Category Archives: Pasta

Spinach Avocado Pasta

Spinach Avocado Pasta

It almost feels like I’m cheating when I make something so simple, yet so good. Like… it shouldn’t be this easy. Have you ever gotten an assignment or an exam that was so easy that you thought it must be a joke? Like the teacher was going to snatch it back with a malicious laugh and pass out an absurdly challenging assignment? I usually think I’m doing something wrong if something seems that simple…

This spinach avocado pasta? It IS that simple. You can’t mess it up. Okay, maybe you could, but then I might have to reconsider our friendship. Just kidding, I will cook it for you.

The most time-consuming step of spinach avocado pasta is cooking the pasta. I kid you not.
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Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

I’m gonna say it now: stir fry must be the most versatile meal there is. Get a pan really hot (even though mine can’t get as hot as my mom’s cast iron wok), throw in whatever meat and vegetables you want, and then work out some sort of spicy, sweet, salty sauce.

I’m not trying to say this to dissuade you from ever following a stir fry recipe (especially this one!), but I think it’s the perfect way to use up vegetable odds and ends in a cohesive dish.

And adding pineapple and lo mein noodles to it? Serious win.

I almost always add pineapple into my stir fry, but this was the first time I’d ever used noodles instead of rice. I might never go back! And the noodles cook in 4 minutes… much easier than 20+ minutes for rice!

Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry
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Coconut Curry Risotto

Coconut Curry Risotto

Well, I made another risotto. I couldn’t get tender, creamy rice off my mind after I cooked Parmesan risotto earlier this week. There’s something special about Arborio rice that sets it apart from every other Italian rice and pasta. What’s even better is that it lends itself to so many international flavors, like this Thai Coconut Curry Risotto here. I imagine you could incorporate Mexican, African, Indian, or other Asian flavors very easily as well.

Speaking of Asia… I am going to Asia in less than a month! My mom and I are taking a trip to celebrate my early graduation from college. We also just like traveling together. We’re going to see Japan, a tidbit of South Korea, and China. The part I’m most excited about? THE FOOD! If you’ve ever been to Asia, PLEASE let me know what foods you’d recommend. Apparently I’ve promised to eat a bug. So… we’ll see how that goes.

Back to the curry risotto. Can I keep telling you how awesome it is? Do you need more proof? Well, it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and it’s vegetarian/vegan if you swap out the chicken broth for veggie. So all you special diet peeps, this is the one for you.

Coconut Curry Risotto

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Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp

Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp

Almost a year ago I bought The Professional Chef, the Culinary Institute of America’s textbook, because…. it cost $40. Had 900 recipes. 800 color photographs. Recipe per dollar, it must be blowing every other cookbook out of the water!

But it’s overwhelmingly intimidating. All the recipes are to feed a crowd. And all the ingredients are listed by weight. It took me a little while (read: until this week!) to face the 1200 page behemoth and say, Yes. I am going to cook something from you.

So I cut the recipe for Risotto Milanese in half and got some shrimp so that I could make a less froofy-sounding dish: Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp. By all textbook/cookbook accounts, half the recipe should have served 5. But… it only served us 2. We were hungry. It was delicious.

Maybe you’ll have leftovers. Maybe you should double the recipe to feed your family. Maybe we were just two hungry 20-somethings who had been so busy all day we’d barely eaten anything.

Maybe, maybe, maybe. I’ll stick with it’s unstoppably delicious.

Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp
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Polenta Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Polenta Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I got a little manic about cooking yesterday. Maybe I’m always a little manic in the kitchen. I started browsing the Sundays at Moosewood chapter on Italy and ran across a yummy-sounding recipe for roasted mushrooms. Then the cookbook suggested I pair them with polenta. With a red pepper sauce on top. And suddenly I was making three dishes at once in my tiny kitchen with only an hour and a half to cook and eat before I had to be out the door (note: rushed photos so I could eat and run).

It can be done, my friends. If the polenta is cooked and cooled ahead of time, you can whip together a spectacular Italian meal for that someone special (in my case, it’s my roommate Meredith) in an hour. You might go a little crazy and smell like a red pepper for the rest of the night, but you can do it! Or you could relax in the kitchen with a glass of red wine and cook leisurely, if you have the time.

Polenta Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
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