Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach half a 10 ounce bag1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped*
Optional: Feta cheese

Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika & onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Slowly add in the oil and pulse until just combined. Stir in the poppyseeds. IF you don’t have a blender or food processor you can combine the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk (or shake jar) vigorously.

  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
  9. Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans. *UPDATE: we’ve found we like this salad even more with the pecans coarsely chopped- you’ll get more in each bite! 🙂

  10. Top the salad with the pecans and (if desired) feta cheese.

  11. Enjoy immediately.

 

Chunky Eggplant Sauce from washingtonpost.com


ÂĽ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 12-ounce eggplant (unpeeled), cut into ÂĽ -inch by ÂĽ -inch by 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt, or more as needed
â…› 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 1â…” 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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Creamy Corn Pasta With Basil from NY Times

  • Fine sea salt
  • 12 ounces dry orecchiette or farfalle
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked and kernels removed (2 cups kernels)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
  • â…“ cup torn basil or mint, more for garnish
  • ÂĽ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat; add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and all but 1/4 cup corn; simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.
  3. Heat the same skillet over high heat. Add butter and let melt. Add reserved 1/4 cup corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. (It’s O.K. if the butter browns; that deepens the flavor.) Add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in 1/4 cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, the red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. Transfer to warm pasta bowls and garnish with more scallions, herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

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.

Michael Ruhlman’s Pasta with Tomato Water, Basil, and Garlic

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, large dice
  • 1 1/2 to 2teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 12 ounces spaghetti or any pasta you like
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup basil, cut into ribbons
  • 3 ounces butter, cut into three chunks
  • Olive oil, as needed
  1. Season the tomatoes with the salt and toss them well.
  2. Put a big pot of water on to boil.
  3. Smash the garlic with the flat side of a knife, give it all a few rough chops with the knife and set them a side in a small bowl.
  4. Cut the basil into ribbons or roughly chop it. Take a pinch of this basil, chop it finely, and add it to the tomatoes to season the water.
  5. Cook your pasta, drain it, put it back in the pot, and oil the pasta to keep it from sticking to itself. (Meanwhile, even if your water isn’t boiling yet, you should still get your garlic cooking in the next step).
  6. Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and cook it till it is just beginning to brown around the edges and soften, a couple minutes. Give it a pinch of salt if you wish.
  7. Pour the tomatoes into a strainer or colander over the garlic so that the tomato water will stream into the pan below. Set the strainer with the tomatoes into the bowl so they don’t drip on the counter, and swirl the sauce to bring it to a simmer. Add the butter while continuing to swirl or stir the sauce. Keep the sauce moving until all the butter is melted. Add the pasta and toss to coat the pasta evenly. Divide the pasta among four bowls and top with the tomatoes and basil.  Serves 2 to 4

one pot black bean enchilada pasta from savorynothings.com

 

  • 4 cups small pasta shapes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar plus extra to top (optional)
  • cilantro, cherry tomatoes, lime wedges to serve (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients except for the cheese and garnishes in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and simmer until pasta is done, about 15 minutes.

  2. Stir in cheese, add more on top if you like. Serve with cilantro, diced tomatoes and lime wedges.

 

Spaghetti Salad from Martha

    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 pound thin spaghetti
    • 1/2 small red onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 1/3 cup)
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
      • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
      • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
      • 1/4 cup kalamata olives (about 10), pitted and halved
      • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
      • 1/4 cup packed parsley leaves
      • 3 ounces crumbled feta (about3/4 cup)1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 cup)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain, and let cool slightly.

  • While pasta is cooking, stir together onion, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and oil. Season vinaigrette with 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and sugar.

  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, capers, and vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

  • Toss pasta with parsley and feta. Re-season, if desired, before serving.

 

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.

Creamy Greek Pasta Salad from twopeasandtheirpod.com

  • 1 lb pasta such as fusilli, penne, or farfalle
  • 1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 seedless cucumber, chopped
  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, stir together the Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dill, and oregano in a large bowl.
  3. When the pasta is done cooking, drain and run cold water over the pasta. Drain completely and pour the pasta into the large bowl with the Greek yogurt mixture. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese. Stir gently until ingredients are well coated. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. You can add a little extra dill and lemon juice, if desired. Serve.

Creamy Pasta Salad from barefeetinthekitchen.com/

salad:
8 ounces salad macaroni or ditalini pasta
1 cup tiny broccoli florets
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup very thinly sliced green onion
dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine or plain vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the noodles are done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large colander. Rinse well with cold water.

 Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the bowl and stir well to coat. Add the cucumber, pepper, and onions and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving. Enjoy!

If you forget to toss the broccoli in the boiling water at the end of the pasta’s cooking time, you can also steam it in the microwave. Place the broccoli in a glass bowl along with a tablespoon of water. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until the broccoli is bright green and barely softened.