Category Archives: pasta

saffron pasta with pork and tomato sauce

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 12 ounces gnocchi-shaped pasta or orecchiette
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino Sardo or pecorino Romano cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
NOTE: When we first tried this all we had in hand was a block of Parmesan, and for pasta we used penne as that was the closest alternative in our pantry. preparation Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion and parsley; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add ground pork and sauté until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 8 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and sage. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered for 1 hour, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before using.) Cook pasta with saffron in large pot of boiling salted water until pasta is tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return to same pot. Add sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese; toss to blend. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and serve. NOTE: We saved the pasta water and combined pasta with sauce in the sauce pan, so we could add pasta water as needed to prevent overly thick sauce. We also added extra pasta water to leftovers before refrigerating, as they will get drier when reheating. nutritional information n/a yield: 6-8 servings time: 45-60 minutes source: The Bon Appetit Cookbook, p.207

fettuccine with prosciutto, peas, and lemon-chive sauce


  • 12 ounces fettuccine or other pasta
  • 2 cup frozen petite peas (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup fresh chopped chives
  • 6 TBSP. finely grated lemon peel
  • 3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into slivers


  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Add peas; cook 30 seconds.
  2. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta and peas to same pot.
  3. Add cream, chives, lemon juice, and lemon peel to pasta. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if pasta is fry, about 1 minute. Mix in prosciutto; season to taste with slat and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl.

NOTE: Quantities in recipe didn’t quite work, so play around with them until right. When I tried it there was far too much cream and chives. Basically, go with your gut on how much of each to put in.

NOTE 2: Even though it says to add the prosciutto at the end, I actually threw it in the hot pan first for a minute to render a little of the fat into it and slightly cook the meat, then tossed the naked pasta with that before adding the other ingredients.

nutritional information


yield: 4 servings

time: 20 minutes

source: The Bon Appetit Cookbook, pp.203-4

cambodian-style rice noodle salad with shrimp, cucumber and herbs

We skipped the shrimp and served this as a side to Vietnamese grilled lemon grass pork.


  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 english cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts (finely chopped) *
  • 6 TBSP lime juice
  • 1 fresno or thai serrano chili, stemmed, seeded and minced **
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp (roughly chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, mint and/or basil

* Cashews will do in a pinch, as it did for us. We only had the lightly salted ones but it worked just fine.

** Didn’t have chilies on hand and wanted the kids to eat it, so we substituted with a small pinch of cayenne


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water, tossing until fully cooled. Drain again. Use kitchen shears to snip the noddles in several places to cut them into shorter lengths. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In the colander, toss cucumber and shallot with the salt. Let drain in the sink for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together peanuts, lime juice, chili, fish sauce, brown sugar and pepper.
  4. Add the cucumber-shallot mixture, the shrimp, and the chopped herbs to the bowl with the noodles. Add the dressing and toss well.

nutritional information

yield: 4 servings
time: 20 minutes
source: Milk Street, July-August 2020, p.4

basic meat sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes with juice


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and juice, breaking up tomatoes. Simmer over medium heat until thickened and saucy, 45 to 60 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

nutritional information

yield: 5 cups
time: about an hour

scallion noodles with ground pork


  • 2 bunches scallions
  • 10 ounces dried Asian wheat noodles
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 or 2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional)


  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. While the water heats, cut the scallions into 2- to 3-inch lengths, then slice lengthwise into thin strips, reserving the whites and greens separately. To the boiling water, add the noodles, then cook until tender (refer to package instructions for cooking times). Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch; set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add about half the scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and beginning to crisp, another 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the pork to the oil remaining in the pan and cook over medium, stirring to break the meat into small pieces, until the meat is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sugar, then bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.
  • Reduce to low and add the noodles and fried scallions. Cook, tossing to combine, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, then taste and season with salt. Toss in the remaining scallion greens. Divide among individual bowls and top with fresh chillies (if using).
nutritional information
yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/cup beef and 2/3 cup rice)
time: about 35 minutes
source: Milk Street

linguine with clam sauce


  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 18 littleneck or chowder clams
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian, flat leafed parsley


1. IF YOU HAVEN’T RINSED YOUR CLAMS, DO IT NOW. It will take about a half hour if done haphazardly, a couple of hours if done conscientiously. If you like gritty clams, by all means skip this step.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta, following the package instructions, until al dente.

3. Meanwhile, warm 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a high-sided saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and allow it to cook away slightly, about 1 minute. Add the clams and their juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the broth froths to a level of 1 to 2 inches. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley. Drain the pasta and toss in a serving bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Distribute evenly among six dinner plates. Top with equal portions of the sauce, and serve immediately.

NOTE: We like to pick out the clams from the sauce and into a bowl, mix the pasta with the sauce, plate the pasta, and then arrange the clams decoratively over the pasta. It looks better, and it prevents fights over who got too many or not enough clams in their serving.


nutritional information: Not available
yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 bowl)
time: about 25 minutes

turkey tetrazzini


1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 teaspoons Essence of Emeril*, recipe follows
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
12 ounces cavatappi
1 pound cubed or bite-size shredded roast turkey
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Saute the onions and bell peppers in butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and very flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

When the sauce has thickened, add the noodles, turkey, parsley, and Parmesan to the skillet and stir until thoroughly combined.

Total: 50 min
Prep:10 min
Serves: 10

* Essence of Emeril ingredients
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Modified recipe from Emeril Lagasse, 2007

spicy sausage ragu with red peppers


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive 011
2 pounds hot Italian sausage, removed from Its casing
2 onions, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and brown well, breaking up large pieces with wooden spoon, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat left in skillet.

2. Add onions, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes to fat in skillet and cook over medium-high heat until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

3. Stir crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce into slow cooker. Cover and cook until sauce is deeply flavored, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

4. Let sauce settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Microwave bell peppers with remaining tablespoon oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir softened bell peppers into sauce and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Before serving, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

why this recipe works

Spicy Italian sausages and sweet bell peppers are a classic pairing that we thought would translate perfectly into a bright, slightly sweet, and deeply flavored slow-cooker pasta sauce. We liked the flavorful heat that hot Italian sausages imparted, and a few minutes spent browning them and breaking them up in a skillet gave the sauce an even deeper and richer flavor. Since we had our skillet out, we sauteed our aromatics (onions, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes) and deglazed the pan with red wine. Tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce were the perfect combination of tomato products with which to build our sauce — neither 100 watery nor too thick. As for the bell peppers, which rounded out the flavors and cut a little of the heat, we simply softened them in the microwave and stirred them into the sauce just before serving. This recipe makes enough to sauce 3 pounds of pasta.

nutritional information: not available


yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 bowl)
time: 9-11 hours
source: Slow Cooker Revolution, p. 169

beef ragu with broccoli ziti


1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces ground sirloin
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt added crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
6 servings of broccoli ziti
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the ground sirloin with the side of the spoon, until the meat loses its raw look, about 7 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, italian seasoning, and hot pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 45 minutes. Divide the hot broccoli ziti among six deep bowls. Top each with an equal amount of sauce and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, if using. Serve hot.

nutritional information
Calories: 325(N/A from fat); Fat: 10g (sat N/A, mono N/A, poly N/A); Protein: 23g; Cholesterol: 47mg; Calcium: N/A; Sodium: 124mg; Fiber: 6g; Iron: N/A; Carbohydrates: 38g

yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 bowl)
time: 1 1/2 hours
source: Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, p. 89

better spaghetti and meatballs



2 1/4 cups (6 oz) panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 lbs 85% lean ground beef
1 lb ground pork
6 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped fine
3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (1 Tbsp)
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin, dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
salt and pepper


3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups grated onion (1-2 onions)
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
6 cups bottled tomato juice
3 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
6 Tbsp dry white wine
salt and pepper
3 lbs spaghetti
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
granulated sugar
grated Parmesan cheese for serving



  1. Place wire racks in 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine bread crumbs and buttermilk in large bowl and let sit, mashing occasionally with fork, until smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, beef, pork, prosciutto, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, gelatin mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to bread-crumb mixture. Using hands, gently mix until thoroughly combined. Lightly form about 1/4 /cup mixture into 2-inch round meatball (about 2 ounces), repeat with remaining mixture to form approximately 40 meatballs.
  3. Spray wire racks with nonstick cooking spray and place meatballs, evenly spaced, on racks; roast until browned, about 30 minutes, rotating trays from front to back and top to bottom halfway through.


  1. While meatballs roast, heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden around edges, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, wine, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove meatballs from oven and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Gently add meatballs to sauce, cover pot, and place in oven. Cook until meatballs are firm and sauce has thickened, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 10 quarts water to boil in 12-quart pot, Add pasta and 2 tablespoons salt to boiling water; cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return to cooking pot.

to serve

  1. Stir basil and parsley into sauce and adjust seasoning with sugar, salt, and pepper. Toss pasta with 1 1/2 cups sauce until lightly coated. Serve pasta, passing meatballs, remaining sauce, and grated Parmesan separately.

nutritional information: not available

yield: 12 servings
time: n/a
source: Andrew Janjigian, Cooks Illustrated, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010