Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pasta with fresh herbs

I'm not so sure this counts as a real recipe, what with how simple it is. But, hey, it's summer. Things are supposed to be easy.

What's more, the dozen or so herb plants that are growing like weeds around the house are in serious need of being utilized.

There's no science to this dish. All I did was take my scizzors (and glass of wine) out in the backyard and start cutting. Best I can recall this is a mixture (and around a handful) of thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary and mint. But use whatever you want.

Chop the herbs and some garlic and that's it, you're ready to go. (Get your pasta going right away because this sauce is only gonna take a couple minutes to prepare.)

Saute the garlic in plenty of olive oil until it's nice and soft.

Then add in the herbs.

Stir it all up quickly.

Immediately start adding your pasta. (If your pasta isn't ready yet then turn off the heat and wait until it is; you don't want the herbs or the garlic to cook more.)

Once all the pasta is in the pan start adding a bit of the (well-salted) pasta water, turn the heat up to high and incorpate.

Serve immediately with a dusting of grated cheese.

Whether or not that's a real recipe I'll let you decide.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chickpea & onion ravioli

For me it's all about the pasta.

Sometimes, though, it's really about the filling.

I had been Jonesin for some chickpeas (garbanzos if you prefer the more humorous sounding designation, ceci to those who parlano Italiano). The original dinner plan had called for some kind of homemade noodle, sauce To Be Determined, and so with the dough at the ready I set out to concoct a chickpea filling to stuff inside ravioli.

Following me down this determined—if haphazardly charted—course would not be the worst culinary decision that you could make.

Saute a small onion, two or three garlic cloves and some hot pepper in olive oil.

After the onion has softened add one 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drained of liquid).

Add in the zest of half a lemon and simmer for maybe five minutes.

In a bowl mash the chickpeas by hand. The idea is not to make the filling totally smooth but to keep some texture; otherwise I'd have used a food processor and turned this into more of a puree.

This is about right as far as consistency. Once you've mashed the chickpeas put them in the fridge and allow to cool before filling the ravioli.

The rest is just your basic ravioli making, which starts out like this...

... makes its way here ...

... and winds up a right about in this place. I'd suggest a simple brown butter and sage preparation to sauce these ravioli. In fact, that's what I had prepared myself.

But it just so happens that my friend Laura delivered a bag of zucchini flowers.

And so just for kicks I decided to toss them in with the brown butter and sage.

When the ravioli are boiled to doneness gently remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and add them to the pan with the brown butter. It's okay to let some of the pasta water into the pan; in fact, you'll want some of it to mix with the butter and coat the ravioli. Remove the ravioli to individual plates and serve immediately.

I will be Jonesin for these ravioli again one day. Soon.