Orecchiette with Greens, Mozzarella & Crispy Chickpeas

I love a recipe that gobbles up the greens from my CSA share. I have made this dish a couple of times using whatever combination of greens I had available. Recently, I used turnip greens, kale and spinach but I have also used chard and baby collard greens in the past. The classic combination of basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella was a nice complement to the sautéed greens as well.

This quick dish was adapted from a Food and Wine staff favorite recipe, contributed by Marcie Turney. I doubled the recipe, decreased the red pepper flakes, and increased amount of fresh mozzarella. SO delicious.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pound greens such as Swiss chard, kale, turnip greens, spinach, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped (or more, as desired)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 16 large basil leaves, torn or chiffonade
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium, deep skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat until crisp, 4 minutes. Transfer them to a paper towel–lined plate, sprinkle with the cumin and coriander and season with salt and black pepper. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet.
  3. Add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, 3 minutes.
  5. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved cooking water to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring until incorporated.
  7. Add the mozzarella and basil and toss. Add more pasta water, if necessary.
  8. Spoon the pasta into bowls, sprinkle with the chickpeas and serve.

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Spinach Spaetzle with Bacon and Sage

This comfort food dish is truly season-less. It’s the easiest fresh pasta recipe EVER. These little German dumplings, or batter noodles, are cooked in minutes. The noodles can be prepared several hours in advance- finishing the dish by sautéing them with bacon and sage just prior to serving.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I modified the cooking method by using a potato ricer to form the noodles. In addition, I increased the spinach as well as the water in the batter. We ate it as a main dish but it would also be delicious as an indulgent side dish.

Yield: 6 servings

Time: about 1 hour

  • 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • coarse salt
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces bacon or pancetta, cut crosswise into thin slices
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  1. Drop spinach leaves into boiling water to blanch, about 30 seconds, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain spinach and squeeze dry.
  2. Put cooked spinach in a blender or food processor with the eggs and yolks and blitz briefly to make a green purée.
  3. Put spinach purée in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and the pepper.
  4. Beat in flour and 3/4 cup cold water to make a wet, sticky batter-like dough. Beat for 5 minutes, until lump free. If the mixture seems too stiff, beat in a few more tablespoons cold water. (Because I used a potato ricer, I thinned the batter to a more runny consistency by incorporating an additional 3 T of water.)
  5. Leave batter to rest at room temperature, covered, for 15 minutes. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place a colander within the ice-water bath.
  6. Bring a large wide pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  7. Holding the potato ricer over the boiling water, fill it with 1-2 ladles of batter; close and press the batter into the water. IMG_3886
  8. Let the spaetzle cook for 1 minute or so, until they rise to the surface. Remove with a skimmer and immediately cool in the colander in the ice water. Continue until all batter is used. Drain cooked spaetzle and blot dry. (I placed the spaetzle on a rimmed baking sheet which was lined with several layers of paper-towels.) *Note: The recipe may be prepared up to this point several hours before serving.*
  9. Just before serving, set a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and let it render without browning much, about 2 minutes. Pour off fat and leave bacon in pan. (To decrease the mess, I wiped out the fat with paper towels.)
  10. Add the butter and let it foam, then add sage leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds.
  11. Add the cooked spaetzle and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon until heated through and lightly browned.
  12. Transfer to a warm serving bowl, if desired. Serve immediately with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Strozzapreti with Roasted Tomatoes

My husband is SPOILED. He said that this dish was “standard” fare. “We always eat fresh tomatoes and basil, ” he said. What could be better than two (plus) pounds of local farm stand tomatoes smothered in backyard basil, garlic, and loads of cheese? (That’s what I say!) Yummy!

Well… It would have been better is I had made fresh pasta, I suppose. I substituted store-bought (but special) pasta. I did include the directions to make the homemade strozzapreti because it would bring this tasty dish to a new level. It was absolutely delicious with dry pasta too! This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Chris Warde-Jones. I tripled the recipe, reduced the oil, and used dry (store-bought) pasta.

BTW- I am so proud of my backyard basil! I told my kids (who ALWAYS want to set up a lemonade stand) that they should have a basil stand! 🙂

IMG_0181

Yield: 6 servings

For the Sauce:

  • 2 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more to taste
  • 15 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 3/4 cup, firmly packed, fresh basil or parsley leaves
  • 14 to 16 oz strozzapreti (or fresh pasta- recipe below)


For the Fresh Pasta:

  • 1 cup grano duro flour or unbleached all-purpose flour, more as needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, 3 tablespoons oil and 12 minced garlic cloves. Toss well, then spread tomatoes on a baking sheet, cut sides up.
  3. Roast until soft and collapsing, about 45 minutes; do not allow to dry or brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine remaining minced garlic, cheese, and basil (or parsley). Process until very finely chopped.
  5. When tomatoes are soft, immediately spread cheese-herb mixture on top and lightly mash with a spoon so cheese melts. Drizzle with 2 more tablespoons oil (or more to taste), and set aside.

For the Fresh Strozzapreti: (I substituted store-bought pasta.)

  1. On a wooden counter or large cutting board, mound 1 cup flour and make a well in center. Break eggs into well.
  2. Using your hands, mix eggs in well, gradually pulling in more and more flour to make a pasty dough. Knead dough briefly, using lightly floured hands if dough is very wet; it should be moist but not sticky.
  3. Scrape wooden board clean. Using a wooden rolling pin (and a very light dusting of flour if necessary), roll dough out as thinly as possible into an approximate rectangle.
  4. Using a knife, score rectangle into strips an inch wide and about three inches long. Pick up one piece of dough and press it around a bamboo meat skewer about the diameter of an umbrella spoke. This is most successful if done quickly and not too carefully, so that dough fits tightly round skewer with an overlapping, visible seam. Slide skewer out of pasta and set pasta aside on a plate. Repeat to use remaining dough. Pieces should be irregular in size and shape.

To Finish the Dish:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. If desired, return baking sheet of tomatoes to a 300-degree oven just to reheat.
  2. Add strozzapreti to pot and cook until tender, slightly chewy and no longer raw in center. This is best done by tasting after strozzapreti float to surface; be careful not to under- or overcook. Alternatively, if using store-bought pasta, cook according to package directions.
  3. Drain cooked pasta and pour into a large bowl; immediately add tomatoes. Toss quickly and serve hot.

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Curry Noodles with Shrimp & Coconut

I lucked out when I chose this recipe to serve to my brother. As I prepared it, he filled me in on his latest Asian noodle obsession- and all of the fabulous ramen noodle hot spots in Brooklyn and NYC. Fun! Thankfully, this dish was equally amazing-  I don’t like to be outdone… 😉

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. Tanis also suggests substituting chicken, tofu, or vegetables for the shrimp, if desired. A perfect summer meal. Quick, fresh, and tasty!!

  • 12 to 14 ounces rice noodles (vermicelli)
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
  • ½ teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup slivered scallions
  • cilantro, basil and mint leaves, for garnish
  1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse well with cool water. Set aside. (I boiled a pot of water, removed it from the heat and soaked the vermicelli for about 10 minutes.) Keep a pot of boiling water on stove for reheating noodles later.
  2. Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and allspice berries in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, then grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Put coconut oil in a wide skillet (use a skillet that has a lid- for later) over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add lemongrass, garlic and ginger to softened onions and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, then add ground coriander, cumin, fennel and allspice. Add turmeric, cayenne, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and coconut milk. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Season shrimp and cherry tomatoes with salt. Add to pan and cover until shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Dip noodles briefly in hot water to reheat, then drain and divide among bowls.
  8. Spoon shrimp, tomatoes and sauce over each serving.
  9. Sprinkle with scallions and garnish with cilantro, basil and mint leaves.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Roasted Cabbage and Bacon Pasta

I love finding new uses for cabbage. I was so excited to read about roasting cabbage with bacon on Cottage Grove House. I had never roasted cabbage before. Genius!– and I had two types of CSA cabbage sitting in my refrigerator waiting for a plan! 🙂 The original recipe was for a side dish but I thought it would be fabulous over pasta as a main dish. This recipe was adapted from cottagegrovehouse.com. It was DELICIOUS!!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/2 head green and/or red cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 head savoy or napa cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • drizzling of avocado or olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmesan, for serving
  • 3/4 to 1 pound fresh pasta noodles, such as Trofie or dry pasta noodles, such as Strozzapreti

IMG_6663 IMG_0690

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (convection).
  2. Place the cabbage, bacon, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Spread evenly onto two large, rimmed baking sheets. IMG_6657
  3. Roast, turning regularly with a spatula, about 30 minutes, or until well roasted and bacon is crispy, yet still meaty.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  5. Combine cooked pasta with cabbage mixture. Top with grated cheese and serve.

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