is just how I am. I can’t help it. I love to prepare a great experience for others. I guess it comes from doing all that party planning through the years… But I must say that my other half is getting really good at it himself. The flowers he always gives me has gone from a pre-packed bunch from the grocery store to now being fancy coordinated bouquets with saran wrap and glitter . He is great. I am so lucky.

It is nice to have a day that means the same all over the world.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. Love is love…

My definition of love is “how someone makes you feel”, so as long as one feels loved, all bells and whistles are not needed.

But after all that said, some good food never hurts.

For me, seafood speaks of love. It is light and delicious. It is a classic choice. But so are chocolates, a little bubbly, pinks, reds… chocolate covered strawberries……you know what I mean. The typical things we buy, eat and do for this day. I just try to do at least one new thing every year. Just to change it up a little.

So, for this Valentine’s day, I have made the ultimate decadent seafood pasta in white chocolate sauce. Could it get any better than that??

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IMG_3242_2

Seafood ravioli with white chocolate cream sauce.

Wonton skins/wraps or pasta sheets (to “make” your own pasta. You can usually find the pasta sheets in the freezer section in the grocery store).

1 c. Raw shrimp Any size. Peeled. You could also use any other seafood such as scallops, lobster, salmon or any other kind of fish.

You can skip these steps and just use a store-bought lobster ravioli if you want to. It saves time.

1-2 scallions or shallots. Finely diced.

1 tbsp. unsalted butter.

1/2 c. heavy cream.

1/4 c. Good tasting (something you would love to drink) white wine.

1/4 c. fish stock/broth. You could also use a chicken or vegetable stock.

Splash of hot sauce (optional).

Salt & pepper to taste.

1 egg for an egg wash.

Directions;

If you are making the ravioli, take the peeled shrimp and run them in a food processor with a splash of heavy cream and hot sauce, salt and pepper. It should become a smooth paste.

Take the pasta or wonton wrappers. Put less than a tbsp. of the filling on each piece of pasta. Brush a little egg wash around the filling. Add another pice of the pasta and put on top of the filling. By starting in the middle, try to “squeeze” out the air around the filling. Press lightly around the edges. Cut out the ravioli with either a ravioli cutter or a cookie cutter. Make sure it is well sealed all around. Put the ravioli on a plate (don’t stack them on top of each other since they will stick together).

Fill a pan with water and let come to a boil (I like to boil all pastas and rice with a stock cube).

Put all the pasta into the water and boil on a medium heat for about 6 minutes. Taste the ravioli so that you are sure the filling is cooked all the way through. Drain the pasta when done.

In the same pan, add the butter and scallions and fry them for a few minutes. Let them just get a little translucent (they shouldn’t brown). Add the wine, heavy cream and broth/stock. Let simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure the tastes are balanced. If you would like a little bit more of any of the liquids, add it to the pot. Pour in the chopped white chocolate. Make sure it melts well it shouldn’t boil at this point. Stir well.

Plate the pasta and pour over the white chocolate sauce. Decorate with some greens ( I used some cilantro sprigs) and something colorful on top since it is so white and you need that color splash. I used a strawberry that I cut in half and shaped on top to look like a heart.

Serve some of the nice white wine that you just cooked with. A light salad would be nice to serve to this.

Enjoy!!!

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I used a heart shaped ravioli cutter to make my shrimp ravioli.

I used a heart shaped ravioli cutter to make my shrimp ravioli.

Swedish people eat a lot of "små godis" (Candy bought by weight). For Valentine's the different heart shaped candies are the most popularValentine's Day

Swedish people eat a lot of “små godis” (Candy bought by weight). These are some of the most popular ones for Valentine’s day.

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Happy Valentine’s day!!

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