I’m going to apologize for not sharing this bay scallop pasta dish sooner. It’s always a big hit – delicious, easy, quick, fabulous.
The cost for premium frozen bay scallops from Baja, Mexico are about $3 per person, and the rest of the ingredients are also very reasonable. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of Marsala wine per serving, I definitely recommend “the good stuff.”
It’s a super-flavorful, stunning pasta dish thanks to briny, slightly sweet and buttery scallops; the complexity of marsala wine; earthiness of mushrooms; and rich cream. I bet if you prepped everything in advance, it could be on the table in less than 20 minutes?
Be sure to use fresh pasta here, its tender velvety texture pairs wonderfully with the creamy marsala sauce.
Calabrian Chili, Burrata, and Fresh Basil
Served with an Amalfi Spritz
Buon Natale! Merry Christmas – this is a brilliant vegetarian dish for the holiday with its beautiful striking red and green colors. But how could it possibly be any good? The pasta, maltagliati, literally translates to “badly cut” and the sauce arrabbiata translates to “angry”! Turns out this bad-cut-angry pasta dish is actually deliziosa…and perfect for the holidays.
Spaghetti with Pan-Fried Zucchini
Shishito Pepper Pesto
Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Amalfi Restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Bobby Flay’s stellar new restaurant at Caesars Palace is where he brings flavors of the Amalfi Coast to the Las Vegas Strip.
We had an absolutely delightful meal there recently…and would have tried even more fabulous dishes if we had room. Our server informed us that the Spaghetti Zucchine is one of the most popular pastas at the restaurant. The Chef wrote on Instagram that it has become the most requested pasta dish at his house.
Unable to fit in another pasta that night (we had the Caramelle and Pasta Rags, both excellent), I just had to try the Spaghetti Zucchine at home.
Rigatoni with Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, and Buffalo Mozzarella
Recipe by Nicole Putzel
All hailing from Chicagoland, Chef Nicole Putzel and I were virtually introduced a few years back by our mutual friend and discerning foodie, Peg. We recently thought it might be fun to collaborate on some of our cooking experiences, especially during these challenging times.
Nicole sent me a copy of her delightful book just published last year, The Seasoned Plate: Delicious and Healthy Real Food. She says, “This cookbook is the result of a beautiful recipe: one of food, friendship, and wellness, told by the seasons.”
Throughout the seasons, Nicole would create a vegetable-centric recipe every Friday, often harvesting the produce from her own organic garden. Her friend Photographer Claudia Chocano would shoot the dishes, after which they would partake of the fruits of their labors together.
The first recipe I chose from the Spring section was this fresh, vibrant, vegetarian rigatoni dish. Nicole wrote, “This colorful pasta dish came together on an evening when my house was filled with company and my guests asked for a tour of the vegetable garden. The broccoli, arugula, and basil were all ready for harvest and everyone was hungry, so voilà! This was a true crowd pleaser.”
Seriously, there are so many crazy ways to cook tender octopus… from beating it on a rock to slamming it against the side of your sink (ten times no less) to boiling it with wine corks. Or you can massage the cephalopod vigorously with lots of salt until it froths then plunge him into a copper pot full of boiling water. Or you can roast him in a 200°F oven for five (!) hours…
Or try my simple fool-proof method below, cooking time five (!) minutes.
The cooking method actually depends on the type of product with which you start. Here I begin with one pound of Frozen Cooked Spanish Octopus Tentacles (Pulpo Cocido) which is readily available and easy to prepare. This product can be found in the frozen seafood section of Whole Foods Market. Surprisingly, unlike other seafood, octopus’ texture might even benefit from the freezing process so fresh octopus in not considered to be superior.
The octopus is from the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean, a product of Spain. It has already been cleaned; tentacles have been separated from the head. It was cooked with salt and bay leaves, then frozen. Keep it frozen until the day before use, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Place thawed tentacles in a pot and cover with fresh water. Bring the water to a boil then turn down immediately to a low simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the tentacles from the pot and let cool slightly on a platter so they can be sliced.