I also like to make a pesto variation using Almonds and Arugula. It's super easy and tasty. Also, I significantly cut the oil to make it healthy. It creates more of a "glaze" than a sauce. Pesto is so tasty, you really don't need a lot. Recipe is below but also available on Neurotic Kitchen under post from Tuesday, January 24, 2012
titled Meatless Monday - Pesto Makeover
NK's Arugula and Almond Pesto "Glaze"
Yields about a half cup or 4 to 6 servings on a pasta or meat of your choice
1 Cup (Packed) Chopped Arugula - hard stalks removed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
1 Large Clove of Garlic - Peeled
Pinch to 1/4 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
One Squeeze of Lemon Juice - optional
Place Arugula in a food processor (a mini chopper works great for this)
Process until finely chopped
Scrape down the sides of the processor and add Almonds
Process until Almonds are finely chopped and scrape the sides again
Add Parmesan and process
Add 1 Tablespoon Oil and process
Add the second Tablespoon of Oil and process until mixture is wet and fully incorporated
Move the pesto to a small bowl, taste, and add salt to your liking and an optional squeeze of lemon juice,
To serve, toss a few tablespoons of mixture with your prepared pasta, or in the case of delicate pastas like ravioli, paint the glaze on with a pastry brush.
One of my favorites... maybe because I typically have pesto in the freezer... is pesto w/ a bit of Marsala and cream. I find it great over seafood stuffed ravioli. It was an "accident" sauce actually - well the Marsala, anyway, I thought I had some open wine on hand, but didn't and didn't want to open a bottle just for sauce so I splashed in some Marsala and it's delicious and a very requested dish around here!
Pasta with tuna. Slowly saute onions with a bit of garlic, splash of both vermouth and white wine, mashed anchovies and chili flake, S&P, add good quality tuna plus its oil and take off the heat. Toss with the pasta and some parsley and a bit of lemon juice. I usually add some peas or saute chard with the onion.
I have been enjoying this thread, and have learned a number of good recipes here in the process which we have added to our kitchen recipe tablet.
I saw this recipe on the internet and found it to be an excellent recipe. So simple, only a few items ( Bucatini pasta, panchetta, leek, rosemary ), and very tasty and satisfying. Attached is a video link for the prep and cooking, start to finish All credit to Tulio's restaurant in Seattle, USA, and Nick Stellino:
The comments made above by ofther CH members regarding a heavy use of Ricotta are also mirrored in this recipe. Light "dollops" of Ricotta are suggested around the dish, but in our view are not needed. The recipe is that good.
Seven years since this thread first began and no one has mentioned Asian versions of non-tomato noodle/pasta dishes... such as:
Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil (or Cilantro)- Deborah Madison has a particularly tasty recipe in her cookbook, "The Savory Way".
For example here's a list with other combinations:
"Pasta" to me means Italian style noodles. Especially since the poster wanted non-carbonara recipes.
When it comes to quick throw-together asian noodle dishes, udon is one of my favorites. You need dried seaweed, dried fish flakes, soy sauce, mirin, and noodles. Done in 30 minutes.
Well yes, I got that but Sometimes the two are pretty much interchangeable depending on the "style" of the recipe. Just giving the OP something else to think about...
My favorite Asian noodle these days is soba after cooking a few Japanese recipes when we cooked from Japanese books during COTM February 2012. I use them when a recipe calls for buckwheat noodles and have been pleasantly surprised at how well they worked.
There's a funny thing about Japanese cooking, is that despite how common it is, very few Americans know how to do a very simple thing like make dashi. None of my foodie friends have known, despite the fact it is two ingredients plus water, and do-able in half an hour. But of course these people can make far more difficult Asian dishes.
I'm just saying cooks would be better off just knowing how to make a simple dashi. From there it's a stone's throw to miso soup, udon or soba noodle soups, and all the other things you could use dashi for. The soups, though are very adaptable, and they are often throw-together dishes for me, especially in colder months.
From your comments about soba, you use these in place of Italian style buckwheat noodles. Is that right? Soba are the only buckwheat noodles I have ever used. I used to use soba and udon interchangeably in soup, but once I started using the more premium dried udon, I mostly gave up soba noodles. Good dried Japanese udon is inmy opinion better than the vacuum packed American udon.
So if you don't mind, what kinds of things do you do with soba noodles?
One of our favorites isn't really a sauce at all. Fry up some bread crumbs in a bit of olive oil. Add toss with the pasta. Add some black olives or herbs if you like. You can flavor the oil first with garlic, too.
For more very good ideas, see Erica de Mane's Pasta Improvvisata--in English in spite of the Italian title. It is widely available used and is a wonderful book. For example, one recipe involved dicing finely fennel root, carrots, celery and what not and sautéing them briefly before tossing with pasta. I think she may have deglazed the pan with a bit of vodka. We had a house full of international guests once and I was cooking dinner for about 25 people. I made pasta with those root vegetables and a big pot of pork and apple stew from the Silva-Browning cookbook. To my amazement, it was all eaten up, but one half of the crowd ate only the pasta, intended as a first course, and the other half ate only the stew.
re: Father Kitchen
Buon Giorno, Good Morning,
New Member in Italia has some suggestions, though some maybe already mentioned.
1) Pasta con Pesto alla Genovese: pineuts, fresh basil, garlic and Evoo prepared in Mortar with pestle the traditional way
2) Ragù di Emilia Romagna: Evoo, minced onion. sweet Italian sausage, pancetta, ground veal, ground pork, garlic, white wine, milk, tomatoes, chicken or veal stock, sugar, salt, black fresh pepper ground, carrot, celery.
3) Cassola di Sardinia: shellfish, Evoo, shallot or scallion, dried red chili pepper. salt and blk. fresh ground pepper, shellfish or fish stock, tomatoes, basil and Italian day old baguette.
4) Carbonara: pancetta, egg yolks, cream, Reggiano Parmesano, egg whites, Evoo.
5) Mushrooms & Cream: butter, shallot, mushrooms available, cream, Port Wine served drizzled on Tortellini filled with Veal or Beef and / or Pork.
6) Pesto Rosso: Red Pesto, is prepared with sun dried tomatoes, pinenuts, garlic, Reggiano Parmesano and Evoo.
7) Vongole ( with clams ): butter, fresh clams, onion, celery, thyme swig, parsley fresh, lemon, garlic, white wine.
8) Primavera: vegetable stock, leeks, onion or spring onion, fava beans or lima beans, asparagus, carrots, sweet peas, Reggiano Parmesano, cream, parsley, mint herb and egg yolks.
12) Fennel and Goatcheese
14) Fra Diavolo
15) Ciopinno served on Angel Hair or Linguini ( personal preference choice )
Here are a couple without Tomato, and apologies once again for the ones I had added with tomato; see post below:
Safrron, Spinach & Ricotta:
saffron, spinach, Ricotta home made, cream, butter and milk, nutmeg & Reggiano Parmesano
Lasagne al Fruti di Mar ( with seafood ) and Bechamel ( no tomato - optional )
Gorgonzola with Cream
Evoo, garlic, salt & dried red chili flakes or chili pepper fresh, Parsley and Reggiano Parmesano.
Best regards. Margaux Cintrano.
You have lots of ideas.
I will put out "Walnut Sauce" again since it is very yummy and not something most people think about.
Essentially - walnuts, garlic, cream, parm cheese all put in a blender - very tasty
I also in a pinch have been using Boursin cheese for sauces. It has a very nice light herby quality to it, unlike heavier cheese sauces. Just heat it with some cream or chicken stock to think it to a sauce consistency and put over pasta with fresh veggies or even just as a sauce over chicken . . . .
On the note of cauliflower, I love this sauce with cauliflower but you could add this whole dish to pasta or omit the cauliflower.
Bake cauliflower cut to keep steak like whole slices by cutting in half, then slice wedges with flat sides. Salt and Pepper. Lay down flat on olive oil and bake until browned on one side, then flip and brown on the other adding more olive oil if necessary. While cauliflower roasts cube bread and toss with olive oil for homemade croutons, and bake those till crispy.
Meanwhile, the sauce. Bring butter to medium heat until it turns to brown butter. Off heat add one squeezed lemon, whole grain mustard, capers, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with cauliflower chopping if desired. Toss with croutons and top with chopped parsley. I often add homemade pasta to make this a whole meal. Divine.
My two favorite are this one:
http://glutenfreedairyfreenj.blogspot.com/2011/07/tomato-free-pasta-sauce-recipe-gluten.html a blend of sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and spices
and this one:
http://www.foodlivingandeverythingels... a roasted red pepper sauce .
The first is more complicated but I like the blend of multiple vegetables. Both are delicious!
I cannot have tomatoes often because of the acidity, so my pasta dishes are usually made with out tomatoes.
I always made sausage and peppers, but instead of sandwhiches, I always served mine over spaghetti.
Creamed spinach often serves as my Alfredo sauce replacement. Healthier, and doesn't need as much cheese to be flavorful.
Broccoli and or broccoli rabe with olive oil and garlic, a bit of the pasta water. Cook the spaghetti in broken 2" pieces in the water you cooked the broccoli in. Top with locatelli Romano cheese.
Wild Mushroom Sauce. Olive oil, shallots, a mix of mushrooms, sweet Marsala wine, thyme, butter and cream. Top with cheese and chopped flat leaf parsley.
Spinach Pesto. 2 cups spinach leaves, 1/2 cup parsley, 1/2 cup walnuts, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup EVOO, and pinch salt.
Roasted garlic, mixed with fresh chopped herbs.
Basil Cream Sauce with toasted pine nuts.
Make a Bagna Cauda and toss it with spaghetti.
I love an olive pesto over angel hair.
How about linguini and clams or mussels?
I just wrote about this...but jarred marinated artichoke hearts sauteed with garlic and black olives and then tossed with your pasta and some feta is really, really good. Mushrooms are great in this also. You can also saute best-quality oil--packed tuna with some mushrooms and a little garlic, and then toss it into pasta with a handful of crunchy breadcrumbs and some capers and a tot of lemon zest. Yum.
I make spaghetti with oil & garlic which is my favorite. I'll give you guys a heads up I learned from my (Italian) Mom. I saute anchovies till they dissolve, and you do not taste them. Add your olive oil, garlic and add some pasta water, then pasta. I finish it off with toasted bread crumbs and parsely.
I do it similar for linquine and white clam sauce but add the clams and drizzle lemon juice over it.
Another popular one is cavatelli and broccoli. It's oil & garlic base but I add chopped onion to it also. Enjoy!
BTW, I just found out about Cacio e Pepe, made it last night. This is a Roman dish that is very popular. Although a simple dish, it's tricky to not have the cacio (cheese) clump up.
I just found out about Cacio e Pepe on America's test kitchen last Sunday. Of course I had to make it last night and it was delicious. The only problem I had and is common is the cheese clumping on me. I might try wisking the hot pasta water with the cheese then adding it to the pasta. Any thoughts?
Any veg tossed with pasta is great, leftover or freshly cooked. I love onions and garlic so I saute those in olive oil, add the veg, maybe anchovies, crushed red pepper, add pasta and some pasta water and you're good to go. Chickpeas are good too. I love peas so maybe I add some frozen peas. Leftover meat or fish are great additions. I just made one with shredded leftover chicken that had some bell pepper sauce on it, peas, bacon, and pasta water. To me, those types of pasta dishes are the best because you can have fun with the ingredients and use up what's in the fridge.
I made this for a grain/pasta combo but it would be good with pasta alone, I think. Combine olive oil, vinegar ( I used sherry), capers, minced jalpenos and onions, a little mustard, chopped arugula and basil. When the pasta is done, strain and dump into the bowl. Adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with some toasted pinenuts. Oh, right, I also added some thyme leaves cause I had them. What I'm liking about this is that it's whatever I want it to be and most of those things I have on hand all the time.
Mmm, I make this about twice a week because my boyfriend and I just can't get enough of it: Just saute garlic and shallots in some good olive oil and then add a bit of veggie stock and some of the pasta water. Sometimes I deglaze the pan with some dry white wine before adding the vegetable stock. Let that simmer for a bit and reduce. Season with salt and fresh pepper or some fresh herbs.
If you're looking for something a bit more substantial (but not feeling the usual cream sauce), try a bit of cream cheese and lemon juice. My recipe is here: http://www.nibbledish.com/people/Vegg...
I posted this back in August on another post regarding roasted red peppers. I have a friend who is allergic to tomatoes and this is a great substitute! Hope you like it!
I have an amazing recipe that I have made over and over again and I'm never tired of it. You will need:
*shrimp (thawed, shell removed and deveined)
*cooked pasta - fresh pasta is amazing, but penne or bowties pasta is fantastic too
1 jar of roasted red peppers - use enough to make 2 peppers (or more!)
crushed garlic (2 cloves)
2 tbsp of cream cheese
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/4 or more of parmesan cheese
olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
red pepper flakes - to taste
In a food pro or blender, combine all ingredients above until mixed thoroughly.
in a separate pan, add a bit of butter, and some crushed garlic and about 8-10 shrimp (shell removed and deveined). Cook shrimp until opaque, add sauce and heat through.
Mix with cooked pasta. Sprinkle with some fresh basil and some more parmesan!
You will LOVE this...
NOTE: you can omit the butter and add about 2 pieces of chopped up bacon, crisp up a bit before adding shrimp and garlic. Another delicious variation..add scallops instead of shrimp!
Vermicelli con proscuitto i piselli:
Saute a large onion, chopped fine in 1/2 butter, 1/2 olive oil. Add 1/4 lb or more coarsely chopped prosciutto slices (or pancetta, or in pinch, American bacon). When softened, add 1 cup white wine and simmer a few mins. Add about 1/2 bag frozen petite peas, and 1/2 cup chicken stock, plus fresh ground pepper. Salt usually not needed, given prosciutto and stock. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water, then toss with vermicelli, adding back some of the water if needed.
Top with grated cheese and fresh ground pepper
Saute some garlic in olive oil until just fragrant. Add a drained can of sardines (the good stuff, in olive oil), chunked up, some lemon juice, a little grated lemon peel and chopped Italian parsley. Grind in some black pepper, and add a little salt if needed. The first time I made this I thought it would be fishy, but it wasn't, and I was shocked at how good it was over spaghetti.
Bittman does it with soft-cooked onions and capers, and I think I will try it that way next time.
My old boss from Northern Italy would saute shrimp with onions and garlic, remove, deglaze the pan with wine then add clam broth, a little vodka and half and half and reduce. Throw in capers and red bell pepper and then toss in angel hair and the shrimp. Sprinkle with Italian parsley No parmesan. He said it was a "sin" to put cheese on seafood. Too die for.
I found this recipe in a Fit Pregnancy magazine back in '96 and now that we are cutting tomatoes out of my husband's diet, we're finding all different ways to spice it up.
2 jars of roasted bell pepper
1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
puree in a blender add seasonings as needed and serve over pasta and meat.
The other night I added garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme and oregano and served it over spaghetti and meatballs. Usually, tho, I only add basil and thyme and serve it over penne pasta and kielbasa sausage sauted in garlic and oil. :0)
One of my favourites is simply browning a stick of butter over medium heat, adding it to some cooked noodles and loading it up with Parmigiano-Reggiano - serve a couple of barbecued Italian sausages and a light salad on the side, and you've got some good eats.
It will probably give you a coronary, but meh...
I can't compete with the delicious recipes here, butt presuming you have butter and parmesean, and can handle the cholesterol, my favoriteSaveur magazine recipe is the following :
Mixing the ingredients on a warmed platter will help them melt quickly to make a satiny sauce. For the best results, use dried pasta, which doesn't break as easily during tossing as fresh egg pasta does.
1 lb. dried fettuccine
1⁄2 lb. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1⁄2 lb. finely grated parmesan (about 3 1⁄4 cup)
1. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut butter into thin pats and transfer to a large, warmed platter. Drain pasta, reserving 3⁄4 cup pasta water, and place the pasta over the butter on the platter.
3. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the pasta and drizzle with 1⁄4 cup of the reserved pasta water.
4. Using a large spoon and fork, gently toss the pasta with the butter and cheese, lifting and swirling the noodles and adding more pasta water as necessary. (The pasta water will help create a smooth sauce.) Work in any melted butter and cheese that pools around the edges of the platter. Continue to mix the pasta until the cheese and butter have fully melted and the noodles are coated, about 3 minutes. (For a quicker preparation, bring the reserved 3⁄4 cup pasta water and the butter to a boil in a 12" skillet; then add the pasta, sprinkle with the cheese, and toss with tongs over medium-low heat until the pasta is creamy and coated, about 2 minutes.)
5. Serve the fettuccine immediately on warmed plates.
A friend made this for me shortly after the recipe was published, a great warm weather pasta recipe:
From the Washington Post, May 15, 2002:
Tagliolini Alla Erbe (Tagliolini With Lemon, Basil, Oregano and Marjoram)
Tagliolini Alla Erbe (Tagliolini With Lemon, Basil, Oregano and Marjoram)
The Washington Post, May 15, 2002
Course: Main Course
Features: Fast, Meatless
Traditionally served as a first course, this lightly dressed pasta can also make a meal on a sultry evening.
The pasta is only speckled with herbs; you could easily double the amount of sauce ingredients and not overdo it. Or make extra sauce and reserve some to toss with seared shrimp or sea scallops, and serve atop the pasta.
"Some herbs, such as sage, rosemary and bay leaves, can withstand long cooking. For this recipe, however, the dressing is to be prepared raw, in order to preserve as much as possible the flavor of these more delicate herbs. The choice of the pasta, tagliolini (flat, thin fresh noodles), is also meant to keep the taste of the pasta from overwhelming the flavors of the dressing."
2 large strips lemon zest, or to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled
20 basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 pound fresh tagliolini or tagliarini pasta (may substitute dried spaghettini or vermicelli)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, on a large cutting board, chop together the lemon zest and garlic. Add the basil, parsley, oregano and marjoram, and mince until the mixture is of uniform size. (The amount of herbs depends largely on personal preference, but err on the side of excess.)
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. When it is done, use a large fork to transfer it to a bowl (rather than draining it through a colander, which would cause it to clump together). Sprinkle the herb mixture onto the pasta, drizzle with the oil, toss and serve immediately.
From "Soffritto: Tradition and Innovation in Tuscan Cooking" by Benedetta Vitali
good pasta will not clump.
i make a similar dish, but with fresh lemon juice as well. when basil is abundant, i chop that with some fresh mint. cook the pasta. drain. into the hot pot add lemon juice from 2 or 3 lemons, their zest, olive oil, salt, lots of black pepper and red chili flake and the chopped herbs. toss in the pasta and combine everything. cover and let sit a few minutes so the pasta absorbs the juice. grated pecorino on top, possibly prosciutto, and you're good to go.
I made a nice one last night.
Cubed an eggplant and tossed it on a baking sheet with some cherry tomatoes, tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted it at 400 until nice and soft (20 minutes?). I wrapped three cloves of garlic with the skin still on in some aluminum foil (with olive oil) and threw that on the baking sheet as well.
When it cam out I smashed the garlic and tossed it with the pasta, veggies, and a little pasta water. Topped with some parm. Delicious.
Could've used some basil, but delicious.
From the NY Times, 1/31/2007, p. D5:
SPAGHETTI AL LIMONE
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
3/4 - 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, to taste
1 lb spaghetti
3 T butter, in pieces
3 1/2 - 4 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 - 2 T EVOO
S&P to taste
1. Zest lemon and slice zest into matchsticks. Juice lemon, strain and reserve. Place zest in large nonreactive pan with wine and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to med. high and cook until it reduces to a syrupy mixture, about 1/4 cup, about 10 min.
2. Remove from heat and pour in about 1/4 cup of cream. Stir, then pour in remaining cream. Return to stove and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until it is thickened and reduced slightly, about 5 min. Remove from heat.
3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of generously salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente; reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain.
4. Return hot pasta pot to stove. Pour in cream, butter and lemon juice, stir, then add hot drained pasta and a few T of cooking water. Toss together and add cheese in 3 or 4 parts, tossing each to meld with sauce. Add more cooking water if sauce is too thick and crumbly.
5. Ladle onto plates and drizzle each portion with OO, then add a little salt and pepper.
4 - 6 servings
I've seen variatons on this in both Nigella Lawson's and Deborah Madison's books. I think it probably Roman in origin? Basically, you warm a few tablespoons of olive oil and cook thinly sliced zucchini with a little salt on medium heat until it begins to disentegrate, about thirty minutes. At this point, I add a quarter cup of whole milk and a generous amount of fresh grated pecorino romano. Add up to a half cup of the salted pasta water if it looks dry, and let the almost cooked pasta spend about three minutes tossed in to absorb and marry the flavors. It's simple but very good. Oh, and it's also great with garlic and/or fresh basil.
I often sauce pasta with ratatouille or red pepper based sauces, too. Peeled, cubed eggplant can be cooked much the same as the zucchini, as can yellow squash or a mixture of yellow and green. I haven't tried the milk with the eggplant, though, as that somehow seems off. The cauliflower anchovy sauce is great with raisins, too.
My quick pantry pasta is clam linguine. A couple tablespoons of olive oil, some red pepper flakes and a couple cubes of frozen garlic (I always have this in my freezer - from Trader Joes.) Add one can of chopped clams, let simmer to reduce a few minutes, toss in some parsley, fresh or dried, and serve over linguine.
A while back, when responding to a thread about peposo, an Italian beef shank dish, I found that About.com had a good section on Italian cooking. Here's the pasta and sauces index.
Practically at random I picked: Pasta di San Giuseppe, which calls for:
- olive oil
- parsley, minced
coat eggplant slices, onion slices, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, etc in garlic salt, then grill til soft and charred-ish, then chop. saute with some balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and a little lemon juice and mustard... so simple and so good with pasta or shiritakis...
olive oil, garlic, anchovies, red pepper...... mmmmmmm
this summer i've been doing a deconstructed pesto (as well as regular pesto) i cook garlic slow and low in olive oil 'til it softens, toss the pasta w/ the garlic oil, shredded or chiffonaded (?) basil, toasted pine nuts, cheese, lack pepper and salt
various pestos (not just basil based) and tapenades (olive pesto really) work well
i often just toss pasta w/ odds and ends... a bit of leftover smoked pork chop, some olives or pepadews, some herb or green, nuts, whatever..... pasta loves leftovers.
I find the key is to have good stuff in your freezer. I always have:
already chopped pancetta
chicken stock in 1/2cup containers
caramelized onion in 1/2 cup containers
You can also freeze pesto without the cheese and oil and add those once defrosted.
My cupboard/freezer pasta specials:
- sauteed garlic and pancetta, with peas and a soft, fresh cheese (ricotta, mozzarella) or shavings of something a bit older and nutty (love gruyere)
- Saute onions and garlic. Add some finely sliced beef or veal (optional) and cook, then remove from pan. Saute sliced mushrooms. Return meat to pan (if using) and Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and a generous splash of sherry. Reduce until lightly thickened and velvety. toss in cooked pasta and lump of butter. Sooo yum.
- Breakfast pasta: Crisped pancetta or bacon, lightly sauted onions and garlic, left over steamed veg if you want. Toss with chopped tomatoes or a small splash tomato sauce or baked beans from a can (classy hmm?) to heat up. Adding a separately scrambled egg optional. Toss with roughly chopped arugula before serving.
- Make a thick pasta-chickpea soup by sauteing an onion, a bit of garlic (chopped rosemary is a good addition too if you have it) adding a couple tins of drained rinsed chickpeas and covering with stock (or even water - in that case, I like to saute some carrot in there too). Cook until you can mush the chickpeas against pot sides with a wooden spoon. Puree half of this (an immersion blender works well to), add dried pasta (small sturdy shapes best, or broken linguine lengths). Simmer until cooked. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil and some shavings of hard cheese.
If you like roast garlic, it makes a good tomato-free sauce base. EPI has an orzo recipe with it and poppyseeds, which is a lovely side dish.
In Northern Italy, pretty much anything can be a pasta sauce, and most don't have cream or tomatoes (which seem to be a given in pasta sauces I've had in other countries).
Take your veg of choice, and lightly cook it (steam broccoli, fry mushrooms, boil petit pois). Then fry it (if not already fried) in a bit of olive oil, maybe garlic and/or pancetta, S&P. If it is still chunky, mash/puree half of it then mix with the chunky half. Toss with pasta, and maybe a bit of parmesan and parsley.
Simple, and lets the clean veggie flavours do the talking. You can get more complicated, and do more than one vegetable, or add some fried bacon, browned sausage meat, etc. or an interesting cheese (smoked, blue, etc.), or some other herbs or spices, but that's the foundation to work with.
I make a pasta w/porcini mushroom sauce from Cook's Illustrated, this is the recipe from my memory:
rehydrate 2 oz. of porcini mushrooms in hot water to cover for 20 minutes. coarsely chop mushrooms and strain liquid. saute a chopped onion in butter/olive oil until soft, add mushrooms, saute a minute, add the reserved liquid, cook about 8 minutes or so, until reduced by about half, add 1/4 c of cream, cook a few minutes, salt, pepper, parsley. toss w/1 lb cooked pasta and some parmesan cheese. serve w/add'l cheese. i like to add truffle oil on top if i have any around. i keep the dried porcinis around for this very purpose, of making a pasta that i don't have to out shopping for.
another good one is pasta w/garlic, capers and bread crumbs, epicurious link below.
I've recently been enjoying Dreamfields pasta and allowing myself to eat pasta more often. So, I've been experimenting with all kinds of sauces besides tomatoe based.
Basically can put just about anything with pasta since it is a neutral flavor. There is a book by James Peterson entitled "Sauces" and you might find that inspiring.
Just this morning, I used the rest of the elbow pasta from yesterday (Dreamfelds again) and made this sauce to pour on it:
TBsp butter and saute 1 TBsp green onion
2 oz Neufchatel
1/4 C. lite coconut milk
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/16 tsp and a dash of Chinese Five Spice
Stir to blend smooth
then placed beside the rest of the poached salmon in a bowl with the pasta and poured the thin liquid over the elbow macaroni pasta.
You can also make it in the microwave if you want.
Serves two, depending
saute some onions in olive oil/butter till they get really gooey and caramelized. Add garlic about 3 or 4 minutes in, if you want. you can add a variety of vegs to this. i've tried cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, peas, chillies... cut the vegetable up small and let it just cook thorough. add in your cooked pasta and stir. season with salt and pepper and whatever herbs you like (depending on the vegs, maybe thyme, basil, marjoram). take off the heat and add cheese. i love to add a really soft cheese, like taleggio, because it melts easily and makes the dish very rich and flavorful.
marcella's smothered onions are like this - only take an hour and require no constant stirring from you.
1.5 pounds onions, finely sliced, 2TBS olive oil, 2TBS butter, pinch salt. Chuck it all together in a pot, put over very low heat, cover and leave for 45min. Uncover pan, turn to med-high heat, until onions are golden-brown. Season, add 1/2glass white wine, and stir until evaporated. This is quite sweet, so at the very least needs some chopped parsley to balance it. Other additions:
crumbled blue cheese, or browned sausage meat. Mmm...
Nigella Lawson made a simple pasta sauce with garlic olive oil and pancetta. I can't remember the exact recipe but it went something like this:
- Equal quantities of pancetta and pasta - I use 8 ounces. Enough for two servings.
- Garlic olive oil 2 Tbs or so - you can add more as needed
Oven at 400 or 500.
Cut the pancetta into cubes and combine with garlic olive oil in a baking dish.
When the water for the pasta comes to a boil put the pancetta in the oven and the pasta in the water. By the time the pasta's done the pancetta should be as well. Save some of the pasta water in case you need it to loosen up the pasta. Combine the pasta with the pancetta and make sure it's fully coated. You can top with parmesan.
It tastes great and is easy to make. I keep the pancetta in the freezer and make this when I want something home cooked but don't want to put in much effort. My grocer sells pancetta sliced thinly in packaged bags so I cut it into ribbons instead of cubes - if find it's easier to eat with linquine or any other long pasta strand.
These really aren't sauces, but I make them fairly often:
-This one is for when I don't feel like cooking: toss pasta with butter, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper
-Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and s&p. Add some sliced avocado, toasted pine nuts, some feta and sliced green onions. It may not sound like much, but my husband asks for it all the time. Sometimes I make sort of a Mexican version with lime juice instead of lemon, Queso Fresco instead of feta, toasted pepitos instead of the pine nuts and add some black beans and corn (preferably dry-roasted in a hot skillet) and maybe some cilantro.
Whenever I don't have many ingredients in the fridge or just don't feel like cooking to much, I make this version of cacio e pepe:
Heat up equal amounts (about 2 tablespoons) butter and olive oil, and lots of freshly ground pepper. Add a tablespoon or two of teh pasta cooking water, then add the pasta to the pan and stir. Once it's covered in the sauce, take off the heat and stir in plenty of freshly grated parmesan and some salt. Enjoy!
I just discovered Cacio e Pepe (wow this thread is old!) it is the easiest thing in the world. Just as above, use really good cheese and Italian butter if you can get, cracked pepper is better than ground, and to gild the lily, I topped with a drizzle of truffle oil (just because I have a new jar). A new favorite, thanks to No Reservations.
Make a basic white sauce:
make a roux of melted butter and flour add milk/cream
Add parmesan cheese = Alfredo sauce enjoy over pasta with chicken, ham, veggies
Use beef broth and Add worcestershire and mushrooms then thicken with sour cream = Stroganoff enjoy over pasta with shredded beef
Most cream of soups (muchroom, chicken, celery) make a great quick base for non-tomato sauces (although tomato soup works, too)
re: kc girl
I disagree about the Ricotta not making a good sauce. It can be delicious with crumbled italian sausage, and caramelized onions. Also tossed with peas and prosciutto. I will be making a mushroom pasta sauce tonight (I found dried mushrooms for $2.50/pkg!) I will rehydrate mushrooms in hot water. Cook up some bacon, or pancetta in olive oil, add chopped shallots and garlic. cook until transluscent. add chopped rehydrated mushrooms. Add mushroom liquid, stock or white wine to deglaze. add fresh herbs (thyme, basil, sage, parsley) add heavy cream and halved grape tomatoes (i have a billion in my garden right now) serve with parmigiano reggiano Buono appetito!!!
Oh yes I agree! Make a smoosh of garlic or a paste, with olive oil and salt, add to that some parmesean, and then some cream or milk.mix with the ricotta cheese. Then toss your pasta. Adding basil, or parsely, it's wonderful, I use this sauce to layer a vegetarian lasagne. Well vegetarian to me, I'm not a "true" vegetarian, I just mean an all vegetable lasagne. Delicious.
Or olive oil and butter, white wine, lemon juice, shallots, garlic,parsley, salt and pepper
I had an Italian roommate who would often dump fresh ricotta on hot pasta along with some fresh chopped tomato and fresh basil. She'd just toss it together with salt, pepper and a little parmesean and it was very tasty. Sometimes she would add some leftover chopped broccoli. Another time I recall she added leftover green peas and some chopped mushrooms and I think either some prosuitto or sauteed pancetta (bacon would work, too). Again, very good.
It couldn’t be easier, but you need very good-quality ricotta and pasta. While the pasta (short format, not spaghetti) is boiling, mush the ricotta in a warmed serving bowl with a wooden spoon. After the pasta is about half done and is throwing off starch, add some spoonfuls of its water to the ricotta and keep poking with the wooden spoon (you can also put it through a food mill, but you waste a lot). Add some freshly ground pepper and mix in some generous handfuls of freshly grated parmigiano. When the pasta is done, drain and mix it into the ricotta and serve without further ado.
Olive oil, lemon juice whisked together with sliced green olives, diced roasted red peppers, parsely, garlic, salt, white pepper. This is good for hot pasta with cubes of fish or after it's cold as pasta salad.
Cream cheese and roasted red peppers and cream (to thin), oregano, cayenne pepper and salt. Melt together and blend. Good with hot pasta and steak. Also can be used with pasta and vegetables.
Juice from the drippings of pan-roasting a steak. Saute mushrooms (in another pan) in butter, add garlic, Cavendar's Greek spice. Add some cream cheese (or mascarpone) to the drippings and melt in and whisk smooth. Add the mushroom mixture. You can also do this with white onions with or in plkace of mushrooms. Good drizzled on mushroom ravioli with the steak. (If you need more beef drippings, use some canned beef consomme, but don't try it without real drippings and just the consomme).
And, spinach is good as a side dish with both.
Both of these recipes with allow diced fresh tomaotes to be stirred in just before serving without it seeming like a tomato pasta sauce. Tomatoes have lycopene and vitamin C.
Northen Italian recipes are often not tomato based.
How about a simple garlic and olive oil sauce? Add-ins could be steamed or sauteed fresh or frozen veggies and/or halved cherry or grape tomatoes - veggies in small pieces, cooked 'til tender. (Better yet if you've got left-overs in the fridge.) Perhaps topped with some shaved or grated cheese, a sprinkle of salt and a healthy grind of black pepper. If you like a little heat, toss in some red pepper flakes when sauteing the veggies.
One of my favorite pasta dishes is just a simple spaghetti with garlic and oil. Crush a few cloves of garlic and put it with some crushed red pepper and olive oil in a pan and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for a few minutes until the garlic turns light brown. Then add the cooked spaghetti and maybe a little of the pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce. I've also added some bread crumbs to the oil to get some crunchiness in the pasta.
I love Marcella Hazan's recipe for penne with cauliflower sauce. You basically cook a head of cauliflower and divide it into florets. Then you saute some garlic and anchovies in some olive oil until the anchovies melt. Then add the cauliflower and red chili pepper, salt, and pepper. Then toss with the cooked penne and fresh parsley. I think that's it, but I'd have to look it up to be more exact.
oh yeah this is to die for! my mom (who's sicilian) would make this all the time when i was growing up. whomever came up with the idea of putting cauliflower and pasta together was genius. she never put anchovies in it, but i'm sure that's good.
my mom also makes a great "pasta norma" which has tomato...but you could omit that. it's like the cauliflower pasta recipe above, but with eggplant instead and no anchovies.
yum, i'm getting hungry already!
I would take your recipe (ok Marcella's recipe) and roast the cauliflower in a little olive oil, season it well. Then I would add some breadcrumbs to the garlic and anchovies sauteing in the olive oil and then sprinkle it on top of the pasta and roasted cauliflower before I served it.