Tag Archives: pasta

Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce

I’m always looking for new recipes.  Whether they are my own creation, a tweak on someone else’s creation or just a recipe straight-up.

I wasn’t feeling well today so I decided to make one of my comfort foods – pasta.

I found this great recipe for Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce at saveur.com last week and decided to try it today.

It was delicious!  The perfect combination of flavors and spicy, spicy, spicy.  It takes a while to cook, so start early.

Here’s the recipe from Saveur Magazine.  I tweaked it a tad because it’s what I had on-hand – fabulous!  Bravo Saveur!

Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed
8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
8 cloves garlic, smashed
6 oil-packed anchovy filets, chopped
4 red Fresno chiles, seeded and chopped – I used 2 long hot Italian peppers and a good dose of red pepper flakes
4 gherkins, chopped – I used 6 cornichons
2 red onions, chopped
1  28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained – I used crushed tomatoes
12 oz. bock beer, preferably Birrificio Italiano Bibock – I used a white beer
3⁄4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 lb. pasta, such as scialatielli or linguine – I used penne rigate
8 caper berries, for garnish
2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add capers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, chiles, gherkins, and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until ingredients are browned, about 20 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and beer; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Purée sauce in a blender; return sauce to pan over low heat. Stir in olives and season with salt and pepper.

2. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain pasta and transfer pasta to sauce; toss to combine. Stir in a little pasta water to loosen the sauce, if you like. Serve pasta garnished with caper berries and parsley.

SERVES 4

© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010. Recipe courtesy of Saveur Magazine.

Pasta Salad in a Pinch

Today I made hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch.  I wanted something else with it so I concocted a new version of pasta salad with ingredients I had in the house and in the garden.

Pantry Pasta Salad

1 English cucumber, diced
1 can small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 diced tomato – whatever you have on hand
1 clove garlic, minced
2 rounded tbsp of red onion, diced
a handful of mixed herbs from garden – I used basil, thyme, tarragon, mint, parsley
1/2 lb small shell pasta
1 hard-boiled egg, diced for garnish
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl add first 6 ingredients.  Boil pasta until al dente and run under cold water to stop cooking process and cool.

Add pasta to bowl with salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.  Stir well and garnish with egg.

Serves 4 – 8.

Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Pasta Caprese

It’s really hard for me to stay away from pasta completely.  I’m always looking for a light dish so I can eat my macaroni and not feel guilty.

This is my twist on a Pasta Caprese.

  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti – 1 c pasta water reserved
  • 1 -1/2 c – 2 c tomatoes, diced – preferably heirloom of different colors and types (cherry, grape, plum, etc.)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 c  fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Mix the diced tomatoes and cubed mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil leaves, and salt, to taste.

When the linguine is ready, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Mix well, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

This no-cook, warm weather friendly sauce makes a great salad too!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010. Re-published 2011.

Related articles

Pasta Caprese Revisted

It’s really hard for me to stay away from pasta completely.  I’m always looking for a light dish so I can eat my macaroni and not feel guilty.

This is my twist on a Pasta Caprese.

  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti – 1 c pasta water reserved
  • 1 -1/2 c – 2 c tomatoes, diced – preferably heirloom of different colors and types (cherry, grape, plum, etc.)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 c  fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Mix the diced tomatoes and cubed mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil leaves, and salt, to taste.

When the linguine is ready, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Mix well, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

This no-cook, warm weather friendly sauce makes a great salad too!

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Related Articles

Pasta Caprese

It’s really hard for me to stay away from pasta completely.  I’m always looking for a light dish so I can eat my macaroni and not feel guilty.

This is my twist on a Pasta Caprese.

  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti – 1 c pasta water reserved
  • 1 -1/2 c – 2 c tomatoes, diced – preferably heirloom of different colors and types (cherry, grape, plum, etc.)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 c  fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Mix the diced tomatoes and cubed mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil leaves, and salt, to taste.

When the linguine is ready, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Mix well, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

This no-cook, warm weather friendly sauce makes a great salad too!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Basil and Sundried Tomato Pesto With Grilled Chicken and Pasta

Besides the rampant growth of mint in my garden, Basil abounds as a delight to the nose and palate.  Ever year I end up wasting a ton of herbs and have to watch them die as soon as the weather gets cooler.

I took out chicken breasts yesterday, brushed them with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper before I threw them on the grill.

I was determined to make pesto as a sauce for my chicken then decided to throw in a pound of medium shell pasta as well.  I didn’t want a traditional basil-only pesto so I came up with this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it.

Basil and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto With Grilled Chicken and Pasta

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 cups, packed, coarsely chopped basil leaves
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 – 1 cup grated romano cheese
  • 1/2 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing chicken
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound medium shells

In a food processor, pulse the garlic, basil, sd tomatoes,  salt, pine nuts and cheese.  Gradually blend in olive oil and adjust seasoning.

Meanwhile, brush chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper – grill until cooked through.  Cut into 1/2 inch chunks.

Boil pasta al dente.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix and adjust seasonings.

Serves 4

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

I love pasta.  It doesn’t matter the type or the preparation, I’ll eat it until I burst from too much semolina.

Summertime and macaroni are often difficult to put together.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like to eat anything too heavy when it’s hot out – though this doesn’t explain my summer weight gain – must be the booze.

In any case I came across a recipe for Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, courtesy of Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, and made it for lunch on Sunday afternoon.  I substituted a few things because another visit to Shop Rite wasn’t in my plan for the day.  I hope you enjoy this tasty creation.

Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta – I used pipette
Kosher or sea salt
Olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced – I used a can of black olives
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.

Serves 6-8

Bon Appétit!

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten & The Food Network.  Link above.
Original photo by CultureChoc2010.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.