pasta Archive

Harissa

Harissa

What’s harissa? The first time I heard about harissa was when I was watching Jamie’s Fish Supper where he grilled sardines and harissa was used. According to the internet, harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce that sounds pretty darn spicy.

While I was shopping at Eastern District last week, I saw that they were selling jars of harissa. I’ve been on a spicy kick where I basically add sriracha to every I eat so I bought a jar to taste what harissa is all about.

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Bad News Food: Baked Pasta

When I get bad news — really bad news, not just annoyances — my first inclination is to make a big dish of baked pasta. It’s what I did when I heard my grandfather had died, and it’s what I did when I learned that a co-worker had been admitted to the ICU. It’s not the same as comfort food, really. There’s something about the process, the ritual of it, that helps me deal with the situations I’m in. What follows is my standard recipe, though it’s simple enough that can certainly be tweaked to your liking, and it feeds two-to-four people (or one person in a truly foul mood). Let me know what your bad news food is in the comments below.

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Stewed Lentils Plus An Egg

Lentils

Lentils are great. You can do crazy, fancy and elaborate things to them or just plain simple like adding them to miso soup. They are great at absorbing flavors and at the same time hold on to their own distinctive flavor. They are cheap, healthy and delicious.

Here’s a quick way to eat lentils. Saute diced garlic and onion with lentils in some olive oil. Add enough liquid (water or stock) so that there’s about half an inch between the lentils and the top of the liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer till lentils are done. Add tomato paste, ketchup, salt and pepper to taste. Serve an egg (fried, poached, hard boiled) with the lentils.

Here are few more ways you can cook lentils.
Lentils, Beans and Pork Cracklings over Toast

Pork Belly Stew with Lentils and Kale

Lentils with Pasta

And then there’s always the reliable lentil soup or if you some have some spices laying around, try making daal.

Cooking With Morel Mushrooms & Fiddlehead Ferns

It’s a sad truth that fresh seasonal products can be expensive, and doubly so when those products are foraged. Take, for example, morel mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns. Both representative of Spring, both foraged, both expensive. But you don’t have to buy very many of them to make a big impact, and all you have to do is to treat them simply and bring out the best of their flavor.

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Piccoli Trattoria In Park Slope

Homemade pappardelle with short rib ragu

When Piccoli opened in Windsor Terrace, I really wanted to go try it. They specialize in risotto and I do love a good plate of tasty risotto. Though, situated next to Bene Pizza, it was only a to-go spot. I still haven’t been to it yet but recently they opened a sit down restaurant in Park Slope. I wasn’t in a hurry to go try it but then a friend wanted to have dinner there so I went.

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Rigatoni With Kale And Sausage

Kale & sausage w/ rigatoni

I love kale. Kale is cool. You can eat kale in a sandwich or eat kale raw or eat kale in a big pot of pork belly stew.

After the pork belly stew, I still had a bit of kale left so I decided to eat it with pasta. The day before I bought some chicken and apple sausages so I added that into the pasta as well. This is super simple to make. Cook whatever pasta you like and with about 7mins left of cooking the pasta, start frying the sausages (I sliced mine so they cook faster). Once they’re about done, add in the kale. Season the mixture when the kale is cooked. Add a little bit of pasta water if it’s too dry. Throw in the pasta, mix and add a dollop or 2 of creme fraiche (you know me and creme fraiche).

Pasta With Mussels And Mike’s Hot Honey

Pasta with mussels & Mike's Hot Honey
I think people should eat more mussels. Well I mean people should eat and COOK more mussels at home. They’re healthy, tasty, cheap and mighty fast to cook. I got two pounds of P.E.I. mussels for $7 at my local seafood shop. I say two pounds is just barely enough for three people and you can eat it as is with some crusty bread or throw in some pasta with a sprinkle of basil. Most recipe I have seen uses white wine but definitely try and experiment with other types of liquid like coconut milk or Pad Thai sauce or any sort of broth.

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