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Vegetable centric cooking

Tag: pasta

Corn pesto

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I am hooked on yet another summer pasta, a vegan pesto of fresh raw corn pureed with parsley.  The result is creamy and incredibly bright.  Parsley is underrated.  I like it for many reasons — it’s cheap, it keeps well and it adds a fresh note to dishes. Cooking the corn cobs in pasta water is a nice touch here that adds starchiness and flavor to your sauce.

Serves 2

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Summer pasta w/ salsa cruda + roast eggplant

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This summer pasta could not be simpler.  Roast eggplant tossed with fresh tomatoes and basil.  Although it is absolutely delicious vegan, it is even better topped with a little creamy Bulgarian feta.  I wish I could make this dish in gloomy January.  If only tomatoes were nice year-round!

Serves 2

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Linguine w/ clams, chives and jalepeno

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Linguine with white clam sauce is a classic that your neighborhood red sauce joint should never mess up.  Yet the dish does often fall short even in fancier places, with rubbery clams, soggy pasta or unbalanced seasonings. This recipe is adapted from How to Cook Everything, which means follow it and you can’t go too wrong.  The variations are mine — celery, chives and jalepeno.  It came out nice, with a sour garlicky broth and a little brightness from the fresh herbs. The worst thing you can do is overcook the clams.  Five minutes is perfect — three first thing, two at the end mixed with pasta and broth. Remember never to store clams under water or in a plastic bag — just leave loose in a bowl in your fridge for up to a day or two before cooking.  Clams are very sandy and salty, so do be sure to use several rinses and to undersalt your broth at first.

Serves 2

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Turnip pesto

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This is a simple pasta centering on a single ingredient – the turnip, a member of the brassica family.  Many brassicas are trendy.  Over the past few years, I’ve noticed lots of kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts side dishes at restaurants in Brooklyn and Portland.   No wonder.   These vegetables take wonderfully to many forms of cooking, whether shredded raw in a salad, slow roasted and caramelized or baked until crisp.  Battersby in Brooklyn won tons of press for its crispy kale in fish sauce last year, and recently I have seen variations on a whole roast cauliflower or cauliflower steak.   But turnips are an untrendy brassica, a little more pungent and mustardy than kale or cauliflower.  Not fair. Turnips roast perfectly brown, with a nice juiciness and just a hint of their raw bite.   And they make a wonderful pesto — blend with a little olive oil and you will have a plenty rich dish without going overboard on the nuts or cheese.

Serves 2

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Skinny pasta w/ fresh and dried mushrooms

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Adding dried mushrooms, mushroom stock and roasted garlic makes this dish intense.  You get the distinct textures of fresh and dried mushrooms, around a very pure flavor brightened by parsley.   Portobellos shrink a ton while roasting — four is a good number for two people.

Serves 2

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Carrot top pesto w/ roasted garlic

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Carrot top pesto is in these days — even the New York Times is on top of it. Every time I buy carrots at the farmer’s market, I mean to bite the bullet and take that enormous bunch of greens home.  Yesterday was the big day.   Although I love cannellini, they are here mostly to thicken sauce and add some protein — the flavor is all about pesto.   And nice knobby carrots.

Serves 2

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Parsley pesto

This is a dish for I have to eat now!  Toss parsley, walnuts, garlic and parmesan in a mini chopper and boom — pesto.   You thin with pasta water, so it’s not the kind of thick, oily pesto that drips from bruschetta.  But it is a quick and tasty weekday dinner — very green, very garlicky, really good.

Serves 2

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Pasta w/ kale + late summer roast

I love red kale — a little sweeter than green kale, and a little less chewy than dinosaur kale.  This works great with any kind of strong greens — kale, broccoli rabe, chard or mustard greens.   If you roast the vegetables in advance, it is a very quick dinner. When I was a kid, I could probably eat half a box of pasta.   But now I appreciate this dish, which is very toothsome and hearty despite  a small amount of pasta.    You can’t see it under all the vegetables, but I promise it’s there.

Serves 2

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