Posts tagged ‘pasta’

tomatoes are in…

The first big haul.

The tomatoes are coming in fast, while there’s only three peppers out there now. They are so sweet I can just eat these tomatoes like fruit (yes they are fruit). Also great with a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and basil.

When I plucked the purple pepper last week, it didn’t developed seeds yet. So maybe I was a little impatient, tho after plucking it started producing more buds. The pepper was very fruity, a little tart but not bitter in any way. I made a pasta salad with the first harvest.

First harvest

Pasta salad with herb infused oil

  • 2 1/2 cups fusilli pasta (cooked to desired texture in salted water)
  • 1 small onion (sliced thinly and rinsed)
  • 1 small bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • small bunch of basil (torn)
  • small bunch of thyme (or a few sprigs of rosemary)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/3 (to 1/2) cup olive oil
  • 1 large lemon (zested then juiced)
  • small can of kippered herring or tuna or sardines (optional, you can also add cooked lentils or beans instead)
  • salt and black pepper

Heat up the olive oil over medium low heat with the thyme (either tied and remove later or strip the leaves into the oil), the basil torn into small pieces, and the crushed garlic. Simmer for a few minutes till it starts to smell fragrant and before the garlic turns dark . Put the pasta and everything into a large bowl, pour the oil and lemon juice (and zest) on top, toss together then salt and pepper to taste.



July 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm 1 comment

Porcini orzo

Some of the orzo got a little burnt, resulting in the variations of color.

Orzo, being a rice shaped pasta, gives you the quick cooking time of pasta and the applications of rice. You can make a fast faux risotto or a substitute rice salad. I prefer not to cook orzo in a large pot of water like you would most pasta. I like to toast the dry orzo in a pan with some oil till golden brown before adding liquid to it. This ensures the pasta won’t become too soggy and adds more flavor to the finished dish.

Porcini Orzo (for 2 or 4 as sides)

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 pint cremini or button mushrooms diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz dried porcini (+ 2/3 cup hot water)
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp of chopped rosemary or thyme
  • 1/2 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
About 3oz or however much that looks like to you.
  1. Soak porcini in hot water for about 15-20mins, when softened, cut the porcini into semi large pieces, reserve the liquid (you can strain it through a coffee filter to get out all the grit).
  2. In a wide pot or sauté pan on medium high heat, add in oil to coat pan. Then add the diced onions, stir, and cook till translucent with slight browning on edges.
  3. Add bay leaf and orzo to the pan, stirring a lot to make sure the orzo is coated in oil and doesn’t get burned.
  4. When orzo looks toasted, add in diced mushrooms and salt, stir and cook till mushrooms have shrunk.
  5. Add in porcini and its liquid, the peas, along with the 1 1/3 cup of water. Stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low and cover for 9-11mins.
  6. There should be no liquid left after that, but if it’s too dry and the pasta is kind of hard, stir in another 1/4 cup of (hot) water and cook on medium low till it’s absorbed. If there is too much liquid after the initial cooking, just cook it uncovered till it dries up.
  7. Stir in chopped herbs and pepper at the end.

You can also add in some parmesan or leave it as is and it’d be totally vegan.


June 29, 2008 at 2:35 am 5 comments

Mushroom & Shrimp Spaghetti with Alfredo sauce


    I am not a big fan of cheese but I love Alfredo sauce. That’s why I don’t like buying pre-made Alfredo sauce from the supermarket. Here’s a recipe of my home-made Alfredo sauce with spaghetti. If you don’t like seafood you can substitute chicken for shrimp. The preparation & cooking (excluding the optional baking) should take you less than 20 minutes.


  • 1 pack spaghetti
  • 3 thin sliced mushrooms
  • 5-7 clean shrimps without shell, tail, and sand vein
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
    • Alfredo Sauce:

    • 1/3 cup milk (any kind)
    • 1 tsp butter
    • 2 tsp corn starch
    • Cheese you like (optional)
      1. Procedure:

        • Put spaghetti into boiling water with a pinch of salt. Leave lid on until it boils again. You can taste it once it looks soft. Turn off the stove and drain it once you got the noodles to your liking.
        • Put 2 tsp of oil into a pan, add mushrooms, shrimps, and a bit little of salt. Cook until the shrimps turn red & solid and the mushrooms shrink & brown.
        • Put spaghetti, mushrooms, and shrimps in an oven safe dish and mix.
        • Now we prepare the Alfred sauce. Heat 1/3 cup of milk in a pan until it’s boiling hot. Get another pan; add 1 tsp of butter and 2 tsp of corn starch. Quickly grab the first pan; slowly add the hot milk into the second pan while mixing the sauce with a spatula.
        • Add cheese of your liking (optional). Mix everything with a spatula until the sauce thickens.
        • Add the Alfredo sauce to the spaghetti.
        • Pre-heat oven to 350ºF then bake the whole thing for 10 minutes. (Optional)
        • Add a pinch of Italian seasoning on top. (Optional)

        By Nats natss

          February 4, 2008 at 5:10 am 2 comments

          On top of spaghetti….

          -Sure, spaghetti is easy to make. Boil the pasta, heat up the sauce and ta da. It’s done. I’m not fond of the sauce at the stores. Personally, I tend to find store bought sauces a little too tart/sour for me. I’ll typically make my spaghetti sauce from scratch, and that takes time, but if you’re looking for a quick fix, adjust a store bought sauce to your liking. So, with the help of ketchup, sugar, and a few other ingredients, you’ll have spaghetti, Chelle style.

          *update* I actually made this again tonight and adjusted the measurements on the ketchup, sugar, & water


          • One 26 oz. jar of Classico pasta sauce of the fire roasted tomato & garlic variety (or any other *base sauce* that you like)
          • One 16 oz. package of spaghetti noodles
          • 1/3 cup of ketchup
          • 1/3 cup of sugar
          • 1/2 cup of water
          • a pinch of salt
          • a pinch of ground pepper or black pepper
          • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
          • 1 package of your favorite frozen meatballs

          Optional Ingredients:

          • 2 cloves of garlic
          • 1 tomato – diced
          • 1/2 an onion – diced (feel free to add more if you love onions)
          • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (once again, if you want more, add more ^_^)

          Note: If the pasta sauce you buy at the store has all the tomatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms you need, then you won’t need the optional ingredients.

          • To start, get your water boiling for your pasta. To increase the flavor of your pasta, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. I’ll sometimes add a pinch of oregano, too. Only add your pasta once the water starts boiling. Keep an eye on your pasta and cook it to your liking.
          • Cook your meatballs as directed on the package.
          • Grab another pan and add your 2 tbsp. of EVOO. Keep on medium to high heat. Add your garlic, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms and sautee until everything looks cooked through.
          • Once your veggies are cooked through, add your jar of pasta sauce and turn your heat down to medium/low heat.
          • Add about 1/4 cup of water to the sauce. (Add more if you think it’s too thick)
          • Allow your sauce to simmer about 5 minutes, or until you see it start to boil a little.
          • Now, add the ketchup and stir the sauce well.
          • Add the sugar and stir well again.
          • At this point, you’ll want to taste your sauce. This is the part where you’ll have to adjust it to your liking. Ask yourself, is it too tart? If so, add more sugar. If it’s too sweet, squeeze a bit more ketchup in there. Just make sure to stir well with each addition.
          • Once your sauce is perfected, add your cooked meatballs into the sauce.
          • When your pasta is done cooking, strain all the water from it and drizzle just a little more EVOO on top of the pasta and mix. This will help your pasta remain more separated, rather than getting all sticky on each other.

          Plate your pasta, add your sauce and however many meatballs you want, add some parmesan, serve with garlic bread, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal.


          January 13, 2008 at 5:38 am Leave a comment

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