Category Archives: italian

Rice Cooker Pasta

I was feeling lazy the other day and didn’t feel like cooking. We’d been cooking up a storm with a bunch of experiments earlier in the week, so I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I did, however, want to try this recipe for pasta in a rice cooker that a friend of mine passed on.

She recommended that we use rice pasta because it can stand up to a lot of cooking without losing an al dente texture, so we picked up a little bag at Winco to try it. It turned out pretty well! The rice…

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Simple, Fast Pizza Sauce

Boy, I just finished one of the best pizzas we’ve ever made. Talk about good! I wish I could share a photo of this delectable beast of a pizza, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Here’s what we had: A homemade whole wheat rosemary pizza crust with a red wine tomato sauce, slices of fresh ghost eggplant from our garden lightly fried, fresh tomato slices from the farmer’s market, sauteed onions, bacon, fresh basil and slices of fresh mozzarella. Top that off with some sliced olives and there you have it. A damn good pizza.


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A Simple Pesto

One of the best things about the local farmer’s market is being able to get baggies of fresh basil cheaply and easily. And the best thing about big bags of basil is PESTO!

There are so many ways to make pesto, many of which don’t even call for basil but for some other green, leafy thing. Spinach, parsley, you name it. Some with nuts, some with cheese, some with both.

So, this is only one simple way to make pesto and the high quantity of nuts and tomato make this a fairly dull-looking sauce. I have to say…

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Avocado Pasta

Avocado Pasta with Avocado Sauce

Avocados have been regularly going on sale for 4/$1 and we’ve been taking advantage of it. It’s possible to freeze avocado if you mash it and add a bit of lemon juice against browning, though at the moment I’m not very sure what I’ll turn it into except guacamole.

Of course, random guacamole ingredients on hand isn’t a bad thing either. But as it turns out, there is something you can do with it in a savory dish…

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Double Broccoli Quinoa

Double Broccoli Quinoa

Now, I love pesto. It’s one of the reasons why I started growing basil a couple of years ago (and am starting two more varieties this year!) but I’ve never tried using a vegetable as the main “green” component. The results? Tasty and a great way to get your veggies in — I daresay that it would fool a kid. I used some of the leftover pesto (there will be, it makes a lot) to make pesto chicken sandwiches with some grilled chicken, monterey jack cheese and red onion on ciabatta rolls.

This recipe from 101 Cookbooks doesn’t require quinoa — many other grains would work just as well. I used a mix of quinoa and bulgur since I didn’t have much on hand that night. In my area, broccoli is starting to go on sale again and I expect I’ll be making this again!

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Garlic Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme and Leek

Garlic Gnocchi with Lemon, Leek and Thyme

Gnocchi are pretty easy to make, tasty and filling. Using a ricer or a grinder results in a fluffy, light texture and they cook in less than two minutes. We both loved it and based the sauce off of my favorite way to cook pasta, though I omitted the goat cheese sauce in favor of shaved Parmesan and lemon juice. It’s also easy to convert for vegans. Plus, very frugal – a batch costs just over 30 cents!

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Ratio: Variations on the Theme of Pancakes IV

Ratio IV - Farinata/Cecina Pancakes

Part 4 of the Ratio Challenges Series

For instance, the recipe below came about while I was thinking up potential flours and ways to play around with the pancake ratio and my old experiments with chickpea flour and savory flatbreads came to mind.

I’ve learned (thanks to Wikipedia) that creating a batter out of this particular blend of chickpea flour, water, olive oil and rosemary is known by several names in the Mediterranean, including farinata, socca and cecina.

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