Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pasta revival - recipe from author Essie Lang

I'm often asked about the recipes I included at the back of  my Dinner Club Mysteries, which I wrote as the real me, Linda Wiken. It happened again at the recent Left Coast Crime conference and the recipes have been at the back of my mind since then.

Although my inspiration for them came from the real, on-the-shelves cookbooks the dinner club was using, the final recipes were mine. The exception is book #2, Roux the Day, in which I had permission to use the complete recipes. That's because I was using the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook, but I digress.

Since my thoughts have been on those recipes, I thought for fun, I'd go back to the first book, Toasting Up Trouble, and use a recipe from it.

Although, as I mentioned it was mine, I tweaked it as I went along. Because that's what I do. For instance, I add sliced black olives and substituted regular sea salt. The olives, because I love them! And, I used fresh linguine instead of spaghetti.

I'm sure there are lots of substitutions you can, or already do, come up with in your kitchen. See what you think of this recipe.

What you'll need:

fresh pasta
1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets
1 sweet red pepper, sliced and diced
1/4 c. sliced black olives
1 clove garlic, slivered
mixed fresh herbs -- Rosemary and basil were my choices
chicken strips -- fresh or frozen (I had to slice mine after cooking to get to the right size)
regular olive oil
Tuscan herb-flavored virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
pinch of sea salt
shaved fresh Roman cheese to garnish

What to do:

1. Wash and slice the broccoli and red pepper.

2. Cover the bottom of a skillet with regular olive oil and when hot, saute broccoli, red pepper, black olives, garlic and fresh rosemary.  When ready, place in a dish and cover to keep warm.

3. Add more oil then saute the chicken strips until golden. Then add the veggies and toss.

4. In the meantime, boil water and add a pinch of salt. Add the pasta for 5 minutes if fresh or according to instructions if packaged.

5. Drain pasta and toss with Tuscan herb-flavored virgin olive oil, the add the chicken and veggies and toss some more.

6. Sprinkle with sliced fresh basil and grate fresh Roman cheese over it all.


The first in the Castle Bookshop Mysteries is now available!
written by Essie Lang (that's me!)

  Dine out with the DINNER CLUB MYSTERIES

Here's a taste of the reviews for Marinating in Murder, #3:     

Wiken’s third entry to the Dinner Club series is a clever twist on the classic whodunit… The book will have you guessing until the very end…. All in all, an intriguing read by Wiken.” – RT Reviews

"Foodies will love this book and this series. Great recipes are included as well....A fun romp of intrigue filled with foodie fun." -- Open Book Society

ROUX THE DAY,  the second  Dinner Club Mystery is available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

TOASTING UP TROUBLE, the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase.


  1. The pasta dish looks delicious. Finding recipes or tidbits at the back of a book is an added bonus, especially when they're in a mystery you love. Wishing you much success with all the series.

  2. That pasta dish looks delicious and easy. Great summer pasta dish. Going to try that. Thanks

  3. Also, the Bookshop Mysteries look right up my alley. Checking them out. :)

  4. Easy, adaptable, and tasty.
    A food trifecta!