Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Anchovy Butter

My husband waters a friends’ tomato plants for one week every summer while they are on vacation. I really look forward to it because we get to eat all of the ripe specimens. 🙂

This dish was a spectacular way to use our giant load of vine-ripened tomatoes. The stick of butter in the sauce made it restaurant-esque. 😉 Rich and absolutely fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Alison Roman. I doubled the recipe, increased the garlic, and used whole wheat spaghetti. The whole wheat pasta added a wonderful bite to the finished dish. I also omitted incorporating pasta water into the sauce because the consistency was perfect without it. I did save it for re-heating the leftovers.

Yield: 8 servings
  • 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 pounds medium tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped tender herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, and/or chives), as desired
  1. Cook spaghetti; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook anchovies and garlic, stirring often, until anchovies are broken down and garlic is soft, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until falling apart, 8–10 minutes.
  5. Toss in pasta; cook until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Incorporate pasta water to achieve desired sauce consistency.
  6. Toss in herbs, for garnish, as desired.

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Bucatini with Roasted & Fresh Tomatoes

This is a wonderful seasonal dish to make with summer tomatoes. It was especially fabulous with my new favorite pasta, bucatini, too. We ate it warm but it could also be enjoyed at room temperature. The crunchy, cheesy croutons really added something special.

I used store-bought ricotta as a shortcut, but included a link to freshly made ricotta below. This recipe was (very slightly) adapted from Martha Stewart Living. Quick and delicious!

Yield: Serves 4
  • 1 pound grape or cherry tomatoes (3 cups)
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 slices rustic bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (1 1/2 cups) (I used Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/2 ounce), plus more for serving
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into a 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup packed shredded fresh basil, plus sprigs for serving
  • 3 tablespoons shredded fresh mint, plus sprigs for serving (I omitted the mint)
  • 12 ounces bucatini, spaghetti, or linguine
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. In an 8-inch square baking dish, toss cherry tomatoes with 3 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until bursting and charred in spots, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil and Pecorino Romano; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes.
  4. Toss diced tomatoes, basil, and mint (if using) with remaining 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup liquid; drain.
  6. Return pasta to pot; toss with roasted tomatoes, their oil, and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. (Tomatoes should coat pasta but not create much of a sauce.) Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Divide among plates, then give each a dollop of ricotta, a spoonful of fresh-tomato mixture, and a sprinkle of croutons.
  8. Serve, garnished with a sprig or two of herbs, a generous drizzle of oil, and some cheese and pepper.

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Garlicky Spaghetti with Mixed Greens


Almost as a “rule,” I increase the amount of garlic in every dish. Not this one! It incorporated two huge heads of garlic. Just my style. Mmmmm. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Kay Chun. I also loved that there were so many greens- two pounds!  I used a combination of kale and mixed baby greens. I also used whole wheat spaghetti. Quick, easy, healthy, and great!

I’m bringing this dish to share at my favorite blog party, Angie’s Fiesta Friday #161, co-hosted by Laura @Feast Wisely this week. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 servings

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 18 cloves or 2 large heads)
  • 2 pounds kale, mustard greens, or other mixed greens stemmed and leaves coarsely torn (24 cups)
 (I used 1 1/2 pounds kale & 1/2 pound mixed baby chard, kale, & spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In a small skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the panko and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 
5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain well, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  3. In a large pot, combine 
the remaining 1/2 cup of oil with 
the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and 
light golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. In batches, add the greens and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the pasta, 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and the lemon juice; cook, stirring, until a sauce forms, 2 minutes.
  6. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the panko.

Note: The toasted panko (without the parsley) can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight. Stir in the parsley before serving.

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Fancy Chicken Tetrazzini

This was unlike any tetrazzini I’ve ever eaten. It was fancy! (for a rotisserie chicken casserole, anyway 😉 ) It’s probably not technically “tetrazzini,” but it was a smoky, full-flavored, and delicious comfort food dish. An upgrade.

The New York Times explained that this dish takes its name from the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. It was once commonly found on menus in upscale restaurants during the early 20th century. (Who knew?) It has since become less fancy (until now!) and less Italian. 🙂 I loved the title of their article, “Chicken Tetrazzini, The Casserole Even Snobs Love.” I love all sorts of casseroles, so I suppose this fact confirms that I’m not a snob. 🙂

This recipe is from The New York Times, adapted from Mississippi chef Brad McDonald, contributed by Sam Sifton. I adapted the recipe further by increasing the garlic and by using mixed dried wild mushrooms as well as whole wheat pasta.

I’m bringing my fancy and snobby casserole to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #144, co-hosted by Suzanne @A Pug in the Kitchen and Margy @La Petite Casserole. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (I used a mixed wild dried mushroom medley including porcini, shiitake, black, & oyster mushrooms)
  • 4 medium-size poblano peppers
  • 5 dried guajillo chiles, ends snipped and seeds discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade or low-sodium
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium-size shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (I used 3-year aged white Cheddar)
  • 1 pound spaghetti, preferably whole wheat
  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, the meat removed and shredded, approximately 1 pound
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish, optional
  1. Turn broiler to high, and set a large pot filled with salted water over high heat to come to a boil.
  2. As oven heats, place the mushrooms in a small bowl, and pour boiling water over them, then leave them to soak for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, then strain and set aside.
  3. Place the poblanos on a small sheet pan, and set on the highest rack under the broiler so that the skin blackens, turning a few times so that the roasting is even, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When the skin is blackened and blistered all over, place the peppers in a medium bowl, cover it with a plate and allow to rest.
  4. Make the sauce. Put the dried chiles in a medium pot set over medium-high heat, and allow them to cook until they become fragrant, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, then turn heat to low, and add the chicken stock, milk, garlic and shallots.
  5. Allow the mixture to cook at just below a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened.
  6. Remove from heat, and pour into a blender or Vitamix, then add 6 ounces of the grated Cheddar, and process to a smooth consistency. Set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the skin and seeds from the roasted poblanos, and cut them into thin strips. Set aside.
  8. Heat oven to 400, preferably on convection.
  9. Cook the spaghetti in the boiling salted water in the large pot until just al dente, approximately 9 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool, then drain again. (This step prevents the pasta from over cooking in the oven.)
  10. Return the spaghetti to the cooking pot, and toss it with the roasted pepper strips, the mushrooms, the shredded chicken meat and the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
  11. Transfer to a casserole dish, approximately 9 inches by 13 inches, and pour the reserved cheese sauce over it.
  12. Cover with the remaining shredded cheese, place in oven and bake until the cheese has melted and started to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  13. Garnish with chopped parsley, if you like, and serve.

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Spaghetti Pizza

I loved that this recipe equated the choice between making spaghetti or pizza for dinner to choosing a favorite child! 😉 Such a paralyzing decision! 🙂 A spaghetti pizza “crust” was too genius of an idea for me to pass up. I made it for my kids one night when my husband couldn’t join us for dinner- it seemed like the ultimate KID-friendly dinner. They gobbled it up!

This recipe was adapted from Tasting Table.com. I used whole wheat spaghetti, Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara Sauce, and Grana Padano instead of Parmesan. (I would have also added tons of garlic if it was for my husband and me! 🙂 ) Easy, tasty, and FUN!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, separated
  • 1-2 cups tomato or marinara sauce, to taste (I used Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara Sauce)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  • additional pizza toppings, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Precook the spaghetti in salted boiling water for 6 minutes; cool slightly.
  3. Toss the noodles with the eggs and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Form a crust with the noodles on the pan. (I made a rectangle.)
  5. Bake it for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and spread the tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and the last 1/4 cup of Parmesan over the top. Add any additional toppings as desired.
  7. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil, slice into wedges, and serve.

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Spaghetti with Corn Carbonara & Crab

The first time I made this dish was for a special belated Father’s Day dinner. In the middle of cooking (thankfully on a gas stove…), there was a severe thunderstorm and resulting power outage. After my initial relief that I no longer needed electricity to complete the meal, I realized that I was in total darkness and couldn’t take a photo of this dish! Gasp! :/ We did really enjoy eating it by candlelight though. 🙂

I had an excuse to make this dish a second time when my mom was visiting- she LOVES crab. 🙂 This time I was able to use fresh local bicolor corn from our farmers market. SO good! The sweetness of the corn is very important in this dish as it is barely cooked. We ate with a green salad loaded with CSA veggies. Mmmmm… healthy deliciousness!

This seasonal and tasty recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Tim Maslow. I used a Vitamix to make the corn cream sauce and used pancetta instead of pork guanciale. The creamless corn sauce is not only healthy- it is unbelievably creamy. Lovely.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 7 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 pound diced pancetta
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice, plus finely grated zest, for garnish
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  1. On a work surface, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs; using the sharp side of the knife, scrape the pulp off the cobs. You should have 4 cups of kernels and pulp. Transfer the kernels and pulp to a Vitamix or blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain the puree through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids.
  3. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  4. Wipe out the saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the spaghetti, strained corn puree, 1 1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water and the lemon juice.
  7. Cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the sauce is thickened and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes; add more of the cooking water if necessary.
  8. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and very gently fold in the crab. Transfer to shallow bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired, and serve right away.

Note: The strained corn puree can be refrigerated overnight.

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Baked Spaghetti & Mozzarella

IMG_3095

As much as I am absolutely yearning for warmer weather, I do enjoy making (and eating!) comfort food! I don’t know what my body is going to do when I start making lighter meals again…

This is a kid-friendly and pot luck-friendly main dish casserole which would be a great alternative to a Baked Ziti or macaroni and cheese. It could easily be doctored up for a more adventurous palate by adding onions, mushrooms, greens… you get the idea. We did all enjoy it as is with a green salad. It’s simple, cheesy, crispy, and tasty. This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food; I altered the seasonings and used whole wheat spaghetti.

Yield: 6 servings

  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes (I used Cento San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves (from 1 bunch), torn if large
  • 3/4 pound (12 oz) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/2 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (on convection).
  2. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse tomatoes until coarsely chopped.
  4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook at a rapid simmer until sauce thickens, about 12 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta 5 minutes (it will still be crunchy). Drain pasta and return to pot.
  6. Add tomato sauce, basil, and half the mozzarella to the pasta and toss to combine.
  7. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and edges are bubbling, about 25 minutes.

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