Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

I must admit, and maybe it’s the clean crisp autumn air and foliage, but it takes me a while to get into the swing of seasonal cooking in the fall, all I really want to do is to go for long walks and sleep when the cold weather hits.

Sure, I’ll manage to scrounge up something every once in a while and scrape by, but I can’t seem to get excited about squash and pumpkins, probably because I’m not quite over summer’s colourful produce. Like I said, it takes me a while.

In the meantime I tend to fall back on quick meals with simple flavours. I love pasta! It’s easy and versatile enough not to get boring.

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine
Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

This orecchiette with capers and white wine wasn’t planned; it’s one of those meals that come together naturally from riffling through the pantry.

It’s modest – pasta, olive oil, capers and a splash of white wine to boost the flavour.
The sauce sticks generously to the pasta thanks to its distinct domed shape making every bite delightfully tasty.

It goes splendidly well with a heaping of a quick-tossed salad for an easy weeknight meal.

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

One of the things I love about staying in an apartment while on vacation is having access to a kitchen.

It’s particularly wonderful if you love to cook, and are in a city like Paris where colourful markets are filled with stalls of tempting produce, cheeses, breads, specialty foods and other sundry goods.

We didn’t cook much on this trip; the few meals we prepared were fast and simple like this herbed garlic butter pasta.

From the market, we got garlic and fragrant dried herbs; I should mention here that a mix of freshly chopped spinach, basil and parsley would work superbly in this pasta, we just went with dried herbs for the sake of ease.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

I make little dietary exceptions when I’m on vacation… creamy delicate Échiré butter, smooth and luxurious Beurre Bordier, and pastries are some of my indulgences when I’m in Paris.

What we have with this pasta is the ultimate holiday comfort meal, pasta tossed in an aromatic herby garlic butter sauce, it’s rich and deeply satisfying, a simple indulgence.

It boasts a handful of ingredients only and it comes together quickly, this is particularly important when you’re on vacation, the last thing you want is to be standing over a stove.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

On this particular day we spent the day exploring Jardin des Plantes and the Grande Mosquée where we drank mint tea, we roamed Rue Mouffetard and when it started raining we picked up fluffy angel cakes from Patisserie Ciel on Rue Monge for later.

We ate this pasta watching the rain fall down those iconic rooftops; rain is always a good reason to have pasta.

And now that I’m home and it’s raining… I want to make this pasta again on a soggy lazy evening; perhaps with fresh basil and Herbes de Provence with my favourite dairy-free butter and a ton of garlic.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We’re slowly springing out of the dreary days of winter.

Through the incessant rain and cold, there are gentle signs of spring’s emergence; this morning I noticed the tiny red buds of the magnolia tree across the street.

Our winter wasn’t as bad as it was in other places, it just felt like a long dark one; I’m ready for daffodils and cherry blossoms, and longer days as our clocks spring forward this weekend.

Meanwhile we’re enjoying the last bits of winter with the warm comforts of soup – that’s exactly what this mushroom tortellini and vegetable soup is, it’s a hearty comforting soup that warms the soul.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

This type of soup usually starts with a text from my sister; she found dried mushroom filled tortellini at the Italian market thought of the classic Italian tortellini en brodo (in broth) but with chunks of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, to add a bit of colour and vibrancy.

My sister and I try to get together and cook once a month, being a far better cook than I am, I always jump at the opportunity – she mostly does all the cooking and I get to reap the benefits – like this awesome soup.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We’ve been making soups like these all winter long, particularly for those gloomy rainy days, and there’s been quite a few of those days.

And the soups are always so tasty and filling and nutritious and warming. It literally melts the chills away.

And the best part is this soup is even better the next day and days after, just keep leftovers in the fridge and reheat before serving.

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup
Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Mushroom Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetables Pasta

Roasted Vegetables Pasta

I think it bears repeating that I love the romance of love, it often times makes me wish I could fall in love repeatedly just for that delightful magical rush.

Perhaps that is what Valentine’s Day is, a reminder to celebrate the romance of love.

This year I thought about red themed desserts, and discovered Pinterest boards of adorable heart-shaped red and pink food and crafts.

Floral Arrangement Roasted Vegetables Pasta

And then I thought about flowers… of roses and anthuriums… bright in hues of red.
Somehow this pasta is what I saw; easy, light, tasty and fresh – so simple it’s magical.

It reminds me of simple things… early morning walks, dancing to your favourite songs, humble bouquets that gladden your heart and long quiet afternoons in bed.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May you find romance in the ordinary… Always.

Roasted Vegetables Pasta
Roasted Vegetables Pasta


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Orecchiette with Mushroom and Black Beans

Orecchiette with Mushroom and Black Beans

Mushrooms remind me of my grandmother’s palm nut soup; bright and spicy and rich, I can almost hear it bubbling on the coal pot… thick and teaming meat, crabs, dried fish and mushrooms.

The mushrooms were my favourite; the kind my grandmother often used grows from the trunk of fallen palm nut trees – I loved the dense chewy texture and how it soaked up the flavour of the soup.

A few years ago when a friend was doing his thesis on ‘oil palm mushroom’ farms, I told him about my grandmother’s soup with mushrooms, and memories of my dad foraging for mushrooms.

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I saw oyster mushrooms at the market the other day, and I thought of this restaurant I used to go to in Gastown and the delicious creamy orecchiette pasta with peas and pancetta I’d often order, one day the chef came out and told me that it was his mother’s favourite meal too, and whenever he went back home, they’d go mushroom picking for this pasta dish.

Seeing those oyster mushrooms at the market, suddenly the orecchiette pasta I got months ago didn’t seem like an impulse buy anymore. I knew I wanted to make something with mushrooms and the pasta, and a lot of other vegetables. I wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be until I started putting my ingredients together.

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I used my favourite base, rosemary scented olive oil, with onions, garlic and tomatoes; and then added black beans and peas for protein and fibre.

Mushrooms are good for you, it’s a good source of iron and other essential nutrients, plus it’s low in calories. And here are five more delicious reasons to eat mushrooms.

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Oyter Mushroom & Black Bean Pasta IMG_8716


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