Displaying items by tag: pasta and rice

Although ramps or wild leeks are native to the eastern U.S. and Canada, they are related to leeks, and have more of a scallion-like taste, with an added zing. If wild leeks are unavailable, substitute 1 cup (250 mL) green onions and 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic.

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Hostaria Romana is an old-fashioned Roman trattoria. The waiters are old pros doling out lavish bowls of antipasti with irreverence and wit. The pastas are served in the bowl that they are mixed in (called originale) and if two of you order the same pasta, they give the woman the bowl and the man a soup plate, which goes to show that Italians really do love women.

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

½ to 1 teaspoon chili flakes

8 ounces (250 grams) spaghetti

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes or until garlic is very soft. Cook pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving about a quarter cup of the cooking water.

Toss pasta with flavoured olive oil in skillet and add 2 tablespoons or more of cooking water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and grated cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4 as a first course.

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The main ingredient in yellow rice is turmeric, one of the healthiest spices.

1½ cups water

1 cup long-grain rice, preferably Thai scented or basmati (rinsed)

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 pieces cinnamon stick

½ cup raisins

Salt to taste

Combine water, rice, turmeric and cinnamon sticks in a pot and bring to boil over high heat. Turn heat to low, stir in raisins, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Season with salt to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

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I had this dish at a stall at the Tokyo fish market during a recent visit. It featured fresh shrimp with the heads still on, but we made do with extra-large shrimp here. This is my take on the recipe, as the people at the stall spoke no English. You can use chicken or pork in this recipe, which is a great way to use up leftover vegetables. Bottled yakisoba stir fry sauce is available in stores, but my version comes very close to what I had and is easy to pull off.

Yakisoba sauce:

½ cup light soy

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, such as sambal oelek

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

Noodles and vegetables:

8 ounces (250 grams) Japanese dried noodles (called chuka soba)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped ginger root

1 teaspoon finely chopped chili or 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce

8 ounces (250 grams) extra-large shrimp, peeled

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 carrots cut in matchstick pieces

3 cups sliced Napa cabbage

4 green onions, chopped

3 tablespoons slivered pickled ginger

Combine all sauce ingredients and set aside. Place noodles in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until al dente. Drain. Toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil and remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic, ginger, chili and shrimp and cook for 1 minute or until shrimp are beginning to turn pink. Add onions and carrots and cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Add cabbage and stir fry until wilted. Add noodles to skillet and stir fry together with vegetables and shrimp for 1 minute. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in green onions and toss everything together. Reheat until very hot. Garnish with pickled ginger. Serves 4.

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A spectacular creamy summer lasagne. Use 2 bunches of spinach to replace Swiss chard if desired.

Serves 8 





2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 cup chopped onion 

2 cups diced zucchinis (1/4-inch dice) 

Salt and freshly ground pepper 

8 cups sliced mushrooms (about 500 grams) 

¼ cup chopped basil 

2 tablespoons oregano

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed 

1 cup shelled peas


1/3 cup butter 

1/3 cup flour 

4 cups milk 

2 cups ricotta cheese 

Pinch nutmeg



To finish: 

6 lasagne sheets 

½ cup Parmesan cheese




Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions and zucchini from pan. Add mushrooms, basil, oregano and salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Continue to cook until liquid nearly disappears. Add to zucchini and onions.


Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add Swiss chard leaves and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Remove from heat and drain, pressing to remove any excess liquid. Roughly chop. Add top vegetables along with uncooked peas. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.Add flour and stir together to form a roux. Cook over low heat, whisking, for about 2 minutes or until flour is cooked but not golden.

Add milk in a fast stream, whisking vigorously. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally until sauce thickens. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and whisk in ricotta and nutmeg.

Toassemble lasagne, spread ½ cup white sauce over bottom of a buttered 9 x 13-inch rectangle lasagne pan. Cut pasta sheet to fit baking dish and place over sauce. Generously cover pasta with more white sauce. Cover with a layer of vegetable mixture and another sheet of pasta. Repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish (you should have 4 layers). The last layer will be a pasta sheet, covered with sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


Bakelasagne until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let lasagne to stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

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You might think you can use any pasta shape to make a dish, but the right shape can really elevate the flavour. This savoury shrimp pasta was ho-hum when my food testers and I made it with penne, but when we switched to orecchiette, a pasta from Puglia, Italy, it was a completely different dish.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ready time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4



1 bunch rapini, ends trimmed

340 grams (12 ounces) orecchiette

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

40 grams (12 ounces) medium to large shrimp, shelled

1 tablespoon capers

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish



Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add rapini and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with tongs, drain and refresh with cold water. Cut each stalk into 3 and reserve. Add orecchiette and cook for 9 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat, while pasta is cooking. Add breadcrumbs and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until crisp and golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape onto a plate.

Return same pan to heat and add remaining oil. Cook cherry tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted. Add garlic and shrimps, and toss together until the shrimps start to turn pink. Stir in capers, chili flakes and rapini. Continue to sauté until shrimp are cooked, 2 to 3 more minutes. Add pasta and enough cooking water to make everything moist. Season with salt and pepper. Toss everything together and sprinkle with a little extra olive oil. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over each serving.

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In Spain, traditional paella is made outside on a wood-burning grill – the paella soaks in the smokiness. Don’t overload your pan, the rice should be the star. Check that your paella pan fits in the smoker before you get started. You want the smoker to be about 400 F and the liquid to simmer, otherwise raise the heat.

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Ready time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Servings: 8


8 skinless chicken thighs, on the bone, excess fat trimmed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 Spanish onion, chopped

1 red pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 chorizo sausages, sliced in half moons

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned

2 cups short grain rice, Valencia (Spanish) or arborio

4 to 5 cups hot chicken stock or water

1 tsp saffron threads

1 lb shrimp, shelled

1 cup peas, defrosted if frozen

1 lb clams

1/4 cup chopped parsley

lemon wedges



Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbsp oil in large skillet or 15-inch paella pan on medium-high heat on grill or stovetop. Add chicken pieces and fry 3 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from skillet. Reserve. Add 2 more tbsp oil. Add onion, pepper and chorizo and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and thyme. Sauté for 1 minute. Add last tbsp oil. Sprinkle rice into pan. Sauté, stirring frequently for two to three minutes or until coated with oil. Stir in tomatoes. Season well.


Combine stock and saffron and add 4 cups stock reserving the remainder as needed. Bring to boil, boil, reduce heat to medium, return chicken and push down into rice. Transfer to smoker. Cover with lid. Smoke 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is al dente. Stir rice around and add shrimp, peas and clams. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until clam shells open. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.

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Garganelli is an egg pasta formed by rolling pasta squares around a rod. Any short pasta, such as penne, will do.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 6



1 lb (500 g) garganelli

4 cups packed dandelion greens, stems removed

1 and 1/2 cups shaved pecorino romano or Parmesan

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper



Place the dandelion greens, 1 cup of pecorino, olive oil, parsley, garlic and chili flakes in a food processor. Blend until slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

Place pasta in large pot of salted boiling water and boil until al dente (9 to 10 minutes). Drain immediately, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Toss pasta with pesto, stirring in a little cooking water if it seems dry. Season with extra salt and pepper if needed.

Serve garnished with the remaining 1/2 cup of shaved pecorino.

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Using sushi rice gives this a texture similar to sticky rice.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes 
Serves: 4
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup snow peas, diced
1/2 cup stemmed and chopped shiitake mushrooms
2 1/2 cups cooked sushi rice (1 cup raw)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups baby spinach
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté for two minutes or until softened. Add snow peas and mushrooms and sauté for another two minutes.
Add cooked rice, stirring constantly. Pour in both types of soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, sambal oelek and sugar. Cook for two minutes longer or until sauce is absorbed. Season with salt and generous amounts of pepper. Fold in spinach, allowing it to wilt with heat from rice.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and green onions before serving.
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Chinese New Year can last up to 15 days, offering plenty of opportunities to feast with family and friends on delicious traditional dishes. Rice cakes stir fried with pork is a popular choice, as is steamed fish with uncut noodles, which symbolize longevity. But rice-pot dishes are my favourite. I especially enjoy these comfort-food recipes because they are so easy to make and serve. This spicy, tangy chicken-and-mushroom combination with sweet undertones has become my go-to dish for all kinds of gatherings, as everyone loves it and the spicy citrus sauce offers a grown-up touch. It goes nicely with a snow pea salad or stir-fried baby bok choy with oyster sauce.

Prep time: 40 minutes (including marinating time)

Ready in: 65 minutes

Serves: 4




500 grams (1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced in half

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half



1 1/2 cups Thai jasmine rice, rinsed

2 cups chicken broth or water

1 teaspoon sriracha (Asian chili sauce)

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped mint or coriander


Spicy citrus sauce:

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint



Place chicken thighs in bowl. Combine shallots, ginger and garlic in separate bowl. Toss chicken with half of this mixture and all of the soy sauce and sugar.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper and add to pan. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden-brown but not cooked through. Remove from pan, add mushrooms and sauté 1 minute or until softened.

Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and set aside. To prepare the rice, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot mixture and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, chicken broth (or water) and sriracha. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and place chicken pieces and mushrooms over the rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Scatter in peas and cook, covered, until both rice and chicken are cooked (about 7 to 10 minutes longer). Spoon into a serving bowl or serve from the pot. Garnish with green onions and mint or coriander. If there is a layer of rice that is slightly browned and sticking to the pot, this is considered a delicacy.

To make the spicy citrus sauce:

Combine the ginger, sriracha sauce, fish sauce and water. Stir in lemon juice, lime juice, brown sugar and fresh mint. Let sit for one hour before serving. The sauce should be served in a sauce boat so diners can drizzle it over their food as desired.

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