Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back

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Every two weeks, I get a box of mixed veggies from Farm Fresh To You.  I enjoy it because they are locally grown but also because they send me things I have never used before – like this Romanesco Cauliflower (or Romanesco broccoli).   It is striking to look at & almost looks other-worldly.  It has the texture of cauliflower but is described as tasting slightly nutty & earthy.  I found the flavor to be very mild – much like cauliflower – so you can use it any way you would use cauliflower.  I chose this light pasta dish.  I used real cheese in it but that is not necessary.  You can omit it with little loss to overall flavor or use a bit of nutritional yeast or vegan hard cheese – grated.

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Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1-2 heads of Romanesco cauliflower – cut into florets (or one bunch broccoli or head of cauliflower – cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 lemon (zest & juice)

Olive oil

Crushed red pepper to taste (I used a lot – like – 2 TBS – but use it at your own discretion)

1-4 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 lb pasta (cooked)

S&P

Cheese (grated Parmesan or other hard cheese or vegan alternative or a TBS or so of nutritional yeast) – quantity totally up to you

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DIRECTIONS

Cook pasta according to directions, drain & set aside.

Meanwhile – boil the Romanesco florets for about 3 minutes.  Scoop out about 1 cup of the hot veggie water & set aside.  Drain & plunge the Romanesco into cold water to stop it from cooking too much.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the crushed red pepper, garlic & lemon zest.  Cook for about a minute & then add the Romanesco.  Heat through.

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Add some cheese & some of the hot veggie water.  Stir to combine.  Season with S&P.  Add more cheese if you like.

Add the pasta & some of the lemon juice.  Stir to combine & then adjust seasonings – maybe adding more cheese (or nutritional yeast) or S&P or lemon or crushed red pepper.

Serve!  Add more cheese if you desire.

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Vegan Crispy Chickpea, Caper & Lemon Pasta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Some recipes are hard to photograph.  This one should not have been but I cannot help but feel I haven’t succeeded it translating visually how simple & delicious this is.  A few simple & easy-to-find ingredients & this is the kind of dish movie characters whip up in their kitchen late at night after a romantic dalliance.  The ratio or capers to chickpeas to lemon is kind of a matter of personal preference but I will tell you how much I used.  I LOVE lemon & I LOVE capers so – keep that in mind.

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Crispy Chickpea, Caper & Lemon Pasta

Feeds 2 well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta

1 cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas

1/2 cup panko

1/4 cup capers

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS lemon zest

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

olive oil

S&P

Parsley and/or basil – chopped as garnish

Caperberries – as garnish (optional)

Parmesan (or vegan Parmesan) – optional but I did not use any cheese

Crushed Red Pepper – optional if you prefer some heat

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

I am IN LOVE with parchment paper!  It makes clean up so easy & NOTHING sticks to it.  If you have some – line a cooking sheet with it.  Otherwise – treat the pan with cooking spray.

Toss the chickpeas, garlic, panko & capers in a drizzle of olive oil – maybe 1 TBS or so.  Bake at 400 for twenty minutes.

Cook the pasta as per box & drain.

Toss the hot pasta & the warm chickpea mixture together with the lemon zest & juice.  Add S&P to taste.  Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.  Serve garnished with the chopped basil and/or parsley & some caperberries – if you so desire.

You can add Parmesan (or vegan Parmesan) or crushed red pepper if you are of that mind.

Eat that shit up!

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One-Pan Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes & Cauliflower (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – so, Martha Stewart has, it seems, caused quite a stir with her one-pan pasta recipe.  One pan?  One STEP?  Sorta.  Once you prep the ingredients (meaning – cut the vegetables) this is easier than making Kraft mac & cheese.  I added cheese & the awesome Red Boat fish sauce – but omit these for a vegan variety.

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I keep mentioning this Red Boat stuff because it is a very fancy fish sauce.  Here is what Red Boat says about itself:

In Vietnamese, nước mắm means literally “salted fish water.” Red Boat “nước mắm nhi” is the secret ingredient in South East Asian cooking. The savory, sweet, and umami-laden sauce gives dishes a unique, rich and satisfying dimension.

Red Boat is an all-natural, first press, “extra virgin” Vietnamese fish sauce. It does not contain added water, preservatives or MSG. Made from a two hundred year-old, chemical free, artisanal process, Red Boat uses only the freshest cá com (black anchovy), salted minutes after leaving the sea then slow aged for over a year in traditional wooden barrels. Red Boat anchovies are sourced exclusively from the crystal clear waters off the Phu Quoc Island archipelago.

In the past, this top grade fish sauce was reserved for our family table in Vietnam but we are very excited to share our family secret with you. With pride we bring you the only authentic Vietnamese Phu Quoc fish sauce available in the United States.

Whether you are a master chef or enthusiastic home cook, we guarantee you the highest quality product and the best results.

Anyway – it smells just as gross as any other fish sauce – maybe even grosser – but it adds a subtle, salty flavor (like minced anchovies would) and not some disgusting fishy thing.  Ever seen Clamato?  I used to joke about that stuff.  I’d say, “You know what’s wrong with this Bloody Mary?  It doesn’t taste fishy enough!”  Then I tried a Bloody Caesar and I stopped cracking wise.  Well, Red Boat adds a delightful depth to dishes that need a little added oomph – so I recommend strongly that you try it.  Eh – but if you can’t find it or if you are vegan – blow that shit off.  See how easy I am?

So, anyway, Martha dropped this one-pan-pasta bomb on the world & I just had to try it.  For some reason, every recipe I saw used 12 oz of dry pasta.  Who the fuck cooks 3/4 of a box of pasta?  And one recipe made the LUDICROUS assertion that a recipe using 12 ounces of dry pasta was enough to feed six.  SIX!  This person must also believe that a box of Kraft feeds four or that there are 25 servings in a standard tub of Cool Whip.  Seriously.  TWO ounces of pasta per person?  In my world, a pound of pasta MIGHT feed four.  Might.  But I digress.

Because all the recipes used that bizarre 12 ounce suggestion – I had to wing this a bit.  I had 8 ounces – and it was 8 ounces of whole wheat angel hair.  I do not recommend using angel hair.  It cooks in 5-7 minutes and, I fear, is a tad on the fragile side for this kind of preparation.  Go with a spaghetti or linguine if you try this.  And try this you should because it really did work & it was damned tasty.

I used cauliflower because I had it.  You could sub that out for anything really.  Try shrimp or a puttanesca or whatever you have around that you feel would work on pasta.

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One-Pan Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes & Cauliflower (Vegan)

Serves 2 hungry people

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces dry pasta (spaghetti or linguine or penne)

1/2 large onion – sliced thin

4 garlic cloves – sliced thin

3 tomatoes – diced

3-4 sprigs basil – chopped

1/2 small head cauliflower – cut into small florets

1 TBS olive oil

2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBS oregano

2 tsp fish sauce (omit if you are vegan)

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp each of S&P

GARNISH – with chopped basil, crushed red pepper & (vegan) Parmesan

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything in a pot large enough to lay the pasta flat.  Bring to a boil and, stirring frequently, cook as long as the pasta directions suggest.  This should result in a pan of cooked pasta in a creamy sauce (as the starch from the pasta blends with the stock).  If it seems too wet, cook it down a bit more or add Parmesan to make that moisture into an even creamier sauce.

Garnish as you will & be amazed at how well this experiment worked!

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Arugula Bucatini & Spicy Clam Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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WordPress here hosts my blog.  They offer all sorts of cryptic analyses that are meant to help you discover where your site traffic is coming from & which search terms are effective etc.  I can’t understand most of it beyond knowing that – by a HUGE margin – my most popular recipe (according to Pinterest & the amount of repinning) is my

Decadent Vegan No Carb Summer Pasta with Zucchini Noodles, Avoocado, Asparagus & Peas

which kinda sucks because the photos on that one are kinda lame.  But the other day, a search engine term that allegedly led folks to my blog caught my eye.  It wasn’t pizza or pasta or vegan or even my name.  It was “eating plenty oxtail will make her pussy plump.”  See?   Under “search engine terms?”

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Uhm…wtf???  There is no phrase in that sentence that should bring people to MY blog!!!  I don’t think I have ever typed that P word in my blog & I know I – oh wait!  Maybe I used the word oxtail in my vegetarian pho recipe.  Nope.  I just checked.  Anyway – whoever it was that put that phrase in a search engine was very likely disappointed when they we directed to some recipe for quinoa pizza dough or cauliflower mashed potatoes.  Sorry!

As to this spicy clam sauce recipe – couldn’t be easier – couldn’t be more delicious.  You needn’t make homemade bucatini nor homemade pasta of any kind.  Dry pasta would work very well.  The key to this recipe is an overwhelming amount of canned clams.  They give a sauce a ragu quality.

Last July, I attempted to post a variation of this recipe but using fresh clams in their shells.

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Those 6 clams there changed my whole view of this recipe.  I added them once the basic white sauce was ready & tried to steam them – in a sea of what was, let’s face it, hundreds of other dead clams. It took them ten fucking minutes to die!  You can tell they are dead because their shells pop open.  If they do not pop open – they were dead when you put them in the pan and they are not fit to eat.  The Holocaust I executed in my sauce that night – steaming these six guys to their deaths as they sat neck-deep in their dead brethren – bummed me out so bad – I couldn’t eat them.  Mussels I had purchased that same day sat until they died in my fridge, untouched & waiting for their steamy deaths.  I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Then I saw THIS:

And I was finished.

So – while I am not a casual murderer, I AM a total hypocrite in denial & I will still eat these buggers if someone else does the dirty work of murdering them for me.  And, inexplicably, I will still eat raw oysters, too.  Makes little sense – but whatever.

Overloading this dish with canned clams is tasty without requiring a distasteful act – and it is far less costly this way, too.

I bought this huge can of clams at Smart & Final.  My recipe used about half of it.

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Arugula Bucatini & Spicy Clam Sauce

Feeds 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

About 1/2- 3/4 lb pasta (or 1/2 to 3/4 of my Arugula bucatini recipe)

1-2 TBS olive oil

6 (or to taste) garlic cloves – minced

3 TBS tomato paste

8-10 small tomatoes – diced

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 cup clam water

3 cups canned chopped clams – drained

1 cup fresh parsley – chopped plus more for garnish

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil & add the garlic.  Stir for a minute then add the rest of the ingredients.  Saute until it thickens a bit.  If it gets to thick – add more clam juice or water.

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Cook the pasta as per instructions.

Drain & top with the spicy clam sauce.

Drink yourself stupid in an effort to un-see that clam video.

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