What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Parsley and Pasta

Do you ever get in the mood for a food and you can't seem to get enough of it? It's been that way lately for me and pasta. No, this is not South Beach friendly. We did try it after it first came out. The first thing everyone needs to know is that every diet doesn't work for everyone. We were on it, very strictly, for 2 months. My husband, who has heart disease, had his cholesterol go UP 100 points in 2 months as a result
of the diet. It freaked his cardiologist out and he (we) can't follow it anymore. He (we) do try to limit the starches most of the time. But not this week.

First we had Broccoli Rabe with store bought pasta, noted in our previous blog. Then we tried Roasted Eggplant Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce ala Tra Vigne.

Totally yummy. Roasting the eggplant, tomatoes and onions that went inside the ravioli then roasting the tomato sauce that sauced it make the flavors very intense. Being as eggplant is already the hus's favorite vegetable, this will become a staple, I am sure. Whole Foods had Sicilian Eggplant. They were huge, and even though I really object to the big seedy eggplants, I decided to try it. Hus thought it looked like a football. It really was very good and not very seedy considering the size.

We followed that with Spaghettini Squared, from the same cook book. It is spaghetti and zucchini spaghetti. You need a Benriner Spiral cutter. I don't have one but borrowed one from our wonderful neighbor, Marne, who is a very accomplished cook herself. (Hopefully, she's going to be part of my Entrée Vous venture.) The recipe was simple and it is below. I made the pasta and the dish turned out as a simple but delicious and beautiful way to eat pasta. If you don't have a spiral turner, you can julienne the zucchini with a Mandolin or cut it very very small with a knife.

Here's the recipe the way I cooked it. It is based on the recipe from Tra Vigne, by Michael Chiarella

Make a pound of spaghetti noodles (using 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 2 T olive oil and enough water to hold it together.)

2 large zucchini
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 tea red pepper flakes
4 T basil, chiffonaded
3 T flat leaf parsley, minced
1/2 cup plus 2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat water for pasta. Make pasta.

Cut zucchini into spirals and set aside.

Heat 1/4 c oil in large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add garlic and saute until lightly starting to change color. Turn off heat and add pepper flakes. Quickly add basil and parsley. Remove from heat.

Put fresh pasta in boiling water and bring to a boil. Remove, drain (reserving 1/2 c pasta water) and pour into warm serving bowl. Add zucchini, remaining 1/4 cup oil, the garlic mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Toss well, adding pasta water, if necessary to make a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

For more recipes, check out the website!

Eat, drink and be merry! And as far as dieting goes, I am a firm believer that you have to burn more calories than you take in. For the most part and for most people, it is that simple. Eat less, everything in moderation and exercise more.


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  • At 3:05 AM, Blogger Katie said…

    I'm afraid I could never do the South Beach diet. I can cut back on the meat but never the pasta, rice and sauces. Both your pasta dishes look wonderful - I'm going to try the one with zucchini with the shredded I have frozen from last summer!


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