Tag

pasta

Browsing

White Asparagus Lemon Cream Pasta is a great way to welcome spring! A fresh and sunny dish filled with fresh white asparagus and a touch of parmesan.spring pasta

White asparagus-lemon cream pasta

Asparagus is one of the first veggie that want’s to come out in spring, both the green and white kind are actually the same, the only difference is that the white one never get to see the sun. They pick it up  with the help of a sharp tool under the dirt directly preventing photosynthesis. The taste is softer and the texture also and if you peel it right you can even eat it raw.

Preparation

White asparagus-lemon cream pasta (9).jpg

The main difference to its preparation is that unlike the green asparagus. You’ll need to peel its whole body (except the head) about twice because it’s covered with thick fibres which prevent the asparagus from getting tender when cooked. If it’s not peeled properly the asparagus will be difficult to eat because of all those fibres.

White asparagus-lemon cream pastaWhite asparagus are quite pricey so you’ll want to use every single bit of it. I suggest you clean your asparagus first and keep all the scraps from it; meaning the foot and all the peeled parts, you can easily make a great purée or soup with it later on. Unlike the green asparagus where you brake them to keep solely the tender part, with white ones you won’t need to do it this way. You’ll peel all that rough part out anyways and plus you don’t want to get rid of half the length for that price… right? So just cut about 2 or 3 cm max on the bottom of the asparagus then peel them until the skin feels tender. Sometime white asparagus are quite thick others thin so you’ll have to adjust the amount you peel off.

For highlighting the asparagus I’ve done a light creamy lemon fusilli to accompany it. A smooth and lightly flavored cream to highlight and enhance the delicate yet exquisite taste of the asparagus!

Let’s spring begin!

 


White Asparagus Lemon Cream Fusilli

Makes 2 portions | Preparation: 20 minutes | Difficulty: easy

creamy pasta white asparagusIngredients
  • 420g of fresh white asparagus
  • 400g of pasta of your choice
  • 250ml of light cream
  • zest of 1 lemon plus half its juice
  • parmesan
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Start by cleaning then cutting the bottom of the asparagus and then peel them (check how above)
  2. Cut the bottom part at about 2 cm high and cut the rest of the asparagus into 3 or 4 to make small pieces
  3. Cook them in a big pot of boiling water (use the same water later on for the pasta) until cooked about 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of your asparagus)
  4. Take the asparagus out with a slotted spoon and reserve
  5. Use the same water and cook the fusilli in it (to your favorite consistency)
  6. Add the cream in a small sauce pan with the zest of a lemon, salt and pepper and cook it slowly until warm, it’s should not boil
  7. Add the white asparagus to the cream sauce to keep them warm
  8. Drain the pasta, put back in the big pot and add half the juice of the lemon and the cream sauce and mix

 

You can serve with a few shaved parmesan slices. Enjoy!

white asparagus lemon cream fusilli

This colossal MeatBall Spaghetti is a minimalistic touch to a classic meatball sauce. This moist and filled with spices gargantuesque meatball will bring goosebumps to any carnivores guaranteed!This colossal MeatBall Spaghetti is a minimalistic touch to a classic meatball sauce. This moist and filled with spices gargantuesque meatball will bring goosebumps to any carnivores guaranteed!

Mega Meatball Spag

Mega MeatBall Spaghetti is a minimalistic version of the classical meatball sauce we all love. This dish will bring goosebumps to any carnivores, a moist meatball filled with spices served in a simple onion-tomato sauce and al dente pasta.

I like to cheat myself, especially with food… I would say well it’s not a totally evil dish if I just make 1 meatball instead of many, but the truth is; in the end it’s as heavy calorie wise. Anyway, if I am to sin and eat red meat, better to it right no?

This meal is also kind of the story close to my heart. When I’ve met my husband, 10 years ago back in Panama, he used to eat so much pasta that I would call him a pasta monster. Later on, still in contact over the internet, I gave myself this “meatball princess” nickname to make sure he wouldn’t forget me… he didn’t. Since then, I perfectionalize my meatballs to reach the real title of “meatball princess”.

 

The Meatball magic

Big MeatBall SpaghettiYes, there is plenty of magic going on in a meatball, especial the colossal kind like this one. Here are five important points to succeed your mega meatballs:

  • First, moisture is key, especially with a bigger version, a dry meatball is quite sad and frankly disastrous. To make sure our meatballs don’t pass its cooking time, a great trick is to soak a dry bread, without the crust, into milk for about 5 minutes and then when it’s time to make the meatballs, break the bread into the meat mix. This way you’ll get an ultra moist meatball guaranteed!
  • Second, the eggs are often used to bind the balls together, but personally I do not like it because it also deform their form. Without the egg my meat ball hold just fine so… I suggest to skip the egg if you want a nicely formed meatball. Otherwise it could result into a burger/meatball hybrid.
  • Third, the spices are soooo important here and yes salt is part of it. I suggested a pretty standard mix here; cumin, cinnamon, paprika, oregano and parsley and do not forget the salt and pepper. If you want a super tasty meatballs the salt is so important, I would even recommend to take out that hidden “fleur de sel” or kosher salt from the back of your pantry and make good use of it here.
  • Fourth, Oh mighty Maillard reaction or browning of the meatballs with the help of the oven is a big “must” for this recipe. Usually with normal sized balls, you would fry them rapidly in a pan first but with mega meatballs it’s not that easy. That why the oven comes in handy, simply cook them and in the last minute of cooking your meatballs in the oven if they are not brown on top, simply broil it fast at maximal temperature. This light brown crust is a flavour of it’s own, not to be forgotten.
  • Fifth, don’t over mix the meat mixture and do it with the hands to mix the spices and bread through it. The meatball will stay light and fluffy this way, otherwise it might turn into a heavy and hard meatball.

Okay… enough meatball talk. Let’s get to it!

 


Mega MeatBall Spaghetti

Makes 4 portions | Preparation: 40 minutes | Difficulty: easy

Mega Meatball SpagIngredients
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 400g tomato sauce
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic
  • olive oil
  • extra shaved parmesan *optional
The Meatballs
  • Mega Meatball Spag500g ground pork and veal meat (could be beef also)
  • 1 garlic finely chopped
  • 1 slice of dry bread without the crust
  • 50ml milk (just enough to soak the bread) *could be replaced by water
  • 1 hand of fresh flat leaves parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (spicy kind)
  • salt and pepper (be generous)
Directions
  1. Start making the 4 mega meatballs; add the milk to the slice of bread and let soak 5 minutes until well absorbed
  2. Mix all the meatball ingredients together with the hands and break the soaked in milk bread into the balls
  3. Makes 4 balls, add to a baking sheet on a rack and cook in the oven at 180°C (350F) for 30 minutes
  4. During that time cook in a small saucepan the finely chopped onions in olive oil, low heat until perfectly translucid (takes about 10 minutes) and getting brownish on the bottom of the pan
  5. Deglaze with a splash of wine or water and add the garlic
  6. Add the tomato sauce or diced tomatoes to the onion mix and let it warm up gently
  7. Cook the spaghetti in salty boiling water, 10 minutes before the end of the meatballs cooking process
  8. Once the meatballs are cooked through, if they are missing the slightly brown top, broil them for a minute in the oven, then add them rapidly to the saucepan with kitchen tongs and cover them with sauce
  9. Serve the spaghetti, then the sauce and finally the mega meatball on top.

 

Serve with nicely shaved parmesan pieces. Enjoy!

Mega Meatball Spag

A shell pasta with an extra tasty onion soup (sauce) served in a mug topped with a light gratiné, fresh parsley and crunchy bread crumbs. The new way to eat your onion soup!A shell pasta with an extra tasty onion soup (sauce) served in a mug topped with a light gratiné, fresh parsley and crunchy bread crumbs.

Onion Soup Pasta

This is my first ever mug meal! Actually, I went to buy the mugs extra for this recipe. A shell formed pasta served with a leftover of onion soup and a light gratin on top with a few bread crumb to recall the “french onion soup bread” and gives the meal an extra crunch. It’s quite simple to make and tasty, so if you have some onion soup leftovers this is the way to go!

Catalan tradition

The shell pasta is something you don’t get to see often in your plate. Where I live, Barcelona, they call it “galets” and it’s a popular pasta during the holidays season. They make a simple broth soup with it, sometimes the shells are not filled, others times filled with meat or served next to meatballs. This soup is called “escudella i carn d’olla” and is usually consumed for lunch on Christmas. Originally I wanted to use the pasta for this Catalan dish, but it ended up differently. Maybe next year…
A shell pasta with an extra tasty onion soup (sauce) served in a mug with a light gratiné, fresh parsley and crunchy bread crumbs on top.It finally turned out into a nice pasta “gratiné” mug meal with my double onion soup leftovers used as the sauce. Let’s say it turned out into my own version of festive shell pasta, tasting just as delicious as the onion soup and fun to plunge in with the spoon to get to the onion bits. The pasta will absorb some of that exquisite onion soup taste while it cooks. Plus it’s served in a mug which makes it possible to “gratiné” or grill the cheese on top in no time, just like with a french onion soup. I didn’t used so much cheese, since I’m on my eternal diet… but feel free to go heavier on the cheese factor. Another typical recipe a la “FoodOlic”; mixing the best of two worlds.

So let’s make this fun and easy dish!

 


Onion Soup Pasta in a Mug

Makes 2 portions | Preparation: 15 minutes | Difficulty: easy

IngreOnion Soup Pastadients
  • 300ml of onion soup (check my double onion soup recipe or my simple one here)
  • 250g of pasta of your choice (fusilli, shells, farfalle)
  • 50g of dry crumb (or blend a piece of dry / toasted bread) *optional
  • a tasty cheese (gruyere, gouda, cheddar, etc)
  • parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta half way in boiling salty water, drain
  2. Add them immediately to an oven proof mugs or small ovenproof recipients of your choice
  3. Add 150ml of the preheated onion soup in each mugs (3/4 of the mug)
  4. Topped with the cheese (to taste)
  5. Cook in the oven at 200°C (400F) for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melted
  6. Add the bread crumb on top, cook 1 more minute before taking the mugs out from the oven
  7. Sprinkle a bit of parsley and black pepper

It’s hot! Let know the guests and serve the mugs on a placemat and napkins to allow them to touch the mug without burning themselves.

Enjoy!

mug pasta onion

Broccoli cream sauce pasta with rovellons mushrooms
The Rovello mushroom

(red pine mushroom or saffron milk cap mushroom)rovellonspin2

I had to present to you the #1, the ultimate, the prestigious, the favorite mushroom from Catalonia, Spain; the famous Rovello mushroom. Called whether Red pine mushrooms or saffron milk cap in english those pinkish/brownish, earthy, meaty mushroom are simply irresistible! Catalans like to go by themselves in the woods to pick them up from september to novembre, it’s kind of a seasonal event. Although you can find them also at the market around Catalonia in the fall, with mountains of other types of mushrooms, but this one, the rovello, is their favorite. The mushrooms are abundant in northern Spain, in the red pines forest and the Basques and Catalans (both located north of Spain) are big fan of mushrooms, their gastronomy is filled with them, although, strangely in the rest of Spain, they are not so popular. Lucky for me, living in Catalonia, and loving mushrooms, I found myself in a delectable mushroom heaven. Here, the rovello are considered the caviar of mushrooms and I have to agree with it, they are fantastic. The texture isn’t chewy like most mushrooms, they are quite firmer and taste just divine, triple the flavor of a portobello.

 

Catalonia’s favorite

The Catalans usually make simple recipes with them; whether it’s Rovellons escalivada (marinated) or just a la plancha (grilled) with a bit of garlic, parsley and olive oil or in stew. The only down side of Rovello mushrooms is that there are quite dirty, meaning they have a flesh filled with cracks which hold up a lot of dirt. Well… I assure you, it’s the one and only down side of the mushroom. So… you’ll have to clean them one by one with a toothbrush… yes… I know, it’s a boring and a long process but I believe the hard work always give great results and those mushrooms are simply just too delicious to stop at the cleaning part. You can also pass them rapidly under water to pick up the dirt and immediately pat them dry, to prevent the mushroom from filling up with water which would make them saggy at coccion time.
For Broccoli cream sauce pasta with rovellons mushrooms (3).jpgthis season of rovello, I’ve came up with a pasta dish that would highlight the mushrooms. I’ve simply done the mushrooms the usual way; fried in the pan with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic and parsley. Than I’ve added the mushroom to a broccoli cream smooth pasta which won’t take the focus away from the mushrooms and fits perfectly to the meaty mushroom! If rovello are out of reach for you, simply use shiitakes or a nice earthy mushroom to replace it.

Let’s make this rovello pasta!

 


The Rovello mushroom on a broccoli cream pasta

Makes 4 portions | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 500g of linguine or tagliatelle pasta
Broccoli sauce
  • 1 broccoli
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 200ml of cream
  • nutmeg, salt and pepper
The rovello mushroom
  • 30 rovellons or mushroom of your choice clean them up
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 handful of flat leave parsley
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  • Start by cleaning the mushrooms using a toothbrush or water and pat dry, reserve
  • Blanch the broccoli in the big pot of boiling water for the pasta (soak them in the salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes to cook them up aldente)
  • Once the broccoli are bright green, take them out and soak in ice cold water (just running cold water is fine) to stop the coccion and keep their nice bright green color
  • In a medium pot add the wine to boil, 1 minute
  • Add the broccoli and the cream and blend with an immersion blender
  • Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper cook to keep warm, low heat, for 2-3 minutes, reserve
  • Add the mushrooms to a sauté pan, drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper and cook at high heat for about 4 minutes
  • Add the minced garlic, parsley cook another minute and reserve
  • Cook the pasta in the same boiling water used for blanching the broccoli, until al dente
  • Drain the pasta, put back in the pot, add the broccoli cream sauce and mix
  • Serve the rovellons mushrooms on the pasta

Enjoy!

Broccoli cream sauce pasta with rovellons mushrooms

Crispy sage-cured ham Vodka sauce pastaAfter a week of german recipes… it’s time to go back to an old good friend called Pasta. This pasta is ridiculously addictive, be aware. I have no idea if it’s the mix of texture or the mix of flavors that makes it so irresistible. It’s a terribly simple recipe too, also done under 20 minutes. If you already know vodka sauce you know it’s a pinky cream sauce colored by some tomatoes, usually a tomato paste, but this version I’ve simply used a few fresh cherry tomatoes. It’s called vodka sauce but really there isn’t much vodka in it and obviously it doesn’t really taste like it at all. The vodka here is used mainly as a stabilizer to the acidity of the tomato and the cream which would be impossible to mix without some type of alcohol in the sauce. The vodka could also be substitute by a white wine.vodkapastapin

Crispy sage-cured ham Vodka sauce pastaThis recipe has some extra crunch on top, a nice slightly warmed up in the oven pieces of cured ham and sage leaves. Believe me, this mix is just a foretaste to heaven, any type of cream sauce gain so much from a crunchy cured ham. As for the sage, it’s such a great, strong and unique taste we see just too little of. It goes also to perfection with any cream sauces, and in this case… it’s no exception. The thick leaves of sage make it a bit chewy and unpleasant if eaten raw, so I always cook it a 3 minutes, in the pan or oven, with the cured ham to make it crispy. Then the magic happens and the leaves become like this extra tasty chips, that give a whole new dimension to the plate. If you are not used to sage flavor, I suggest you start with just a little, because it’s a quite powerful aromatic. I’m not kidding the taste gets exponentially stronger once cooked and the texture becomes a great crunchy one. A great complementary combination that is the sage and cured ham, especially on those creamy, smooth pasta.

Let’s make this aromatic pasta!


Crispy Sage and Cured ham Vodka sauce Pasta

Makes 4-5 portions

Ingredients
  • Crispy sage-cured ham Vodka sauce pasta500g pasta of your choice
  • 300ml of cream
  • 15g of butter or olive oil
  • 5 french shallots finely chopped
  • 15 cherry tomatoes
  • 50ml of vodka
  • nutmeg, salt and pepper
Toppings
  • about 10 leaves of sage
  • 5 cured ham slices
Directions
  1. Add the cured ham and sage to a baking paper on a oven sheet and cook at 200°c (400f) for 3-4 minutes until crisp, reserve
  2. In a pan, soften the shallots in butter, medium-low heat, until translucent about 4-5 minutes
  3. Add the vodka and the cherry tomatoes and let the alcohol evaporate for about 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper and let simmer at low heat for 3 more minutes
  5. Mix the vodka sauce on freshly cooked, al dente, pasta and crunch as much cured ham as you’d like on the plate and a few sage leaves

Enjoy!

Crispy sage-cured ham Vodka sauce pasta

Creamy avocado pesto zoodlesCreamy avocado pesto zoodles is the new pasta (well…actually; non pasta) in town. I see them everywhere, for guys out there who didn’t catch the “zoodle” vibe, it’s actually zucchini noodles. There is absolutely no gluten, wheat in them and make a great meal for all, especially for low carb diet or gluten intolerant people. This was my first attempt to do those famous”zoodles”, no need to buy those big spiralizer machine to make them, simply use a cheese grater, it really doesCreamy avocado pesto zoodles the trick. It’s a terribly easy, fast and healthy recipe but also creamy and tasty, the avocado make the dish stand. It give the dish this rich creamy texture, which I believe,  complete the dish to perfection.zoodlepin

Most zoodles recipes out there are using a spiralizer machine, which are expensive and quite big, I’ve just used a mandoline with large cheese grater holes, but some mandoline already have those teeth to make perfect juliennes, otherwise use a boxed cheese grater it works fine too. It certainly looks thicker and more “noodles like” (larger than spaghetti) with the machine, but for now, let’s focus on the taste of it.

As for the pesto, it’s a traditional genovese pesto with plenty of basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. Then to make the dish hold up we’ll have an avocado to the mix, which will bring the whole dish to some other level. To prevent the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown, add a squeeze of lime to the pesto. As for the finishing touch, a topping of dried tomatoes and parmesan. You’ll never go back to pasta with this creamy, rich, sunny dish.

Let’s make those zoodles.


Creamy avocado pesto zoodles

Makes 2 portions

Ingredients
  • Creamy avocado pesto zoodles3 zucchinis
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 hand of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 20g of pine nuts
  • parmesan
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • lime
  • salt and pepper
  • *optional dry tomatoes
Directions
  1. Creamy avocado pesto zoodlesCut both ends of the zucchinis
  2. Grate the zucchini completely on its length side
  3. In the blender add the pine nuts, garlic, basil, parmesan to taste and olive oil
  4. Fast blend the first batch, then add the avocado, salt, pepper Creamy avocado pesto zoodlesand lime and blend until it becomes a paste, add a bit of water if too thick
  5. Check the seasoning
  6. Add the zoodles in a  pan with a touch of olive oil and salt, just to warm them up, cook high heat for 2 minutes
  7. Creamy avocado pesto zoodlesAdd the pesto to the zoodles and mix well
  8. Top with a few thin slices of dry tomatoes and parmesan

This dish goes fast in, careful… and enjoy!

Creamy avocado pesto zoodles

Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauceCalamari on an Ink Linguine with a spicy tomato sauce is a great way to spice up your next dinner. If you always wondered how those black ink pasta taste like but never got the guts to buy it and try it out, this recipe will make you buy them over and over again. Everyone is scared of those ink meals for some reason…I guess it’s the fact of eating what you usually write with, it just doesn’t quite belong in a plate. But I assure you, it’s quite the opposite. Since I’ve been living in Spain, they use the ink of cuttlefish for many of their traditional meals like squids croquetas in their ink, the arroz negro (black cuttlefish paella) or those black ink linguine. This recipe comes from my cooking school, well… we had to make the fresh ink linguine by ourself, so in this case, to keep it simple, I’ve just bought a pack of dry black pasta. This way the recipe takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.blackcalpin

Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauceThe taste of ink might worry some of you, but it doesn’t feel anything like tarry, earthy or whatever you believe your pen tastes like… no.. it tastes like a salty mineral water, or to be more precise it tastes like the sea. Although, making yourself the pasta with the fresh ink makes the sea factor more present, if you are comfortable with making your own fresh pasta, you definitely should make it for this recipe and add a tbsp of squid ink to your mix.

Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauceFor this recipe, I’ve used pre cleaned frozen squids, no need to defrost them either, when they are frozen and hard, they are way easier to cut with the mandoline into fine rings. Once cut, let 10 minutes pass and you’ll see; how fast those magically defrost. Finish it up by simply drying them up with a paper towel and they are ready to fry. Frozen squid is super tender when fried quickly at high heat. The muscles fibres in the calamar break down when they are frosted which leave their meat super tender, the trick here is to fry them fast and hard in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes, if you over cook them, it’s when they will get chewy… If this happens, you can always save them back, by letting them cook slowly (let say in this case into the tomato sauce) until they become tender again, for about 10-15 minutes.

Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauceI’ve used the most popular “spicy” dried pepper from Spain called “Guindilla” which is used to make the spicy paprika. It is still a fairly moderate spicy pepper, which won’t overwhelmed the sauce. Those peppers give some of the most iconic Spanish recipes like the gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimps), the bacalao al pil pil (cod emulsified in spicy olive oil) or even the popular Basques pintxo (tapa) called Gilda (a pickled guindilla, anchovy and olive tapa). If you do not find those precise peppers at home, simply chose a mildly spicy pepper or a touch of cayenne pepper to spice up your tomato sauce. Also, another aromatic for the tomato sauce is a single fresh basil leave, which you add at the end of coccion to give the tomato sauce an extra aroma. You’ll have to discard it before serving.

Let’s make this sea flavored pasta!


Calamari Linguine on a spicy tomato sauce

Makes 4 portions

Ingredients
  • 400g of ink linguine 
  • 400g of cleaned frozen squids
  • 400g of tomato purée or crushed (I used a can)
  • 1 guindilla dry pepper (or mildly spicy pepper of your choice to your taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced (1 for the tomato sauce and 1 for the squid stir-fry)
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/4 of a bell pepper cut into small dices (topping)
  • virgin olive oil
  • flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauceStart by cutting the frozen squid with the mandoline 5mm cut, let the rings unfreeze on a paper towel
  2. Make a small cut on the dry Guindilla pepper
  3. Add some olive oil in a sauce pan
  4. Add 1 minced garlic and guindilla pepper to medium high heat, to release their flavors for a minute
  5. Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauceAdd the tomato purée, sugar, salt and pepper and let is simmer 5 minutes
  6. When the sauce is well infused, stop the fire, add the fresh basil leaf and cover
  7. Let it infuse for another 5 minutes
  8. During that time, cook the ink pasta in salty water
  9. In a wok or large pan, bring to high heat, add a 3 tbsp of olive oil
  10. When hot, add the squids (need to be really hot and enough oil)
  11. Add the other minced garlic, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes
  12. When done add the finely chopped parsley
  13. Serve the ink pasta on the spicy tomato sauce, topped with the garlic calamari, the pepper dices.

Serve with a lemon wedge and a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Calamar Ink Linguine on a spicy tomato sauce

Pasta with chorizo al vino sauce

Pasta with chorizo al vino sauce is inspired by the popular tapas :chorizo al vino. The tapas consist simply of cooking chorizo sausages into red wine and a touch of smoked paprika, nothing else. I’ve used the idea, add a little extra veggies, like sweet bell pepper that goes perfectly with the chorizo and served it on pasta. I’ve thickens the sauce with a little cornstarch and tomato paste. A great spanish flavored dish!chorizipin

Pasta with chorizo al vino sauceChorizo isn’t a spicy “hot” sausage, it’s a paprika sausage which can be softly spicy, sweet or smoked. I’ve used a smoky paprika chorizo for this dish. Those sausage are everywhere here in Spain, but depending where you are, I guess it might be harder to find those 3 types of chorizo sausages. If you want to reproduce the smokey effect with standard sausages, you can add some smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera) to the sauce, then you’ll recreate this magnetic smokey flavour. Be careful with this smoked paprika, it’s quite powerful, a single tablespoon should do the trick.

In Spain, they make all kinds of chorizo tapas, for example, some are flamed in clay pots with rum or cooked in cider, some other kind simply grilled or topping a piece of bread with a padron pepper. For this particular recipe, I inspired myself with the chorizo cooked in wine version, which is so terribly simple to make and tasty.

So let’s make this chorizo al vino on pasta!


Pasta with chorizo al vino sauce

Makes 2-3 portions

Ingredients
  • Pasta with chorizo al vino sauce300g of pasta of your choice
  • 250g of chorizo sausage cut into thick pieces
  • 250ml (1 cup) of red wine 
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into slices
  • 1 small yellow onion diced finely
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 big tomato cut into 2
  • 1 tsp of cornstarch mix within 2 tbsp of cold water
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika *optional (if the chorizo sausage isn’t smoked already)
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Slowly cook the onion with some salt with the olive oil, in a saucepan, for a few minutes, until translucent
  2. Add the chorizo sausage, garlic and bring to medium high heat, cook 1 minute
  3. Add the tomato paste by grating the inside of the tomato with a cheese grater directly in the pan
  4. Cook for 2 minutes until the tomato becomes thicker
  5. Add the wine, pepper, *smoked paprika and let reduce, medium high heat, for 10 minutes
  6. Add the cornstarch mix and let thickens the sauce, an extra minute or two
  7. Season and serve on freshly cooked pasta

Serve with a touch of flat leave parsley and a rich Spanish red wine. Enjoy!

Pasta with chorizo al vino sauce

Zucchini meatballs pasta

Zucchini vegballs pasta is a great vegetarian version of the famous meatballs spag, even fills you up as much as the meat version. The zucchini balls are made in the oven, so extra healthy, barely any oil used for an ultra healthy vegetarian dish. I saw this recipe in many places online, most of them only contains zucchini, for this particular recipe I’ve done the vegballs with extra onion, garlic and flat leaf parsley for extra flavor.zucmeatPIN

Zucchini vegballs pasta

Zucchini’s water

Zucchinis are often underestimated, because they contain so much water and get soft and mushy as soon as your cook them. Also zucchini doesn’t have the boldest of flavors… again because it’s filled with water. So… for this recipe, we’ll cook the grated zucchini and onion at first, to release most of the water they contain so this way it’s going to concentrate the flavor. All there is left to do is making some nice tasty miniballs with it. The consistency and texture of those zucchini vegballs are similar to the meatball ones, as firm and heavy, you might even be able to trick your guests or family members… it’s meatballs.

Zucchini vegballs pasta

The trend of “Meatless monday” is high right now, well this dish is a great way to start the week for sure. Especially for those meat lovers out there, this recipe will satisfy even the most vegetarian sceptic out there. So, if you are looking for new ways to eat vegetarian, once in a while, or an actual vegetarian, try these easy to make vegballs!

So let’s make those zucchini vegballs


Zucchini vegballs pasta

Makes 3 portions

Ingredients
  • Zucchini meatballs pasta2 zucchinis grated
  • 1/2 a white onion grated
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 100g of bread crumbs
  • 1 hand of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Directions

*Bring the oven to 180°C (350F)Zucchini meatballs pasta

  1. Grate the zucchini, onion and add salt to it
  2. In a pot cook with olive oil, at high heat, the zucchini mix and the garlic for 15 minutes or until almost all the water is evaporated
  3. Drain the leftover juice, from the zucchini, mix through a sieve, Zucchini meatballs pastapush down the pulp with a spatula to get rid of all the juice, keep the zucchini water for the tomato sauce (reducing it by half before adding your favorite tomato sauce to it) or discard
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the zucchini pulp and mix (I’ve used 85g of bread crumbs in the balls and 15g to coatZucchini meatballs pasta them)
  5. Form small balls, with oiled hands, and add to baking tray (covered with a baking paper or oiled)
  6. Spray them or brush them with a little olive oil
  7. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 180°C (350F) (until turning light brown)
  8. Add to the warm tomato sauce pot and cover Zucchini meatballs pastathem with sauce
  9. Serve with pasta

 


 

Serve with a few optional shaves of parmesan. Enjoy!

Zucchini vegballs pasta

 

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliFlamed scallops on quinoa fusilli is a nice light meal to start the summer. This dish is filled with slightly cooked bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, lime zest and fresh basil leaves. The sauce is mainly a little butter in which the scallops seared in before getting flamed and caramelized with an orange flavored cognac/brandy (Grand Marnier). A divine dish, and so simple to make.

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliWhere I come from, the east part of Canada, scallops are pretty common in our plates. Although, since I’ve been living in Spain, it got quite difficult to find any and when I finally do, they cost so much… So I go to the freezer shop… yes only frozen stuff of all kinds shop, and get my patagonian mini scallops once in awhile. Strange… that in Spain, a seafood lover country, it’s so hard to find any. Although in the West part of Spain, Galicia, they do a meal with scallops in breadcrumbs, ham and onions which sound delicious.

Scallops are mostly wild in Canada, although the farmed scallops are supposed to be sustainable for the environment. Scallops are little filters of the sea, they purify the water from suspended solids, bacterias, etc. They are beneficial for the sea, and apparently hardly need any antibiotics in those type of farming. So… in other words, it’s a good deed to eat them.

Scallops are in many sizes and forms; some like in Canada, come whole with its shell, or some come with the coral (red part) still attached to it, and of course there is many sizes. Back in my homeland, I was used to medium sized scallops, which takes slightly more time to cook, although in this dish, I’ve used those mini patagonian scallops, which take barely 3 minutes to cook. So you’ll have to adjust your timing depending on the size of your scallop. The searing effect is much more easy to caramelize on a medium or big scallops, with the mini kinds… they are cooking too fast to sear good, that why I’ve caramelized them by flaming them.

So let’s flame those precious sea creatures.


 Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli

Makes 2 portions

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliIngredients
  • a pack of 30 mini scallops 
  • 250g of quinoa fusilli
  • 1 bell pepper finely sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes cut into 2
  • 30g of butter
  • 30ml of Grand Marnier (or any Cognac/Brandy)
  • 2 few leaves of basil leaves
  • zest of lime
Directions
  1. Unfreeze the scallops (in cold water) and path them dry with a paper towel
  2. Salt and pepper them up
  3. Cook the quinoa fusilli al dente (usually less long than normal wheat fusilli, be careful the package directions often suggest double the time… so go with the old way, try them up)
  4. Bring a wok or pan to high heat
  5. Add the butter to melt
  6. Add the scallops, and let sear them (resist the urge to move them too much if you want a good brown skin) for 3-4 minutes or until golden
  7. Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliAdd the Cognac/Brandy and flame the scallops (turn off your fan before flaming)
  8. Add the pre-cut pepper, tomatoes and cook another minute
  9. Add the pasta, salt, pepper and mix all together
  10. Serve in bowl, with a few basil leaves and lime zest on top

Enjoy!

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli