We may have a new favorite pasta dish in my house! I have already made this dish a couple of times. We didn’t even miss the garlic. 😉 It is an incredible version of the classic- a perfect weeknight dish.
The recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff favorite” recipe, inspired by sommelier Arjav Ezekiel, co-owner of Birdie’s in Austin, contributed by Anna Theoktisto. We ate it with our favorite garlic bread and green salad, of course.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
2 T olive oil
1 medium or large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 (4 oz) package chopped pancetta
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound uncooked rigatoni pasta
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (about 2/3 cup), plus more for serving
3/4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely shredded (about 1/4 cup), plus more for serving
2 T unsalted butter
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.
Stir in pancetta; cook, stirring often, until pancetta begins to render, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in crushed red pepper.
Using your hands or a wooden spoon, crush tomatoes; add tomatoes and their juices to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until flavors meld and mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.
Stir in salt. Remove from heat.
While sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add rigatoni, and cook according to package instructions for al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Add rigatoni, 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino Romano, and butter to sauce in skillet.
Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, and garnish with parsley. Serve with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino Romano cheeses, as desired.
I loved everything about this beautiful salad. We ate it with Turkish Grilled Chicken– such a wonderful meal. It was one of the best zucchini dishes I’ve ever made.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Elizabeth Mindreau. It was re-created from a salad served at Coal Office, a modern Middle Eastern restaurant in London.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
about 3/4 to 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 T tahini
zest from 1 large lemon, plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small shallot, halved and thinly sliced
2 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp za’atar
2 small/medium zucchini (12 to 16 ounces total), quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced on a steep diagonal
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
ground sumac, to serve, optional
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together the chickpeas, shallot, vinegar and za’atar. Cover and microwave until the shallot is wilted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Uncover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (see Tip)
When the chickpeas have cooled, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the zucchini, mint, dill and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chickpea-zucchini mixture to a platter, spooning it around the edge.
Scoop the yogurt mixture into a mound in the center of the chickpea-zucchini mixture.
Drizzle with additional oil and sprinkle with sumac, if using.
Tip: Don’t forget to cover the bowl containing the chickpeas and shallots when microwaving. Covering traps steam that helps wilt the shallots and soften the chickpeas. And remember to occasionally stir the chickpea-shallot mixture as it cools. This helps ensure the chickpeas evenly absorb the seasonings pooled at the bottom of the bowl while also hastening the cooling.
As soon as I saw Mexican chef Pati Jinich prepare this dish on her PBS show, I had to make it. 🙂 I bought beautiful purple cauliflower and purple broccoli at the farm stand to make it extra special. We ate it with Mexican-Style Chipotle-Lime Pork Cutlets.
The salty, cheesy sauce was absolutely incredible. I loved how the vegetables were sliced into steaks instead of florets as well. I trimmed the tough outer portion of each stem but would remove even more next time to make that portion more tender.
This recipe was adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table and patijinich.com, via kcet.org. It was on an episode featuring dishes inspired by Isla Mujeres. I substituted creme fraiche for the Mexican crema. I also modified the method and proportions. Amazing!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Vegetables:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used 2 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 1 large naval orange)
3 chopped chiles de arbol or 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing/drizzling
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1/4″ vertical slices, including thick part of stem (I used 2 large heads)
2 pounds cauliflower, cut into 1/4″ vertical slices, including thick part of stem (I used 1 large head)
For the Queso Cojita Dressing:
1/2 cup crumbled queso cotija
2/3 cup Mexican crema or creme fraîche
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 T water
2 medium garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
To Prepare the Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. ( I set my oven to convection roast.)
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a glass measuring cup with a spout, mix the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes (or chile de arbol), 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Place the cauliflower and broccoli steaks on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer, making sure that they are not crowded.
Evenly pour the orange juice mixture all over the vegetables.
Place in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until well roasted and considerably charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To Make the Dressing & To Serve:
While the vegetables are roasting, combine the queso cotija, Mexican crema (or creme fraîche), vegetable oil, sherry vinegar, water, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender or mixer. Puree until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)
Serve the broccoli and cauliflower on a large platter and ladle the queso cotija right on top, or let your guests spoon sauce onto their plates and dip their vegetables in the sauce to their liking. (I served the sauce in a bowl on the side.)
Everyone in my family loves tzatziki. This version incorporates red wine vinegar rather than lemon juice, which is apparently the way it is typically prepared in Greece. I normally use chopped cucumbers but really enjoyed the texture of the grated cucumbers in this dish.
We ate it with warm naan and grillled chicken kebabs. A perfect summer dinner! This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Courtney Hill. I modified the proportions. I also prepared the tzatziki in advance and kept it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Wonderful.
Yield: about 2 cups
1 European seedless cucumber, halved crosswise
1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat Greek yogurt (I used 2 percent Greek yogurt)(see Tip)
4 T (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium to large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
1 T chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
2 T chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Set a colander in a medium bowl, then set a box grater in the colander.
Grate the cucumber halves on the grater’s large holes, rotating and grating only down to the seedy core. Discard the cores. (Make sure that you don’t shred the cores as the seeds are watery and have a slight bitterness and unappealing texture.)
Sprinkle the shredded cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt and toss. Set aside to drain for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, oil, garlic, mint, dill and vinegar.
A handful at a time, squeeze the shredded cucumber to remove as much liquid as possible, then set on a cutting board; reserve 1 teaspoons of the cucumber liquid.
Finely chop the squeezed cucumber, then stir into the yogurt mixture.
Stir in the reserved cucumber liquid and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt.
Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with additional mint and dill, as desired.
Tip: Don’t use nonfat Greek yogurt. Without any fat, the flavor of the tzatziki is weak and thin.
Everyone loves butter chicken. This recipe was adapted to make sous vide from a viral Instant Pot recipe. The original recipe by “The Butter Chicken Lady,” Urvashi Pitre, was even published in The New Yorker.
This version was simple to prepare and resulted in perfectly cooked, ultra tender and moist meat. The sauce was amazing too. My husband declared that it was the best butter chicken I’ve ever made! Easy and delicious.
The recipe was adapted from How to Sous Vide: Easy, Delicious Perfection any Night of the Week by Daniel Shumski. We ate it with roasted asparagus and warm naan.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tsp garam masala, divided
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 to 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 or 6)
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup (4 T) tomato paste
brown Basmati rice, for serving
warm naan, for serving
Set the water temperature to 165 degrees F. (It took a little bit shy of an hour for 10 quarts of room temperature water to reach the temperature with my Anova machine.)
In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp garam masala, the garlic powder, turmeric, paprika, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, and ginger.
Dust both sides of each chicken thigh evenly with the spice mixture. Pour any remaining spices into the sous vide bag.
Place the chicken in the bag and evenly distribute 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter.
Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in a second bag; remove as much air as possible.
Place the bagged chicken in the preheated water. (I clip the top of the bag to the side of the water bath container.)
After 1 hour 30 minutes, remove the bagged chicken. (Near the end of the cooking process, I cooked the rice and vegetables.)
Remove the chicken from the bag and set it aside.
Pour the juices from the bag into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
Add 1/4 cup (4 T) cream, the cilantro, the remaining 1 tsp garam masala, and the tomato paste. Blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.
Pour the blended sauce into a medium-size skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 4 T (1/2 stick) butter and the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Cook, stirring gently, until the butter is melted and the sauce becomes homogenous, about 1 minute.
Gently place the chicken in the pan and stir to coat.
Cook over medium-low heat, about 1 minute.
Serve the chicken over rice drizzled with additional sauce and garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm naan, if desired.
Note: Any extra sauce can be refrigerated in a covered glass container for up to 5 days. Serve over rice, roasted vegetables, or chicken.
I have a few quick weeknight meals to share- perfect for the busy holiday season. I was drawn to this dish because I had several beautiful leeks from my CSA share. I served it with roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts on the side.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Deb Perelman. I have saved a million fresh sauce recipes to make someday but, regretfully, seldom make one. The salsa verde added so much to this classic comfort food dish!
Because the original recipe incorporated a lot of rice, I ultimately made a second batch of chicken and sauce to serve with the leftovers. Next time, I would double the chicken (to 3 pounds) and the sauce (2 cups of herbs) from the start. The recipe below is updated for this change.
Yield: Serves 4 (1 1/2 pounds chicken) or 8 (2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken)
For the Chicken & Rice:
1 1/2 lbs to 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 T unsalted butter, divided
2 to 3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed until water runs clear (I used Basmati rice)
2 cups chicken stock with 3/4 cups water (or 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth)
For the Salsa Verde: (make 1/2 recipe below for 1 1/2 pounds chicken)
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
4 large garlic cloves
2 T drained capers
crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups tender herb leaves (such as parsley, cilantro, basil and/or mint)
8 T extra-virgin olive oil
Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper. (My chicken thighs were very large, so I cut them in half crosswise.)
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. (I used a large, low and wide enameled cast iron pot with a glass lid.)
Add leeks and half of lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and mix to coat leeks in butter. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are somewhat tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just starting to take on color, about 3 minutes.
Add rice and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, then add broth, scraping up any browned bits.
Nestle the chicken thighs (“skin side up”) into rice mixture. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from heat.
Cut remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and scatter over mixture. Re-cover and let sit 10 minutes.
While the chicken and rice is resting, make the salsa verde. Pulse anchovies, garlic, capers, a few pinches of red pepper flakes, and remaining lemon zest in a food processor until finely chopped.
Add herbs; process until a paste forms.
With motor running, gradually stream in oil until loosened to a thick sauce.
Add half of lemon juice; season salsa verde with salt to taste.
Drizzle remaining lemon juice over chicken and rice. Serve drizzled with salsa verde.
I love trying new ways to use summer zucchini. Making pasta sauce out of grated zucchini is absolute genius! This dish gobbled up all of the zucchini that I received in my CSA share- amazing.
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com. I used bucatini (our favorite) instead of spaghetti. I also modified the proportions and method. It was a vegetarian crowd-pleaser. Super quick to prepare too.
Yield: Serves 5 to 6
3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for pasta water, and to taste
16 ounces (1 pound, 450 grams) bucatini, cooked al dente (I used De Cecco)(can substitute with spaghetti, linguini, or fettuccine)
2 cups (470 ml) pasta water, reserved
2 1/2 to 3 pounds (about 1100 to 1300 grams) zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated (I used 3 large zucchini- about 8 cups grated)
1 generous cup (90 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons (about 2 large handfuls)
Mince the garlic cloves in a food processor. Set aside.
Coarsely grate the zucchini in a food processor, emptying the bowl as necessary. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the garlic, stirring it into the butter for one minute.
Add the zucchini, salt, and red pepper. Cook the zucchini, stirring from time to time, for 13 to 15 minutes. It will first let off a puddle liquid, the liquid will cook off, and the zucchini will become soft and concentrated. If the zucchini begins to brown, reduce the heat slightly.
Stir frequently for 2 more minutes until it reaches an almost spreadable consistency.
Meanwhile, boil your pasta in well-salted water until it’s 1 minute shy of fully cooked. Before you drain it, reserve 2 cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside. (I cooked my pasta for 9 minutes.)
Pour in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water into the zucchini and butter mixture scraping up any browned bits.
Add the drained pasta, and cook together for 2 minutes. Use tongs to pull up the zucchini butter sauce into the pasta strands, tossing frequently, and adding some or all of the remaining pasta water as needed to loosen.
Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
Incorporate a generous half of the parmesan and basil and mix, then transfer to a serving bowl, if desired. (I served the pasta from my cast iron pan!)