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Posts Tagged ‘linguine’


I love a good bolognese, but sometimes I just don’t have time on a weeknight to invest in making it. That’s where this kind of pasta sauce comes in. It cooks in the time it takes to boil a big pot of water, and it uses enough veal to flavor the sauce but not enough to make it really heavy. The cherry tomatoes have a natural sweetness and don’t need to cook down too much. It’s the perfect indulgence for a weeknight treat.

Weeknight Veal Ragu

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons oregano, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can San Marzano cherry tomatoes (or other San Marzanos if you can’t find the cherry tomatoes)

1/2 cup white wine

1/4  cup grated parmesan

1/2 box or pound of long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, etc)

Cook your pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, brown the veal in a wide saute pan. (Using a wide pan will help the sauce cook quickly because it maximizes the amount of sauce in contact with the pan).

Add the onion once it has developed a nice browned color. Let the onion sweat down with a little salt to season. Add the oregano and garlic and stir through. Add the tomato paste and allow it to rust for a few minutes. Add the wine and tomatoes and cook down for 5 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced a little and thickened, add the cooked pasta with a splash of the pasta cooking water. Stir to cook together for the last minute and add the cheese.

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We’ve been having corn all summer, but this was the first time I decided to put some into a pasta dish. We took some leftover grilled corn and cut it off the cob, combined it with sweet end-of-summer cherry tomatoes and anchovies, and it was a perfect weekend lunch. The sweet corn and tomatoes combined with the salty bite of anchovies made the perfect complement to a light salad.

Grilled Corn Linguine

1/2 box linguine fine or your favorite long pasta

2 ears of corn, grilled in their husks, cut off the cob

2 cups cherry tomatoes

6 anchovies

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil with the anchovies for 2 minutes. The anchovies will start to break up and the onion will soften. Add the corn and tomatoes and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add a little pasta cooking water. Add the linguine and cook for the final minute together.  Add the parmesan and the olive oil and toss to combine.

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Sometimes I realize the fridge is empty but the store is so far away….those are the times I look to the pantry to figure out what I can piece together. I usually have a can of Italian tuna, which is a great way to get some protein into what would normally just be starch-based. Add some Sicilian staples like pine nuts and currants along with some onion and garlic from fridge scraps, and a meal takes shape. This off-the-cuff meal ended up being a favorite for the week!

Sicilian Pantry Pasta

1/2 box linguine or other long pasta

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

2 anchovies

1/4 cup currants soaked in a couple tablespoons of sherry or wine

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 can Italian tuna, drained

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water a minute short of package instructions.

Meanwhile,  saute the onion, red pepper flakes, and anchovies in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until the onion softens. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the tuna, pine nuts, and currants. Add the pasta and a little of the pasta cooking water.

In another pan, toast the breadcrumbs in a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to turn a little brown. Add most of the grated cheese and toss to combine. Pour the toasted breadcrumbs over the pasta and combine. Serve immediately with the rest of the grated cheese and parsley sprinkled on top. Optional, drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top to finish it.

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I suppose the most memorable recipe I’ve posted in the first year of Meatballs & Milkshakes has to be my Shaved Asparagus Salad because it won Best Spring Vegetable recipe on Food52 at this time last year. They have been nice enough to spotlight me here and I can’t say enough good things about their wonderful site.

For Christmas, the Feast of the Seven Fishes was definitely another memorable moment– I made seven fish dishes in one night! And we had delicious chocolate pudding to end the night, it doesn’t get much better.

Some of the recipes that really stick out in my mind over the year are obviously pastas. This linguine bolognese that I made for Valentine’s day was unbelievable and it still makes my mouth water.

This tagliatelle with shrimp and cabbage was a recreation from one of my favorite restaurants, and it got some press over on Serious Eats, another of my favorite blogs.

Of course, it all started with my homemade pappardelle with duck ragu. You can see that hopefully my pictures have improved a bit…the recipes were yummy even then though!

And of course, I made my first pork shoulder, slow roasting it and shredding it for tacos which were a big hit. Who knew pork could be so good!

While we’re talking meat, I can’t forget this beef stew that I made…it was by far the tastiest beef stew ever with amazingly delicious carrots. They soaked up the beef juices are were almost better than the beef itself. Almost.

And of course we can’t forget my obsession with the Flour cookbook this year. I made all sorts of cookies from it, including these yummy oatmeal raisin cookies

and chewy chocolate cookies. I’ve almost baked my way through all the Flour cookies, and they’ve all been amazing. Definitely a go-to cookbook that I recommend buying.

As far as other desserts go, there were a lot of pies but the ones I’m looking forward to again most are these: the mini strawberry rhubarb pies that were great for individual servings straight from the freezer, and the quick berry pie. Both are great for summer and I’m hoping it will be another good one!

I’m off to Italy for a week, but I’ve left a couple posts for you while I’m away….and hopefully I’ll bring back some new Italian inspiration! Bring on the broccoli rabe and orecchiette!

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I am always a fan of pasta for a quick weeknight dinner, and so it’s not surprising that I already have several blog posts to choose from. I always love pesto and I have a recipe here, but I also loved this avocado pesto because it was a rich, creamy, and different version of the usual pesto genovese.

As you may have guessed, I LOVE meatballs. I’m pretty sure spaghetti and meatballs is one of my top 5 all-time favorite meals. In fact, just talking about it now makes me want it this weekend. These meatballs are light and flavorful, and the sauce gets extra depth from braising the meatballs in it. I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

This Spicy Pasta with Crab is a new favorite, and of course it’s a Mario Batali recipe. It’s so quick and easy and I just love crab in any form. Use good egg noodles like a tajarin or tagliatelle and it’s even better. You could even use fresh pasta for this one, it would be a great complement to the crab.

This one definitely makes my top 5 meals as well. I love a delicious bolognese, and these fresh spinach linguine were so wonderful with the meaty sauce. The slow cooked meat is so flavorful and it absorbs into the pasta, creating a heavenly dish that transports me to Italy. It’s a lot harder to get me to eat veggies when I could just have seconds of this…

And then there are gnocchi. I love these little pillows of pasta, especially when they are in pesto. They’re also great in other sauces, but they have a way of soaking up pesto that no other pasta does. I keep some in the freezer for a quick meal on a night when I don’t want to cook, and they work beautifully from the freezer directly to boiling water.

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I’m not a big fan of going out for Valentine’s Day because restaurants typically overcharge and it feels a little forced. Plus, my favorite evenings are ones spent at home over a delicious meal– why do something different? I see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be reminded how good we have it every other day of the year. And when I think about what my favorite meal is, and what I would like to share, it always comes back to pasta. Of course.

I love a simple bolognese, and some fresh spinach linguine makes it even better. We had this with a 17-year old brunello that my parents gave us, and it was a perfect evening.  Full disclosure: I decided to take the evening off from blogging, and I took these pictures the next day with leftovers. No distractions. But it’s just as good the next day, even more reason to make some tonight.

Linguine Bolognese 

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons chopped oregano or marjoram

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor and grind into a chunky paste. Brown the meat in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure to really brown the meat well and don’t move it until it starts browning. This is the best opportunity to develop flavor.

Once the meat is browned, move it to the side of the pan to add the vegetable paste and allow it to start browning as well. Season everything with salt and pepper and the oregano. Once the vegetables have softened and browned a bit, add the tomato paste and let it rust for a few minutes. Add the milk and wine and stir through. Add the sugar. Let the whole thing simmer for an hour until it thickens and the flavor deepens. Toss with pasta in a saute pan with a little of the pasta water and some parmesan and enjoy!

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I make linguine and clams at all times of the year, not just for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. But piled up in a bowl we brought back from Ravello, it really does look like a party. I tend to remove the clams from most of the shells before bringing to the table, just so that you don’t have to constantly be pulling at them with your hands. A few for decoration is all you need.

Linguine with Clams

1/2 box of linguine, cooked in heavily salted water 1 minute short of instructions

12-18 clams, Littlenecks used here

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

red chili flakes or peperoncino

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup fish or seafood stock, or just use pasta water if you don’t have any

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Saute the shallot and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Add the chili flakes, clams, wine and stock and cover until the clams have steamed open. Remove the clams and cook down the liquid while waiting for the pasta to finish cooking. Add it along with about a 1/4 cup pasta water to the pan, making sure the pasta is just under al dente. Cook for the final minute in the sauce, adding in the clams (with some removed from the shells). Add the parsley and a tablespoon or two of olive oil off the heat and serve.

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