Angel Hair Pasta with No-cook Tomato and Basil Sauce

By Ira,

I make this every summer when the tomatoes are at their peak. It’s very important to use the best tomatoes you can find and a good quality salt. With so few ingredients, it makes a big difference to the overall taste of the dish. All you need to do is combine the chopped tomatoes with basil, garlic, and olive oil, then stir in the angel hair pasta and top it with Parmesan cheese. Very easy and delicious.

Serves 4-6

  • 5 large tomatoes or 7 medium ones
  • 2 handfuls sliced basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt or Himalayan salt preferably, or sea salt
  • freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • Parmesan cheese to serve

Note that I like to have a generous amount of tomatoes with my pasta. If you prefer less sauce, use 4 large tomatoes.

Start by boiling the water for the pasta. Add 1 tablespoon salt before adding the pasta.  Note that it only takes 2 minutes for the angel hair pasta to cook, so add the pasta to the water when your sauce is ready.

In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt. Taste and add more accordingly. Stir and set aside until pasta cooks.

Add the angel hair pasta to the tomato mixture and mix well. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

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Pasta in Garlic Almond Sauce

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Gourmet magazine, serves 4.

  • 3/4 cup whole roasted almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lb. cavatappi or other short tubular pasta
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, puree the 3/4 cup almonds, garlic and water.  Cook cavatappi in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost al dente (a couple minutes short of the listed cooking time).

Reserve 2 1/2 cups cooking water;  drain pasta.

Have the rest of the ingredients ready.

Heat oil and 1 TBS butter in a 12” skillet over medium heat;

add almond puree and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the reserved cooking water along with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer another 3 – 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Whisk in remaining butter until melted,

then add the pasta and peas.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, another 3 minutes or so.

Stir in cheese and lemon juice.

Remove from heat and stir in half the basil and mint, along with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve pasta in bowls, sprinkled with remaining basil, mint and cheese.

Caramelized Garlic Tart, Simple Arugula Salad

by Jennifer

This tart, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty,  was absolutely amazing, despite the cracks in the crust which caused the filling to leak out.  It says it serves 8;  I won’t confess how many it served tonight!  We served it with Challah;  feel free to substitute your favorite bread.

Caramelized Garlic Tart 

  • 1 lb. puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 medium – large heads of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • salt
  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 4 oz. hard goat cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 1/2 TBS creme fraiche
  • 6 1/2 TBS heavy cream
  • freshly ground black pepper

Use a 10” or 11” tart pan, ideally with a removable bottom.  Roll out the puff pastry and transfer it to the pan, gently pressing down to cover the bottom and sides.  Trim so that only a little hangs over the edge.

Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pastry and cover with something heavy – pie weights, dried beans, or in my case, glass marbles!  Place the pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes;  meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake pastry (good idea to put pan on a rimmed baking sheet at this point, just in case!), with the weights, for 20 minutes,

then remove the weights and parchment and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden.

While the pastry is baking, place garlic cloves in a 10” skillet, cover with water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook the cloves for 3 minutes;  drain.

Return cloves to the pan and add 1 TBS oil;  cook on high heat for 2 minutes, stirring.

Add 1 cup water and the balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Add sugar, herbs and 1/4 tsp salt and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and

what’s left is just the garlic cloves and a dark caramel syrup.

Scatter the garlic cloves and syrup over the baked pastry.  Break the cheeses into pieces and distribute them over the garlic and pastry.

Whisk together the eggs, creme fraiche, heavy cream, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.

Pour over the garlic and cheeses, making sure they poke out of the filling.  Return pan to oven, reducing oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the filling is set.  Remove from the oven, decorate with fresh thyme sprigs if you have them, and serve warm.

Simple Arugula Salad

  • 5 oz. arugula
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 1 TBS champagne or white wine vinegar

Toss arugula and olive oil in a serving bowl.  Add sea salt and toss well.  Add vinegar, toss, and serve.

Garlicky Shrimp Pasta, Roasted Pepper and Broccoli Salad with Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Vinaigrette

By Jennifer

Serves 4 adults.

Garlicky Shrimp Pasta – adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 9 garlic cloves – 5 minced, and 4 smashed
  • 1 lb. shrimp (preferably US-farmed or wild-caught), cleaned, each shrimp cut into 2 – 3 pieces depending on size
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta of your choosing
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine 2 tsp. minced garlic, 1 TBS olive oil, shrimp, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. 

Heat the 4 smashed cloves in 2 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Remove the garlic and discard.

While the pasta is cooking according to package directions, heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat and add the shrimp, with marinade, in a single layer.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is just cooked through.  Transfer the shrimp to a clean bowl.

Cook the remaining minced garlic and the red pepper flakes in the skillet for a minute;

add the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute.

Add the white wine and cook, stirring, for a minute.  Add the clam juice and parsley and cook for a few minutes, until the mixture becomes slightly thickened.

Turn off the heat and add the butter and lemon juice.

Drain the pasta;  return it to the pot.  Add the shrimp and garlic sauce and toss well.

Roasted Pepper and Broccoli Salad with Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Vinaigrette – adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Vinaigrette

  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Combine vinegars, oil, salt and pepper and whisk well.  Stir in tomatoes and olives.

  • 2 peppers, yellow and/or red
  • 1 1/2 lb. broccoli, and cut into florets, stems chopped

Roast peppers by placing them on a foil-lined baking sheet under the broiler for 20 – 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are blackened.

Immediately place peppers into a plastic bag and seal;  the steam contained within the bag helps release the skins and makes them easy to peel.

When they are cool, peel off the skins and chop.

Cook the broccoli, florets and stems, in a pot of boiling salted water, for 2 minutes, then drain.

Combine peppers, broccoli and vinaigrette, and toss well.

Poached Eggs on Garlicky Kale, Latkes, Homemade Applesauce

By Jennifer

Poached Eggs on Garlicky Kale, Latkes, Homemade Applesauce

  • 2 large bunches kale
  • Garlic oil (remember from the pizza?)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs per person
  • white vinegar

Fold each kale leaf in the middle length-wise, and tear down to separate the leaves from the stems.  Discard stems and tear the leaves into pieces.  Rinse well;  meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Boiling kale

Boil the kale for 7 – 9 minutes, then drain well.  When it’s cooled a little, squeeze the extra water out and toss in a bowl with a good spoonful or two of the garlic oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Kale is ready

Set aside (you can reheat it in the microwave for a minute or two before serving).

To poach the eggs, fill a large pot with 2 – 3 inches of water and bring it to a boil, then lower it to a simmer.  Add 2 TBS white vinegar and a couple pinches of salt.  Break one egg at a time into a small bowl, then carefully lower the bowl until it’s right above the water and slide it in.  Repeat with remaining eggs.  Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place two eggs per person on top of the kale.

Serve with Latkes, and Homemade Applesauce.

Poached Eggs on Garlicky Kale, Latkes, Homemade Applesauce