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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fresca's Tortellini Salad, from Treble at the Jam Fest

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: This pasta salad is one of the first dishes I deconstructed and made on my own, based on a salad from a long-gone deli called Pasta & Company. It had several locations in Seattle, including one on the 4th Avenue side of the building often called “the box the Space Needle came in,” where my law firm had offices. (It’s actual name was the Seattle First National Bank Building, and it was too short for the Needle, but I suspect Sea-First financed the construction, and the name stuck.)

I felt like such a city girl eating there, especially if my suit allowed me to sit on a stool in the window and watch the people!

I’ve given that space to Laurel, who runs the deli and catering company Ripe in my Seattle Spice Shop books, but I kept the recipe for Erin and Fresca in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries. Fresca makes piles of it to sell at the Merc, and in TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, they take it on a picnic for the outdoor concert at the annual Jewel Bay Jazz Festival.

Imagine my surprise when I bought a different brand of tortellini recently and found a very similar salad on the package!

And even though it’s a summer favorite at our house, I also like to make a batch during Christmas week when it’s great to have something easy and different to pull out of the fridge—and because the colors make me happy.

I hope this salad makes you happy, too.

Tortellini Salad

2- 8 ounce boxes tortellini (tri-color is prettiest)
1 to 1-1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, lightly drained and chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes (we like grape or cherry tomatoes, because they hold their shape and stay firm)
½ cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup Parmesan, shredded
1 cup hard or Genoa salami, stacked and cut in strips (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or basil
1/4 cup olive oil OR oil from the artichoke marinade
salt and fresh ground pepper

Optional: 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (I like to mix red and green, but any color will be lovely.)



Cook pasta as directed; rinse with cold water, and drain, stirring to release steam and stop pasta cooking.



In a large bowl, combine the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, green onions, capers, Parmesan, salami, fresh herbs, and the bell pepper if you're using it. Add the pasta and mix. Stir in the oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serves 8. Keeps well.

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Stuffed Zucchini Boats


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: “Boats, boats, messing around with boats.”

Okay, so these aren’t the kind of boats Toad in WIND IN THE WILLOWS had in mind, but they’ve been on my mind and plate lately, and I think they’re so yummy that you might want to put them on yours, too.

Although I almost never think of zucchini without remembering the Zucchini Look Alike Contest held at the Custer County Fair in Hardin, Montana. One year, the winner looked like Richard Nixon.

I am not making this up.

I didn’t make this recipe up, either, but as I’ve said before, I find it nearly impossible to make a recipe as originally written. This one started in Good Housekeeping, and as is common in magazine style, it was written in narrative form rather than as a list of ingredients followed by instructions. I hate that, though I understand it takes less space. Alas, I am not Queen of the World. (Thank Heavens. It would be tiring. But I might get to spend more time messing around with boats and other such things.)

This version includes sausage, but you could skip it and still be happy. Doesn't look like I've ever posted my Italian herb blend recipe---it's in KILLING THYME---though any blend or combination of Italian herbs you have on hand will do. These are wonderful alongside a short sturdy pasta, like rotilli, fusilli, or penne.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4 small zucchini
4-6 ounces Italian sausage (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Italian herb mix
1-1/2 cups marinara sauce
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
parsley, chopped


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray a 13X9 inch baking dish.


Cut the zucchini in half and remove the seeds. Carefully scrape out the innards, chop and set aside.


In a large skillet, cook the sausage and drain if necessary, then add olive oil, onion, zucchini, salt, and herbs. Cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.


Spread the marinara sauce in the baking dish, and arrange the zucchini shells on top. Fill with the sausage mixture. Top with cheese and spoon a little of the tomato sauce on top.


Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.



Serve with salad, a short sturdy pasta such as rotilli, fusilli, or penne, and a glass of whatever appeals to you. 


From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Spaghetti alla Carbonara from our guest, Leslie Karst. #recipe #mystery #giveaway


It's our pleasure to welcome our friend, the dynamic Leslie Karst, as our special guest here today.


Leslie has a wonderful recipe for Spaghetti alla Carbonara which we can't wait to try and a fabulous giveaway.  Make sure you read to the end and leave a comment to get in on the giveaway action. 

Now here's Leslie on the background to this delicious dish.

One of my sleuth Sally Solari’s favorite dishes to whip up for company is spaghetti alla carbonara. Not only is it about as simple as it gets to make—thus allowing Sally the luxury of enjoying pre-dinner cocktails along with her guests—but the combination of bacon, olive oil, butter, cheese, and eggs makes this pasta sinfully rich and delicious.


The origin of this dish’s name is hotly disputed, but most folks agree that it likely has something to do with the Italian word carbone (charcoal). Some claim the dish was invented by coalminers; others argue it was originally cooked over a charcoal flame; and still others assert that the name derives from a kind of charcoal-cooked ham that was once used for the pasta.

Whatever its history, this rich, creamy dish from Rome makes for a delicious and quick-to-prepare meal. Serve it with a green salad or fagiolini al burro (baby green beans sautéed in butter), and a loaf of warm, crusty bread. (Don’t be alarmed by the use of raw egg; the hot pasta heats it enough to cook, and the result is a silky, custardy sauce.)

Here’s a sneak-preview of the recipe from my brand new Sally Solari mystery, A Measure of Murder:


Spaghetti alla Carbonara
(serves 4-6)

Ingredients

1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ pound pancetta or bacon, cut crossways into ½” strips
4 eggs
½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley [I used green onions for the meal photographed]
salt and freshly-ground black pepper



Directions

Bring a large (at least 4 quart) pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and 1 tablespoon salt, and cook over high heat until al dente (still slightly firm in the center, 8-10 minutes), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet. Add the bacon and fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. (This can be done in advance, but reheat before service if the oil and butter have hardened.)





In a serving bowl large enough to hold the pasta, beat the eggs with the grated cheese.



Drain the cooked pasta and immediately dump it—without rinsing—into the serving bowl. Toss until the pasta is coated with the egg and cheese mixture. (I used whole wheat spaghetti, hence the darker color.)



Add the pancetta or bacon (along with all the butter and oil), and toss again.










Serve garnished with the parsley and freshly ground pepper. (See the  photo at top of post.)


Now here's a bit about the very tasty Sally Solari culinary mysteries series:

A MEASURE OF MURDER, book two in the Sally Solari culinary mystery series, was just released on February 7, 2017 (Crooked Lane Books). It's still warm to the touch!



Sally Solari is busy juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping plan the autumn menu for the restaurant she’s just inherited, Gauguin. Complicating this already hectic schedule, she joins her ex-boyfriend Eric’s chorus, which is performing a newly discovered version of her favorite composition: the Mozart Requiem. But then, at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard—and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.

Now Sally's back on another murder case mixed in with a dash of revenge, a pinch of peril, and a suspicious stack of sheet music. And while tensions in the chorus heat up, so does the kitchen at Gauguin, set aflame right as Sally starts getting too close to the truth. Can Sally catch the killer before she’s burnt to a crisp, or will the case grow as cold as yesterday’s leftovers?

“Engaging characters, terrific writing, and a savory blend of musical and culinary erudition...polymath Karst sauces her plot without masking its flavor. And she’s a dab hand with the red herrings.” Publishers Weekly starred review

We're intrigued!  Now just who is Leslie Karst? 

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. She now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries (Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder), a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i. Visit her online at http://www.lesliekarstauthor.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/lesliekarstauthor/


As well as a hardcover copy of A MEASURE FOR MURDER, Leslie is offering this great Sally Solari swag! 

Leave a comment and don't forget your email addy and you could be the lucky winner.  The winner will be announced on the sidebar later this week!




























Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Two Cheese Roasted Vegetable Fusilli - #EasyWeeknightDinners #MeatlessMonday

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: There’s saucy pasta, and there’s pasta with stuff in it. This is the latter. We enjoyed it tremendously, and it’s easy for a weeknight—about five minutes to chop the vegetables and twenty minutes to roast them, while you’re preparing the other ingredients and opening a little white wine. Because we don’t need to take this healthy eating thing too far, do we?

Next time we make this, we’ll try mixing the two cheeses and a little reserved pasta water with the fusilli to create a chunky-but-saucier mix, then add the vegetables. I think we'll enjoy it just as much!

Mission Impawsible (A Paws & Claws Mystery) by [Davis, Krista]We don’t often use whole wheat pasta, but I always enjoy it when we do. I think a sturdy pasta like amaranth would also be muy tastee.

And yes, I know it's Tuesday, but we made this on a Monday, so it still counts as #MeatlessMonday, if that's a thing to you!

Congratulations to our Krista Davis, whose latest Paws and Claws Mystery, MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, comes out today! 

Two Cheese Roasted Vegetable Fusilli

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 medium or large zucchini, chopped
1 small or ½ large red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces whole wheat fusilli
1/4 cup grated Pecorino or Romano
½ cup ricotta (we use part-skim)
additional kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut in ribbons)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes, squash, and onion with the olive oil and salt, and spread on a large pan. Roast 20 minutes, stirring once.

Cook the pasta and drain. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serve.

Serves 4-6.







Bon appetit!


From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rigatoni al Forno #Recipe @PegCochran

This recipe comes from an OLD Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook that I've  had for close to 40 years (it's dated 1979.)  The back cover has fallen off along with the spine and large chunks are loose.  But it still has some great, tasty and not terribly complicated recipes.  I changed virtually nothing in the recipe--it's perfect as it is.

This sauce would be excellent simply served over plain pasta as well.

I made this for Christmas Eve and I think it would be perfect for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.





Ingredients:

7 tablespoons butter (I used less)
2 cups chopped onion
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 pound ground pork or Italian sausage
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
3/4 tsp crushed sage
3/4 tsp crushed oregano
1 dried pepper, chopped (optional--I didn't use)
6 cups peeled Italian plum tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound rigatoni or ziti
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups grated Parmesan

Heat 3 tablespoons butter and add onion.  Cook until wilted.  Add sliced mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms give up their liquid.



Continue to cook until liquid evaporates.





In a separate skillet cook pork or sausage meat (remove casing.) I used pork for a milder flavor.   Add meat to the mushrooms and stir.  Add garlic, fennel (if not using sausage), basil, sage, oregano and red pepper if using.  Cook about three minutes, stirring.

Add the tomatoes (I wasn't sure if the recipe meant fresh or canned but I used two 28-ounce cans including juice.)  Add salt, pepper, water, broth and simmer for one hour, stirring frequently.



Add parsley and simmer 15 minutes more.  Stir in olive oil and set aside.  (I did not add the olive oil feeling there was enough fat in the sauce already.  I was also afraid the sauce would be too thin so I added about half a can of tomato paste.  I had the pan on the barest simmer and forgot to turn the stove off so probably cooked it for two to three hours in the end.  It thickened up nicely and was perfect!)

Cook pasta for eight minutes (it needs to be al dente since it will cook more in the oven.) Drain and run cold water to stop the cooking.



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spoon a thin layer of sauce into your casserole dish (13.5 x 8.75 is recommended--don't know what mine was.)


Add a single layer of pasta.  Scatter half the mozzarella over it.  Top with one tablespoon Parmesan. 



Continue making layers of sauce, pasta, mozzarella and Parmesan ending with sauce and Parmesan.  (Use about 1/2 cup Parmesan and save the rest for serving at the table.)



Dot with remaining butter (I omitted the extra butter because...well just because.)

Bake 30 minutes uncovered until hot and bubbling.  Makes 8 to 12 servings.  (We served six adults and one child with plenty of leftovers.)




Coming May 2017




 Coming July 2017