Category Archives: Pasta

Broccoli Pesto – Guest Post from the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Hi guys! Still out on my honeymoon, but I’m real excited to have one last guest poster for you all. Susan, or the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen, is a friend of mine and she’s been kind enough to share a post with you all for me today. I hope you enjoy!

Broccoli Pesto

Hi Total Noms readers! I’m Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen and I’m so thrilled to be guest posting here today while Mallory is away enjoying her honeymoon. I figured Mallory will be pretty busy when she returns and broccoli pesto will be the perfect quick and easy meal for the newlyweds to enjoy (oh yeah, you too :-)).

Broccoli Pesto I came up with the idea of turning broccoli into pesto after my CSA – that’s community support agriculture in case you aren’t familiar – sent me home with 3 heads of broccoli one afternoon. I love broccoli as much as the next person but not that much and I need to figure something to do with it before it all went bad. That’s when the pesto when was born! In my opinion if you have too much of something, just turn it to pesto! It’s fabulous tossed on top of some pasta for a filling and healthy dinner or used as a spread or dip.

Broccoli Pesto

 

Broccoli Pesto
 
Cook time

Total time

 

Author:

Ingredients
  • 2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ – 1 cup olive oil

Instructions
  1. Place a steamer in a medium-sized pot with filled with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and add the broccoli. Cover and steam for 7-9 minutes or until the broccoli is fork tender and bright green. Remove immediately from the heat.
  2. Transfer the broccoli to your food processor and process with the basil, walnuts and garlic until smooth. You may need to add the broccoli in two parts depending on the size of your processor.
  3. With the motor running drizzle the olive oil into the processor stopping at ¾ cup. Scrape down the sides, season with salt and pepper and if it is not smooth continue with the remaining ¼ cup.
  4. To serve, use as a spread with sandwiches or tossed with pasta and watered down with reserved pasta water and topped with fresh ricotta cheese.

Thank you so much to Susan for sharing this delicious broccoli pesto recipe! I can’t wait to try it when I get back!  Don’t forget to check out Susan’s blog, The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen, and check out her Facebook ,Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thanks for hanging out with my guest bloggers these past few days! and a HUGE thank you to Betsy, Ruthy and Susan for all their help! I’ll be back later on this week! 😀

Happy Eating 🙂
mally (and Susan!)

Mediterranean Pesto Pasta

Mediterranean Pesto Pasta

I am such a sucker for a big bowl of pasta, diets be damned. It’s the reason I would never survive a week on the Paleo diet (that, and pizza, and bagels, and cookies, let’s be honest), and honestly, I’m okay with that.

Tart cherry tomatoes, garlic, toasted pine nuts, flavorful artichokes and pesto combine to make a quick and easy pasta dish that comes together in as much time as it takes to boil a pot of water. Talk about easy! This pasta is super comforting, with a nice hint of spice and that lovely pesto aroma- plus a great way to use up any leftover summer cherry tomatoes.

pasta_pesto

In fact, I’m pretty sure all the vegetables and herbs in here make this pasta healthy! …Right? Right. This is a great meal for weeknights, or anytime you just want a big bowl of comfort straight to the face. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Pesto Pasta
 
Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
For the pasta:
  • 8 oz. dry spaghetti, fettucine, or other long pasta
  • salt
  • 1 cup pesto, storebought or homemade (recipe above)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 jarred artichoke hearts in oil, drained
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • fresh chopped basil, for garnish
  • shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Make the pesto (if not using storebought): Combine all pesto ingredients except the oil in a food processor or mini chopper. Pulse until chopped. Add the oil and blend until all combined. Set aside.
  2. Boil 6 cups of water in a large pot. As the water’s coming to a boil, assemble the rest of your ingredients. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise, slice the garlic lengthwise into thin “chips”, and coarsely chop the artichoke hearts.
  3. When the water is boiling, turn heat down to medium and salt the water liberally (1-2 tbsp of kosher salt will do) add pasta and cook according to the brand’s instructions.
  4. When pasta is cooked, drain in a colander. To the pot, and keeping over medium heat, add the garlic, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Add the pesto and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, chopped basil, and cheese and enjoy!

Mediterranean Pesto Pasta

And in case you’re counting, 22 days to go til I’m a Missus. Yippee!!!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

 

Don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter!


Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushrooms

Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms

When I was growing up, our next-door neighbor Mike had an amazing Italian specialty shop in town called Gracie’s Ravioli, named after his mother. Gracie’s was devoted to selling authentic and delicious Italian ingredients and deli items. In high school, my dad and I used to go there to pick up sandwiches before every Yankees game we went to (which used to be a lot when we were season ticket holders!), and we all loved the shop’s roasted artichokes, delicious panini, and of course, their homemade ravioli.

Although Gracie’s closed a few years ago, Mike still maintains the legacy of his mom and his passion for Italian wine and cuisine through his blog, the eponymous Gracie’s Ravioli. He has tons of great recipes and wine recommendations over there, in addition to a few e-books I mentioned a while back that are definitely worth checking out.

Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms

I found this recipe from Mike’s blog that really stood out to me as having the potential to be seriously delizioso. Braised chicken, tomatoes, and mushrooms combine to make a sumptuous almost stew-like sauce that pairs perfectly with al dente pasta. Now the first thing you’ll probably be thinking is- wait a second, the above image clearly does NOT show pappardelle! Alas, our local store did not have any in stock, so we had to go with fettucine- which worked great, but if you want the authentic experience, try and find the pappardelle!

Check out the recipe below, e tutti a tavola a mangiare (did you know I spent a summer studying in Italy during college? Fun fact.)!

Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushrooms
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lb sliced mushrooms
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)
  • 1 lb pappardelle pasta

Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel to eliminate excess moisture, then carefully place in the pot. Allow chicken to brown, then remove to a plate. When cooled, shred with two forks and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Allow onions to soften, stirring every so often about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, wine and water, and stir to combine. Add the canned diced tomatoes, basil, shredded chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and bring everything to a boil over high heat.
  3. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, then remove cover, add the mushrooms, and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, prepare pasta according to the box’s instructions. Ideally, use pappardelle for your base, but if your store doesn’t have that, fettucine or another wide long pasta is great too.
  5. Serve pasta in bowls and top with the chicken and mushroom sauce. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms

My fiance and I loved this, so much so we went back for seconds (and maybe thirds)… and as a bonus, this definitely makes enough for leftovers!

Happy Eating, and Happy Fourth! What are your plans for the holiday weekend?

mally

Simple Meaty Lasagna

lasagna-7

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, if that’s the case, then I got my man by the aorta with this lasagna.

Cheesy, meaty, tomato-y goodness, all in one delicious dish… what a perfect meal to make on Sunday and enjoy the leftovers for days to come! (If you have any leftovers, that is…)

lasagna-1

Let’s talk about the components of a great lasagna. First we have the sauce- it’s gotta be good. This one starts out with the classic base of onions and garlic, gets a nice dose of ground beef and pork, and is rounded out by a splash of heavy cream and a combination of both diced and pureed tomatoes.

Next, we have the noodles- I don’t know about you, but I think no-boil lasagna noodles are the best thing since, well, regular-boil lasagna noodles. And they’re a heck of a lot easier to handle. I used Barilla no-boil noodles based on a recommendation from America’s Test Kitchen (where this recipe comes from), and they worked perfectly.

On top of that, we have the cheeeeeese- a combo of ricotta, parmesan, fresh basil and mozzarella, with an egg for a creamy consistency- that lends lasagna its signature luscious flavor.

lasagna-16

I feel a little weird copying a recipe verbatim from a source that charges for their content, so I encourage you to definitely check out the recipe for this delicious lasagna over at America’s Test Kitchen. If you aren’t a member, don’t worry- you can sign up for a free 14-day trial and you can access all of their content including recipes, product taste tests, and videos. I don’t think it’s all that much for a year’s subscription, so if you’re like me and constantly seeking their recommendations for products and recipes, it might be worth the cost!

lasagna-14

Other notes… we said yes to the dress this weekend! The flower girl’s dress, that is… so much fun seeing our little flower girl in teensy cute white dresses. I also picked up some more materials for the invitations and for our upcoming engagement photo shoot on Sunday… eeek! This Saturday I’m also trying on my own white dress for the first fitting… I cannot wait!

By the way, did anyone catch the Super Moon last night? That was some crazy stuff. Gotta love nature.

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

P.S. I am in no-way compensated by America’s Test Kitchen- I just love their content and wanted to share a really great recipe from them!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Mmmmm… pasta. When fall starts rolling in and the temperature starts dropping, one of my favorite comfort foods is a nice big bowl of pasta with red sauce.

This is a classic southern Italian dish, and one of my favorite ways to spice up normal tomato sauce. I love the saltiness of the olives, the heat of the red pepper flakes, and the strong taste of garlic, all mixed into delicious, tangy and slightly sweet crushed tomatoes.

And while the origin of the sauce’s name may have less than savory origins, this is one of my favorite savory dishes, hands down 🙂

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

I love using big slices of garlic here- but you can mince yours more finely if you prefer it a little smaller. Same goes for the olives- I love biting into them, but if you’d like them more blended into the sauce, you can chop them more finely.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped coarsely
  • 1 can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti

Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic slices and chili peppers and cook, stirring to keep the garlic from burning, 3 minutes.
  2. Add the olives and stir again. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the capers. Give everything a big stir to get it all incorporated. Afterwards, in a large pot, boil 3-4 quarts of water over high heat.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add a nice handful of kosher salt, around 2-3 tsps. Add the pasta and cook until al dente- or just very slightly chewy, about 8-9 minutes (depending on the brand you use). Drain the pasta.
  4. Add drained pasta to the saucepan with the puttanesca sauce, and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh parsley, stir again and serve. Enjoy!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

What is your favorite comfort food once the cold starts coming to your neighborhood?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally