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Pasta Ideas


Varmint
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Come Monday, my kitchen will be undergoing a much-needed renovation. During this process, we will be eating out of a small kitchen with a cook top having 2 burners and a grill. We will have a very small refrigerator, no freezer, and no oven. Our sink is tiny, and, of course, we'll have no dishwasher.

Pasta has always been something easy to throw together, and it can be done using only two pieces of cookware and a colander. With that in mind, please help me with ideas for pasta. Here are the ground rules: no frozen foods. Our pantry of fresh foods will be limited, as we won't have much of a refrigerator to store them. Thus, in many instances, I'll have to resort to canned foods. I will stop at the market on the way home from work some days, but not always. Dairy products are OK, as we'll always have some cream, butter, and reggiano lying around. Oh, and Mrs. Varmint doesn't eat red meat, which really sucks.

Thanks in advance for your ideas. It'll be a challenge to avoid much repetition.

Dean

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Heres a tastey pasta we made a while back...

Its basically a tomatoe chick pea pasta, with sauteed onions, garlic, chili, and if your wife eats (chorizo sausage)

Make a tomatoe sauce, I usually let mine simmer for 4+ hours but due to your restrictions it may be an issue, which is fine, it will still taste great.

1 can Tomatoes

1 can tomatoe puree

1 onion

5+ cloves Garlic

2 bay leaves

1 chili

If you are using the Chorizo, cut those in half, and brown them off, keeping the fat, take out the sausages...add Onion, chili first - when onion almost done - garlic - - then deglaze with white or red wine - add tomatoes, bayleaf..let reduce as much as possible, when ready to eat...season before adding chickpeas - -

Add chickpeas - I like to mash them up a bit, have some whole, some not...and season to taste...top with some nice evoo

Enjoy.

Edited by sadistick (log)
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Sautee some mushrooms with garlic and shallots. Add canned tuna (packed in Olive Oil), frozen peas (optional), juice of one lemon and a tub of creme fraiche. Serve over angel hair pasta. I got this from Good Food magazine a few years ago. Top with parsley. Easy and the pasta and creme fraiche are amazing together.

For a lighter meal I mix tuna (in olive oil) with lots of shallots, lemon zest, garlic, lemon zest with pasta, olive oil, some pasta cooking water and lots of lemon juice.

One of my favorites is a simple sauce of canned tomatoes cooked with half of an onion for flavor with a few table spoons of butter added at the end. Simple but delicious. I think this came from a Marcella Hazan book.

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Aglio olio! My favorite version is from "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen" - a ton (10 cloves?) of sliced garlic sauteed in olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, a cup or so of pasta water, parsley if you have it. Done.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Aglio olio! My favorite version is from "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen" - a ton (10 cloves?) of sliced garlic sauteed in olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, a cup or so of pasta water, parsley if you have it. Done.

Simple and great...I should of thought of this one...However, I like to add a bit of butter with the olive oil...more flavour!

:biggrin:

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One of my standbys. If you're organized, the sauce can be prepared in the time it takes to bring the water to the boil and cook the pasta. I usually make it with fusili or linguine.

Chop a small onion and sauté it in olive oil. If you like, add some crushed red pepper flakes. Mince a garlic clove and add it to the onions after they've been cooking for 5 minutes. When the garlic just begins to turn golden, add a drained 7-oz. can of tuna. Break the tuna into small chunks. Add a tablespoon or two of drained capers (this is one of the rare instances where I prefer brined capers; the vinegar brightens the dish). Drain the pasta, transfer it to a bowl and dress it with a splash of olive oil. Add the tuna sauce, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley and several grindings of black pepper. Toss and serve.

Edited by carswell (log)
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If you haven't already, maybe you could take this as a challenge to master the basics. Buy Bugialli and Pasta, or Ada Boni's Regional Italian Cuisine. So, some examples (North to South) of store cupboard pasta (as opposed to fresh):

Bologna Ragu

Pasta e fagioli (a dozen regional variations)

Dried porcini, oil, garlic, lemon

Lemon, oil, fresh basil and parmagiano

Gorgonzola, cream, parmagiano

Amaticiana

Carbonara

Alla Ricotta

Napolitan Ragu

Putanesca

Alle vongole

Anchovy, rosemary, tomato

Sardines, pangratatto, oil, garlic, lemon

Cauliflower, anchovies, garlic, oil,

Pasta e carciofi

pasta alle melanzane

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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My go-to quick pasta sauce is simply one large can of San Marzano tomatoes (or the best quality you can find); a medium onion, peeled and cut in half; and 4 nice tablespoons of butter. Start all the ingredients together in a cold pan, bring it up to temperature slowly over medium-low heat, barely simmer until the butter emulsifies into the tomato and the onion is soft. Toss out the onion (it has given its flavor to the sauce) and use the sauce. Good with dry pasta, amazing with fresh pasta, and mind blowing with gnocchi (I have a very quick/easy recipe for ricotta gnocchi, if you're interested). This is what it looks like when it's ready:

gallery_8505_390_1101183875.jpg

Puttanesca is a quick and easy sauce for dry pasta: lots of evoo; slowly cook a whole lot of best quality anchovies until they liquify; toss in some onion and garlic to soften; throw in some good canned tomatoes and plenty of good capers; bring it up to a slow simmer; toss in some olives and you're ready to go.

Another good one is smoked salmon and cream. Soften some onion. Add slivers of smoked salmon and the cream. Bring up to temp. Ready to go.

Almost any seafood (scallops, clams, shrimp, calamari) is good just "bianco di scoglio" -- simply and quickly cooked at the last possible minute with a touch of garlic and tossed with the pasta together with chopped herbs and plenty of evoo.

--

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Aglio olio! My favorite version is from "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen" - a ton (10 cloves?) of sliced garlic sauteed in olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, a cup or so of pasta water, parsley if you have it. Done.

Simple and great...I should of thought of this one...However, I like to add a bit of butter with the olive oil...more flavour!

:biggrin:

Hmm...butter does make everything better, so I think I'll try that

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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This is something I had in New Orleans a few years back and easy to replicate. Toss some shrimps on the grill or hot pan with some blackened seasoning, once the shrimps are a bit cooked, put in some cream and toss with pasta.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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My family, kids included, really like this one:

Caramelize 2/3 c of onion in EV olive oil

add in 1 T of fine sliced garlic

1/2 c Sundried tomatoes

1/3 c toasted pinenuts

1 t of red pepper flakes

2T of fresh basil

1# of good dry pasta, cooked

We usually include pancetta but in defference to Mrs. V not eating red meat...

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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Our single most favorite pasta recipe is a rif on this one. I used it for the first time when I had some leftover smoked salmon. I didn't have asparagus at the time though I have done it with that too. Flakes of smoked salmon and some capers are divine. I also sauteed some shallots to start. As usual, I just used the recipe for the basic quantities and went from there. I really don't refer to the recipe much anymore.

Basically:

Saute some diced shallot in a bit of butter.

Add the lemon zest, capers and salmon, stir briefly to warm.

Pour in cream and heat gently.

Add the cooked pasta of choice and toss.

Finish with grated Parm. (Not too much.)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Any variation on slowly cooking down a seasonal vegetable in olive oil, garlic, and chilies, and finished with mint and pecorino (thanks to Faith Willinger for this one). Don't blanch it first! Just cook it completely in the oil, with maybe a splash here and there of the pasta cooking water to speed it along. Broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash are all great and different-tasting variations.

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I have several really good simple recipes. When I was a vegetarian as a teenager (please don't hate me :huh: I love meat now :raz: ) I had to cook all my own dinners and the first thing I learned how to cook and create was pasta.

Spicy Pasta

1lb ground chicken breast sauteed with lots of garlic. 4 or 5 cloves if you're a fan, less if not. Add either 4 diced fresh tomatoes or a can of good diced tomatoes that have been drained somewhat. Salt to taste, then add a good tbsp or more of chinese chili/garlic paste. (I usually add about 2) This doesn't need to cook for very long, maybe 10 min. Toss with pasta of your choice.

My classic recipe

1 onion diced sauteed with 3 cloves of garlic that have been finely minced. Once softened, add a couple of tsp of basil and oregano (use fresh if you can), a good pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of fennel, (I think I usually put in about a tsp) salt, then add 1 can of diced tomatoes(or 2 depending on how much you want to make, this sauce freezes really well) Simmer for about 20mins. At this point I add about a tbsp of sugar and a good handful of parmesan. Toss with pasta of your choice.

I made a pasta the other night with olives, garlic, fried capers, but I can't remember everything I put in it. It was good though :raz:

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These are great. Sam, I hadn't thought of using the onion half trick, as that's a great solution when someone prefers not to eat onions. The tuna and smoked salmon ideas are great, too! I appreciate this. Keep 'em coming, particularly the non-traditional ideas.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Classic Clams and Linguine,Shrimp Alfredo,Scallopini,Mussels in Red Sauce,Fra Diablo,Pasta Prima Vera,Peas,prosciutto and sage just to name a few.sounds like you,ll be eating good!!!

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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Just omit the pork then. You can easily do it without it. Try it with some grilled shrimp. Or top it with some pan seared diver scallops.

And the last time I checked, pork was "The other WHITE meat". :laugh:

The original recipe actually had no meat at all, it was from a TDG article Mamster wrote:

Pasta Bible Pasta

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Just made this dish last night it's really good.

Penne pasta with Gorgonzola and Raddicchio

Sautee in butter over medium heat, 2 Tb. minced shallots, 3 large cloves garlic, minced, about 2 minutes. Toss in about 1/2 cup chopped raddicchio seasoned with salt and pepper, about 2 minutes. Deglaze with white wine. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup chicken broth, some pasta water, and 4oz or to taste of gorgonzola. Stir untill cheese melts then let simmer a few minutes. Toss in Penne.

If you have any demi-glaze and fresh nutmeg that will give it an extra kick.

I served this with a light salad comprimised of radish greens topped with cantaloupe cubes, a slice of prosciutto and drizzled with saba.

It was a nice balance to the richness of the pasta dish.

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Sam, I hadn't thought of using the onion half trick, as that's a great solution when someone prefers not to eat onions.

This is actually a staple of Italian sauce cookery: cooking something in the sauce for the flavor it imparts, but then taking it out. It's actually fairly rare, for example, that a sauce or a sauté of spinach will actually be full of little slivers of garlic. More likely than not, the garlic will be put in whole for the flavor and then fished out later. Same thing with celery. My mother told me that her family's cook when they were living in Rome would make a sauce that included whole stalks of celery that were removed and discarded once the sauce was finished.

There are a lot of things you can do to teach yourself the minutiae of basic pasta sauces. Try the tomato and butter sauce. Then try one where you soften the onion in the butter first. Then try softening the onion in evoo instead of butter. Then try onion and celery. Then try onion, celery and carrot. It's very interesting to see how the flavor, depth and intensity of the sauce changes just due to these minute variations. I once tried splitting a can of San Marzano's in half, and did the cold pan tomato/onion sauce I described above using butter as the fat in one pan and evoo as the fat in the other pan. That was the only difference. Then I cooked up a big batch of spaghetti and tried the two different sauces side-by-side. The differences were huge. So huge that I've been meaning to write it up (haven't got around to it yet).

--

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