The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Archive of ‘Pasta’ category

pasta with sautéed broccoli & tomatoes

You know those nights you’re so sick of serving pasta with jar sauce? Yet, you know you’ll still be serving pasta out of some weakness of character? This is the recipe for you!

Our friend, Liana, made this over vacation. It’s the perfect meal for a large crowd – especially a large crowd who just hiked for several hours at altitude carrying toddlers. When we got home she threw this together & everyone loved it!

It’s so easy & satisfying.

You need:

INGREDIENTS:
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb dried pasta (I used whole wheat)
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces (I use the stems too – peeled & sliced)
1 can diced tomatoes
a couple of handfuls of baby spinach
salt & pepper to taste
fresh parmesan cheese
OPTIONAL: crushed red pepper to taste

Heat water in large pot for pasta. When water has started boiling, add salt & pasta.

Heat your oil in a large skillet. I only have a medium sized skillet. But if I had a large one, that’s what I would’ve used!

Add garlic & cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally.

Add broccoli & stir to coat with oil.

Cover & lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test a piece of broccoli – it should be just tender but still have some crunch.

Remove lid & add tomatoes. This will give it some “juice” too!

Top with a couple of handfuls of spinach, stir to combine & turn heat up to medium.

Meanwhile, cocktail hour Legos.

When spinach has just barely wilted, remove from heat.

When pasta is done, drain & drizzle with olive oil to keep it from sticking.

In a large bowl or pot, combine pasta & veggies. Adjust salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with sprinkled parmesan cheese!

Either my kids loved this or they were starving to death.

All gone!

pasta with sautéed broccoli & tomatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

Quick & tasty pasta/veggie dish sure to please a big crowd!
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb dried pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces (I use the stems too – peeled & sliced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • a couple of handfuls of baby spinach
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh parmesan cheese
  • OPTIONAL: crushed red pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Heat water in large pot for pasta. When water has started boiling, add salt & pasta.
  2. Heat your oil in a large skillet. I only have a medium sized skillet. But if I had a large one, that’s what I would’ve used!
  3. Add garlic & cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add broccoli & stir to coat with oil.
  5. Cover & lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test a piece of broccoli – it should be just tender but still have some crunch.
  6. Remove lid & add tomatoes. This will give it some “juice” too!
  7. Top with a couple of handfuls of spinach, stir to combine & turn heat up to medium.
  8. When spinach has just barely wilted, remove from heat.
  9. When pasta is done, drain & drizzle with olive oil to keep it from sticking.
  10. In a large bowl or pot, combine pasta & veggies. Adjust salt & pepper to taste.
  11. Serve with sprinkled parmesan cheese and/or crushed red pepper if you like it!

 

Sesame Noodles

 

My blog is backed up with recipes, LA Family activities, park recommendations, and even a “How to Paint Stripes on Your Ceiling Tutorial” that I need to post but since my in-laws left my kids have been glued to my side. Hell, they’re glued to my side, front, and back (including the older one who is sitting behind me in this small chair at my desk, like, right NOW.) about 12 hours of the day. 2 hours are devoted solely to cleaning up the mess left by the Bea-dozer and trying to catch a Real Housewives or Shahs of Sunset episode here & there. Still, knowing this special time at home with them is so fleeting, I really don’t want to keep pushing them away so I can sit here typing a blog even though it’s such a fun outlet for me. The kids are so silly, inquisitive, entertaining (oh yeah, and infuriating) that I want to be here for all (ahem, most) of it.

Anyway, I’d planned on doing my Easter post but *someone* took the camera to an all-night shoot so I’ll do these easy, oh so yummy sesame noodles instead! These are great for when you’re in a pinch (as I am every other night or so…).

You prolly have all these ingredients:

and this:

INGREDIENTS:
12 oz thin noodles (I used whole wheat spaghetti but you can use soba or another kind of Asian noodle or whatever you like)
1/4 c soy sauce
2 TBSP sugar (or maple syrup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP rice vinegar
3 TBSP pure sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chili oil
4 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
4 green onions, sliced thin

NOTE: if you don’t have all these ingredients, go and get them! You should be able to find them at your regular grocery store in the Asian aisle. Even if you are put off by buying all these ingredients for a supposedly simple dish, you’ll be glad you have them as I promise, you’ll make these noodles like once a week until time immemorial. Trust me!

Holy cow – look it how much soy sauce I bought! I go through this stuff crazy fast.

This dish is really easy! I make these once a week or so for the girls and then I eat half of them, from a standing position behind the counter. They’re not going to trick me into sitting down with them so that the second my bum hits the chair they ask me for something. Fool me once…shame on me, fool me twice, well, you & G.W.Bush know the rest.

1. Set some water to boil.

2. Whisk together the dressing/sauce ingredients.

Taste the sauce & adjust any ingredients to your liking. For instance, if you like it spicier you might want to add more hot chili oil. Or if you like it sweeter, more sugar.

3. Add your noodles to the water.

4. Slice your green onions.

5. Drain your noodles. Really shake them & try to get the water out by tossing them in the air gently a few times.

6. Return noodles to pot and drizzle about 3/4ths of the sauce over the noodles & toss. I reserve about 1/4th of the sauce to drizzle over each person’s bowl when serving. Add green onions & toss. Unless you find it painful to watch your kids pick out each and every green onion. Then just hold those back for your bowl.

Yes, it’s 6PM here in Santa Monica. Love it when summer’s on its way!

I swear, we DO own a hairbrush!


Maddie’s name this week was “Furten” (rhymes with “curtain”) but today it’s “Caston.”

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Sesame Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2-4
 

Simple – 5 minutes prep & 10 minutes cook time. Perfect dish for little ones & adults!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz thin noodles (spaghetti, Asian noodles etc.)
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 3 TBSP pure sesame oil
  • ½ tsp hot chili oil
  • 4 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin

Instructions
  1. Set some water to boil.
  2. Whisk together the dressing/sauce ingredients.
  3. Taste the sauce & adjust any ingredients to your liking. For instance, if you like it spicier you might want to add more hot chili oil. Or if you like it sweeter, more sugar.
  4. Add your noodles to the water.
  5. Slice your green onions.
  6. Drain your noodles. Really shake them & try to get the water out by tossing them in the air gently a few times.
  7. Return noodles to pot and drizzle about ¾ths of the sauce over the noodles & toss. I reserve about ¼th of the sauce to drizzle over each person’s bowl when serving. Add green onions & toss. If you find it painful to watch your kids pick out each and every green onion, hold those back for YOUR bowl.

Notes
Sometimes I add thinly sliced bell peppers (red, orange or yellow) or bean sprouts. You can sautee briefly or add raw to warm noodles depending on what you like!

 

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Quick & Easy Mediterranean Pasta

Let me start this post by saying I made G a double layer ice cream cake for his bday last weekend. Eating that cake was the second most excited I saw him in the last 2 days. The MOST excited was when the Kentucky Wildcats won the NCAA championship last night. GO CATS!!!!

Last night I was heading to Hooters (where I, incidentally, ate some fried pickles) to watch the game with him so I had to throw together a quick dinner for the girls. This is the fastest pasta dish in the world.

SO easy. Everything is available at Trader Joe’s. In fact, I got this idea from Trader Joe’s as they used to have a pasta in a box with these ingredients except you had to add a whole s-ton of olive oil & water to the dehydrated stuff for the dressing. M used to love it but all good things came to an end as they do at TJ’s and they no longer sell it.

1. Chop pitted olives as small as you like them. Same with the tomatoes. Mine came julienned so I just left them alone!

2. Cook your pasta of choice according to package directions.

3. Drain pasta & then return to pot. Add the olives, tomatoes & a handful of crumbled feta.

Toss & salt to taste. I added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil too!

Not the prettiest dish but VERY tasty & simple!

 

Quick & Easy Mediterranean Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives & crumbled feta. When you have exactly 20 minutes to make dinner and no fresh veg in the house!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (or to taste)
  • 1 c julienned sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 c chopped kalamata olives
  • ¾ c crumbled feta

Instructions
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Drain & then return to pot.
  3. Add tomatoes, olives & feta & toss to combine.
  4. Taste & adjust amounts to your liking including a pinch of salt if needed.

 

Warm Ravioli Salad with Cilantro Pesto

If you drop two scoops of French vanilla ice cream, drizzled with hot fudge and fresh whipped cream atop a bed of mixed baby greens, does that make it a salad? OF COURSE it does!! Same with this ravioli “salad.” Nobody’s going to waste away during this salad month…

This recipe, although it has fresh pesto, is simpler than the Orzo Salad of the last posting. And the crazy vibrant green of the cilantro makes it extra gorgeous!!!

**WARNING: Cilantro haters – do NOT read on!!! This recipe is not for you! However, check back this weekend for something cilantro-free…**

I couldn’t help it – I got a MASSIVE bush of cilantro at the Farmer’s Market for $1.00

 

INGREDIENTS:
1/3 c toasted pine nuts
1 c lightly packed cilantro leaves & stems
1/3 c Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 TBSP lemon juice
2/3 c olive oil
sea salt
16 oz fresh or frozen ravioli
1/2 c oil-cured black olives, pitted and torn or chopped
OPTIONAL: thyme or chive flowers, to garnish

This was about 1/4th of the amount of cilantro I got!

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Toast pine nuts: Pre-heat oven to 400. Spread pine nuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes.

[email protected]!! Someone PLEASE clean out my toaster oven?

 

3 minutes would have been perfect. I did 4 and they got a little dark but still tasty.

2. Make cilantro pesto while water is heating. In a food processor or blender (I only have a blender) add cilantro, parmesan, salt, garlic, lemon juice and a generous splash of olive oil.


Blend until you have a gorgeous electric green sauce. Wow! Taste and add salt, lemon juice or olive oil to your taste.

How does SO much cilantro become so little sauce? Magic!

3. Salt boiling water & add ravioli. Boil until they float and are cooked through. (Follow package directions on this.) Drain immediately and, while still hot, add a large spoonful of pesto. Toss gently and let the pesto soak into the pasta.

Add most of the remaining pesto and olives and toss gently.

4. Gently pour onto a platter and drizzle remaining pesto, sprinkle remaining olives, pine nuts and (optional) flowers atop.

(I opted OUT of the flowers as I did not have them but they would be a pretty addition – especially if this were served at a special event.)

Maddie professed to loving this.

However, Maddie lied. (That was the only bite she took.)

 

A Word about my Adaptations:
I respect the original recipe and its ingredients very much but, sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients and I still want to make the dish. For this reason, I adapt the ingredients to make them less particular and hopefully more accessible. My adaptations involve using ingredients I have. For example, I didn’t have any pepitos (not only did I not have them but I’d never heard of them!) and wasn’t about to make a trip with 2 kids to Whole Foods or the CO-OP to find them. Also, if you have olive oil but not extra-virgin olive oil, that doesn’t mean you can’t make this dish. That said, I find that using the best ingredients I can get (and afford) makes a difference in the dish.

Do you think I used the word “dish” enough?

This is what I call a First World problem. Most of the people reading this blog (you two know who you are! HAHAHAAH!!!) have more than enough to eat. If we can be aware of where we are getting our food from to be more environmental/humane, than great. Otherwise, I don’t want to get caught up in “I can’t use regular olive oil, it has to be extra virgin.” to the point you drive yourself nuts.

 

Warm Ravioli Salad with Cilantro Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

An visually stunning warm salad perfect for special occasions (showers, luncheons…) Can be served room temp or warm. But be careful not to serve to the cilantro-averse.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ c toasted pine nuts
  • 1 c lightly packed cilantro leaves & stems
  • ⅓ c Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • ⅔ c olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 16 oz fresh or frozen ravioli
  • ½ c oil-cured black olives, pitted and torn or chopped
  • OPTIONAL: thyme or chive flowers, to garnish

Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Toast pine nuts: Pre-heat oven to 400. Spread pine nuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes.
  2. Make cilantro pesto while water is heating. In a food processor or blender (I only have a blender) add cilantro, parmesan, salt, garlic, lemon juice and a generous splash of olive oil.
  3. Blend until you have a gorgeous electric green sauce. Wow! Taste and add salt, lemon juice or olive oil to your taste.
  4. Salt boiling water & add ravioli. Boil until they float and are cooked through. (Follow package directions on this.) Drain immediately and, while still hot, add a large spoonful of pesto. Toss gently and let the pesto soak into the pasta. Add most of the remaining pesto and olives and toss gently.
  5. Gently pour onto a platter and drizzle remaining pesto, sprinkle remaining olives, pine nuts and (optional) flowers atop.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature!

Slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day. (Can you tell I LOVE this cookbook??)

Orzo Salad with Broccoli Pesto

 

FINALLY!!! A recipe the kids like. M even professes to liking avocados again after this one.

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 c orzo (whole wheat if you can find it)
5 c raw broccoli cut intros small florets & stems
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2/3 c pine nuts, toasted
1/3 c parmesan cheese
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c creme fraiche
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & sliced (do this at the last minute!)

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the orzo. Salt generously, add the orzo, and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.

2. Cook the broccoli. While we’re on the subject – you can use the flowers and the stems in this recipe. Just be sure to peel the skin off the thick stems and then you can slice small coin shaped pieces. They are really tasty and that way as little as possible goes to waste.

Bring 3/4 c water to a boil in a large pot. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for about 1 minute. Quickly drain in a strainer and run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain & set aside.

3. Make the pesto. (Yum!) Combine 2 cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, most of the pine nuts, the Parmesan, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 TBSP lemon juice in a food processor. (I used my blender.) Drizzle in olive oil and creme fraiche and pulse until smooth. (I added those before I tried blending anything since I knew it wouldn’t work without some liquid.)

4. Just before serving, toss the orzo and remaining cooked broccoli with about 2/3rds of the broccoli pesto and the lemon zest. (I totally forgot the zest but will do it next time!) Thin with a little warm water of you like, then taste and adjust the salt, lemon juice and/or pesto. Mine needed more pesto.

Two ways to serve:
For a group – fold in avocados, turn out in a bowl or platter and top with remaining pine nuts & lemon slices for drizzling.

For individual servings – serve in single serving bowls with sliced avocado & pine nuts on top as well as a small sprinkle of parmesan & a lemon slice.

Ooooooooooooooo

Ahhhhhhhhhh….avocado porn!

This is a delicious & pretty comfort food. Both my kids loved it which makes it a big hit and a small miracle.

NOTES: You can make the separate parts ahead of time and refrigerate. I made them the afternoon before as I had a couple of friends coming by the next day. I ran hot water over the orzo & broccoli to take the fridge chill out and then tossed with the pesto.

Orzo Salad with Broccoli Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

This is called a “salad” but I like to think of it as a yuppie’s macaroni & cheese. A tasty, healthy kid-friendly meal. In other words: a small miracle!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 c orzo (or any other small pasta)
  • 5 c raw broccoli cut into small florets & stems
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ⅔ c pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE for how to toast)
  • ⅓ c parmesan cheese
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ¼ c creme fraiche
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & sliced (do this just before serving!)

Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the orzo. Salt generously, add the orzo, and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.
  2. Cook the broccoli. Bring ¾ c water to a boil in a large pot. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for about 1 minute. Quickly drain in a strainer and run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain & set aside.
  3. Make the pesto. Combine 2 cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, most of the pine nuts, the Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt, and 2 TBSP lemon juice in a food processor. (I used my blender.) Drizzle in olive oil and creme fraiche and pulse until smooth. (I added those before I tried blending anything since I knew it wouldn’t work without some liquid.)
  4. Just before serving, toss the orzo and remaining cooked broccoli with about ⅔rds of the broccoli pesto and the lemon zest. Thin with a little warm water of you like, then taste and adjust by adding salt, lemon juice and/or pesto.

Notes
TOASTING PINE NUTS: Heat oven to 400. Spread pine nuts evenly on a cookie sheet. Toast a few minutes until golden brown. Do NOT walk away & forget the pine nuts! Two ways to serve: 1. For a group – fold in avocado slices, turn out in a bowl or platter and top with remaining pine nuts & lemon slices for drizzling. 2. For individual servings (and if you plan to have leftovers) – serve in single serving bowls with sliced avocado & pine nuts on top as well as a small sprinkle of parmesan & a lemon slice. (This way your whole salad will not turn brown overnight!)

Slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day.

 



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