Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Orecchiette with Pancetta, Parmesan and Spinach


As much as I like to spend a leisurely afternoon cooking and take my time creating new dishes- more often than not, I am in a rush to get something ready for dinner. I try my best to make healthy meals with fresh and organic ingredients- even in a pinch. This is one of those meals. I got home tonight with no idea what I was going to have for dinner. I didn't want anything too heavy, or that too long to make (I don't like to eat too late) since I was home later than I'd planned.

I had these ingredients in my fridge just begging to be introduced. There are very few ingredients but the result is flavorful and balanced. This serves 2-4 depending on portion.

 Ingredients:

10 oz. of Whole Wheat Organic Orecchiette
3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
3 cloves of Garlic
5 oz. Organic Baby Spinach
6 oz. Pancetta (if you can't get Pancetta you can substitute bacon)
Tablespoon Butter
Olive Oil

Place water on stove to boil (make sure to salt the water) and add pasta. Cook until al dente.

Cut the pancetta into small pieces and cook over medium heat until crispy and browned. Remove from heat, drain fat and set aside.

 In the same pan, add light layer of olive oil and briefly saute chopped garlic. Add spinach and cook until reduced.



For the Parmesan- I suggest at least 3/4 cup but you can adjust to taste. I like love Parmesan so I would suggest mixing most of the cheese into the pasta and leaving a bit to sprinkle on the top before serving/enjoying.

Drain water from pasta and return to pot. Add tablespoon (or so) of butter and mix well. Add in other ingredients, ending with the Parmesan.

****Just as a side note: This is the best pot for pasta. I use it for so many items that need to be drained. As silly as it sounds-cutting out the step of using a colander is a relief and although brief- a time saver. This pot is made by Bialetti.

http://www.bialettishop.com/CookwarePastaPots.htm  (I wish I had one of these great colors!!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Roasted Garlic Cabbage with Shaved Manchego



As always- I look for new ways to try old favorites.
For a long time I hesitated to eat cabbage- (I don't know why.) Now that I enjoy it- I try to find different ways to prepare it. Although cabbage has a definite flavor it marries well with many flavors. Sauteed cabbage is a quick go to for us...takes only a little time and almost no effort- but always tastes good. This is also a fast and easy way to prepare cabbage (or brussel sprouts.)

I chose Manchego for this as it is one of my favorite cheeses- it is a delicious Spanish sheep's milk cheese with a flavor can be adapted in many ways.


Ingredients:
1 head of Cabbage
3 Cloves of Garlic-chopped
3/4 Cup Shaved Manchego
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the cabbage into wedges about 1" thick.
On a sheet pan, drizzle a decent coating of olive oil over the entire surface. Place the pieces on the pan to coat one side in the oil and then turn them over. Salt and Pepper the tops of the cabbage, then top with the chopped garlic. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until they start to brown. Take out of oven and turn over. You will need a spatula- carefully as to not separate the sheets.
Salt and pepper the tops again and replace in oven.
Cook for another 15 minutes.

 After they have cooked through, turn the broiler on to crisp the top of the cabbage.








Remove from the oven and sprinkle the shaved Manchego over the cabbage. Serve hot! Enjoy.