cook | spicy linguine with clams.

I love making linguine with clams–and I like to change it up; sometimes a red sauce, sometimes a white wine one.

This one was made with some leftover tomato sauce I had in the freezer and needed to use up. I added white wine, garlic, spicy red pepper flakes, parm, and a little basil before simmering the clams in it all.

It’s a super quick way to use up leftover sauce and easily transform it. It will be exciting that get back into cooking mode once the weather turns. That’s the only great thing about losing those summer days—new dishes.

cook | saffron pasta with zoodles.

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Man! This dish! A new one I tried twice this late summer and definitely one to go in my regular rotation mostly because zucchini are plentiful and you can get them any season and not notice a lesser quality like tomatoes, for example.

This pasta recipe using a combiation of bucatini and zoodles (that’s zucchini noodles); I invested some years back in a spiralizer, and I love it. I often use it to make other kinds of veggie noodles–like beet strings for a warm salad or curly fries for a dish with mussels. They are an affordable and easy to use investment.

What I like most about this recipe is the combination–not losing that pasta, but getting another texture with the zoodles, which simmer in a sauce of saffron and cream. This recipe gets an extra kick, as well, from some crispy pancetta, which you brown up in the pan prior to cooking the sauce and zoodles, and adds a crunchy bit on top at the end (and some much needed fat and salt). Sprinkle with parm and you have a brilliant, and fast, weeknight dinner.

weeknight dinner | pappardelle with clams.

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This was a simple, quick, but super delicious weeknight dinner. All together, it took about 20 minutes, from start to finish. Little necks, and any other clams for that matter, are readily available and cheap around these parts. Hello, weeknight dinner.

It’s simple, throw tons of garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and olive oil into a pan and soften. Add white wine. Reduce a bit. Add clams, cook until they all pop open, just a few minutes.

Magic.

lemony.

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The other night, I made a delicious goat cheese pasta, which was a heavy modification of this recipe from Martha Stewart.

My mods included sauteing some garlic and onion in the pan, then wilting the spinach with those flavors. I scaled back on the cilantro and flat leaf parsley in favor of adding some fat, which people who had tried the recipe claimed it needed desperately.

I added some sliced prosciutto to my bucatini and goat cheese. The best, and most vibrant flavor, this dish had was definitely the lemon juice and lemon zest; the walnuts were a nice touch, too.  A winner, for sure.

prosciutto / peas / shaved parm.

A quick meal whipped up last night with random ingredients I had in my fridge. I’m definitely one of those cooks that often creates wonder when not following a recipe, but a general concept, and bending it to what I have on hand. Going with the gut, that is! And I’m a cookbook gal. Sure, I look through tons of recipes online, but I think its ultimately harder to figure out what to cook. It’s overwhelming, at times.

So, instead of presenting you with some standard recipe, since I don’t usually post recipes, I’ll tell you what I did, in simple terms.

Sauteed some prosciutto di parma I had on hand from a leftover cheese plate until it was nice and crisp. Set aside. Made a parmesan cream sauce out of a dab of butter and a tbsp or two of flour (the roux), then about 1 cup of a combination of milk + heavy cream, then grated parmesan. Cooked up some fettuccine, then added the cream sauce, prosciutto, and some frozen peas (they cook really quickly in all the warm ingredients). For the top, just some shaved parmesan and Italian parsley.

Done. In under 30 minutes. My kind of weeknight cooking. What other combinations would work for a meal like this? Endless, it would seem…

This dish won’t be a leftover for long…but makes a good one nontheless!

There’s nothing I love more than a giant bowl of pasta. But sometimes you don’t want the standard red sauce, so I opt for pastas like my “Turkey Sausage with Broccoli Rab Farfalle”, which is something I pretty much concocted after I got sick of Giada’s brilliant version, which has peas instead of broccoli, mushrooms, and doesn’t boast a light cream sauce.

It’s a hearty dish that tastes really excellent as left-overs and can keep pretty well in the fridge up to a week. I often make this in fall and winter when I have a few nights a week I’m out the door and need a quick dinner that I can reheat easy. This is one of them. Plus, turkey sausage is way healthier than pork sausage, or good for those of us inclined to avoid little piggies to eat (not for religious reasons, but for cuteness reasons).

As an avid cheese lover, I really like using a combo of Parmesan and Fontina for this one–it makes it nutty and creamy all at once. Plus, I’m a huge fan of lemon (which a lot of people aren’t), so I tend to use lemon juice and zest in the sauce and it gives it this fresh tang that makes the sauce feel lighter. Yums!

So, without further babble, my Turkey Sausage Broccoli Rab Farfalle

Ingredients

1 Box Dried Farfalle Pasta (that’s bow ties!)

1 Package Turkey Sausage–Sweet or Spicy depending on your taste

1-2 Small Bunches of Broccoli Rab

1 Cup Heavy Cream

The juice and zest of 1 lemon

Parmasean and Fontina Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

To Make Up

Set pot of water to boil; cook Farfalle about 10 minutes to al dente. In a large skiller, remove Turkey Sausage from casings and sautee over medium heat in one tablespoon of oil (a little oil is needed because turkey sausage doesn’t have the fat of regular pork ones, so it’ll stick to the pan if you don’t dash a bit), breaking up the turkey sausage into small bits with a wooden spoon as it begins to cook. After turkey sausage is cooked through (about 8 minutes) and browned a bit on the outsides, throw in the bunches of broccoli rab, sauteeing until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the juice of one lemon (or omit if you don’t like citrus) and zest to taste, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook a minute more. Add cup of heavy cream, cooking on medium heat until sauce has thickened a bit, about 8 minutes more. Add cheeses to taste.

Put Farfalle into a bowl and add in sausage, broccoli rab and cream sauce. Stir. Serve. Eat. Love. Eat again.

If anyone has any different incarnations or gives this a whirl, let me know how you like it!

Enjoy.