Yep. I went there. Say it with me now… FRIED. Apparently in German, fried means peace, and trust me, this pasta will bring you peace, even if for only 5 minutes. You know what’s great about fried pasta? Using up the leftover pasta in your fridge from the night (or two) before. It’s not the same if you try to make a fresh pot of pasta and tomato sauce, and then fry it. It just doesn’t work that way. Don’t even try, because you will likely ruin your meal. Just do yourself a favour, and save a bit for the next day. Works best with tomato sauce.
Steps to peace:
1. Drizzle olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
2. Put your pasta in the frying pan. Spaghetti. Rigatoni. Rotini. Linguine. Whatever.
3. FRY THAT ISH. Ohhh fry it ‘til you get little crunchy bits. Love the crunchy bits. Add parmesan. Add chili flakes. Fry, fry, fry!
4. Mangia! (Translation: Eat!)
Remember when we were kids, when one kid would say “Hey do you like seafood?” and you would say, “Yeah, sure, I like shrimp and Filet-o-Fish and stuff,” and then the kid would take a bite of his/her food, chew it, and then open his/her mouth to reveal the chunky mush-fest aftermath of a PB&J sandwich? “SEEEEE! SEEEEE-FOOD!”
I don’t know why I thought of that. Perhaps it’s because this is my first real seafood dish (I’m not going to count my canned tuna and macaroni masterpiece). Or maybe it’s just because I’m an 8 year old trapped in a 20-something’s body. Anyway… On to the next one! I mean recipe. Serves 4-6
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 handfulls of cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved or sliced
Shrimp (fresh or thawed from frozen)
Scallops (fresh or thawed from frozen)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Parsley for garnish
I know it’s been a while here at the pasta diaries, but boiling a pot of water is like riding a bike. Once you know how to do it, you never forget. So go on now. When it’s boiled, add salt and pasta.
While your water is boiling, pat dry the scallops with a paper towel. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle (drizzy drake) with olive oil. Once the skillet is hot, put your scallops in the pan. I used mini scallops, but if you are using large scallops, you’ll probably want to place them in the pan one by one, let them cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes, and then flip. They should be a golden colour on the flat sides. Once the scallops are cooked, set them aside on a plate.
Shrimpy time. In the same skillet, add a tablespoon of butter. Let it melt and then add in the shrimp. Cook until pink, and then set aside with the scallops.
In that same skillet (again! look at us!) add a tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss in your red peppers and tomatoes. Add in the garlic, and chili flakes. Stir until heated. Don’t burn the garlic!
Your pasta is probably ready now, so strain it, and this part is important: SAVE ABOUT A CUP OF THE PASTA WATER. I got in trouble for this tonight. I failed to save the water, and so the pasta stuck together a bit. Sorry Mom. So let’s pretend I saved the water. Add the strained pasta to the skillet (which should be on low heat) with the pepper/tomato mixture. Toss it around and slowly add some of that pasta water (use your judgement). Toss in the shrimp and scallops. Serve with parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley if you’re feeling fancy. Fancy feast! Enjoy!
I love this. I love pasta. Thank you Eleni for sharing this with me!
Although I don’t listen to this radio show as often as I’d like, I am never disappointed when I do get the chance to listen to Evan Kleiman’s Good Food on KCRW. One of today’s segments focused on pasta: Homemade Pasta with Kids and Pasta by Design. The first part of the segment instantly made me want to make homemade pasta, so I think I will finally venture into that territory this week. The second part of the segment was an interview with George Legendre, author of the book Pasta by Design (image from the book above). I actually saw this book in Chapters a few months ago and nearly bought it, soon remembering that I had gone into Chapters to get Christmas gifts for other people, not myself.
If you are interested in food and culture, give Good Food a listen this weekend. You can listen or download the episode here.
Yes, I realize I have already made a pesto based pasta very similar to this. However, this is my “diary”—so I’m keeping note of all the pasta dishes I make, even if they are slight variations. What are you gonna do about it? Nothing? Thought so. Oh, and remember those frozen pesto cubes I told you about before? They worked out perfectly for this recipe. Makes approximately 3-4 servings.
4 Pesto cubes (Or for fresh pesto, see recipe here)
Handfull of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup of table cream
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add pasta and salt to taste. While pasta is cooking, melt butter (or use olive oil) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and pesto cubes. Gradually add the cream as the pesto cubes start to melt, and stir often. Once pasta is ready, strain, and return back to saucepan. The pesto sauce should be ready by now, so pour it over the pasta, and stir until all noodles are coated. Add pepper and parmesan cheese, and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Dinner Parties! So, I think this may officially be the most people I’ve had to cook a pasta dish for. Although it was only for 9 people, when it comes to pasta, you’ve really got to get your portions right. This dish started as one thing, and then my mind went off into a bit of a tangent and ended up turning into the above. As amazing as iPhone photo quality is (pffffft.), the picture really does not do this dish justice. Eating definitely had priority over taking a photo. Anyway. On to the recipe! If I can remember! Serves 9-10 people, so adjust the ingredients accordingly.
15 slices of prosciutto, cut into small pieces
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into small pieces
20 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup of butter (maybe more, this isn’t a weight loss recipe so go wild)
1 1/2 cups of heavy/whipping cream
4 cloves of garlic, minced
(Lots of) Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Okay. This is another one of those recipes that has no order to it. You’ve just gotta go with it, so excuse these maniac directions. You’ll probably need at least 3 burners on the stove, so now would be a good time to kick your roommates out of the kitchen.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine.
While you’ve got that going, put your cut prosciutto into a large frying pan over medium heat. Make sure to stir often so it doesn’t stick together. Don’t worry about putting oil in the pan either, the fat in the prosciutto will do that for you. Next, add the asparagus. Keep on stirring and mixing. Add in a couple cloves of the minced garlic, then add the mushrooms. I think I may have added a tablespoon or two of butter at this point too, so let’s go for it.
So, so far, we’ve got water boiling for fettuccine (it may have boiled already, so put the pasta in). Make sure to add a good amount of salt and make sure you have plenty of water in the pot or else your pasta will stick together! That is bad! And we’ve got all of those awesome ingredients making love in the frying pan. Turn the heat to low and just keep stirring.
In a small-ish saucepan, over medium heat, add the rest of the butter. Let it melt, and then add the cream and garlic. Make sure to stir often. OFTEN! Or else… So then, once it starts to come to a boil, lower that heat right down low. Keep stirring. You are getting a workout. Feel the burn. FEEL IT DAMMIT. Add the parmesan and keep stirring until the sauce becomes thick. Are you keeping an eye on the pasta? And the love making in the frying pan?
OK. So your pasta must be done by now. Strain it, but leave a little bit of water in the pot so the pasta doesn’t stick. I find it easier to plate this dish individually as opposed to mixing everything together. If you have a spare metal mixing bowl, use it now. Add in your portion of pasta to the bowl, and add in healthy scoops of the prosciutto mix. Pour over a good amount of the alfredo sauce (that’s the cream sauce we made) and toss it together with some tongs.
Plate that money and enjoy! Add fresh cracked pepper and more parm if you please. You won’t regret it.
Did you ever think Kraft Dinner could look classy? I know “Kraft Dinner” and “classy” shouldn’t really be used in a sentence together… ever… but behold! The Pasta Diaries is going back to it’s roots with a budget recipe, starring White Cheddar KD. Sometimes you’ve just gotta work with what you’ve got, right?
White Cheddar KD (and the usual ingredients you need to cook it)
1 cup of frozen peas
Can of tuna, drained
1 clove of garlic, minced
I’m going to go ahead and assume you all know how to cook Kraft Dinner. If you don’t, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’ve had a personal chef cooking for you your entire life. Must be nice. Directions are on the side of the box.
Basically, when it comes time to mixing all of your regular KD ingredients together, also mix in the can of tuna, clove of garlic, and frozen peas. Stir it all together like you normally would, and BAM! You’ve just made your KD a bit more substantial. The portion seriously seems to double once the tuna is added, which makes this a cheap, filling, and semi-nutritious meal.
Recipe inspired by the awesome Taylor Walker!
The Pasta Diaries presents: An Ode to Buddy
Pasta inspired by Buddy the Elf from the movie ‘Elf’.
Filmed by Shane H. O’Neill
Edited by Diana Brucculieri
Merry Christmas from the Pasta Diaries!
Baby! Asparagus! Look how cute they are! Just like big asparagus, only smallerrrrrr! But really. Have you ever seen these things? The first time I saw or heard about them was in June at the Whistler Farmer’s Market. Apparently they grow in coastal areas, so they often have a naturally sea-salty taste. I was with my mom the first time we bought some, and she had a brilliant idea to pair them with sea scallops and garlic. Unfortunately, when I came around to making my version, I was still living on Budget Island, so scallops weren’t an option, but fresh cherry tomatoes definitely were. On to the recipe lads! Makes approx. 2 servings
Handful of sea asparagus
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add spaghetti. In a frying pan, heat a generous glug of olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the sea asparagus and sauté for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer over low-medium heat until heated through (or until the pasta is ready). Once pasta is al dente, strain and add to the frying pan. Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately. Add some chili flakes for a bit of spice if you please, and of course, parmesan if you have it! BABY ASPARAGUS!
P.S. There WILL in fact be a special “Buddy the Elf” pasta post coming next week… Stay tuned kids!
So, I just watched Elf last night and noticed that Buddy makes an extraordinary pasta for himself about halfway through the movie. I think the dish included some exquisite ingredients such as smarties, chocolate sauce and syrup. Not going to lie, kind of intrigued. Think I should try it out?