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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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Pasta sheets used for lasagna has not been thought of as anything so pretty that it should be “naked” on top of a dish. They are just the layers between the sauce and filling.

Until now, that is. I saw one of the old French chefs do this, and he called it a “handkerchief “.   It was put in a deep bowl over the filling. It is such a great idea, but I choose to make an open face or rather de-constructed lasagna to show the pasta sheets off. They are so nice and fragrant and give the dish that little extra.

I just stacked the fish and shrimp on top of each other with the sauce drizzled around the dish.

You could just as well pour the sauce on top but then you could not see the beauty of the herbs nestled inside the pasta sheets. But, it is just as good to use them as regular lasagna sheets.

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De-constructed Fish & Shrimp Lasagna with Herbal Pasta sheets.

1 package of either wonton wrappers or egg roll sheets/skins. (I used the “skins” for egg rolls.)

As much shrimp or fish you need for the amount of people you are serving. Ask in the fish store for the portions.

Pretty herbs and/or edible flowers.

Sprinkle of flour.

1 egg.

1/2 c. of cream or creme fraiche.

1/4 c. grated parmesan or other sharp cheese.

A little chopped parsley.

Pinch of ground nutmeg.

Hot sauce (optional)

Salt & pepper.

Zest from 1/2 a lemon.

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Brush the sheet with a beaten egg or egg wash (beaten egg with a splash of water.)

Randomly place the herbs and if you have, edible flowers.

Put another sheet on top and sprinkle a little flour on the table and use the rolling-pin to make the sheets a little bit bigger. Make sure all sides are well sealed.

Boil in very lightly salted water for a couple of minutes. Note that the pasta sheets will “grow” a little bit in size. When ready take them out carefully and place on a plate. You can “cut to size” for what you need or just use the sheets as they are in a regular lasagna. Note that they will stick together if you put them on top of each other and let sit for a little bit.

Stack the fish and shrimp on top of each other with the pasta sheets in between. Make a quick sauce of the cream or creme fraiche with a little parmesan or other strong/ sharp cheese, salt pepper & ground nutmeg. I also add a splash of hot sauce (of course!)

Pour out a little of the sauce around the pasta and seafood. Decorate with some extra shrimp, a little lemon zest and parsley.

Enjoy!!!!

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