Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category


Endorsed by Popeye: Spinach ravioli

September 17, 2006

Spinach ravioli

Spinach ravioli

I love spinach. I love it cooked with salt and butter. I love it shredded and shoved in phyllo dough with feta cheese and onions. I’ll even eat it raw in a salad — if the right toppings are in the offing, and there’s no recall for it.

I didn’t know, however, that I loved spinach in pasta. Leave it to my husband to enlighten me.

Spinach pasta is not only tasty, it’s sexy. Verdant green with specks of fresh foliage. Let’s face it: Popeye was onto something. My husband has combined something delicious — fresh pasta — with something else delicious — spinach — and then to top it off, he’s stuffed that full of cheese and spices. Need I say more?

Read on for his how-to on fresh spinach ravioli, filled with ricotta cheese and spices…

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Home-cookin’: Rustic chicken and Pasta

September 8, 2006


Does anyone else out there love Paul Prudhomme? That giant, jolly-looking chef famous for Cajun cookin’? The one who used to be so consumed with eating delicious food that he needed a wheelchair to get around? Yes, he’s lost weight. (And good for him.) But his former girth attests to a man who knows how to use butter — and isn’t afraid to consume it, either.

That’s my kind of guy.

And while I give credit to my parents for actually teaching me how to cook, my hat is off to Paul Prudhomme for making me love cooking. (A passion I have since ceded to my husband, as you can see from this blog. I’m still into eating though.)

The first raves for my mad cooking skills came courtesy of his book, Seasoned America. My parents are good cooks who used interesting flavors in their meals — much better than salt and pepper, I mean. But if you grew up never really having tasted heavily spiced, Cajun-type food… that type of cooking can be a revelation. It was for me, thanks to Seasoned America. That book was like crack. I tried many recipes — and more than ten years later, if my husband requests me to cook, he asks me to cook dishes I learned from Paul Prudhomme. (Specifically, his beef noodle casserole and Carolina Chicken Pilau.)

So naturally when my husband conceived of a dish inspired by Paul Prudhomme, I had to love it.

He’s calling it “Rustic chicken and pasta.” I’m calling it, “damn good.” What makes it Paul Prudhomme-like to me? Well, its deep rich flavors, earthy, homey spices and the long slow cooking time that lets them all get happy together. And the fact that it uses a roux — which Prudhomme used often in his book, without calling it that.

This dish is home cooking at its finest, which is what all those Seasoned America recipes were to me. Food that you want to chow on when it’s a cool, autumn evening; food that is served family-style around a hearth of sorts. It’s rich, it’s warm, it goes great with big hunks of bread you rip off the loaf and use to sop up the juices. Doesn’t that sound good? If so, read on: Read the rest of this entry ?


It puts the pasta in the press

August 29, 2006

More pasta

That pasta machine is the gift that keeps on giving. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband’s much-asked for birthday toy was an Atlas pasta press. But let’s face it, I’m getting as much use and enjoyment out of it as he is — which is the exact way all gifts should work, if they possibly can.

It isn’t all joy here in MHC-ville, though, fans. I did have to suffer some chewy pasta (one time) and the more odious duty of mopping up flour from our kitchen floor and vacuuming crushed pieces of noodle from our dining room carpet. Ah, what I suffer for my stomach. But all that experimenting and cleaning has paid off: K seems to have mastered the art of fresh pasta.

So to read about his success, and my satisfied belly, continue reading, baby…

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Fresh pasta!

August 22, 2006

Da machine



As you can tell from this blog, I eat well. For this, I can thank my husband, who seems to love, love cooking. (It’s now become a running joke for him to shout, spontaneously, “I love cooking!” with a slightly maniacal look in his eye.) Occasionally, though the man needs encouragement — and even more tools.

Now, although my husband is a devoted acolyte of one Alton Brown, Food Network star, he doesn’t always live by Alton’s creed of disavowing all tools “unitasker.” In other words, he kind of has a thing for kitchen gadgetry. Not useless kitchen gadgetry, but things like garlic presses, waffle irons, double-headed silicon spatulas, panini grills, etc. We hardly have enough room for it all in our quite nice-sized kitchen. Actually, since we have most of these things and I eat their output regularly — they do seem like essentials after all. Well, done, husband: I’ve been duly brain washed.

For his birthday, Kendle hinted — no, constantly reminded me — that he wanted a pasta press. Who can deny a man who cooks so well a much-beloved gadget? Plus, I could already almost taste the fresh pasta. Well, now he has said pasta press — and I’m not sure how we lived without it before. It’s amazingly easy and quite rewarding. Now we only need one more gadget: A pasta rack so we don’t have to hang the pasta over our dining room chairs.

Below, my husband takes you on his journey of exploration of his new toy, with more posts to follow on how to make fresh pasta! Read the rest of this entry ?