Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rotini with Swiss Chard and Sausage Ragu

Rotini with Swiss Chard and Sausage Ragu

Yields: 4 servings
Time to make: ~45 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Italian sausage links, sliced or crumbled (I used chicken sausage)
  • 1 14.5-oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ lb. rotini or other large pasta shapes
  • ½ bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • handful of basil leaves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium
  2. Saute the onion until translucent, 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add the sausage and brown about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stock.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, until reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and reserve a cupful of the pasta cooking water.
  8. Add the drained pasta to the tomato mixture along with the Swiss chard, herbs and beans.
  9. Add enough reserved pasta cooking water to ensure that the sauce coats everything.
  10. Cook until the chard wilts and the beans are warmed through, about 4 minutes.
  11. Season and garnish with Parmesan.

Adapted from Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lima bean ragout with tomatoes and thyme


    4 pounds fresh lima beans, shelled, or 2 packages frozen lima beans, thawed
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tomato, peeled and seeded, then diced
    1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 bay leaf
    1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup vegetable stock or broth
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley


Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the lima beans and cook until just tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and salt and saute until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the cooked lima beans and simmer, uncovered, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zucchini pasta

2-3 zucchini
(coarse) salt
4 Tb butter (or oil)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
one box pasta (I like rainbow rotini)
grated pepper to taste

grate zucchini, salt, and let drain for 30 minutes. squeeze dry and saute in butter until cooked, just a few minutes. Add cream and simmer until it thickens slightly. Meanwhile, boil water and cook the pasta. when the pasta finishes, the sauce thickens, add the parmesan and grated pepper.

in the Victory Garden cookbook by Marion Morash

black bean burritos

2 onions
2 cloves garlic
3 tomatoes
1-2 ears of corn
1-2 cans black beans
1 Tb chili powder (I prefer Penzay in Chestnut Hill)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheese (monterey jack, pepper jack, cheddar)
8 tortillas

dice onions, and saute until soft. add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. dice the tomatoes and cook until liquid runs, cut off the corn and add to give yourself something to do while you wait. drain and rinse the black beans, add them and the spices and continue cooking until the mixture is heated through.
roll up beans in a tortilla with cheese. bake at 350 until you think that they are done, probably 30 minutes.

you can also add: pepper, esp. jalapenos! but I didn't have any

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Bread


  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean

Sweet-corn fritters

Combine in a large bowl:
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
pinch paprika, salt, and pepper

Beat together, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

2 cups (approx.) sweet-corn kernels, cut off 6 cobs (UPDATE: cooked or uncooked works, as long as the corn's not cooked to death. Frozen corn is also an option)
1/2 cup sliced scallions or shallots
Small handful parsely or cilantro or basil or baby spinach leaves, chopped
1-2 small hot peppers, Thai peppers or jalapeno, minced

Pour a generous amount of vegetable oil into a large skillet, then drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into the pan in small batches. Fry for approx. 2 minutes on a side.

Eat over a spinach salad, or dolloped with sour cream.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

broccoli and pasta bake



  1. Note: drain broccoli and mushrooms very well.
  2. Steam broccoli until tender-firm.
  3. Slice mushrooms, set aside.
  4. Cook pasta until tender-firm, drain well.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, melt butter in microwave; mix in flour, stir in milk. Heat in microwave pausing to stir occasionally until mixture boils and thickens.
  6. Add parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, nutmeg, thyme and cheddar cheese; stir.
  7. Return drained pasta to a large pot, add cheese mixture, cooked broccoli and mushrooms; mix well.
  8. Pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish.
  9. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  10. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.