Showing posts with label black pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label black pasta. Show all posts

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dinner by Color

Often I choose what I buy at the market and what I decide to make for dinner based on a flavor I'm craving, or because I found something new and unexpected in the market, or there's a fruit or vegetable that has a very short season and I'd better grab it immediately. This meal was based on color.

We eat fish once a week on average, and that means a lot of salmon, which is a wonderful color. But then I saw some beautiful variegated sweet peppers (new to our market) and realized how nicely they went with the salmon. But I needed a recipe that highlighted the peppers--if I just added them to the salmon, their impact would be lost.

Then I stumbled upon something I'd never seen before: black bean pasta. I did a double-take. Yes, it's pasta, made solely from beans. What's more, it's black. It's made in Italy. So of course I had to try it--and then I realized that it would be the perfect background for those pretty peppers.

Voila! A meal is born!

I borrowed a recipe for the salmon from the market where all these ingredients came together--Hannaford. They have a carousel of fish recipes, many of which I've used (no other recipes on site, though--wonder why). I tweaked it a bit, and I cut it in half to serve just the two of us, but it's quick and easy and tasty.

Baked Glazed Salmon with Black Pasta


2 pounds salmon filet

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tblsp soy sauce
2 Tblsp fresh lime juice


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking dish large enough to hold your fish in a single layer.

To make the glaze, blend the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar dissolves.

Place the salmon, skin side down, in the baking dish. Pour the glaze over it and turn the fish to coat both sides (bake skin side up).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, basting with the glaze every few minutes. Do not overcook--the salmon should stay bright pink inside.

Before or while the salmon is cooking, julienne the peppers (leave the pieces large enough so you can see the color variations) and saute lightly in olive oil.

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, then drain. Add the cooked peppers with their oil and toss to cover the pasta. 

Put the salmon portions and the plates and add a portion of the pasta. Spoon or pour any of the remaining glaze over all and serve. Enjoy!

Okay, I was getting a little punchy, and the pepper pieces were too pretty to throw away, so this is what I did:

Books! I'm writing or planning a lot of books (four over the next year, that I know of, and maybe a few short stories). But the next one to appear is A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11), making its debut in November.

Believe it or not, farmers do have some slack times in their schedule, which is why the town of Granford decided to hold a WinterFare in February, to chase away the blahs--unfortunately with fatal results.

Friday, October 26, 2012


by Sheila Connolly

I know most of us here have offered recipes for yummy sweets to celebrate Halloween, but I thought I'd go in another direction. 

Once you've handed out vast quantities of sugary goodies to the local ghoulies and ghosties (we usually get about a hundred kids in our neighborhood—sure, some are driven in by their parents, but we don't count the teenagers), you may want a quick and simple dish for the grown-ups who haven't gorged on candy corn.

In our household spaghetti with pesto is a staple meal, whenever we can get our hands on enough fresh basil.  Recently I did a doubletake and realized I had all the ingredients for an "antipesto"—in other words, all black.  It's like a negative image of the usual recipe—and it's perfect for Halloween.


Halloween Antipesto

2 cups fresh purple basil (I came upon this at a farmers market in a rest stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike.  How could I resist?)

 2 Tblsp pine nuts (sorry, no black nuts)

2 cloves black garlic (I've used this here at MLK before—it's milder than regular garlic, and no garlic breath)

 1 tsp salt (and I have black salt!)

A scant ½ cup olive oil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan

3 Tblsp butter, softened

And…black pasta! (made with squid ink, which has little or no taste)


Wash and dry the basil and remove leaves from stems.

Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and salt in the bowl of the food processor and chop coarsely.

With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Process until coarsely smooth.

Add the parmesan and butter and pulse a few times to blend.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  Drain it, then mix it with the pesto.  Serve quickly! (preferably before midnight…and then you can celebrate the Irish harvest festival, Samhain, on November 1!)