Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Pasta Delights...

Let's face it, sometimes all you need at the end of the day is a big bowl of pasta, add a nice salad and viola, meal complete.  Of course when you throw the heat of summer into the mix, you don’t want anything too heavy or require you spending way too much time slaving over the stove. 

You need to prepare something fast and easy, but most of all, you need delicious and comforting. So how do you enjoy what you love without becoming a slave to your kitchen on top of everything else. Well the beauty of these recipes is the ease at which you can prepare them. Just fresh, fabulous flavors quickly combined so you can enjoy the rest of your summer night.

Bow Ties with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

12 oz farfalle (bow-tie) pasta 
4  Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
1  Tbsp minced garlic
1- 10oz bag fresh spinach,thick stems removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1  pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add half the spinach and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and cook until spinach begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining spinach and cook until beginning to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp oil and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden brown. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, spinach, nuts and cheese to the pasta and toss to combine.

Caprese Pasta

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped 
2 balls of mozzarella, chopped 
2/3 cup fresh basil, chopped 
1 tsp kosher salt 
Dash of pepper 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 lb of your favorite pasta  

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl combine the chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil with the salt and pepper.
  3. Drain the pasta well (but don’t rinse it), then toss with the tomato mixture and serve.

Lemon Linguine with Spinach and Crispy Prosciutto

1 lbs linguine
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots or onion
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1  Tbsp   tablespoon(s) garlic paste
4   oz prosciutto, torn into pieces
1/3  cup(s) fresh lemon juice
1/2  tsp salt
1/2  tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 cups baby spinach,loosely packed, 
1/2  cup(s) slivered almonds, toasted
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Grana Padano cheese, for garnish

  1. In a large pot, cook linguine according to package directions, al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, and grated lemon zest and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add prosciutto and cook, about 2 minutes, until crisp.
  3. Drain linguine; add to skillet along with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, tossing over medium heat to combine.
  4. Place spinach in a large bowl. Add hot linguine mixture to spinach, tossing to combine. Stir in pine nuts. Garnish with cheese.