Favorite Pasta Recipes?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by JohnE, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Well seeing as how Lew and Angelo have me salivating all over my keyboard over in the pizza thread I thought I would start a new one for everyone to offer up their favorite pasta recipes and tips.

    I confess I'm starting this thread in the hopes of getting some good recipes for myself since I have none to offer myself =). I'm a competent cook and can follow directions well enough but lack the skill and flair required to take a recipe and turn it into something really great.

    Hopefully some of you will have some recipes or tips for pasta, sauces, breads, wines and anything else I'm missing to share.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    The Italians aren't going to give those away.

    However, if you want something different, when you do get one that you like with lasagna, mix everything together, lay the pasta out on a table, drop everything on the the strips and roll them up. You can wrap them up and freeze them alone or in pairs and they are just great!

    Glenn
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Sometimes I like pasta without tangy marinara or white sauce.

    So what I do is this:

    Cook noodles till they are perfect (not too soft so they break apart, and not chewy) in salt water. (About as salty as the pacific ocean) [​IMG]

    Get the highest quality olive oil you can find, (Sometimes greener the better). Then drain the water out of the noodles so that the noodles are hot, and put a serving on top of a plate with like 1 tblsp olive oil and gently toss it together.

    The hot noodles will absorb the olive oil flavor and then all you add is topings/garnish such as:

    Kalamata Olives or something similar
    Sun Dried Tomatoes
    Grated parmasean cheese or romano etc.
    Italian seasoning etc.

    One of my all time favorite pastas is actually very simple: Take white "Japanese style" udon (rectangular not round) type noodles. For the sauce, use standard tomato soup mixed with cooked ground beef. This will have a very mellow taste.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  5. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Pumpkin
    Unsalted butter
    Sage
    Spinach
    Lemon Juice
    Sea Salt
    Pepper

    All of the above to taste. Pan fry the pumpkin until golden brown and crisp.

    Just copied this recipe from an australian cooking magazine last week. It's one of the most delicious pasta recipe I've ever tasted.

    When it comes to pasta, I believe the simpler the better.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Here is a variation on the spaghetti with garlic and oil recipe—it is how I used to make it and (imo) should always be matched with spaghetti:

    Chop the garlic a bit more coarsely than in the other receipe.

    Sauté in the olive oil until the garlic is black.

    Discard the garlic and dress the spaghetti with the very flavorful olive oil. This is more bitter than the other method.
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    I pass this recipe on simply as an example of something revolting that students will eat when pressed for ingredients. And okay, drunk as skunks as well. If you try it, I will take no responsibility for death, indigestion, etc.

    You will need:

    spaghetti
    fish fingers (I think you guys call them fish sticks) - the ones in breadcrumbs, *not* batter
    mayonnaise
    butter
    salt and pepper for seasoning


    Cook your fish fingers in the usual way.
    When cooked, mash them up with a fork so they are well broken up, but not so vigorously that they are a puree.
    Blend in mayo, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

    Mix with freshly-cooked spaghetti.

    Eat (if you dare).

    In the right scenario (drunk, starving, and not particularly bothered about long or short term health prospects) this particular recipe is surprisingly pleasant. We once tried modifying it with grated cheese as well, but that was felt to be rather too rich.

    After a few attempts, we reckoned that the best results were obtained by preparing the 'sauce' just as the spaghetti was cooked, draining the spaghetti, and then returning it straight back to the still-hot pan and mixing the sauce in with it in the pan.

    I hope this demonstrates why I spent most of the rest of my college days eating salad.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Since you have injected fish into the discussion Andrew, here is an easy (and delicious) pasta:

    Chop a couple of cloves of garlic finely.

    Add to ¼ cup of olive oil and sauté until golden.

    While the garlic is cooking, open a can of plum tomatoes (Italian are best) and chop coarsely and chop some flat parsley coarsely.

    When the garlic is gold, add the parsley off heat and stir in returning to the heat just for a minute.

    Then add the tomatoes, including the juice

    Add salt (I use Maldon’s Sea Salt) and pepper to taste.

    Cook at a low simmer 20–30 minutes, uncovered.

    While this is cooking heat a large pot of water to a boil, then salt (2–3 tablespoons).

    Open a can (10 oz) of tuna, drain and flake.

    Add the tuna to the sauce when it is done and stir.

    Cook the sauce for another five minutes.

    Meanwhile add a pound of spaghetti to the water and cook al denté.

    Drain the spaghetti, put in a bowl, add a tablespoon of raw olive oil and toss.

    Add the sauce and toss.


    Serve with a nice, medium-bodied red and a green salad. Melon to follow and then espresso. You can make the salad, set the table, etc. while the sauce is cooking.

    Total time from preparation to table 30–35 minutes (assuming you can multi-task). Impress your SO and take time to sample that red you opened while the sauce simmers. This is really easy, good, fast and nutritious.
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    (Warning, Seinfeld reference ahead)

    #1 tip: Don't strain the pasta while it's in the sauce [​IMG]
     
  10. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Lew, I think you alone are going to be responsible for me gaining 5 lbs this weekend. I'm gonna be trying your pizza sauce recipe one day and the tuna pasta on Sunday.

    Any particular wine you would recommend? I'm partial to Cab Sauv's for the most part but would be happy to try something else.

    And thanks to everyone for sharing, even you andrew.:wink:
     
  11. Marshall Alsup

    Marshall Alsup Second Unit

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    Well, I love pasta and I have two favorite recipes. They are pretty similar to some of the ones above. I highly recommend them.. they are TASTY and FAST.

    1. Heat some really good extra virgin olive oil (about 5Tbs)over a medium heat. Add 2-3 garlic cloves minced fairly small and a pinch of chili flake (or two pinches like me [​IMG] ) and cook for a few minutes till the garlic starts to color. Then open a 28oz can of Italian tomatoes (try to get San Marzano, which is a type not a brand, if you can) and crush them with your hands don't cut them up. Dump the tomatoes and their juice from the can in. At this point put the water on to boil for the pasta. Let the sauce cook at a descent simmer for about 20 minutes and then add the basil. The basil is the key. Get some fresh basil from the store. Even normal grocery stores have it. Its in the vegtable section in little plastic containers. Take out several leaves and tear (not cut) them up and throw them into the sauce. don't tear them till the sauce is done, and only add the basil off the heat. whenever the water boils add some spaghetti. There is enough sauce for a pound of spaghetti dressed the way I like it, or half a pound dressed the way all my friends do.

    At this point I like to mix some of the sauce with the pasta and leave some to put on top for those that like their pasta sauced a little heavier. This recipe is super good and easy and the basil REALLY stands out.

    2. Heat the water for the pasta. While its heating, heat about half a cup of really good extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add a couple pinches of chili flake and 2-3 cloves minced garlic. Heat till the garlic starts to color. The sauce is done. I actually usually don't start the sauce till the water is almost boiling because it only takes 5-7 minutes to cook usually, which is about the same time spaghettini (sp?) takes to cook. Anyway, throw in the spaghettini and let it cook. When its done toss it with the sauce and grate on some imported (aka REAL) parmesan regeiano (sp?) cheese. mmmmmmmmm tasty!

    Oh yeah, for both of these recipes make sure the pasta is al dente. I HATE mushy pasta. It should be firm but not have any crunch, almost elastic kinda. Heh, hard to explain.

    Well, if you make either of these you'll be happy I promise!!

    -Marshall
     
  12. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Try this combination...

    Begin with the usual saute of garlic in olive oil. Add one small onion, finely diced. Next, about a cup of chicken stock, half a cup of white wine and half a cup of water. Add fresh broccoli pieces, and cook until the broccoli is slightly soft but not soggy. Add white beans and cook for a few more minutes. In the final sauce stage, add a small pat of butter and simmer.

    Prepare your favorite pasta. Pene works well with this recipe, al dente.

    Add sauce to cooked pasta, and top with a generous amount of shaved asiago cheese. Sprinkle with a touch of chiffonaded parsely (chiffonading is easy to do to parsely, learn how) and just a pinch of sea salt.

    Going against the grain, I like red wine with this hearty dish. For those of you that like a little meat, this recipe goes very well with ground or whole Italian sausage.

    Mangiate...
     
  13. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I'm posting this in this thread and in the pizza thread, at the request of some of you hungry folks. My wife's focaccia bread recipe; she cribbed it from someone who's been making it for 50 years...

    Serves 20
    Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Cooking time 25 minutes

    1 tsp fresh dried yeast
    2 tsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1.5 cups warm water
    4 cups bread flour (King Arthur recommended)
    3 tblsp olive oil
    Pinch of coarse sea salt
    2 tsp chopped dried rosemary (dried rosemary is very potent; if you only have access to fresh, then you'll have to use more)

    Dissolve yeast, sugar and salt in water and let stand for 10 minutes (you will notice a foamy, thick texture). Slowly add flour 1 cup at a time and knead by hand 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Form into ball and place in lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cloth and let stand for 1 hour until it doubles in volume. Place dough on lightly floured cookie sheet and gently press out until flat, leaving the indentations of your fingers. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and rosemary. Bake in oven preheated to 425F for 17-20 minutes until golden brown.

    Any add additional toppings (gorgonzola cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, etc) if desired and return to oven 2-3 minutes.
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I threatened to include a sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Here (and once again in the fast and easy vein) is the simplest I know:

    Select 2 lb fresh, ripe Roma (plum) tomatoes—they should be available at the grocery—don’t use other varieties as they don’t cook as well—substitute canned if you can’t get Romas.

    Plunge in boiling water until the skins pucker. Drain and remove the skins. Crush with your hands or chop and put them in a saucepan.

    Add ½-1stick of unsalted butter (substitutes are not acceptable) and one medium yellow onion peeled and cut in half.

    Salt to taste

    Cook at a slow simmer, uncovered for maybe 45-60 minutes. Stir occasionally and crush up any chunks of tomato.

    Remove the onion and correct the salt, if necessary.

    This is a very simple and very sweet, flavorful sauce. It also works well as a pizza topping.

    I am serving this tonight with gnocchi—which I have become too lazy to make myself (I get it from the store), but if you have patience and skill, homemade gnocchi is magnificent. Serve with a light red wine, a green vegetable such as asparagus or green beans and perhaps a green salad. Maybe melon or gelato to follow. And an espresso.


    Lots of good suggestions in the postings—I am simpatico with some of you. My choice for these light, but flavorful pasta dishes is a light to medium bodied red. Perhaps a Beaujolais Village (not a Cru) or a less expensive Tuscan will go well. Or a simple Spanish Rioja.

    Some California Zinfandels will work, but not the expensive ones that will be way too big.

    I would not choose a Cab Sav for these dishes, as the good ones are a bit too complex for such simple flavors.

    Pinot Noir will work well, but acceptable ones are too expensive for these dishes.
     
  15. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    OK, since we seem to be having a carb-fest ....
    What's everyone's pasta preferences ? I prefer ziti or No. 8 for anything that uses red sauce and No. 9 or angel hair for the olive oil recipies. Just knocked off some No. 9 with garlic and oil topped off with a few pan seared sea scallops, yum yum. Remember to use Paulie's (Goodfella's) method of garlic slicing (felt compelled to do a movie tie-in). [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I got a thirty dollar gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma for my bday, and I'm looking at getting this book. I was wondering if any on this thread new anything about it, or could recommend any other really good cookbooks. I like cook books that are very thorough (bernard clayton's complete book of breads comes to mind) and this looks to be just that.

    Adam
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Adam, you can’t go wrong. This is (for Americans) the best Italian cookbook by far. Marcella lets you know in her receipies why she is doing the things she is doing, so it becomes quite easy to adapt recipes to the ingredients you have on hand.

    The roast chicken with two lemons, for example is a no-work staple in our home. And on and on.

    Most of the recopies that I’ve put in these threads are adaptations of hers. I’ve made some of these so many times, that mostly I never look at the book—I do check for new ideas, food combinations and pasta/sauce combinations (the fresh tomato sauce with gnocchi is an example.

    Julia Child claims that she turns to Marcella for Italian cooking.
     
  18. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    And for other cookbooks, Julia Child’s (and others) Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a classic .and a necessity. Here too you are given the reasons for everything. Her style is to give a ‘master’ recipe and then a few variations. Pretty easy after that to come up with your own variations.

    My third entry is The Joy of Cooking. The most basic and complete of cookbooks for Americans. An absolute must.

    I am also fond of James Beard’s American Cooking, another very fine, basic cookbook.

    My wife and probably have had over 100 cookbooks—but if you get these you will be set for pretty much everything other than Asian and other ethnic cooking. I love Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc. but usually get those foods out.
     
  19. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I used the 'pizza' putenesca sauce Lew posted in the Pizza thread and tossed in my own variation and made pasta tonight

    I used 1/3 cup olive oil (because I"m stupid and didn't look at the numbers carefully enough, I grabbed the wrong measuring cup) and I diced half a white onion semi fine (about 1/4-1/2 inch pieces) which I sauteed in the oil for a few minutes while I was slicing the garlic very thin. I added the garlic (3 big cloves) and sauteed that until golden. I then added the anchovie fillets (about four or so) which I had sliced quite thin) mashed them into the sauce over heat. Finally I pulled off the heat for a little bit then added the fresh parsely (two big sprigs chopped very coarsely) stirred that in, and let it cook for a moment while I continued on the can of tomatos. After a little bit of trial and error I stopped trying to chop the tomatoe on the mat and slit them down the middle and very gently squeezed to let most of the juice run into the sauce bowl, then I chopped, worked much better than the prior method. I of course knew to slice through them rather than try to cut down through them, so no worries there. I added tomatos and let simmer. I then took about five small cloves of garlic, mashed once with the flat of the blade and peeled, and added them to simmer with the sauce, as both Genette and I love eating cooked, whole cloves of garlic in our soups and sauces (which are not garlicky btw). I let that simmer for a while, cracked some pepper into it and then about 2/3 of the way through I sprinkled about half a teaspoon of dried basil flakes (having no fresh basil sadly) into the sauce. The pasta was some very beautiful, excellent tacanni, imported from Italy and bought from Trader Joes of course! Extremely good pasta. worked wonderfully with this rich sauce, eating it was almost like chips and salsa, except with a fork.

    On the side I took a bread I'd made yesterday (I accidently got the yeast to hot on warming the milk mixture so it didn't raise well at all, very very dense bread) sliced it into sticks, basted with a rich extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled basil and queso fresco on top and baked it at 325 for 10 minutes. This was almost better with the sauce than the pasta!

    Thanks for the recipe Lew! and I'll definitely be picking up that cookbook!

    Adam
     
  20. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    I'd like to say thanks to everyone for all the recipes. I've tried a couple of them so far with great results. Lew's tomato sauce recipe was not only delicious on my pizza, it managed to impress my girlfirend on pasta.[​IMG]

    Next up I'm going to give Angelos wife's focaccia bread recipe a shot.
     

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