Posts tagged pasta
The Cacio e Pepe Twist That Changes the Whole Game

There is nothing more classic than cacio e pepe - but can even this perfect combination of spaghetti, cheese and fresh pepper be improved upon?

Raquel Pelzel makes a pretty excellent case in her new book Umami Bomb. The book is all about utilizing umami, that famed extra category of flavor that brings a savory richness to any food, to make vegetarian food even more satisfying. Two of the ingredients she highlights are miso paste and nutritional yeast, and they are used in great effect in this recipe. It’s hard to imagine deepening the flavors of the original, but this take on cacio e pepe just bumps everything up a notch for an unforgettable version.

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The Perfect Spaghetti Dish

Sometimes simplicity can make for a perfect dish. And when it comes to spaghetti there’s nothing better than pairing it with garlic. But the trick to taking it to the next level is a few key ingredients and techniques. Gabe Thompson of L’Artusi stopped by to show us his recipe and it truly might be the perfect, simply spaghetti dish.

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The Spaghetti Dish You Can't Live Without

When I first moved to New York, my mother-in-law made sure to pass along a lot of her local ingredient knowledge. With seafood there was one constant: Citarella. She would travel over 20 blocks to get her fish at Citarella because to her there was nothing better.

So when Joe Guerrera- Citarella’s founder and original fishmonger - came out with a book, I knew it was going to be great. The title is succinct perfection: Joe Knows Fish. I had to have Joe over and he decided to share one of his easiest recipes, Spaghetti Vongole. It starts with good pasta and very fresh cockles or littleneck clams. But it’s one of those recipes that takes only a few ingredients and makes something magical.

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Bring It! on the Today Show

I started my career as a Page at NBC - yes, if you've seen 30 Rock it's just like Kenneth the Page, but with a little bit more real work involved! So I was so thrilled to get to have a little bit of a homecoming and share two of the recipes from Bring It! on The Today Show this week. 

We wanted two pastas perfect for summer entertaining so we did the Red Wine Pasta and the Pesto Vinaigrette Pasta

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi Is a Game Changer

I am obsessed with the middle ground of recipes that are easy but look fancy. So when I saw Adrienne Cheatham's sweet potato gnocchi recipe I knew I had to share it.

Gnocchi is one of the only pastas I make at home because it is so easy and yet it seriously impresses people. But the sweet potato twist takes it a step further because with no extra work you are adding an extra comforting flavor and a beautiful color. Combine that with my absolute fave miso paste and you had me at hello.

You might recognize Adrienne from last season's Top Chef (where she was a total boss and made it to the finals) but now you can find her at her pop up dinners, Sunday Best, which showcase her classically trained, Southern-inspired cooking. Mostly now I just want her to come cook with me every day. But in lieu of that we have a video of her awesome technique and a full recipe below. 

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Tonight's Dinner is Orzo with Chicken and Olive Sprinkle

Some ingredients are just back-pocket game changers that you should always have around. Dehydrated olives may not sound like a necessity, but they can add a punch of flavor to almost anything. Don't be concerned with people who claim they don't like olives, it's not the same flavor. In the way that miso paste or soy sauce can add a depth of umami to a dish, so too can a bit of dehydrated olives just sprinkled on top. On pasta, on meat, even on a salad this little dust can do wonders.

And it's not a difficult task - it's really just about sticking them in an oven and remembering to take them out. You can make a giant batch and then seal them in a jar, always at the ready for an infusion of oomph. 

This recipe takes something lovable but basic - chicken and pasta - and makes it feel like a sophisticated dish. It takes the ordinary and makes it addictive. But with the combination of the olives and the flavor of the chicken skin, you're basically unstoppable. 

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Updated Spaghetti Puttanesca

Sometimes I get a cookbook that speaks to me. There are a lot that I think are great ideas or superbly written but I know I will never cook from it. But it is a treat when I open a book and think 'I am going to cook so many of these recipes'. That's how Colu Henry's Back Pocket Pasta felt to me. I'm a carb obsessive to begin with but this just made it all so easy and realistic while still feeling fresh. And that's exactly how I would describe her take on a Puttanesca.

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