Pasta Recipes

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Pea Soup Topped with Pasta Chips Recipe

I may sound like a broken record, but I try not to waste food. In Vietnamese, it is tội chết: "dreadfully sinful" to waste. Yesterday, I had a little bit of leftover boiled bow-tie pasta. The quantity was too little to serve as a main dish, so I seasoned them, deep-fried them and served them as chips.

To ensure everyone enjoyed the small amount of chips in equal portions, I used them as crunchy toppings for pea and leek soup. You could serve them as appetizers for a buffet-style party (maybe next week for Christmas Eve) in mini shot glasses. A sprinkle of curly parsley is more than enough to provide an elegant final touch. 

Waste not, want not! 


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Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe Recipe

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe

12.16.13 by Jackie

We spent a pretty low-key weekend, which is just what we needed after being so busy with holiday activities. I had time to do my favorite activity: cooking! I planned on making a fairly healthy meal of bow tie pasta covered in sauce.

I used fresh pumpkin and boiled it until very soft. I love all kinds of squash, including pumpkin, when they're in season. I almost never use the canned version, even for baking, unless I'm really running out of time. 

For better visual appeal, I added finely-cut French green beans and sprinkled the top of the pasta dish with a little grated Dubliner for extra nuttiness.


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Lasagna Primavera Recipe Recipe

Lasagna Primavera Recipe

10.15.13 by Jackie

Lasagna primavera is a dish I came up with by stacking sheets of lasagna pasta and alternating them with loads of vegetables that were available at the local market. This morning, I found beautiful white button mushrooms, zucchini, onions, carrots and yellow, red and green bell peppers. I couldn't resist preparing a colorful meal. 

To ensure the vegetables remained the focal point of the dish, I only added enough béchamel sauce to hold the lasagna together and flavored it with basic herbs such as basil, thyme and oregano and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for extra nutty, salty flavor. This may not be a truly authentic lasagna recipe, but it’s delicious and a great way to get fussy eaters to eat their vegetables.


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Cauliflower Asparagus Manicotti Pasta Recipe Recipe

I’ve been feeling kind of miserable since getting home from our trip to Paris. Not only have I caught a nasty cough, but I'm still heavily jet-lagged.  What’s worse, I haven't visited the gym in almost a month and I have a mountain of tasks I need to complete very soon before I become totally overwhelmed. As you may have guessed, my cure for most problems is cooking, and today, I made one of my favorite comfort foods, something creamy, cheesy and filled with vegetables: an asparagus and cauliflower manicotti pasta.

To reduce the amount of cheese, calories and guilt in the béchamel sauce, I blended cauliflower into the white sauce. Once softened, the cauliflower became very creamy and gave extra body to the dish. 


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Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe Recipe

Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe

09.05.13 by Jackie

Lala, my husband's youngest sister, helped to maintain our vegetable and fruit garden all summer. She definitely has a green thumb and has been so good watering our tomato plants and keeping them alive (even when I was out of town for the Banh Mi book promotion in Houston last week). Lala has just started 4th grade this month. She's a very witty girl, full of energy and such a foodie. She told me she didn't want to have to eat the school lunches this year and would prefer eating homemade food for her back-to-school lunch (click on the link for more back-to-school lunch suggestions).

I told her it would be possible only if she helps me in the kitchen once she's done with her homework. She started a chart with the menu of the week and she seemed so thrilled! I couldn't be more excited because these are more precious moments I get to  share with my munchkin, plus it's about sharing my passion for cooking. 

So this evening, we gathered a few San Marzano tomatoes, basil flowers and Brown Turkey figs. You're probably wondering what we made with all these fantastic ingredients? Pasta sauce! I sweetened the tomato sauce with a hint of maple syrup and tossed medium shell pasta into the delectable sauce. It’s sweet without being overpowering, and the figs give it a wonderful new dimension.


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