penne

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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To  prepare a successful raw “Tomato Sauce”, it is essential that the tomatoes are VERY ripe, sweet and soft.
Other than that, there is not much wizardry to be employed, just make sure that the pasta is cooked perfectly, your basil is fresh, young and sweet, the olive oil is of great quality and the cheese you use is the best you can afford. (Any hard, fresh-grated cheese you prefer will do).
The result will proof once again that if prepared with love and gusto, bringing together a few simple, good quality ingredients will add up to a wonderful meal (Even if the sunshine is lacking) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Sauteed Pork Chops & Penne In Mustard Cream

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Today  I got up early (7.00 am) and was determined to do exactly as I had planed last night – sort-out long overdue paperwork, do some spring cleaning, walk for hours with Bella on the beach and eat nothing but salad and fruits.
Well, I guess all of this will have to wait at least another day 😦
I did neither of the housecleaning chores I had planed for today and the walks were a few half-hour walks around the neighborhood instead of hours on the beach. Most significant, I naughtily ignored all my good intentions to eat sensible. Rather, I had blueberry waffles for breakfast, naan pizza for lunch and pork chops with penne and mustard sauce for dinner. While the food was spectacular, so was the rise in my blood sugar level. Tomorrow – salad and fruits only……….
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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More  Pork Chops  on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Mustard  Cream on  ChefsOpinion
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Sauteed Pork Chop & Penne In Mustard Cream

Sauteed Pork Chops & Penne In Mustard Cream

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Sauteed Pork Chop & Penne In Mustard Cream

Sauteed Pork Chops & Penne In Mustard Cream

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Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

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Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

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My neighborhood supermarket  charges $ 3.50 for a small twig of maybe 7 basil leaves.
They sell this beautiful basil plant for $ 4.50. Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it 🙂

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Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt  Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

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Ingredients :

Penne rigate,   al dente, reserve some of the cooking liquid
Pepperoni sausage,   julienned
Grape tomatoes,   quartered
Greek yoghurt,
Olive oil,
Vodka,
Merlot,
Parmigiano reggiano,   grated
Garlic,   paste
Basil,   fresh
Kosher salt,
Cayenne pepper

Method :

Saute pepperoni until starting to change color, add garlic, saute until fragrant. Add merlot and vodka, simmer until most liquid has evaporated. Add  yoghurt, tomatoes, a bit of the grated cheese, salt, pepper and the pasta,  mix well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. If too thick, add some of the pasta cooking liquid. If too thin, ad some grated cheese.
To serve, sprinkle with more cheese and basil leaves.

Note :
I am aware that most cooks will chiffonade the basil. However, personally I don’t like the texture this will give me. It reminds me of hair in the food which is not very appealing to me 😦
Therefore I like to add whole leaves which become soft and tender immediately  as they touch the hot food and give you a much more pleasant texture / mouthfeel 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Chickenbreast & Zitoni Tagliati In Spicy Red Wine & Mascarpone Cream

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Sitting outside in the fresh air the whole evening and most of the night, having good conversations, listening to good music, drinking good wine and just having a great time for many hours has usually different results. Some folks get tipsy, some get tired, some get overly excited about the topics of the night. However, my friends and I usually can agree to one thing around the time midnight strikes: Time to eat ! And no matter how many times my buddies find their way to the fridge and the bar to get more drinks, somehow they always forget where I keep the raw food and the pots and pans.
So, as usual, friday night we all decided we had to have a substantial midnight snack.
Also, as usual, everybody decided that the only one “qualified and sober enough” to do the job of feeding us all would be me 🙂
Here is the crowd pleaser we wolfed down last night:
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Chickenbreast & Zitoni Tagliati In Spicy Red Wine & Mascarpone Cream

Chickenbreast & Zitoni Tagliati In Spicy Red Wine & Mascarpone Cream

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Ingredients :

Chicken breast,   cut into large “chunks”
Zitoni tagliati,  cooked  al dente, some cooking liquid reserved
Broccoli florettes,   blanched
Onions,   sliced  (lots of them)
Tomatoes,   sliced
Scallions,   finely sliced
Pecorino romano,   finely grated
Mascarpone,
Red wine,   (use the one you are drinking)
Butter,
Kosher salt,
Sriracha,   (lots of it)
Roasted garlic paste,  (lots of it)

Method :

Saute chicken in butter until 160 F, remove , set aside (The carry-over heat and re-heating will take it to a safe 165F). Saute onions and garlic until onions are golden and garlic is fragrant. At this point your butter will have turned into  “buurre noisette”, light brown with a nutty flavor. Add red wine and let reduce by half. Add chicken with its juices, vegetables, pasta and seasoning, saute until heated through. Add mascarpone and pecorino romano. Mix until a creamy sauce develops. If the sauce is too thin, add more cheese, If too thick, add some of the reserved cooking liquid and / or red wine. To serve, sprinkle with more pecorino and the sliced scallions.

Bon Appetit !  Life is Good !

Always value good friends, good conversations, good food,  and good wine 🙂

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Ziti In Wodka Sauce

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If  you love pasta, this dish is for you.
The only, important, vital thing to take into consideration :
Butter, butter, butter.!  Olive oil  just does not cut it here.
I know butter has gone out of fashion with many folk’s,
but here is the time and occasion when you have to leave
your healthy pad for a moment and indulge in the goodness of
butter. Not butter substitute, not clarified butter, just plain,
rich, good tasting butter   🙂

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Ingredient’s

Ziti,  cooked, drained, some cooking water reserved
Tomato sauce,  canned
Wodka,
Garlic,  paste
Peperoncino romano,  finely grated
Butter,
Sriracha,
Maggi seasoning,
Kosher salt,
Chili flakes,
Italian parsley,

Method :

Saute garlic in butter until fragrant, deglaze with wodka.
( Careful with the flame, you don’t want to set your eyebrows
or your kitchen on fire ). Add tomato sauce,  cooking water,
sriracha and pasta, heat to a simmer. Remove from heat,
add more butter, cheese, maggi and salt and mix well. Adjust
texture with cooking water if necessary. Adjust seasoning to
your liking. To serve, sprinkle with more cheese, chili flakes
and  italian parsley.

Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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” Penne Rigate alla Contadino ”

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Last nights dinner, rigate alla contadino,
a rich concoction you might find at a poor farmers table.
Even at a simple farmers dinner table you can find pasta,
sausage, cheese, cream and vegetables.
With a little imagination and love for food, you can turn these
simple ingredients into a dish fit for a king   🙂
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Ingredients :

Penne Rigate,          cooked al dente, strained, reserve some of the cooking liquid
Morcilla,                   thinly sliced
Chorizo,                     thinly sliced
Peppers,                     julienned
Onion,                        julienned
Garlic,                         paste
Tomato,                      wedges
Scallions,                   sliced
Parmesan,                 grated
Hot sauce,                 to taste
Salt,                             to taste
Cream,
Olive oil,

Method :

Saute onions and garlic until translucent, add chorizo and peppers and saute one more minute.
Add pasta,cream, cheese, morcilla and seasoning, simmer and mix well for another minute.
If texture becomes too thick, add some cooking liquid until you have the desired  texture.
To serve, sprinkle with scallions and more parmesan.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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” Healthy Mac & Cheese and Guacamole “

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“Healthy”  mac & cheese ?  Why not, it’s got veggies  🙂
Well, there you have it. It all depends on how you look at things.
But honestly, what’s wrong with a good meal of pasta, cheese, cream
and vegetables ? Nothing ! Just don’t do what I did :
Eating too much of it at one time. ( The pic’s of the individual portion
should indicate a proper portion for the health- and weight- conscious).
Everybody else : Just dig in and enjoy.

Life is too short to feel miserable about thing’s that make you feel good!
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Ingredient‘s :
Pasta:

Ziti,                          cooked al dente
Carrots,                   blanched
Broccoli,                 blanched
Celery,                     finely diced
Garlic,                     paste
Whip cream,
Whole egg,            whisked
Salame,                  diced
Sharp cheddar,    shredded
Parmesan,            shredded
Brie,                        finely diced
Salt,                        to taste
cayenne,                to taste
Chili flakes,          to taste
Maggi,                   to taste
Butter

Guacamole :

Avocado,               diced
Lime,                      juiced
Fresh chilis,         finely sliced
Cilantro,                coarsely chopped
Garlic,                    paste
Salt,                        to taste
Cayenne,               to taste

Method :
Pasta :

Butter a ovenproof casserole generously with butter.
Mix all ingredients except the chili flakes and half the parmesan.
Fill casserole to the rim, sprinkle with parmesan and chili flakes.
Bake until set and crust is golden. Serve with Guacamole.

Guacamole :

Mix all ingredients until guacamole has the texture you desire.
The more you stir, the more the avocado breaks down and the
guacamole becomes smoother, less chunky.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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