Tag Archives: Pasta

Canada Day Pasta

Happy Canada Day!

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It’s been a while since we last posted, so here’s a quick post on a Canada Day themed pasta. Savory foods can look pretty too! ūüėÄ

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I got that pasta from Winners again. I think it’s the¬†same brand as the previous colored pasta post.

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Ingredients: colored bowtie pasta, pasta sauce, shaved parmesan cheese, and grape tomatoes

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I’m thinking of using these red and white bowties again for Christmas ūüėČ .

– Ricelessasian

Christmas Kale Minestrone Soup

It’s that time of the year again. I don’t know about you, but one of the best parts of the year is the weeks that lead up to Christmas. There’s a lot of excitement in anticipation for Christmas; the environment is beaming with white snow and Christmas lights. You also have an excuse to throw holiday parties!

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In spirit of the season, ¬†I decided to get these Christmas-themed pasta I’ve been eyeing on for quite a while now. Initially, I was waiting to get it after Christmas when it goes on sale, and use it for next Christmas. But apparently, I don’t really have that much patience…

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Since I’ve recently been into soups because of the cold weather, here’s a minestrone soup post featuring one of my all-time favorite veggies, kale. It’s sweet, tangy, and hearty from the beans and vegetables used.

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Put your hands up like you just don’t kale.

– Ricelessasian

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Christmas Minestrone Kale Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)
Adapted from Laura Vitale

Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients according to your preference. You can add whatever vegetables you want; I just used what I had at home. Meatballs would also be a great addition to this soup.

Ingredients

2/3  cup diced carrots
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 can (796ml) diced tomatoes
4-5 cups of chopped kale
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
~1 cup pasta
1-2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking

Directions

  1. In a cooking pot, cook carrot, celery, and onion with some cooking oil over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions have softened and become translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook vegetables for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and diced tomatoes. Allow the soup to come to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the kale. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the kale has wilted. Add water if the soup reduces too much.
  3. Add the black beans and the pasta. Continue to heat the soup until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season soup with salt and pepper, and finish with some chopped fresh parsley. Serve with more parsley for garnish and parmesan cheese.

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What’s your Pasta?

Pasta comes in all colours, shapes, and sizes. It’s also one of Matchachoco’s favourite dishes, and I noticed that we’ve featured a couple of pasta dishes here on the blog.¬†We also love trying out all sorts of unique types!

Featured in here are: coloured bowties, orzo, long fusilli, mushroom fettuccine, and gnocchi pasta.

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Some of these pastas have been featured in previous blog posts such as¬†Colourful Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil Pasta Salad¬†and Balsamic Kale and Cranberry Pasta,¬†while I’m still planning on doing future blog posts on the others. Some other unique pasta shapes we’ve tried before that are not in the photos are Biciclette Tricolori Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and¬†Tomatoes¬†and¬†Festosi Pasta with Light Lemon Zest Cream sauce.

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I’m still planning on making my own pasta from scratch one day (once I get a pasta maker!). But in the mean time, I’ll just be collecting unique types of pasta for now ūüėõ

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IMG_0638Coloured Bowties
I got these on sale from Winners, otherwise they are quite pricey! They are mostly naturally coloured, made with beets, tumeric, and black squid, except for the blue pasta which is made with blue curacao. These bowties are great for pasta salads or any pasta dish that has a clear sauce.

IMG_0635Orzo
Is it rice or pasta? Orzo I thought (I’m sorry I’ve been waiting for so long, to use that pun). Basically, orzo is a pasta shaped like rice.

IMG_0633“Gnocchi” pasta
My mom got these for me from Winners. I recently used this pasta for my kale and balsamic pasta dish. This pasta is great with dishes with meat or vegetable pieces as those pieces stick to the hollow areas of the pasta. This pasta is often confused with gnocchi, the doughy type of dumplings, which is also a popular Italian dish.

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This pasta was bought from¬†Winners (again). There’s actually a lot of unique ¬†pasta finds at Winners, and even better when they go on sale! What I love about this pasta is that it smells like cream of mushroom soup when I cook them in water. The mushroom taste in this pasta is very subtle, though. To get the ultimate mushroom experience, serve this pasta with mixed mushrooms.

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Long Fusilli
I love the whimsical shape of this pasta! I think this pasta is great with oil-based sauces, such as pesto, and it also makes your plate look fuller because of the curls.

So what’s your favourite pasta? ūüėõ

– Ricelessasian

Balsamic Kale and Cranberry Pasta

It’s that time of the year again! Leaves are turning brown, everything is pumpkin-spiced, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This week is also my reading week at school, so I get to have some time to cook/bake again ūüėÄ

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Here’s a dish inspired by Laura Vitale’s¬†Kale¬†with Cranberries and Balsamic. This is one of my favorite ways to cook kale, and the cranberries give the dish some sweetness and a Thanksgiving feel to it. ¬†I added pasta (I’m not really sure what type of pasta I used, but it’s a cool shape!) and some toasted walnuts to Laura’s recipe.¬†I love the combination of ingredients,¬†and I think it makes such a light and healthy autumn-themed dish, in contrast to Thanksgiving dishes¬†which tend to be very heavy. If you like, you can finish it off with a sprinkling of some Parmesan cheese.

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This dish could be part of the Thanksgiving table as a light alternative, or if you’re looking for a recipe¬†to make using leftover turkey, it¬†can be included to the dish as well for added protein.

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Hope you’re having a great Autumn!

Kale me maybe,

– Ricelessasian

Cooking for One: Colourful Heirloom Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

It’s too pretty to eat…

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Here’s another Cooking for One recipe and a very simple and colourful one as well!

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I think I get easily amused with weird pasta shapes and colours (as evidenced by this previous post and this one), so I was really happy when I found these coloured bowtie pasta on sale at Winners. These bowties were¬†naturally coloured with turmeric, beets, and squid ink. The red portion of the pasta becomes a little dull after cooking the pasta,¬†but the black and yellow parts remain vibrant after cooking. I’m inspired to colour my own pasta from scratch, but first I’m going to need to find out where I can get my hands on¬†squid ink and a pasta maker!

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Since these bowties are so colourful, I thought about pairing the pasta with some colourful heirloom tomatoes. I was thinking of what kind of pasta dish to make, and I decided to stick to something simple.

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Although it’s very simple, it turned out pretty¬†well¬†for a dish that does not require a lot of ingredients and effort. It’s convenient to pack for lunch and also portion controlled (lol).

Eat the rainbow,

– Ricelessasian

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Colourful Heirloom Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad (Serves 1)
Adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients*

~1 cup of coloured bowtie pasta
1/4 cup of chopped heirloom tomatoes, including the juice released
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 large basil leaves, chopped
1/4 – 1/2 clove of garlic, finely minced
2-3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Adjust amount of ingredients according to your taste. Experiment by adding ingredients such as onions, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and olives. This is just a guide to how much I used for one serving, and I just used what I had at home.

Directions

  1. In a non-reactive bowl, mix together olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, and finely minced garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let this mixture sit while you are cooking the pasta. TIP: If you don’t like the taste of raw garlic, you can sauté the garlic in olive oil first before mixing all the ingredients.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, toss warm pasta with the heirloom tomato mixture. Toss with crumbled feta cheese. Eat it as it is, or refrigerate and eat it as a cold pasta salad.

Cooking for One: Biciclette Tricolori Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

Recently, I attended one of Vancouver’s largest food festivals – Eat! Vancouver at BC Place. It’s a three-day event fit for all foodies, whether you’re a fan of sweet pastries, savouries or wine. While I was perusing the aisles and looking for delicious and free samples, I found these cute tricolour bicycle-shaped pasta at the Urban Fare Market booth.

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The colour of this Italian pasta is made from natural ingredients such as dried red beat, dried spinach and durum wheat semolina. I thought it would go perfectly for our blog because Ricelessasian loves colourful and uniquely-shaped pasta!

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I adapted the recipe below because I just used whatever I had in my kitchen. It’s simple and unfussy, but most of all, I like this recipe because it’s extremely versatile. Though I made a vegetarian version, this dish would go well with some grilled chicken or salmon for a more substantial meal.

After making this recipe, I’d have to agree with Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m a better person when I have less on my plate!

Happy cooking,

-Matchachoco

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Pesto and Goat Cheese Biciclette Tricolori Pasta (makes 1 serving)
Adapted from And They Cooked Happily Ever After 

Ingredients

125 g biciclette tricolori pasta (or any other type of pasta you prefer)
~ 2 tbsp of pesto* or more depending on your taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tomato, diced in quarters (I used tomatoes on the vine)
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 oz. fresh goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:

*Homemade pesto (yields about 1/2 cup):
1 cup fresh basil
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, boil the biciclette pasta for 8-10 minutes until al dente in lightly salted water. Depending on the type of pasta you use, refer to the package instructions for cooking time. Drain and rinse in cold water with a coriander.
  2. In a food processor, mix all the pesto ingredients together until all combined well. Add salt pepper to taste and more olive oil to your preference (optional).
  3. In a medium-sized pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced red onion and the diced tomatoes and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Mix pasta with the sautéed onions and tomatoes, and about 2 tbsp. or more of the pesto. Incorporate the goat cheese just until the cheese melts a little bit. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or as a cold pasta salad instead.

Note: Make sure to not overcook or overstir the pasta in boiling water since the pieces tend to break easily.

Cooking for One: Festosi Pasta with Light Lemon Zest Cream sauce

Matchachoco and I have been¬†discussing about the concept of cooking for one, recipes that are meant for only one serving. It was initially a forever alone joke (aka the most referenced meme in our conversations), but I think we might be up to something with the concept…

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Here’s the first “Cooking for One”¬†post featuring a pasta shape I’m currently crazy with, called festosi (I think it’s also called armoniche?). I really like the texture of this pasta, and what’s ¬†special about the curly ridges on the pasta is that it makes it easier for pasta sauces and small food pieces to stick to the pasta.

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Although this type of pasta would be perfect for something like a pesto sauce, I wanted to try something new and came up with this light cream sauce that has a lemon flavour undertone. The pasta sauce was a little bit thin, but it’s great for dipping with bread.

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I really liked the sauce because it has a little bit of creaminess to it, but it’s not overly rich that you feel sick after eating it. Coincidentally, the amount I made was exactly just enough for one serving, so here am I typing about cooking for one.

– Ricelessasian

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Festosi Pasta with Light Lemon Zest Cream Sauce (makes 1 serving)

Ingredients

3/4 to 1 cup festosi pasta or pasta of your choice
1 cup baby spinach
3 white mushrooms, chopped
3 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 of a medium sized onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (the real deal, not the cheap Parmesan cheese)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic with olive oil just until onion becomes translucent. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms have softened. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, spinach, and lemon zest.  Reduce to low medium heat, and let simmer until its volume has slightly reduced. Mix Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the sauce; this will slightly thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss pasta with the sauce. Serve in a small bowl.

Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta

We’re still blogging!

Matchachoco and I are currently taking a break from baking (calm before the storm?). In the meantime, do enjoy this roasted vegetable pesto pasta :).

-Ricelessasian

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Roasted Vegetables Pesto Pasta (serves 4-5)

Ingredients

1 Japanese eggplant
1 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic bulb
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

~300 g spaghetti
6 tbsp. basil pesto
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

Roast vegetables

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and onion into even pieces. Peel garlic cloves but do not chop.
  3. In a bowl, combine zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, 1-2 tbsp. cooking oil, and salt and pepper. Mix together until the vegetables are coated with the cooking oil. Repeat step in separate bowl with onion and grape tomatoes.
  4. Lay out zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in one even layer over two baking trays. Laying out the vegetables in one even layer will allow the vegetables to roast properly. Repeat step in a separate baking tray with onion and grape tomatoes.
  5. Roast zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and garlic cloves in the oven for about 30 minutes. Roast onion and grape tomatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Rotate baking tray and toss vegetables mid-way for even roasting.

Prepare pasta

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is still hot, mix in basil pesto, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Top pasta with roasted vegetables. If the pesto sauce is a little bit dry, add a little bit of the starchy cooking water from the pasta.

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After roasting:
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There’s something so special about the taste of roasted vegetables.¬†The taste is not the same if you stir fry or boil veggies. By roasting vegetables, the flavours intensify and the veggies taste sweet because of caramelization.¬†Not to mention,¬†caramelization is my favourite non-enzymatic browning :).

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