Tag Archives: Italian cooking

Penne with Salmon, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Spinach

This is a really simple, flavorful, and healthy pasta dish to prepare. But as usual the recipe is not carved in stone. Add or subtract the ingredients you like. I happen to like fish, so I made it with salmon. But this could easily be made with chicken instead, or even vegetarian. The simple recipe is below.

Penne with Salmon, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Spinach
Makes about 2 portions
2 cups whole wheat penne (5 or 6 ounces)
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces salmon filet, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups spinach leaves, washed and chopped
Boil the penne in lightly salted water, drain it, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in large a heavy skillet. Add the diced salmon, cook it until lightly browned, then remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside (leave the oil in the pan). Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until it just begins to brown. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, hot pepper, and salt. Cook for a minute or so, then add the broth. Coo the broth until it reduces and concentrates east half. Stir in the spinach and cook it for just a minute. Add the cooked pasta and salmon back to the pan and gently fold it into the broth and other ingredients until heated through. And if you’d like, garnish with grated cheese. 

Pasta with Broccoli, Garlic, Oil, and Other Good Things…

I have posted this recipe–or variations of it–on other occasions, but not in a while. It is one of my favorites. And besides being so simple to make, it is also delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive. The recipe below is a basic one, but add or remove whichever ingredients you prefer. This recipe is delicious and applicable with most vegetable, and proteins as well. For recipes similar to this, click here.

Penne with Garlic, Oil, Broccoli, and Chicken Broth

Makes about 4 servings

3/4 pound whole wheat penne

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta and drain it. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with the garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the garlic just starts to change color add the chicken broth and salt. Cook the broth for one minute, until it reduces by half, and then add the broccoli. Toss the broccoli for a few minutes. Add the cooked pasta, and stir it until thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Pasta with Broccoli, Garlic, Oil, and Other Good Things…

I have posted this recipe–or variations of it–on other occasions, but not in a while. It is one of my favorites. And besides being so simple to make, it is also delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive. The recipe below is a basic one, but add or remove whichever ingredients you prefer. This recipe is delicious and applicable with most vegetable, and proteins as well. For recipes similar to this, click here.

Penne with Garlic, Oil, Broccoli, and Chicken Broth 
Makes about 4 servings 
3/4 pound whole wheat penne 
1/2 cup virgin olive oil 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper 
1/2 cup chicken broth 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
2 cups chopped broccoli florets 
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 
 
Cook the pasta and drain it. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with the garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the garlic just starts to change color add the chicken broth and salt. Cook the broth for one minute, until it reduces by half, and then add the broccoli. Toss the broccoli for a few minutes. Add the cooked pasta, and stir it until thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. Stir in the cheese just before serving. 

Spaghetti con broccoli, aglio, olio e brodo…

I haven’t posted this in a while but I made it for dinner tonight and thought I would. It is so simple but yet so delicious. Substitute any vegetable for the broccoli.  

Spaghetti con broccoli, aglio, olio e brodo

(Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil, Broccoli, and Chicken Broth) 

Yield: 4 servings

 

½ pound spaghetti

¼ cup virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1 cup chicken broth

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 large head broccoli, chopped

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti and drain it. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with the garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the garlic just starts to change color add the chicken broth and salt. Cook the broth for one minute, until it reduces by half, and then add the broccoli. Toss the broccoli for a few minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti, and stir it until thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Urban Simplicity.

Spaghetti con broccoli, aglio, olio e brodo…

I haven’t posted this in a while but I made it for dinner tonight and thought I would. It is so simple but yet so delicious. Substitute any vegetable for the broccoli.  

Spaghetti con broccoli, aglio, olio e brodo 
(Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil, Broccoli, and Chicken Broth) 

Yield: 4 servings 

½ pound spaghetti
¼ cup virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1 cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 large head broccoli, chopped
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti and drain it. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with the garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the garlic just starts to change color add the chicken broth and salt. Cook the broth for one minute, until it reduces by half, and then add the broccoli. Toss the broccoli for a few minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti, and stir it until thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Urban Simplicity.

Penne Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Garlic and other Good Things

Penne Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Garlic and other Good Things

Serves 4

½ pound whole wheat penne
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
½ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 large head broccoli, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Cook the penne in boiling water until al dente, then drain it and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauce pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook the onion slowly for about 5 minutes, or until it just begins to change color. Add the garlic and cook another few minutes, or until the onions and gralic are browned but not burnt. Stir in the hot pepper, rosemary, and salt; stir and cook for a few seconds to bring out the pepper and herb’s flavors, then add the tomatoes and broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then lower it to a simmer. Then add the broccoli and chickpeas. Simmer the broth for about ten minutes, while gently stirring the broccoli and chick peas. After the broth reduces a bit, and the broccoli is nearly cooked, add the cooked pasta. Gently cook and fold the pasta into the vegetables and broth for a couple minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Pasta for a winter’s eve…

If you’ve been to this blog before then you know a few things about me. One is that I like one-pot meals such as rice or pasta…especially pasta. And this is a good example. I’ve been ill for the past few days (a cold) and actually took the day off work yesterday, which is unlike me. But while being self-sequestered at home had difficulty doing absolutely nothing, so I did something that nourishes both body and soul…I cooked, and also baked bread. Checking my fridge I came up with the ingredients for this dish and it turned out to be just what I needed…perfect comfort food for a winter’s evening. And as usual, this recipe is simply a guide and not a blueprint…it is really just a sort of elaborate variation of the many aglio e olio recipes posted on this blog. Add or remove whichever ingredients you have at hand or suit your taste.

Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Kale
Serves 2-4
½ pound whole wheat spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups kale, coarsely chopped
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
2 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Boil the spaghetti al dente, drain, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or shallow sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sautes them until they begin to brown, then add the garlic and hot pepper and saute another minute or two. Stir in the kale and sun-dried tomatoes, coating it with the oil and seasonings, then add the broth and salt. Bring the broth to a boil then lower it to a simmer. Simmer the broth for 5-10 minutes, or until it reduces by two-thirds and is concentrated in both flavor and viscosity. Add the cooked spaghetti and simmer it while stirring gently for a minute or two, allowing flavors to permeate the pasta. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Urban Simplicity.

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Twice-Cooked Garlic

This is such an easy summertime recipe you’ll want to make it all the time, especially if you have your own victory garden. It’s bursting with flavor and it comes from the vine-ripe tomatoes, twice cooked garlic, and herbs. And the best part is that the entire dish can be prepared in about 20 minutes (if you are somewhat organized). I finished the dish with a liberal sprinkling of crushed hot pepper and grated Parmesan cheese (which are not reflected in the recipe).

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Twice-Cooked Garlic

Serves 4

½ pound whole wheat penne pasta

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half

1 small onion, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

3 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 bunch basil, chopped

Cook the penne in plenty of boiling water, then drain it and set it aside. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a sauce pot over medium heat and cook the garlic slowly for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the garlic from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high, and add the diced onion and pepper to the hot oil. Cook the onions and peppers for a few minutes. While the onions and peppers are cooking, mince the cooked garlic. When the onions and peppers just begin to brown add the garlic back to the pot and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower to a simmer, and cook the sauce until it reduces by about half and becomes slightly thick. Add the pasta to the sauce, gently turning it to coat it evenly and to reheat it. Then stir in the basil and parsley and remove the pot from the heat.


Urban Simplicity.

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Twice-Cooked Garlic

This is such an easy summertime recipe you’ll want to make it all the time, especially if you have your own victory garden. It’s bursting with flavor and it comes from the vine-ripe tomatoes, twice cooked garlic, and herbs. And the best part is that the entire dish can be prepared in about 20 minutes (if you are somewhat organized). I finished the dish with a liberal sprinkling of crushed hot pepper and grated Parmesan cheese (which are not reflected in the recipe).
Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Twice-Cooked Garlic

Serves 4


½ pound whole wheat penne pasta

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half

1 small onion, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

3 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 bunch basil, chopped


Cook the penne in plenty of boiling water, then drain it and set it aside. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a sauce pot over medium heat and cook the garlic slowly for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the garlic from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high, and add the diced onion and pepper to the hot oil. Cook the onions and peppers for a few minutes. While the onions and peppers are cooking, mince the cooked garlic. When the onions and peppers just begin to brown add the garlic back to the pot and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower to a simmer, and cook the sauce until it reduces by about half and becomes slightly thick. Add the pasta to the sauce, gently turning it to coat it evenly and to reheat it. Then stir in the basil and parsley and remove the pot from the heat.


Urban Simplicity.

Another Pie…

So yes, this is another variation on a theme. I made bread today and is often the case I took a small piece of dough and made a pizza with it while the bread was rising. For this one I used a whole-wheat sesame dough, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, broccoli and spaghetti squash aglio e olio, hot peppers, and four cheese (yum!). Links to recipes are below.

For dough recipes using 100% whole wheat flour, click here.

For a really simple 10 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here.

For pesto recipes, click here.

If you want to know how to cook nearly anything “aglio e olio,” click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Another Pie…

So yes, this is another variation on a theme. I made bread today and is often the case I took a small piece of dough and made a pizza with it while the bread was rising. For this one I used a whole-wheat sesame dough, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, broccoli and spaghetti squash aglio e olio, hot peppers, and four cheese (yum!). Links to recipes are below.

For dough recipes using 100% whole wheat flour, click here.
For a really simple 10 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here.
For pesto recipes, click here.
If you want to know how to cook nearly anything “aglio e olio,” click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Pizza Pie…yet another (really delicious) variation

Yes this is yet another pizza variation I made for dinner tonight (click here to see other versions). As is often the case, when I was making bread today I took a third of the dough and turned it into pizza…two meals in one, or at least two things in one, I suppose.

Anyhow, this variety of course had 100% whole wheat crust (click here for the recipe), but I also sprinkled the edge with sesame seed which gives it a nice crunch and interesting flavor. As for the topping: tomato sauce, four cheese, spinach which I first cooked aglio e olio (click here for recipes), and pickled hot peppers. Yum! I home you try this recipe…you’ll be glad you did.

Urban Simplicity.

Pizza Pie…yet another (really delicious) variation

Yes this is yet another pizza variation I made for dinner tonight (click here to see other versions). As is often the case, when I was making bread today I took a third of the dough and turned it into pizza…two meals in one, or at least two things in one, I suppose.

Anyhow, this variety of course had 100% whole wheat crust (click here for the recipe), but I also sprinkled the edge with sesame seed which gives it a nice crunch and interesting flavor. As for the topping: tomato sauce, four cheese, spinach which I first cooked aglio e olio (click here for recipes), and pickled hot peppers. Yum! I home you try this recipe…you’ll be glad you did.

Urban Simplicity.

Anatomy of a Pizza

As is often the case, when I make bread I sometimes take a small piece of dough and make a pizza for lunch or dinner.And is also often the case, I usually put on it whatever I have in the fridge or freezer at the time. For this one there was homemade tomato sauce, pesto, broccoli aglio e olio, and four cheeses on a whole wheat crust. Here it is in photos; recipe links follow.

For the whole wheat dough recipe, click here. For a really simple 20 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here. For the pesto recipe, click here. For the broccoli aglio e olio recipe, click here. And finally, to see a multitude of other pizza recipes–in words and photos–click here.


Urban Simplicity.

Anatomy of a Pizza

As is often the case, when I make bread I sometimes take a small piece of dough and make a pizza for lunch or dinner.And is also often the case, I usually put on it whatever I have in the fridge or freezer at the time. For this one there was homemade tomato sauce, pesto, broccoli aglio e olio, and four cheeses on a whole wheat crust. Here it is in photos; recipe links follow.

For the whole wheat dough recipe, click here. For a really simple 20 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here. For the pesto recipe, click here. For the broccoli aglio e olio recipe, click here. And finally, to see a multitude of other pizza recipes–in words and photos–click here.


Urban Simplicity.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Asparagus Aglio e Olio!

So this is yet another rendition of cooking vegetables (and usually pasta) aglio e olio, or with garlic and oil (and hot pepper and chicken broth). The recipe below contains broccoli but today I made it with asparagus (’tis the season). Substitute whatever vegetable(s) that you like or have at hand. This recipe is so delicious and so easy to make. And to make it completely vegetarian simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For other variations on this recipe, click here.

Spaghetti alla Aglio e Olio con Broccoli in Brodo

(Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil, Broccoli, and Chicken Broth)

Makes 4 servings

3/4 pounds spaghetti

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Cook the spaghetti and drain it. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with the garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the garlic just starts to change color add the chicken broth and salt. Cook the broth for one minute, until it reduces by half, and then add the broccoli. Toss the broccoli for a few minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti, and stir it until thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Asparagus Aglio e Olio!

So this is yet another rendition of cooking vegetables (and usually pasta) aglio e olio, or with garlic and oil (and hot pepper and chicken broth). The recipe below contains broccoli but today I made it with asparagus (’tis the season). Substitute whatever vegetable(s) that you like or have at hand. This recipe is so delicious and so easy to make. And to make it completely vegetarian simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For other variations on this recipe, click here.

Spaghetti alla Aglio e Olio con Broccoli in Brodo

(Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil, Broccoli, and Chicken Broth)

Makes 4 servings
3/4 pounds spaghetti
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Cook the spaghetti and drain it. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with the garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the garlic just starts to change color add the chicken broth and salt. Cook the broth for one minute, until it reduces by half, and then add the broccoli. Toss the broccoli for a few minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti, and stir it until thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Macaroni al forno con cavolfiori…

I posted this recipe about a month ago but made it again for dinner yesterday. It is so easy and delicious I thought I’d re-post it. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll go have some leftovers.

Baked Macaroni with Caramelized Cauliflower and Two Cheeses

Make four small or two large servings

1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ head cauliflower, sliced

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1 cup tomato sauce

2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

2 ounces grated Parmesan

Preheat an oven to 400F. Boil the macaroni al dente, drain it, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet, then add the cauliflower and onion. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and hot pepper; cook a couple minutes longer. Stir in the tomato sauce, bring it to a boil and simmer it for a minute or so, then remove the pan from the heat. Carefully fold in the macaroni and most of the cheese. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese across the top of the macaroni, then bake it for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until the macaroni is thoroughly heated and the top is brown and crispy.

Macaroni al forno con cavolfiori…

I posted this recipe about a month ago but made it again for dinner yesterday. It is so easy and delicious I thought I’d re-post it. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll go have some leftovers.

Baked Macaroni with Caramelized Cauliflower and Two Cheeses


Make four small or two large servings


1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ head cauliflower, sliced

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1 cup tomato sauce

2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

2 ounces grated Parmesan


Preheat an oven to 400F. Boil the macaroni al dente, drain it, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet, then add the cauliflower and onion. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and hot pepper; cook a couple minutes longer. Stir in the tomato sauce, bring it to a boil and simmer it for a minute or so, then remove the pan from the heat. Carefully fold in the macaroni and most of the cheese. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese across the top of the macaroni, then bake it for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until the macaroni is thoroughly heated and the top is brown and crispy.

Baked Macaroni with Caramelized Cauliflower and Two Cheeses (yum!)

Okay. So this is really delicious. How delicious is it, you may ask? Well if you notice in the servings I wrote that it makes either four small or two large portions. When I first put it in the oven I looked at it and thought it would easily serve four, but when it came out it was so delicious I ate half of it.

Anyhow, as usual this is just a guide…use different ingredients or interchange them. I just happened to have some cauliflower in my cooler I needed to use up. You can also multiply this recipe, or make extra because leftovers are equally good.

Baked Macaroni with Caramelized Cauliflower and Two Cheeses

Make four small or two large servings

1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ head cauliflower, sliced

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1 tomato sauce

2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

2 ounces grated Parmesan


Preheat an oven to 400F. Boil the macaroni al dente, drain it, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet, then add the cauliflower and onion. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and hot pepper; cook a couple minutes longer. Stir in the tomato sauce, bring it to a boil and simmer it for a minute or so, then remove the pan from the heat. Carefully fold in the macaroni and most of the cheese. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese across the top of the macaroni, then bake it for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until the macaroni is thoroughly heated and the top is brown and crispy.