Displaying items by tag: pasta and rice

Try both yellow and green zucchini for a more attractive look. You can use either penne, gemelli, farfalle or orecchiette for the dish.


1 pound (500 grams) dried pasta

¼ cup olive oil

1 pint grape tomatoes

4 cups diced zucchini

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

½ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup slivered prosciutto

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta cooking water.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes or until browned and slightly collapsed. Remove from pan and reserve.Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, reduce heat to medium-high and add zucchini. Sauté until zucchini turns a golden colour, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, lemon rind and tarragon and toss together. Stir in tomatoes.

Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss with zucchini mixture. Add reserved pasta cooking water and cream and toss together. Stir in lemon juice, prosciutto and half of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Serve with remaining Parmesan on the side. Serves 4

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This recipe is rich and filling and easy to make. Mostly just sausages and cheese, it is a great winter tummy warmer. Using whipping cream instead of whole milk makes a richer sauce, but is not necessary if you want to cut calories. The quality of the sausages is very important because it is the main flavouring in the dish. If you cook fresh lasagna noodles for a minute, they absorb less sauce and you get more filling.

Fresh lasagna noodles (about 6 to 9 lasagna noodles)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 Italian sausages, about 1½pounds (750 grams), removed from casings

¼cup red wine

One 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, pureed

1 cup whipping cream or whole milk

Pinch nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups grated fontina, provolone or mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 1 minute or until softened, but not fully cooked. Drain and toss with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Reserve.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in sausage meat and cook stirring, for 3 minutes or until sausage looses its pinkness. Add red wine and bring to a boil, then add tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Pour in cream, bring to boil and boil for 4 minutes or until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 cups. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Combine grated fontina and Parmesan and set aside.

Lightly oil an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Make a layer of lasagna noodles, top with one third of sauce, then one third of cheese. Repeat layering twice more finishing with sauce and cheese.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until sauce bubbles and cheese is browned on top. Serves 6.

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This pasta dish is full of the strong flavours that make it so attractive; the tuna especially helps it stand out. Caper berries are the fruit of the plant that produces capers. They are long-stemmed and excellent in salads as well as pastas. They are not as salty or as tart as capers and should be rinsed before using. Use capers if the berries are unavailable.

8 ounces (250 grams) spaghetti

¼ cup olive oil

8 ounces (250 grams) tuna cut in ½-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped anchovies

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

½ teaspoon chili flakes

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

¼ cup dry vermouth or white wine

2 tablespoons chopped black olives

2 tablespoons caper berries

¼ cup chopped parsley

Cook pasta in boiling salted water, according to package directions. Drain and reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. Season tuna with salt and pepper and sear, turning frequently, for 45 seconds or until lightly browned but still rare in the centre. Remove from skillet and reserve.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, chili flakes and grated lemon rind and sauté for 2 minutes or until onions are softened. Add vermouth and bring to a boil. Add olives, caper berries and parsley and simmer for 1 minute or until flavours have come together.

Toss pasta with sauce and seared tuna. Drizzle in pasta cooking water and remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss until well combined. Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course.

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Israeli couscous has a larger grain than the more familiar Moroccan version. The pea-sized wheat bits can be found in many grocery stores alongside rice and is sometimes labelled as super couscous, maftoul or pearl couscous. Unlike Moroccan couscous, Israeli couscous can be prepared in the same way as pasta, by boiling in salted water or chicken stock.


2 cups Israeli couscous

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Sprinkle in couscous. Boil for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until spinach is limp. Add the slivered garlic and cream and bring to boil. Boil until cream thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in couscous and cook until couscous has absorbed some of the cream. Serves 4

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This classic side accompanies many a Hawaiian blue plate special, which typically consists of a protein and this hearty, very simple salad. It is very high in fat and probably not good for you, but tastes like food you remember from childhood.


3 cups cooked macaroni

3 cups chopped boiled potatoes

2 cups mayonnaise

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine macaroni, cooked potatoes and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.

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If green garlic, garlic scapes or wild leeks are available, substitute them for the leeks. Artisan-made pasta, available at Italian shops or upmarket grocers, is much tastier and comes in more interesting shapes, which are perfect for this elegant dish. Parmesan gives a more subtle finish to the dish but the ricotta salata is earthier. Your choice.


12 ounces (350 grams) short pasta such as orecchiette, penne or casarecce

¼ cup olive oil

1½ pounds (375 grams) asparagus, cut in 1-inch lengths

2 leeks, white part only, sliced

1 cup green peas

3 cups baby arugula

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup shaved ricotta salata or parmesan


Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add asparagus and sauté for 2 minutes. Add leeks and continue to sauté until leeks are softened and asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in pasta and toss in arugula and enough cooking water to loosen slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. As soon as arugula wilts, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve topped with shaved ricotta salata at once. Serves 4.

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In South Korea, chefs are reinventing what is basically a meat-heavy cuisine. This is a vegetarian version of bi bim bap, a dish that usually includes ground or barbecued beef. If you have access to a Korean or Asian store, you can buy all the ingredients for this recipe (including the hot sauce) already prepared. All you have to do is cook the rice, top with pre-bought ingredients, add an egg and mix together.

Typically, bi bim bap is eaten with a spoon and served with a fried egg on top, but we love the poached egg. Korean hot chili paste has sugar and a wheat thickener in it, but you can use sambal oelek plus sugar as a substitute.


2 cups sushi rice, rinsed

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 medium carrot, cut in matchsticks

½ cucumber, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon Korean hot chili paste

4 cups baby spinach, blanched

2 cups bean sprouts

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

8 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Hot sauce:

¼ cup Korean hot chili paste

1 tablespoon hot water

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar


3 eggs, poached or fried

1 teaspoon sesame seeds


Place rice in a pot and add 21/4 cups cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Divide rice vinegar, sugar and salt in half and mix each half in two bowls. Add carrots to one bowl and cucumber to the other. Toss and add Korean hot sauce to cucumbers. Let stand for 20 minutes or until softened and lightly pickled. Drain.

Sauté remaining vegetables separately in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and ½ teaspoon sesame oil each. Add 1/4 teaspoon garlic to spinach and sauté until softened. Add soy sauce and remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic to mushrooms and cook until they absorb the sauce.

Whisk Korean hot chili paste with hot water, sesame oil and sugar and set aside.

To assemble, divide hot rice between bowls and top with the pickled and sautéed vegetables. Set one egg in each bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with prepared hot sauce on the side. Have guests mix everything together, adding as much hot sauce as they wish. Serves 2 to 3.

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Miso, Japanese soybean paste, is healthy and low in fat. It gives a succulent taste to the chicken breasts, but use a light or white miso, as the darker ones are too salty for chicken.



¼ cup light miso

2 tablespoons sake

2 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

2 teaspoons grated ginger


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Sushi rice pilaf:

2 cups sushi rice

3 cups water

¼ cup light miso

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

¼ cup chopped pickled ginger

2 teaspoon wasabi paste

¼ cup chopped green onions


Combine miso, sake, mirin, orange juice, rind and ginger. Brush over chicken breasts and marinate for 1 hour. Brush breasts with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill chicken for about 7 minutes a side or until juices run clear.

Rinse rice with water. Drain. Place rice in a pot and add water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine miso, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, pickled ginger and wasabi paste. Use a spatula to fold ½ cup of seasoning mixture into rice, reserving remainder. Cover and cook another 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in green onions. Slice chicken and serve over rice, drizzled with remaining seasoning mixture and the cucumber-radish salad (recipe below). Serves 4.


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The beets in this recipe provide the whole dish with a better balance of sweet and spicy tones. Prepare in advance.


Asian pickled beets:

2 bunches baby beets

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup rice vinegar

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

2 lime leaves

2 small hot chilies

Rice and duck:

2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 ounces (125 grams) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced

1 cup diced red onion

1 cup green peas

2 teaspoons chopped ginger

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

1 duck confit leg


To prepare the beets, place them in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil about 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp tender. Rinse with cold water and cut into thin strips.

Combine salt, rice vinegar, water, sugar, lime leaves and chilies in a small pot and bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.

Place beets in pickling liquid and let stand for 4 hours or overnight. Drain and serve with sticky rice and duck confit. Makes 2 cups.

To prepare the duck, preheat oven to 400 F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add duck confit leg, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes or until skin is slightly crispy. Turn over and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until heated through. Remove duck from pan, shred skin and meat and pour any fat from pan into a small bowl. Reserve.

To prepare the sticky rice, bring 2 cups of water to boil, sprinkle in rice and boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover and remove from heat.

Heat reserved duck fat and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, peas and ginger and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add rice and stir to combine. Cook together for 2 minute or until flavours are combined. Season with soy sauce, sugar and salt to taste. Remove from heat, top with shredded duck meat and skin and serve with Asian pickled beets on the side. Serves 4.

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The minty flavour complements the spicing of the halibut. I used the last mint in my garden to make this dish. You can also substitute potatoes for cauliflower if you wish.


1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup chopped mint

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups small cauliflower florets

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1 1-inch piece cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons chopped seeded green chili peppers

Salt to taste


Combine coconut milk and mint in a blender or mini-chop and process until mint is very finely chopped. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until lightly golden. Add rice and stir until well coated with oil. Add reserved coconut milk, water, cloves, cinnamon stick, chili and salt and bring to a boil.

Cover pot and turn heat to low. Steam rice for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked and liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand at least 5 minutes to steam before serving. Remove whole spices if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

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