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Posts Tagged ‘red pepper flakes’


I love fall for so many reasons- apple picking, sweater weather, and of course, butternut squash. With the ongoing apartment craziness, I’ve been turning to quick recipes more than usual. This one combines the classic butternut squash with sage and butter in a way that makes it possible to have dinner on the table in 15 minutes. Including the chopping. It’s amazing. The key is a healthy bit of parmesan and to put a fine dice on that squash so it cooks quickly.

Angel Hair with Butternut Squash and Sage

1/2 box angel hair pasta

1/4 of a butternut squash, diced into 1/4″ pieces

1 garlic clove, minced

12 sage leaves, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1 amaretti cookie per person, crumbled

Cook the angel hair in salted boiling water for half the time on the package instructions.

Meanwhile, saute the squash in half the butter and olive oil. Allow to caramelize and develop some color before moving them at all. Once you have browned one side well, give it a stir and add the garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until some of the squash starts to break down. Add some pasta cooking water along with the pasta. Turn in the sauce and cook for a final minute together. While stirring off the heat, add the parmesan cheese and the remaining butter and olive oil. Plate and garnish each with a crumbled amaretti cookie.

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I found a recipe for avocado toast in a Bon Appetit cleanse a while ago, and it quickly became my favorite snack, breakfast, or lunch. I adjusted the recipe a little to balance the tartness of the lemon with some honey. Make sure to allow your avocados to ripen, they should be just a little pliable when you give them a squeeze.

Avocado Toast

1/2 avocado, mashed

1/2 lemon juiced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tasblespoon honey

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 slice of bread, toasted

Combine the avocado, lemon, olive oil, honey and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon on the toast and enjoy!

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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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We immediately recreated orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage once we got home, and it was almost like still being in Puglia. I find myself missing it already. The orecchiette from Eataly was actually from Maglie, a town we seemed to keep driving towards, no matter what direction we were going.

This is the traditional pasta of Puglia, and you can find it in this combination on most Italian menus. The spiciness from the sausage and broccoli rabe really complement the chewiness of this egg-less pasta. It’s also one of the quickest things you can make, and perfect for a weeknight. The version I made in Puglia had pancetta in it as well, since I needed to use it up, and it made it extra delicious.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

1/2 pound orecchiette

1/2 onion, chopped

4 spicy Italian sausages, removed from casings

1 bunch broccoli rabe

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, sliced

1/2 cup white wine

2-3 slices pancetta, minced (optional)

Blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water (you can use the water from the broccoli rabe) a couple minutes less than the cooking time on the package.

Meanwhile, if using pancetta, render it in a large saute pan in a little olive oil. Add the sausage and break it up in the pan. Let it brown well, and then add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli rabe after the onions have softened a bit.

Add the wine and a bit of the pasta water to deglaze anything on the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta and continue to cook together for the last 2 minutes. Off the heat, you can add an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some grated pecorino or parmesan.

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I don’t make spicy food that often, but I was craving some spicy grilled shrimp the other night. I had also picked up some fresh corn from the farmers market, but I didn’t want to do boring old corn on the cob. I usually do an Italian spin on corn salad or even a cheesy version, but I thought with the spicy shrimp, this Spanish/Mexican version would work well. It was really DELICIOUS.

Chili Rubbed Shrimp

1 pound cleaned shrimp

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon spanish pimenton (can be left out)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all the spices together and dredge the shrimp in them to coat. Add the olive oil and stir. Marinate for an hour. Put on a hot grill or grill pan and flip after 3 minutes or until they start to curl up. 1 minute on the other side and they are done.

The corn can be made ahead of time and mixed together at room temperature.

Grilled Corn with Manchego and Lime

3 ears of corn in the husk

1 cup manchego, grated

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Grill the corn for 15-20 minutes, or you can roast them at 425 degrees. Let the corn cool and then remove from the cobs. You can throw the cobs out or reserve them for another use.

Saute the corn in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and red pepper flakes. Add the butter and remove from the heat once it’s melted.

Add remaining olive oil, lime zest and juice, honey, and chives. Let cool and add manchego.

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Roasting a whole fish is as easy as roasting a chicken, but it takes even less time. One fish is perfect for two people for dinner, and if you don’t know how to fillet it, you can just pull pieces off the bones. (Generally, to fillet you cut along the top of the bones which run horizontally and remove to a plate, then pull the bones out in one piece and you’re left with a fillet on the bottom.) You can stuff it with whatever aromatics you have on hand, this is roughly a Sicilian take on roasting fish.

Roasted Snapper with Oranges, Onions, and Marsala

1 whole snapper or other white fish, cleaned and scaled

1 orange, sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, sliced

2 ounces Marsala wine or any white wine

2-3 sprigs Thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

red pepper flakes to taste

salt and pepper

Place fish in roasting dish slightly larger than the fish. Season the inside and outside of the fish generously with salt and pepper. Place orange, onion, and garlic slices in the cavity along with the thyme sprigs and some of the red pepper flakes. Place any leftover aromatics around the fish in the roasting dish. Pour the wine and olive oil over the fish and sprinkle some more red pepper flakes.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until the fish is done (firm to the touch).

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