Chunky Eggplant Sauce from washingtonpost.com


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 12-ounce eggplant (unpeeled), cut into ¼ -inch by ¼ -inch by 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt, or more as needed
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (see NOTE)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, or more as needed
12 basil leaves, torn
1 pound dried bucatini (or substitute penne rigate, rigatoni or orecchiette)

½ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a wide, deep-sided saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, 30 seconds, then add the eggplant, ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Partially cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often, or until soft, allowing the liquid from the lid to drip into the eggplant if it seems dry.

Use a fork to crush the eggplant in the pan to a chunky consistency, then add the tomatoes and the teaspoon of fresh oregano. Increase the heat to medium; cook uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick (the cooking time will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are). Stir in the basil and keep the sauce warm.

Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the bucatini and the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook according to the package directions (al dente), about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce in the pan, and add just enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to create a sauce that coats the bucatini. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper and oregano, as needed.

Serve hot, dusted with the cheese.

4 to 6 servings (makes about 1⅔ cups sauce, enough for 1 pound of pasta)

NOTE: To peel the tomatoes, use a sharp knife to score a large X on the bottom of each one. Drop into a bowl of just-boiled water and let sit for a few minutes, until you see the peel curling back from the edges of the X. Drain and let cool, then peel and discard the loosened skin.

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Pizzoccheri Gratin from Jonathon Sawyer

original-201212-r-pizzoccheri-gratin.jpgIn Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese.You may need to use fresh lasagna sheets cut into noodles (buckwheat noodles can be hard to find) and bake them in a gratin dish with a crispy bread crumb topping.

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter with the sage, poppy seeds and caraway seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nutty and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Step 2  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potato and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato to a bowl. Add the pasta to the pot and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to a colander. Add the cabbage to the pot and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage and shake out the excess water. Pour off the water and return the cabbage to the pot, along with the pasta and potato. Add the browned butter, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Stir in 1 cup of the Fontina and half of the Parmigiano and transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Step 3  In the small skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the bread crumbs and parsley and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and toasted, 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining Fontina and Parmigiano and sprinkle over the pasta. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve hot.  Serves : 8

Make Ahead

The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Zucchini, onion and ricotta pie (sorta salata di zucchine e cipolle) from saver.com

14 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
6 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
12 cup grated pecorino
12 cup ricotta
12 cup roughly chopped parsley
4 eggs, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. bread crumbs

Instructions

Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and shallot until golden, 4–6 minutes. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Stir in pecorino, ricotta, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 10″ pie plate with butter; coat with bread crumbs. Spread zucchini mixture evenly over top; bake until golden on top and slightly puffed, 40–45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

italian tortellini salad from delightfulemade.com/

10 oz. small or medium cheese tortellini pasta (tri-color or regular)
1 c. cherry tomatoes (red and/or yellow), quartered
1 (3.8 oz.) can, black olives, drained
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1/2 c. jarred mild yellow banana peppers, chopped or peppers
1 c fresh mozz pearls
1 c. Italian salad dressing
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let set to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, olives, red onion, and banana peppers. Toss with the cooled tortellini pasta. Add the dressing and cheese and toss all ingredients to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve chilled.
  3. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

 

Bread and Tomato Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro) from saveur.com

12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and finely chopped
9 cups puréed peeled Italian tomatoes
3  cups veggie stock
9 slices (¾”-thick) stale, unsalted Tuscan bread (about 1 lb.), halved
2 tbsp. chopped basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat ⅓ cup of the oil in a large wide pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until light golden, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add leeks, and cook, stirring often, until very soft but not browned, 15–20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken and beef stocks and stir to mix well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Add the bread, pushing it into the soup with a wooden spoon until each piece is submerged. Add the basil and stir gently to combine. Cover the pot and set it aside to let the bread soak until completely softened, about 30 minutes.
Uncover the pot and whisk the soup vigorously until the bread breaks down and the soup resembles porridge, 4–5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently reheat soup over medium heat. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

 

Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad from foodiecrush.com

  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cucumbers, quartered and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino romano
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions in boiling water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Drain, rinse and cool. Add the spaghetti to a large bowl with the cucumbers, red bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, black olives and parmesan cheese. In a pint jar with a lid, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic clove, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake well and pour over the spaghetti mixture and toss to coat. Add more parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes up to overnight.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca from gearpatrol.com

Half box dried spaghetti (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole clove garlic
3 anchovy fillets, canned in olive oil
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup preferred olives (i.e. Kalamata), pitted
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1. Start cooking spaghetti by following instructions on the box. Drain two minutes before ready, and be sure to reserve half a cup of cooking liquid for later step.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add clove of garlic, and cook until brown, about 1–2 minutes; then discard. Add anchovies to the pan and smear with a spatula until it forms a paste with the olive oil. Sprinkle red chili flakes, cook for about 10 seconds, then add tomatoes. Simmer for about 8–9 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.

3. Lower the heat, and toss in capers and olives. Fold in the cooked spaghetti, and stir to coat. Cook for an additional minute or two until preferred doneness. If the sauce is too thick, use the reserved pasta water to help coat the spaghetti.

4. Plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.

Spaghetti Puttanesca, seriouseats.com

  • 4 to 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons; 20–30ml chopped anchovy)
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped (about 2 ounces; 60g) (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted black olives (about 2 ounces; 60g) (see note above)
  • 1 cup (225g) whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, roughly broken up by hand (about half a 14 ounce can)
  • Small handful minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 ounce (30g) finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place spaghetti in a large skillet, sauté pan, or saucepan and cover with water. Add a small pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, combine 4 tablespoons (60ml) oil, garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.) Add capers and olives and stir to combine.
  3. Add tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a bare simmer. Continue to simmer until pasta is cooked to just under al dente (about 1 minute less than the package recommends).

    4.  Using tongs, transfer pasta to sauce. Alternatively, drain pasta through a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add drained pasta to sauce.

    5.  Add a few tablespoons of pasta water to sauce and increase heat to bring pasta and sauce to a vigorous simmer. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan and adding more pasta water as necessary to keep sauce loose, until pasta is perfectly al dente, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (The pasta will cook more slowly in the sauce than it did in the water.) Stir in remaining olive oil, parsley, and cheese.

    6.  Season with salt and pepper. (Be generous with the pepper and scant with the salt—the dish will be plenty salty from the other ingredients.) If using, stir in canned tuna and break it up with a fork. Serve immediately with more grated cheese at the table.

Zuppa Toscana

1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 large onion, diced
5 (13.75 ounce) cans veggie  broth

  1. Cook the sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2.  Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Lightened-Up Eggplant Parmesan

POMODORO SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion (peeled, finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano (tied with kitchen twine)
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (crushed with your hands, 28 ounces)
  • 1 bunch basil (torn, to garnish)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Eggplants:
  • 2 medium eggplants (sliced 1/4-inch thick, peeled)
  • olive oil (spray)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
CASHEW PARMESAN:
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • For the Pomodoro Sauce: Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove oregano and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree on low to preserve the red color. Add basil and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • For the Eggplant: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place two racks inside of two baking sheets.
  • On the racks, place the eggplant rounds and lightly spray both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • For the Cashew Parmesan: In the bowl of a food processor, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder, and pulse to combine until it becomes a fine meal.
  • Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium-low heat and add the bread crumbs. Allow to toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, and oregano and toss to combine. Pour the panko bread crumbs into a large bowl, add the cashew mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To Assemble: Decrease the oven temperature to 325ºF.
  • Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with olive oil, place one eggplant round and top with one heaping tablespoon of the sauce, followed by a heaping tablespoon of the cashew parmesan. Top with another eggplant round and repeat the process 2 more times, finishing with a fourth eggplant round with sauce.
  • Assemble the remaining eggplant parmesan stacks in the baking dish with the rest of the eggplant rounds. Place in the oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the cashew parmesan over each eggplant stack.
  • Tip: The cashew parmesan will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or freezer stored in an airtight container. Use to garnish pastas, soups and salads just like you would Parmesan cheese!