Brats and Kraut Pasta

20191228_185933I know I’ve posted bratwurst and sauerkraut recipes before, but what can I say? I just love this fatty, salty, sour, funky flavor combo. Today’s recipe comes courtesy of a can of real German sauerkraut brought to me from Germany by a friend. I wanted to ADAPT the usual flavors, and turn it into a one-bowl, hearty, pasta based dish for easy leftovers. I took guidance from some of my other favorite recipes and chose to build a “sauce” for the pasta that wasn’t tomato or cream based, but rather closer to a vinaigrette. The vinegar and mustard flavors of the sauce really cut through the richness of the rest of the ingredients and help bring the sauerkraut flavor home. And in case you were wondering if this gets weird after a day or two in the fridge… nope. It just gets better!

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Radicchio Pesto Pasta

20190930_192202As you know, I love pesto. It’s so easy and fresh and works with a lot of different foods. I recently heard about the concept of a pesto based on radicchio, the bitter red lettuce related to endive. While I was skeptical, I do like radicchio and have found it to be surprisingly pleasant in the right circumstances, so I decided to try it out with pasta, adding a quickly sautéed shrimp for some added protein.

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Lo Mein with Pork Dumpling Meatballs

20190802_200631This recipe from Vrunka on Food52 makes great pork potstickers, but it makes wayyyy too much filling for a single package of potsticker wrappers! I couldn’t just throw away all of that perfectly good filling, so I decided to implement it in tackling a personal challenge of mine: making at-home versions of take out classics that actually taste like the stuff you get at the restaurant. I’m always wary of trying a new pad thai or chicken tikka masala recipe, because inevitably it doesn’t taste exactly right and what’s the point of going through all the effort to make something that will be slightly disappointing? But I persevered, and by relying on help from a few online sources, this lo mein recipe is exactly what I wanted.

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Pasta with Artichokes and Edamame

20190708_201823I originally decided to make this recipe because I was craving artichokes (that’s normal). But then my grocery delivery service brought all the ingredients except artichokes (first world problems). So I was going to go ahead and try it without the artichokes. BUT THEN I remembered that I live in Little Italy, and there are multiple specialty food shops that would love to sell me Italian artichokes. No, you didn’t need all that back story, but suffice it to say you’ll be glad I managed to find some artichokes.

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One Pot Mac and Goat Cheese

20190624_202746This is another one of those cleaning out the fridge recipes. I had this grand plan to make someone else’s goat cheese pasta recipe, but then it was the end of the week… and I was tired… So instead, I decided to challenge myself to generate a different pasta recipe with that goat cheese, using as many fridge ingredients as possible and as few dishes as possible. I’d heard about those one-pot pasta recipes and can totally understand the appeal but have always been concerned about the quality of the final product. This recipe isn’t quite to the level of dump everything in a pot and forget it, but it does only dirty the one pot, and it came out really tasty! I’ll call that a win!

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Pasta with Pesto and Flaked Salmon

img_20190505_225929_346For whatever reason, the colors in this dish – pink and bright green – just scream spring to me. And after the prolonged winter drizzle we’ve had here in Boston lately, I think any way to bring on the spring is extra welcome. It’s also so easy! Pesto is a great “one ingredient” pasta sauce, and in combination with vegetables – really any of your choosing – makes a great, nutrient packed dish and a great foundation for ADAPTATION. I insist you run to the produce market immediately to give it your own spin!

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Tahini Noodles with Shrimp and Eggplant

img_20190425_181910_062When I was designing this recipe, I decided to CONFINE myself to a flavor profile that I knew BALANCED well together but that I had limited experience with: Middle Eastern flavors. Although shrimp is not the first meat that comes to mind when thinking of Middle Eastern food (lamb and beef kebabs are more common), fish is consumed, especially in the coastal areas, and is becoming more popular. While I don’t make any claims to the authenticity of this dish, it was really fun to stretch my mind and use flavors that I’m not as familiar with! Don’t be scared off by the long list of instructions; it looks like a lot of work but all the steps are quick and easy.

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Gorgonzola Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash and Pickled Pears

20190303_185940I’m just going to come out and say it – this is the best recipe I’ve invented so far (and one of the better ones I’ve ever cooked). I’m so pleased with myself! I usually make macaroni and cheese to cover a lot of bases; it cleans out my fridge of leftover cheese bits and vegetables, which reduces food waste and is good for my wallet. It’s also comfort food and can serve a crowd. For all these reasons I’ve made a lot of mac and cheese over the years, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be special! Here the combination of the salty-funky blue cheese, the sour pears, and the crunchy corn flakes really blew my mind. If you don’t believe me, you’d better try it yourself!

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Buffalo Cauliflower Pasta

20190218_185901Let’s face it, I always have a craving for buffalo wings. They’re spicy, they’re fatty, they make my face hurt, they are a huge mess to eat. And they’re so inextricably tied to atmosphere – game day, out with friends and family, having a boisterous fun time. On top of that, I lived the first 10 years of my life in Buffalo, NY, so one might say they’re my native food. The only thing not to like is that they’re so bad for you – fried meat and no vegetables (the celery doesn’t count)! I have a hard time justifying eating them when it’s not a special occasion. To satisfy these competing desires, I developed this pasta recipe to try to get the feel of buffalo wings on a weeknight. Does it look like buffalo wings? Definitely not. Does it taste like buffalo wings? Let’s find out…

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