Jul 04, 2009
Due to popular demand I will start a series of journal entries about things I like to cook.
All of us are here at MedHelp because we have concerns. Much of what I will show you will set off alarm bells for a few, or many, of you. I am a firm believer that vices in moderation are what keep us mentally and emotionally healthy, and interfere little with physical health.
I'll start with four simple side dishes, which can be used as the main dish. All of these are pasta based, simple, filling and three are pretty darn healthy. Normally, after draining, I will add in a little butter or olive oil to the pasta,and toss it. This helps keep it from sticking. One can also commit sacrilege and rinse the pasta after cooking.
The artery clogger first ,-)
Chronne (sha-doan) - baked pasta casserole.
Ingredients; 1 pound each dry capellini, thick spaghetti and perciatelli - cook al dente per package and drain well - keep in pasta pot, 18 lg eggs - beaten, 1 c each Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheese - finely grated, 1 1/2# pepperoni - diced (abt 1/4" pcs), 1/2 c Mozzarella - medium shred, 1/2 t black pepper - freshly cracked, Olive oil - quant suff
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a baking pan of sufficient size (mine is 18" x 14" x 3"). Mix the grated cheeses into the beaten eggs and then add in the pepperoni; do this while the pasta is cooking. In the large boiling pot, mix the egg-cheese-pepperoni into the cooked pasta and then pour the whole mess into the baking pan. Mix the Mozzarella and black pepper ; spread this evenly over the pasta mix. Bake the pasta mix covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 10 - 20 minutes (until the top is fully melty and lightly browned).
I like to serve this with a steamed mix of escarole, endive, spinach and leeks - dressed with crushed garlic, olive oil and lemon juice -- lightly boiled mix of onion, turnip and carrot dressed with butter and parsley -- beef meatballs in a light marinara sauce
Pasta e Ceci - Ditalini and Chickpeas
Foodstuffs: 1# Farfalle - cook al dente per package and drain well, 2 c ea cooked chickpeas and stewed Plum tomatoes - diced with juice, 2 T garlic - finely minced, 1 t ea dried basil and oregano, grated Parmesan for topping
Method: combine all while warm and serve in bowls topped by cheese to taste. This is a nonsoup variant of Pasta e fagiola
Pasta e Broccoli
Foodstuffs: 1# medium pasta shells - cook al dente per package, 1# broccoli - coarsely chopped and lightly steamed until slightly wilted, 1 c sweet butter - melted, 4 T garlic - finely minced, 1 c red onion - finely diced - for topping
Method: combine all while the pasta and broccoli are warm and serve in bowls; top with onion to taste. A quick twist or two on the pepper grinder is a nice touch.
Spaghetti aglia olio - pasta with oil and garlic
Foodstuffs: 1# capellini - cook al dente per package, drain well, reserve 3 c of the starchy boil water, 1/2 c plus 3 T olive oil, 6 T garlic - finely diced, 1 T anchovy paste (optional ,-)
Method: In a small saucepan heat 3 T olive oil and sweat the garlic until lightly golden, mash in the anchovy paste and then stir in the pasta water, simmering on low to reduce by 1/3. Coat the pasta with the remaining oil and use the sauce to taste. A dash or two of red pepper flakes perks this up.