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Summer Vegetable Pasta

Last week I visited Mike's Organic Delivery in Stamford, CT, a service that provides local, organic, and sustainable food, along with the ease of delivery (for anyone in a 20 mile radius of their Stamford location). I had to make the trek to pick up my bounty in person, but that afforded me the ability to shop as I normally would, impulsively.

I knew I wanted to get things to put together a meal, and naturally pasta is my go-to. There were only gluten free pasta options, but I was steered in the direction of the Edison quinoa and rice spaghetti. I can honestly say it exceeded my expectations, and did taste like the gluten filled pasta I love.

Next I found myself gravitating to the gorgeous little Italian Eggplants with the most beautiful coloring. On a bit of a purple kick, I got purple bell peppers, and purple onions. There were no purple cherry tomatoes, so I grabbed the yellow. I didn't want to risk getting a meat as I knew I had a long drive in traffic ahead of me, so I chose a bree-like cheese, Camembert. I also got little carrots, even though I wasn't sure how they would factor into a pasta dish (they didn't) but they were cute and went into a salad instead.

As for the actual prep of the meal, my initial thought was to simply roast the veggies. Simple, one pan lined with parchment for easy clean up. However it was 95° with 95% humidity, so that idea got nixed. Next I thought I'd put everything on the grill, with the tomatoes in a nice little foil packet. But it started to downpour as soon as I turned on the grill, and I was soaked through and through by the time the eggplants and peppers were done, so the rest was done in a saute pan. Everything worked out and the dish was delicious, even if the production was a bit disjointed! 

Thanks to Mike's Organic Delivery for providing the food for this recipe! I was given this opportunity through SiggPay, my views and opinions are my own.

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Summer Vegetable Pasta


Ingredients:
1 Pint of Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes
2 Red Tropea Onions
2 Purple Bell Peppers
4 Italian Eggplants
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
3oz Camembert
1/4 cup of reserved pasta water
1/2 pound of pasta of your choice


Instructions:
  1. Prepare water for the pasta. Pre-heat the grill.
  2. Prepare the vegetables; chop the onions, mince the garlic. Slice the eggplants and peppers into long strips.
  3. Coat the eggplants and peppers in a tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat the remaining oil and add the onions and garlic, cook until onions are tender.
  5. Add the tomatoes, cook until they have burst.
  6. Grill the peppers and eggplants, about two minutes on each side.
  7. Remove the rind from the Camembert and add to the saute pan. Leave the heat on low until it's melted.
  8. Add the pasta to the saute pan followed by the grilled veggies and toss until combined. Add the reserved pasta water to reach your desired consistency.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pesto

I am a pasta lover, though and through. I would probably be content having pasta in one form or another every day of the week. However, once the basil comes up in the garden and there is enough for pesto, that is a special treat all on its own.

I've read plenty of pieces about how pesto should be made with a mortar and pestle, but I take no issue with my food processor pesto, and I'd rather have my sauce made in the time it takes for my pasta to cook.

This is the recipe my mom adapted years ago - she changed the nuts, the cheese, and most notably the quantity - the original was meant for double the amount of pasta!

Naturally I think this recipe is pretty much perfect, and of course it doesn't just have to be over pasta. I've added it to rice, pizza, and grilled cheese. Though it's important to remember that pesto is never supposed to be cooked, so it should be a last minute addition to any dish that is spending a lot of time under heat, and you can eat your leftovers cold out of the fridge.

-Lydia

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Basil Pesto Over Thin Linguine


Ingredients:
2 cups of fresh basil (packed)
1/4 -1/2 cup of walnuts 
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup of olive oil
3/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup of reserved pasta water
splash of cream (optional)
1 pound of pasta of your choice


Instructions:
  1. Prepare water for the pasta. While the water is coming to the boil, prepare your pesto.
  2. Add the basil, walnuts, peeled cloves of garlic, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.
  3. With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until everything is incorporated.
  4. Add the cheese, processing briefly, just until incorporated
  5. Add some of the pesto to the serving bowl and mix in a tablespoon of the reserved pasta water and cream if desired.
  6. Add the pasta to the bowl followed by the remaining pesto and toss until combined. Add more of the reserved water to reach your desired consistency. 
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Swedish Meatballs

The first time I ever tasted Swedish meatballs was in the late 70's at a party.  I liked them so much that I asked for the recipe and have been making them ever since. My mother adopted it as well, making it for dinner for years, until it seemed to me to become a family favorite, and one that would remind me of home. Growing up eating basically Italian food, this was something different from the norm in my house, but everyone loved it. Through the years it has been tweaked. The original recipe had three kinds of meat; veal, pork and beef. I started out making it that way but have since opted to omit the veal. Sometimes when there was only beef in the my fridge, I have just used that. It may taste a bit different, but you can do it that way if need be! Unless you go to a butcher, pork usually comes in 1 lb. packages. If that is the case where you live you can take a portion out and freeze the rest for another use, or another batch of delicious meatballs! Wonderful in the cold winter months as a comfort food, it is equally good in any season.

Enjoy!
      Cindy

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Swedish Meatballs


Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 c.breadcrumbs
1/2 c. minced onions
1 1/2 tsps. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp pepper ( or to taste )
1 egg
2 tsps. fresh parsley, chopped fine
1/2 c. milk


Instructions: Sauté onions a few minutes until softened. Set aside. Place meat in a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs, onions, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, egg, parsley,and milk. Mix well until breadcrumbs are thoroughly combined. Chill for 2 hours Shape meat into small balls. Fry in a large frypan in 1/4 cup of oil until browned on all sides. Remove and set side while making sauce in the same pan:

1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
3/4 c.sour cream
2 cups water
1/4 tsp worcestershire


On medium low heat, stir flour into the drippings until flour has cooked for a minute or two. Blend in the water a small mount at a time alternately with the sour cream. Stir rapidly until smooth Add worchestire sauce. Boil for 1 minute. Add meatballs and heat together on low heat.
May be served with rice, egg noodles, of pasta of your choice, and a vegetable on the side.