Pasta Puttanesca

September 13, 2007 at 11:05 pm (A (4 stars, love, favorite), Alma's faves, Derek's faves, Italian, Jack Bishop, Monthly menu plan: dinner, My brain, Pasta, Quick weeknight recipe, Starches) ()

Pasta puttanesca makes a great pantry-only dinner, when you have nothing fresh in the fridge, but want a delicious homemade dinner. Derek claims that the tastiness to work ratio is unusually high. Below I’ve included our current version of this recipe, which is based on a recipe from Jack Bishop’s The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pear and honey salad on a bed of bitter greens

September 13, 2007 at 10:46 pm (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Dark leafy greens, Fall recipes, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Salads, Winter recipes)

I had a few pears getting overripe, and was trying to figure out what to do with them. I wanted to make poached pears but was too lazy. I remembered trying Jack Bishop’s dessert recipe with pears, parmesan ribbons, and honey a few months ago, and not being that excited. I decided to start with that idea and turn it into a salad rather than a dessert.

  • a big plateful of arugula
  • 2 pears, sliced
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, sliced
  • a number of ribbons of sharp cheese, I used gruyere and very well aged gouda, and made ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 very small red onion, sliced into circles
  • about 10 sage leaves, minced
  • a few drizzles of very warm honey
  • fresh ground black pepper

This salad looked quite pretty, but perhaps needed a bit more color–maybe if I had a red pear instead of a green one? The combo of the peppery arugula, hot onion, earthy sage, sweet crisp pear and warm honey, and rich salty cheese was delicious. I tried it first without the onion but thought it really needed that extra bite. For those who don’t like raw onions, I might try soaking them in vinegar or hot water to tone them down just a bit. The apple was delicious, but didn’t go so well with the other flavors–next time I’d make it with just pears. I didn’t add any dressing other than the honey, but Derek thought it could use a touch of dressing for the greens–maybe a honey vinaigrette. He promised to come up with a recipe for me. I know this combination of ingredients is fairly standard, but still it was quite tasty.

Rating: B+
Derek: B+

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