This healthy carbonara was unbelievably creamy. It was also absolutely loaded with fresh spinach. Amazing!
The purpose of the smoked gouda topping was to mimic the smokiness of the missing pancetta or bacon in this lighter, vegetarian version of “carbonara.” I thought is was equally delicious with and without it.
This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Kay Chun. I used whole wheat spaghetti and increased the garlic. It was a quick and delicious weeknight dish.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 7-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 pound fresh baby spinach
- red-pepper flakes, to taste, optional
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan (2 1/2 ounces)
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup grated smoked Provolone or Gouda (1 1/2 ounces)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 2 cups cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Return the pasta and reserved cooking water to the pot and heat over low. Add the butter and onion-garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed and sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach, season with salt, plenty of pepper and red-pepper flakes, if using, and stir until spinach is wilted.
- Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons smoked cheese. Finish with more black pepper, if desired.
Posted in Greens, Pasta, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: baby spinach, carbonara, dinner, gouda, Italian, parmesan, provolone, spaghetti, spinach, vegetarian, whole wheat
Leave a comment
Happy 2019! I have a few healthy “January” recipes to share before getting back to my belated holiday menu recipes. 🙂
This wonderful stew was hearty and healthy. The flavors in the dish were brightened with lemon zest and juice. I also loved that the roasted eggplant was seasoned with crushed coriander seeds- it made it a more special topping.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yewande Komolafe. I doubled the recipe, increased the garlic and eggplant, decreased the oil, and used green lentils and feta cheese. Excellent.
Yield: 8 servings
- roughly 3 pounds eggplant (I used 3 medium eggplant), chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 T olive oil, divided
- 2 T coriander seeds, crushed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
- 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 cups dried lentils (green, black or brown)
- 10 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water (I used 4 cups homemade turkey stock & 6 cups chicken stock)
- 1 cup orzo or other small pasta
- zest and juice from 2 lemons, plus lemon wedges for garnish
- ¼ cup shaved ricotta salata or crumbled feta, or to taste
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 1/4 cup olive oil and crushed coriander seeds until coated; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in an even layer on 2 parchment paper-lined large rimmed baking sheets and roast until eggplant is tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, giving the baking sheet a shake halfway through roasting to toss the eggplant pieces for even cooking.
- In a large stock pot, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron pot.) Add the carrot, onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato paste begins to darken on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils until coated. Pour in stock or water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the type and age of lentils you use.
- Stir in the orzo and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Top with the roasted eggplant pieces and crumbled feta or large shavings of ricotta salata. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing, as desired.
Posted in Pasta, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders, Vegetarian
Tags: beans, coriander, coriander seeds, eggplant, feta, green lentils, legumes, lemon, lemon zest, lentils, orzo, pasta, ricotta salata, roasted, soup, stew, vegetarian
This is the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted- and I’ve posted my favorite garlic bread recipe. 😉
Now that I’ve made them twice, I have to share the method because they were absolutely delicious. This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com. I listed the ingredients needed for each 24-ounce (3 cup) jar. I bought an enormous bag of Kirby cucumbers at a farm stand and just kept making pickles until they were all sliced. TONS of pickles! I filled an assortment of recycled jars, lining the top with saran wrap to keep the lid from absorbing the pickle scent.
I used fresh dill and crushed garlic cloves to flavor the brine, but sliced white onion, dill seeds or pickling spice were other suggested seasonings. Pickles may be the perfect snack.
Per 24-ounce Jar:
- 4-5 Kirby (pickling) cucumbers (or enough to fill the jar)
- 3 tsp coarse salt
- 1 T chopped fresh dill and/or one dill sprig
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- Using a mandoline, cut the cucumbers into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Place them in a lidded jar, filling the jar to the top.
- Add salt, dill, and garlic cloves.
- Pour in the white vinegar. The liquid level will be much lower than the height of the cucumbers but will adjust as they wilt.
- Close the jar, lining the lid with saran wrap if desired, and shake to distribute the ingredients.
- Place the jar in the refrigerator and shake it once or twice over the next few hours.
- Pickles are ready to eat in 6 to 8 hours but will keep, submerged in their brine, for up to 3 weeks.
- 1/2 to 1 tsp dill seeds or 1 T of pickling spice can be substituted for the fresh dill.
- Thinly sliced white onion can be substituted for the garlic cloves.
- Seedless cucumbers can be substituted for Kirby cucumbers but the pickles may be less crunchy.
Posted in Quick, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: brine, cucumbers, dill, easy, garlic, Kirby, pickles, refrigerator, snack, vegetarian, white onion, white vinegar
My kids are back in school! I can get back to sharing dishes that we enjoyed this summer (and probably last spring as well). I have quite a few to share. 🙂
This is a fabulous, restaurant-indulgent, late summer pasta dish. The real beauty of it is that it could be made in any season to bring back the taste of summer. It was also quick and easy to prepare- the best combination. The cheese adds creaminess to the finished dish but can easily be omitted for a vegan version.
This recipe was adapted from Bringing it Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons with Mindy Fox. I used grape instead of cherry tomatoes, bucatini instead of spaghettini, and modified the proportions. I am definitely going to make this dish year round. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound bucatini, spaghettini, spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 small red onion or 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds (about 3 pints) grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups loosely packed torn basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2-4 T finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
- coarsely ground black pepper
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente. (Simmons recommends 2 T of kosher or fine sea salt in 4 quarts of water.)
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12- or 14-inch skillet or wide, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes, then stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the tomatoes have burst, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta, along with the reserved pasta cooking water, to the pan with the sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the pasta is coated, about 30 seconds, then stir in the basil and parsley.
- Divide the pasta among serving plates. Dollop with the ricotta and sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and serve immediately.
Posted in Pasta, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: angel hair, basil, bucatini, cherry tomatoes, dinner, easy, fast, Gail Simmons, grape tomatoes, Italian, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, pasta, red onion, ricotta, spaghetti, spaghettini, summer, vegan, vegetarian
This dish is amazing summertime comfort food as well as a great dish to make celebrating summer tomatoes. It is a variation of a delicious Martha Stewart Living one-pot pasta dish that I’ve also enjoyed and posted in the past.
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman, via smitten kitchen.com. I increased the quantity to make 4 main course servings, modified the proportions, and used a Vidalia onion as well as freshly picked vine-ripened tomatoes. (from a friend- lucky me!) The fresh backyard basil was the icing on the cake.
Serves: 4 as a main dish, 3 as a hearty main dish, or about 6 as a side dish
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro (the package will note a 30-minute cooking time)(I used Nature’s Promise farro)
- 1 large onion, preferably Vidalia
- 4 cloves garlic
- a generous pound or grape, cherry, or small vine-ripened tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons, for garnish
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving, optional
- Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak (5 to 10 minutes is sufficient) while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons.
- Thinly slice garlic cloves as well.
- Halve or quarter the tomatoes.
- Add salt, red pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Bring uncovered pan up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. (I used a medium-size enameled cast iron pot.)
- When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender.
- Adjust seasonings as desired.
- Transfer to a wide serving bowl. If there’s enough leftover cooking liquid to be bothersome, simply use a slotted spoon to leave the amount you wish to behind.
- Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and parmesan. Serve immediately.
Posted in Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: basil, dinner, farro, grains, grape tomatoes, parmesan, semi-pearled farro, side dish, Smitten Kitchen, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian, vidalia
This dish could or should be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen called the dish “pizza beans” to make it more appealing to her kids- so I did the same. 😉 She also had the genius suggestion of serving it with garlic bread, giving it even more appeal. Perelman described it as “a mash-up of a giant-beans-in-tomato-sauce dish from Greece and American-style baked ziti, with beans instead of noodles.” Heaven!
My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. We are already big fans of Greek Gigante beans, by the way. 🙂 With the name “pizza beans,” my kids were expecting pizza, but the flavors in the dish were more like minestrone soup. It may have been more well-received if I had simply called it by the original title, Tomato & Gigante Bean Bake. 😉
This dish would also be wonderful as a cold-weather comfort food casserole. The recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman, via smitten kitchen.com. I used a pressure cooker to cook the dried beans, incorporated the pressure cooker bean liquid as well as beet greens, and increased the amount of garlic. I plan to make it again in the winter and give it a different title. I’m sure it will be more well-received. It will be served with garlic bread, of course.
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large or 2 regular carrots, diced
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white or red wine, optional
- 4 ounces (115 grams) curly kale leaves, beet greens, and/or mixed baby greens, coarsely chopped
- 2 1/4 cups (550 grams) crushed tomatoes (28-ounce or 800-gram can minus 1 cup; reserve the rest for another use)
- 1 pound (455 grams) giant white beans such as Italian fagioli corona, Greek gigante/gigandes, Royal Corona, or large lima beans
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) vegetable broth or pressure cooker bean liquid, as needed
- 1/2 pound (225 grams) mozzarella, coarsely grated
- 1/3 cup (35 grams) grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons (5 grams) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish, optional
- garlic bread, for serving, optional
- To use a Pressure Cooker to “Soak” the Beans: Place 12 cups of water, 3 tsp of coarse salt and the dried beans in a pressure cooker. Raise to high pressure (2nd ring) for 2 minutes. Release pressure using the natural (water) method. Drain the beans.
- Cook the Beans in a Pressure Cooker: Place the drained beans with 9 cups of fresh water in the pressure cooker. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cook on low (1st ring) for 3 minutes. Release pressure using the natural (water) method. Drain the beans reserving the bean liquid.
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees, preferably on convection.
- In a 2 1/2-to-3-quart (ideally oven-safe) deep sauté pan, braiser, or shallow Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Season well with salt and black or red pepper. Cook, sautéing, until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck bits, then simmer until it disappears, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the kale/greens, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until collapsed, then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- Add the beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick (canned tomatoes range quite a bit in juiciness), add up to 3/4 cup broth/bean liquid, 1/4 cup at a time.
- Simmer the mixture together over medium for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.
- If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a 3-quart baking dish.
- Sprinkle the beans first with the mozzarella, then the Parmesan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper color, you can run it under the broiler.
- Finish with parsley, if desired. Serve with garlic bread.
Posted in Casserole, Pressure Cooker, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: beans, beet greens, casserole, dinner, fagioli, gigante beans, Greek, greens, Italian, kale, kid-friendly dinner, legumes, lima beans, mozzarella, parmesan, pressure cooker, royal corona, Smitten Kitchen
This wonderful side dish had the incredible nutty flavor from browned butter in every bite. It was a lovely way to enjoy my beautiful CSA corn and zucchini this week. 🙂
This dish was adapted from Meatless Sheet Pan Suppers: 100 Surprising Vegetarian Meals Straight from the Oven by Raquel Pelzel. I added an extra ear of corn and used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend, a combination of Israeli couscous, red quinoa, orzo, and split dried garbanzo beans, instead of Israeli couscous alone. Great!
Yield: Serves 6
- 4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 to 4 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels sliced off the cob
- 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 to 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous or Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced into ribbons
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Place the butter on a rimmed sheet pan and set it in the oven until the butter melts and smells toasty and nutty, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the browned butter into a small heatproof bowl.
- Stir the corn and zucchini into the remaining butter on the sheet pan, along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook until the zucchini softens and the corn loses its raw starchiness, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer the corn mixture to a large bowl and season with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste.
- Add the couscous to the pan alone with the boiling water and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine, and wearing oven mitts, cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal.
- Bake couscous for 10 minutes, remove the foil, stir the couscous, re-cover the pan, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the couscous is plump and tender.
- Transfer the couscous to the bowl with the corn mixture.
- Add the reserved browned butter and most of the basil. Stir to combine and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
- Serve sprinkled with remaining basil.
Posted in Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: basil, browned butter, corn, couscous, Harvest Grain Blend, israeli couscous, pasta, sheet pan, side, side dish, summer, vegetarian, zucchini