Category Archives: Pasta

Vegetarian angel’s hair lasagna

Introducing Vegetarian Angel's hair lasagna

I am sure the title to this post raises many questions in your mind–like, do angels really have hair?  why would I want hair in my dinner?  and many, many more!  Stick with me and I will shed some light on the origins of the name, sound ok to you??

A couple of night’s ago I was craving lasagna and was disappointed to find that I was out of lasagna noodles.  Bummer, right?  Not if you work with what you already have in the pantry like I do!  I had plenty of about every other type of noodle just waiting for a big pot of boiling water, so I decided angel hair would work heavenly–ok, that is pretty bad, but I am still on my first cup of coffee and it is early, so back off!

As I was saying…once I decided on the noodles (hence the name) the rest was pretty easy.  My biggest concern was that this would turn out more like a baked spaghetti or spaghetti casserole rather than a lasagna.  Easy solution?!   Yep, layer the ingredients!  Another caveat is that I wanted to try adding beans to the dinner, why?  ‘Cause I have never seen a lasagna with beans before and I thought (with an attitude) this is MY vegetarian, angel’s hair, potentially bean containing lasagna, so what the hay!  That is when I decided to skip the ricotta (which I didn’t have on hand and never use anyway) and replace it with a bean puree!  Quickly enough, I was busy pulling ingredients out of the fridge and pantry and honestly ended up making a pretty big mess in the kitchen…but it was very worth it!  I was chopping and roasting and boiling and mixing and pureeing and baking and most importantly LOVING every second of my afternoon!

I had just finished pouring a couple of big glasses of Lodi Cab, when the oven timer rang.  I had to laugh as my husband entered the scene wide-eyed with fright at the shape of the kitchen.  The most enjoyable part of the evening though, was watching the transformation on his face (and a hint of drool develop at the corner of his mouth) as I pulled the lasagna pan out of the oven.  The change from fright to delight told me everything I needed to know about my latest creation.  The lasagna was beautiful–and the nose on this one was even better than the wine.  You can almost smell it from the picture, can’t you?!

Is your mouth watering yet??

So how did it taste, you ask??  HEAVENLY–as expected!  Plus, the leftovers are even better–the Mr. had a big piece for breakfast AND lunch yesterday and will likely do the same today!  I guess that is a compliment to the chef?  Indeed it is!

Bon appetit my friends!

Vegetarian angel’s hair lasagna
Servings:  12

  • 2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce (Bertolli organic tomato and basil is my favorite–they carry it at Sams)
  • 1/2 c sun dried tomatoes (I buy mine at Costco–they are in oil)
  • 1 # of asparagus, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 c baby spinach
  • 1 large jar of artichoke hearts (in water, from Sams)–reserve 2 T of the water for the sauce
  • 4 T minced garlic
  • 1 can great northern white beans, drained
  • 1 package angel hair noodles
  • freshly grated aged Parmesan cheese (I get this in bulk at Sam’s)
  • Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 c sour cream (I use tofutti)
  • 1/4 c red wine (make sure this is something you would drink!)
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • water for your boil pot
  • PAM cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Chop up the red bell peppers and asparagus into bite-sized pieces.  Throw them in a lidded bowl with some EVOO, a generous grind of black pepper, and a sprinkle of chipotle pepper flakes.  Shake vigorously to coat the veggies.  Once coated, put the veggies in a baking dish and cook until the veggies are softened–about 25-30 minutes.

While the veggies are cooking start the sauce.  In a large sauce pan, add a splash of EVOO and warm over medium low heat.  Add 2 T garlic, a sprinkle of chipotle pepper flakes, 1 t each of dried basil and oregano and saute for just a minute or two–don’t let the garlic brown!  Add the wine, artichokes and 2 T of the water from the artichoke jar and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn down the heat to low and add the sauce.

Meanwhile, put the drained beans, 2 T (or 2-3 large cloves) garlic, basil, rosemary, sour cream, a dash of chipotle pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper, and about 1/4 c parm cheese in the food processor and blend until smooth.

In a big stock pot bring some salted water to a boil**.  Add the pasta and cook until just al’ dente.  Drain and get ready to build your lasagna!

Give your lasagna pan a quick spray of PAM.  Add about 1/3-1/2 (depends on how many layers you want) of the noodles to the pan.  Spread the 1/3-1/2 of the bean puree on the noodles.  Layer on 1/3-1/2 of the pepper and asparagus mix.  Add a thin layer of the spinach leaves.  Cover with 1/3-1/2 of the sauce.  Sprinkle with a combo of the parm and italian cheeses.  Start the process over until you are out of ingredients or room in the pan!  Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.  Let cool for 5 or so minutes before you serve!  ENJOY!

Can you see the layers??

 

 

 

Wilson’s SDT pasta!

Sorry I haven’t updated the blog for awhile–the cooking didn’t stop, but the writing did.  There has been a lot going on here at 488 lately to distract me!  One of the most important (and most time consuming) changes here is the addition of Wilson to our family.

WILSON

Wilson is an 8 week old boxer/bloodhound mix puppy who is a high maintenance snuggle bug!  I couldn’t love the little guy any more and have been spending most of my time spoiling him rotten…and trying to get him potty trained (sigh).

I was determined to start writing again though, so last night I decided to create something that was super simple to prepare and document.  What is easier than a vegetarian pasta??  NOT MUCH!  So that is where I decided to go for our dinner!   I ended up creating what I am now calling Wilson’s SDT pasta!  You won’t believe the flavor that springs out of this very simple pasta dish!  WOW!  The roasted corn from the farmer’s market paired with the tart sun dried tomatoes, tangy artichokes, and earthy spinach couldn’t be any more delicious.  What makes this dish even better is the lack of prep work needed to put it together.  If you have taken my advice about garlic and have some chopped up waiting in the fridge, then it is even easier–all you have to do is half the artichoke hearts which you can probably do in 20 seconds with a butter knife!  Now who doesn’t love that??  You vegans (and calorie counters) can easily leave out the cheese and won’t miss it a bit–add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts if you want a little more protein!!

We enjoyed this one on our deck, sipping on wine and homebrew, watching our big dogs play with our new puppy.  Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend the evening!  Love, love, love my family!

Isn't this a good looking pasta? Just wait 'til you taste it!

Wilson’s SDT pasta!

Servings:  4-5

  • 3/4 c veg or chicken broth
  • 1/2 c pasta water
  • 2 T Sun dried tomato oil
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more!)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 c fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 c artichoke hearts (in water), cut in two
  • 1 1/4 c sun dried tomatoes, chopped (oil based)
  • 1 1/4 c fresh corn cut from the cob or frozen
  • 1 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box angel hair pasta
  • 1-2 t salt
  • 1 t freshly ground pepper
  • 6 c water

In a stockpot add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 c of the pasta water and drain the rest.  Cover the pasta to keep warm until the sauce is finished cooking.

While the pasta is boiling start the sauce.  In a large saute pan or skillet add the sun dried tomato oil (taken from the tomato jar) and warm over medium-low.  Add the garlic, chipotle pepper flakes, and corn and saute until it starts to brown.  Add the sun dried tomatoes and artichokes and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes–until slightly wilted.  Gently stir in the pasta water and broth and simmer for 5 or so minutes.  Add 1/2 of the cheese and gently stir until melted in nicely.  Serve the sauce over the cooked pasta and top with a generous portion of grated cheese.

 

Bestest pesto pasta

Bestest pesto pasta

About this time every year my garden gets hit by swarms of Japanese beetles.  I guess they love it here in the Ozarks as much as we do!  They are nasty little creatures that gobble up many of my favorite plants during the middle part of the summer.  I refuse to spray harsh chemicals on what will eventually be a part of my body, so every year I lose about 1/3 of my produce to the hungry little buggers.  This year I put my foot down and decided to fight back!  I searched the web and found my weapon of choice–this organic solution (1 1/2 gal warm water, 3 t garlic powder, 2 t cayenne, 1/4 c veg oil, and a couple of squirts of dish soap) for managing their onslaught.  It seems to be working, and so far (knock on wood) my basil has hardly been touched.  My 10 sweet basil and 5 thai basil plants are about knee high now and looking good! Hooray!

I love it when my basil plants get this big and I can safely start lopping off large amounts to make pesto–which is what it takes for really good pesto!  A couple of days ago, in 105 degree heat mind you, I went out to the garden and got busy chopping. I then spent the afternoon, cool in my kitchen with my food processor, listening to some good funk grass music making bestest pesto.

Naturally I had to create something for dinner thick with this awesome green puree!  Again, there was no time (or desire) for a trip to the local grocer, so I used what I had in the pantry (and fridge) and came up with this belly buster of a dish.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my mom pick up a bunch of big jars of sun dried tomatoes at Costco for me (they are good quality and a steal compared to buying them at the grocery store!) so I decided to add a healthy amount to the basil inspired sauce.  Their sharp, tangy flavor and meaty texture was such a great way to balance the heavy garlic and creamy richness of the shrimp and sauce.  We stuffed ourselves silly with this sinfully delicious dish last night!   The cool chardonnay I served with dinner was the perfect accompaniment and put extra big smiles on our faces!  What a great evening spent enjoying the fruits (herbs) of my garden labor!

Bon Appetit!

Bestest pesto pasta

Servings:  4

4 c Angel hair pasta, cooked al dente

1 c bestest pesto

1-2 T oil from the sun dried tomato jar

1/2 c frozen corn

1 # asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 c (or more) sun dried tomatoes, diced

1 T garlic, minced

2 T heavy cream

1 t sea salt

1 t black pepper

1 t (or more) chipotle pepper flakes

1/4 c dry white wine

1 # shrimp, uncooked, deveined, shell on.  I like my shrimp frozen when I put them in the sauce–it renders more shrimpy juice to the sauce!

In a large sauce pan, heat the sun-dried tomato oil over medium.  Add the garlic, black pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes–until garlic just starts to brown.  Add the sun dried tomatoes, and asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the pesto, white wine, salt, and cream.  Allow the sauce to cook for 1-2 minutes and then add the corn.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes and add the shrimp.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 7-10 minutes (if shrimp is frozen), 4-5 if not frozen.  Uncover, stir, well.  Serve over angel hair pasta.  Garnish is not necessary!
 

Isn't this a gorgeous sauce??

 

 

Thanksgiving pasta

Chestnuts boiling

Thanksgiving pasta!

I cleaned out my fridge last weekend!  I know, I know…about time, right?!  I should take a picture cause it won’t be this organized and clean for long!  Anyway, as I was digging out the last of the items shoved to the back of my bottom shelf, I was pleasantly surprised (why?  I don’t know–I bought them back in November) to find my missing tub of chestnuts.   When I bought them I had plans to use them in a stuffing or something similar at Thanksgiving for my hubby–he absolutely loves chestnuts (and water chestnuts?!).  As you already know, I had surgery in November and we didn’t end up doing our big thanksgiving feast as planned, so in the fridge the chestnuts sat…and quickly got lost (buried is probably a closer description)!   Once we were reunited, I had to quickly find/create a great way to use these woody, sweet nuggets!  I decided a pasta would be the easiest and most efficient use since I have the fixins for most any type of pasta dish here at the house.  I found a pretty interesting recipe using pancetta with the chestnuts in a simple oil sauce and that was all I needed to get started!  Well, that is not true, I had to figure out how to process (skin and soften) the chestnuts first.  There were several different methods reviewed online, but I decided just to boil them to keep them soft and retain the sweetness.  It worked!  After about 15 minutes in boiling water they were pretty easy to peel, moist, and very sweet!  I have a really nice sage plant (big beautiful purple flowers right now–love it!) on my deck which provided many of its feathery leaves to season the pasta, along with loads of garlic and onion.  This pasta seriously rocked.  Andy said it tasted just like the best thanksgiving stuffing he has ever had–hence the name!  This is a pretty hearty dish, so we are leaving it off of regular rotation here at the casa, but it will probably replace stuffing next year on the big day and fill our bellies on many a cold, winter’s night.   Bon Appetit my friends!

Thanksgiving pasta

Servings:  5-6

  • 1 box gluten free spaghetti noodles
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 4 large slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 T chopped garlic
  • 4 T fresh sage, chopped
  • loads of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 c chopped boiled chestnuts
  • 1 c chardonnay
  • 1/2 c pasta water (reserve after boiling pasta)
  • 1 c freshly grated Parmesan or uncheese, cheese sauce

Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente–usually 11 or so minutes.  Save 1/2 c of the liquid, drain the rest of the water and set the pasta  aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat EVOO in a large skillet with the chipotle pepper flakes.  Add the chopped bacon and cook for about 10 minutes, until the bacon is nice and crispy.  When the bacon is starting to brown add 2 T of the sage.  Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, add the butter, garlic, and black pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the chardonnay and mix in well–scraping the carmelized bits of onion and bacon from the bottom and sides of the pan–cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the Parmesan and mix it in well.  The sauce should be getting nice and creamy now.  Slowly add the pasta water to get it to a consistency that will coat the pasta nicely without being too heavy.  You may not use the whole 1/2 c.

Add a big scoop of pasta into the sauce and stir so the noodles are coated nicely.  Continue until you are happy with how the pasta is coated and you still have a little sauce left in the pan for dipping your bread.  You probably will  not use all of the cooked noodles, so stick them in the fridge for a snack later in the week (add a drizzle of EVOO, a sprinkle of parm, freshly ground pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and heat in microwave–YUM!).  Serve with a generous sprinkle of chopped sage and fresh bread!

Roasted tri-color pepper sauce

I had a big bag of bell peppers lounging in my fridge this past weekend just waiting for some attention from me.  It just so happened to also be abnormally chilly (for mid May) and very rainy-which set the stage perfectly for a comforting and warming pasta dinner!  And boy, is that just what we devoured!  Paired with a nice glass of light red wine and a big salad, our roasted tri-color pepper sauce over angel hair was the perfect way to end the gloomy weekend and prepare us for the warmth of the new week’s sun!  I hope this scrumptous dish warms you as much as it did us!

Sauce just before serving

Roasted tri-color pepper sauce

6 servings

  • 6 bell peppers, orange, red, and yellow;  quartered and seeded
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 T diced garlic
  • 2 T fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c red wine
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T anchovy paste – I haven’t tried it with this pasta, but a good sub for anchovy paste is supposed to be dark miso paste
  • fresh grated Parmesan as garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roast the bell peppers (drizzled with EVOO if you desire) until soft and the skin starts to brown.

While the peppers are roasting start softening the chopped onions in EVOO  over medium low.  Add the chipotle pepper flakes, sage, and black pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the anchovy paste and garlic and cook another 5 minutes.  Add the red wine smoked paprika, tomato paste and 1/2 of the feta.  Turn the heat down to low.  Chop the roasted bell peppers into 1/4 inch pieces along with the last of the feta to the sauce.  Allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the sauce really gets thick and starts to caramelize.

Angel hair takes about 5 minutes once the water is boiling, so start it when the sauce is just about finished.  Once al dente, drain the pasta, plate and serve with a big scoop of sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan and more fresh sage.

PeppaDO! pasta

Can you see the sauce starting to caramelize??

This pepper pasta is truly a no-brainer and is one of my favorites from the ‘I am NOT in the mood to cook’ menu here at the casa.   If you aren’t familiar with the peppadew pepper let me take this opportunity to introduce you to this sweet, warm, red beauty and super fruit.  It is similar in nutritional value to the red bell–low calorie, no fat, loads of antioxidants (vitamin c!), and a nice bit of fiber.  They do pack SOME heat (similar to a pepperoncini) but fear not, it scores very low on the Scoville scale.  The story behind the peppadew is pretty interesting!  In short, about 18 years ago a South African farmer came upon an unfamiliar bush with these small, bright red fruits.  Upon tasting this unique sweetie, he realized he had found something very special.  He played around with the seeds to perfect the plant and patented the fruit under the name peppadew.  He has recently sold the rights and now the pepper is readily available here in the states.  You can most likely find them at your local grocer–Whole Foods even has them in bulk at their olive bar–which is the most economical way to purchase them right now.  Five years ago my hubby and I were lucky enough to source seeds (very, very hard to do!) through a seed saver from Austria — yep, our babies have traveled a long way to be with us here in Missouri!  The plants are late, but heavy producers.  This year I hope to have 8-10 plants bearing loads of them for us!  If all goes according to plan, there will be a whole slew of peppaDO! recipes on the blog by years end!

So, back to the recipe…Shrimp pairs very nicely with this pepper and adds a little more ‘weight’ to this sauce, but it is truly delightful without it!   Toss a big salad, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get ready to enjoy your simple, heart healthy and satisfying dinner!

Bon Appetit!

PeppaDO! pasta

Servings:  4-5

  • 1 package whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (Bertolli Tomato Basil for me, thank you!)
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1-2 T diced garlic
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c (or more) peppadew (piquant) peppers
  • 1/4 c peppadew (piquant) brine
  • 1/2 -1 # large uncooked shell-on shrimp (optional)
  • Garnish of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large saute pan warm the EVOO over medium-low with the chipotle pepper flakes.  Add the garlic, basil, oregano, and black pepper and heat for a minute or two.  Add the peppadews and juice and stir well.  Cook for 3 or so minutes, until it starts to caramelize just a touch.  Add the jarred sauce, turn the heat down to low and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook another 5 – 7 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked through.  Be sure not to over-cook the shrimp or you will have a rubbery disappointment on your hands!

While your sauce is doing its thing, start your pasta by bringing a stock pot full of water (I like add 1-2 T kosher salt and 1/2 t hot pepper to flavor the pasta, but this is totally optional) to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook until al dente-usually 11-12 minutes.  Drain and do NOT rinse.

Serve the pasta with a heaping scoop of sauce.  Garnish as desired!

PeppaDO! Pasta

Puttanesca Please!

So most of you know that my hubby and I have spent the past three years knee deep in the construction and finishing of our home here in the Ozarks.  So needless to say, I have fairly extensive ‘go to’ list for last minute meals.  Pasta is such a quick and easy comfort food after a long day of slinging a hammer or rolling paint and this is why it tops my list.   I have a really hard time throwing an unadulterated jar of pasta sauce over noodles and calling it a meal–which is why I never do!  I have a long list of alterations that will make a quick and easy meal taste like a gourmet treat!   Puttanesca is one of the the dishes that make a pretty regular appearance on the dinner menu at 488.  The sauce has such a nice salty/briny flavor with a hint of sweetness to round it off perfectly on the palate.  I usually start the sauce and then head straight to the shower to get the paint out of my hair!  This gives the sauce about 20-30 minutes to thicken up nicely and let the flavors really come through–the longer you leave it over a low flame, the better it becomes!!!  Serve this with a small green salad, a big chunk of toasted french bread, and a full-bodied red wine or an ice cold pilsner.  This pasta gets even better overnight so you can enjoy a nice big bowl the day after!

Salute!

Puttanesca Please!

Servings:  4-5

  • 1 box or bag Whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 jars of Bertolli spaghetti sauce (or YOUR favorite)
  • 2 T chopped garlic
  • 1 t (or more) agave nectar
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • splash of red wine (optional)
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • 1/2-1 c chopped artichokes
  • 1/4-1/2 c chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/8 c chopped capers
  • freshly grated parmesean (optional garnish)

Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over low.  Add the chipotle pepper flakes and let warm for a minute or two.  Turn the heat up to med-low and add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes (do not let it turn brown) and then add the artichokes, olives, capers, wine (optional) and herbs.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the sauce and agave nectar.  Let cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Allow to thicken to your desired consistency.

Meanwhile, fill a big stock pot and heat your water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook 10-12 minutes, until al’ dente.   Drain and set aside.

Fill your bowl with a big scoop of the pasta and cover it with the sauce.  Garnish with dried herbs and/or parmasean.

Toasted cumin and saffron Basmati

This is a great rice base for your Indian/Asian dishes.

Toasted Cumin and Saffron Basmati

1 c basmati rice

2 c water, vegetable, or chicken stock

1 T butter

1 T cumin seeds

1 large pinch saffron, crumbled

1 t salt (only if you aren’t using stock)

In a small stock pan melt butter over medium low.  Add the cumin seeds and let cook until the cumin toasts to a darker brown and the aroma is toasted and smoky.

While the cumin is toasting, add the saffron to the warm water or stock to rehydrate.

Add the rice to the pan with the melted butter and stir to coat rice the the flavored butter.  Add the water/stock/saffron and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to very low and cover.  Turn off the heat after 5 minutes and let sit covered for 15 minutes or enough time to hydrate the rice to your preferred texture.

Broccoli Slaw and Thai Pasta Salad

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to post this recipe.  I LOVE this Thai vegan pasta salad so much that one can usually find a batch made up in my fridge!  This is soooo simple to make and will stay ‘fresh’ in the fridge for up to a week–but trust me, it will never last that long!  It is really two different recipes, but we almost always top a big scoop of the pasta with the Broccoli Slaw.  Serve this dish at room temperature to maximize the flavors.

I wish I had a picture of this dish to post right now…it is so green and beautiful!

Bon Appetit!

Edamame Broccoli Slaw

Servings:  5-6

1 bag broccoli slaw

1/4 c white miso paste ( I usually go a little heavier on the miso=addl 1 T)

1 1/2 T sugar

1/4 c brown rice vinegar

1 t (or more) grated ginger

1 1/2 T sesame oil

1 T low sodium soy sauce

1 bag shelled edamame

3/4 c blanched, toasted almond slices or slivers

Combine miso, sugar, vinegar, ginger and whisk.  Add oil and soy sauce and whisk.  Toss with all other ingredients.

Thai Pasta

Servings:  5-6

2 T toasted sesame seeds

1 # whole wheat spaghetti (cooked al dente)

2 T chipotle pepper flakes

1/2 c sesame oil

splash of canola oil (1-2 t)

6 T honey

5 T low sodium soy sauce

1 bunch chopped cilantro

3/4 c finely chopped dry roasted peanuts

1/2 c chopped green onion

Combine red pepper, canola oil, sesame oil, honey and soy sauce.  Heat in microwave for 2 minutes.  Toss with warm pasta.  Cool to room temperature.  Add cilantro, peanuts, onions and sesame seeds.

Serve pasta with a healthy scoop of the slaw on top and try to leave yourself leftovers for tomorrow!  🙂  YUM!


Bestest Pesto

Bestest Pesto!

Whats better than Pesto?  Huh, no really?!  We used to buy ours from Costco by the truckload!  Not anymore!

Your jaw would have dropped to see how many (33) basil plants I had in the garden last year.  Each growing about 30 or more inches tall!  That is a LOT of sweet basil!  Oh, and I also had about 10 globe and 10 thai basil plants!  What did that mean for my summer?  You could most often find me in the kitchen whipping up big batches of pesto!  It smelled so good all summer long and I never tired of the process!  I love that I can pull a bag out of my freezer even in the depths of winter and be reminded of summer and all of those beautiful plants!

The recipe I have posted is just a guide.  Adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.  I rarely measure anything when I make it now…I just go by how it looks, smells, and feels.  As it should be!

Bestest Pesto

4 c fresh basil leaves

10 garlic cloves

1 1/3 c mixed pine nuts and pistachios

1 1/4 c evoo

1 1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses

2 t chipotle pepper flakes

Place the basil, garlic, pepper and nuts together in a food processor.  Add the oil while the machine is processing.  Add the cheese and mix briefly.  You may have to do this in two batches depending upon the size of your food processor!

Oh, you can buy the pistachios shelled at Sams!  Saves a good bit of time and energy!

Bon Appetit!!