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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

I’m so excited to get back to sharing some recipes with you all, and just in time for summer. Craving pasta, I wanted something light, but flavorful to avoid overheating in the scorchers we’ve been having. When I saw a fellow blogger tweet about making a caprese pasta, I knew a bowl filled with bright tomatoes, fragrant basil, and fresh mozzarella would hit the spot.

The ingredients

This bright and fresh take on a Giada recipe came together so quickly. And you can really change-up or leave out any of the vegetables I used.

Caprese Linguine with Asparagus and Zucchini

1 box whole wheat linguine

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch asparagus

2 zucchini

2 pints grape tomatoes, halved

1 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces

3/4-1 cup fresh basil, torn

salt and pepper

Boil pasta according to box directions and reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. In the last 2 minutes of boiling the pasta, add the asparagus and place in a bowl of ice water. Dry and cut into bite size pieces.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Sautee the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and sautee until they start to get tender. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook and smush them with a fork to release their juice (this is what makes your sauce). Continue cooking until the tomatoes are totally soft and you have a nice sauce in the pan.

Add the asparagus, basil, pasta, and cheese and toss to combine. If the pasta isn’t “saucy” enough, add some of the reserved pasta water (I didn’t need to add any). Season with salt and pepper and ENJOY!

I hope you like this fast, healthy, and simple pasta dish as much as I did. A new summer family favorite!

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Before I get into this spectacular Italian meal, I need to interrupt our regularly scheduled restaurant reviews and recipe postings for a big announcement. Adam and I will be moving back to Toronto, Canada at the end of May. Do not fear, I will still be blogging from my new home in Toronto, which is no slouch in the restaurant scene and there will be lots more recipes and cooking exploits to come. With many mixed emotions, one thing that has been at the front of my mind is…how will I make it to all the restaurants on my list before our big move in one months time?? Needless to say, this has been causing me much stress and anxiety. So blog world, I ask you, Where do I NEED to eat before I leave the Big Apple? Now before you all shout at once, let me tell you where I have lined up so far:

Talde, Degustation, Applewood, Gwynett St., Craftbar, Colonie, Kutcher’s, Co-op, Prune, and Shake Shack. (Adam just asked me if I was seriously going to all these places before I leave…is that a trick question??) So…what am I missing? Should I hit anywhere else?? Please help me calm my foodie nerves! Okay…so now that we have that out of the way…on to my latest eating adventure.

Frankies Spuntino in Carroll Gardens has been on my radar for quite sometime. A very inviting neighborhood type spot, the large crowds and long waits have kept me away…until now. The other Saturday night, some friends of ours were very kind and arrived at this Italian hot spot early. With a typical Saturday night wait of an hour to an hour and a half, by the time Adam and I arrived, our table was ready. What great friends we have! Let me tell you, this restaurant smelled AMAZING! And from watching all the plates of home-made pasta go by, we knew exactly where that intoxicating smell was coming from.

Duo of crostini: sicilian white anchovy and cremini mushroom and truffle oil

These small bites of toasted bread packed a large flavor punch. Do you see all that fresh anchovy?? Definitely not for the squeamish anchovy haters out there, but for me, it was perfect. And if you think you are one of those people who dislike anchovies, I beg of you to give them another go. They are salty, nutty, and fishy in the best way possible. And the mushroom…with the hint of truffle oil, a rich and earthy bite.

Escarole with sliced red onion, walnuts, and pecorino

After the bread and salad course, the only thing that could possibly follow is the pasta course. Frankies is famous for their home-made pastas, specifically, the raved about cavetelli. So I knew I would be ordering this buttery and rich dish for sure, but when Adam offered to share another pasta…I decided to increase my pasta tasting options. And boy am I glad I did!

House made cavatelli with browned sage butter and broccoli rabe

House-made linguine with spring fava beans, garlic, tomato, and toasted breadcrumbs

Don’t get me wrong, the rich cavetelli had the perfect “al-dente” chew and the broccoli rabe added a nice bitterness to offset the sweet butter-sage flavor. But that linguine…both light in flavor from the beans but hearty with the tomato and breadcrumbs. The spicy sauce was the perfect match for the expertly prepared and cooked noodles. Why have I never put toasted breadcrumbs on my linguine before. This added crunch was just pure genius. So don’t be afraid, brave the crowds and line ups and grab a drink at the bar because Frankies is definitely worth the wait!

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