Category Archives: pasta

Pasta with Buttery Tomato Sauce

Dear Blogosphere,

I love you soooooooooo much. It did, in the end, take me four seperate blog posts– 4!– to convince me to attempt this recipe. This recipe that I never would have thought of on my own, and would not have noticed in an cookbook. This amazing, fabulous recipe that is barely a recipe and I will make again and again and again, that is truly much more than the sum of its’ parts. But you were right.


Okay, I know I’m smitten. One problem: I was too smitten to take pictures either time I made it. Luckily, Katerina from Daily Unadventures in Cooking, whose beautifully written post was the straw that broke the camel’s back, allowed me to borrow this picture of hers that is far more attractive than anything I could plate.


Of course, I can’t do anything the normal way without editing it a li’l, even the first time, so this is my version:

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion: (serves 4)
1 large can Italian plum tomatoes (or equivalent amount of *good* farmer’s market or summer-peak tomatoes)
5 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves of garlic
1T salt

Parmagianno-Reggiano cheese, grated

Dump the tomatoes (cut up and optionally peeled if fresh and whole) into a big pot. Add butter, onion, and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, then smash any whole tomatoes and chop the onion and garlic into little pieces. Serve over pasta, w/ parmesan. Allow those you feed to worship you for 5 minutes of work. Mmmm.



Filed under pasta, veggies

Mmmm. Pasta.

I had not one, not two, but three! pasta recipes to choose from this week for Presto Pasta Night. However, I chose the one that looks like worms, because it was the most fun.


Just in case you thought I was kidding. Of course, the pasta did not look like worms in the package. In fact, it was a brilliant purply red. Any guesses?

It’s roasted-garlic beet pasta from the Dupont Circle freshmarket. And, while I was at the farmers market, I picked up kale and herbed goat cheese to go with it.

No real recipe, for the sauce, just sauteed some garlic and oil, added slivered kale, and dumped in some cheese and milk. But beet pasta? Once you get past the color, it’s fantabulous; rich, flavorful, slightly softer than al dente, and you can feel yourself getting healthier as you eat (um, yes, still a little bit of a priority. Whoops. )

Next time I might try it with a simpler sauce, it’s that good. I’m still kicking myself for not saving the bright red pasta water for risotto.


Filed under greens, pasta, Uncategorized

Penne as Promised

Penne a la Vodka, in fast. Not a health food, but it’s so good. And, you know, sometimes you need easy comfort food. Of course, many of the people collecting pasta recipe’s at Once Upon a Feast agree. Thank you, Ruth, for hosting Presto Pasta Nights.
I’d try to do more describing, but I think that this picture speaks for itself:


(Served with garlic bread and yesterday’s arugula-pear salad)

To achieve your own plate of yummy pasta comfort, take a cup of cream in a small pot and cook it down until it halves in volume. While you’re doing that, cook 4 pieces of bacon in a large skillet with tall edges or medium sized pot, and put a pot of water up to boil for pasta (add enough pasta for 4 members of your household to the pot when it boils). Add 1 cup of tomato sauce, cream, and 2oz of vodka to the bacon and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Combine sauce with pasta. Eat. Smile.


(Mmmm. Sauce)

Also, bonus points (yeah, I’m not sure what those are good for either) to anyone who can guess what this was made into:




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Filed under alcohol, Food Blogs, pasta

Faerie Pasta

Someone once told me an erotic story of a woman who saw a man she fancied at a art gallery exhibition of faerie/ woodland art. The woman, the story goes, ate nothing but mushrooms for a week, so that she would smell– and taste– of mushrooms, fashioned herself an enormous set of faerie wings, and snuck into the man’s bedroom as he slept, allowing him to think that the seduction that ensued was just a dream.

If I ate mushrooms for a week, I hope I’d be able to have them prepared this way:


Simple, fast, and oh so good.

Per person:


1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced parsley (fresh)
1.5 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1.5 cups of pasta (cooked)
salt, pepper, parmesan (to taste)

Set up pasta water to boil. In a heavy saucepan, sautee garlic in olive oil until you can smell it (about 30 seconds on medium-high heat). Add parsley and mushrooms and sautee until tender. You can add a little pasta water, preferably after you put the pasta in and it releases some starch, as needed to prevent sticking and burning. When both pasta and mushroom mixture are ready, add 1/4 cup pasta water, lemon juice, cream, salt, and pepper to mushrooms, then toss in the pasta. Serve with parmesan (and, if you’re good, a salad.)

Y um! And the leftovers are fantastic.



Filed under Food Blogs, mushroom, pasta

I *know* you’re tired of TV food…

Ok, maybe not, but I’m always amazed at how little this particular dish tastes like one of my favorites, spinach-artichoke dip, though it has many of the same ingredients. This is decidedly grown-up. If you’re really grown-up, you can add capers to it, I bet that would be great… if only I liked them!


Eww, what is that slop? Oh, spinach artichoke pasta. Yum!

It’s occured to me that my blog writing style is very much like my awkward teenage self’s social style. It’s so nervous about its’ own existence that it tries to blurt out the bare essential facts and then hide in the corner. Maybe as I accumulate more posts I’ll feel more like my voice belongs in the virtual world, but until then I plan to fake it. 🙂

Speaking of faking it, both The Roomie and I are sex educators. I guess that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as the link between sex and good food has been well documented. What that means for you, though, is that you can expect periodic sexual health/ gender policy blips on this page at random intervals… and the first one is here: If you are or know a female between the ages of 9 and 26, please go/ encourage her to go get the HPV vaccine. HPV is the most commonly transmitted STD, and is estimated to cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers, which are potentially deadly. You can’t get the vaccine later in life than 26, and there is no HPV test for men…so, women, better safe than sorry.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled deliciousness. I love this pasta, and have since I tried Whole Foods’ spinach-artichoke dip. I fell in love with it; it’s nothing like those other dips. You can taste the artichoke! And the spinach! There’s barely any cheese, it’s healthy and…. yet, it still tastes good. So good that I created this recipe to maximize its’ goodness– doesn’t everything taste better with pasta?

For each serving, gather:
olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water (amount may vary according to taste)
2 cups of spinach leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
1 cup of artichokes (fresh cooked, frozen, or canned), sliced thinly
1/4 of a tomato, diced, or a couple of cherry tomatos
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 generous serving of pasta (I like cheese tortellini)
lemon juice, cream, salt, pepper (to taste)
parmesan cheese for serving

This is one of the only dishes I make in which the order really matters. First, put a giant pot of pasta water up to boil, that way it’s ready when you’re ready for it. Then, lightly coat a large skillet with olive oil and sautee onion bits until golden brown. Add garlic and red pepper (optional) and sautee for another 30 seconds or so, until you can smell the garlic. Add spinach and broth/ water, and heat until the leaves cook down. Put pasta in pot, then add artichokes, tomato, and tomato paste to the skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, adding spoonfuls of pasta water as needed to achieve your preferred texture (I like mine chunky but not dry.)  When pasta is cooked, drain it. Quickly add a squirt of lemon juice and a dash of cream if you like, and salt/pepper according to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese. Toss together. Done!

This is a great, fast, weeknight dish, especially when paired with a glass of white wine– and healthy too. Enjoy!

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Filed under pasta, veggies