Tag: tomatoes

Easy Weeknight Pasta From The 19th Century

Easy Weeknight Pasta From The 19th Century

(Above: This pasta dish pairs well with garlic bread and an arugula and kale salad. And if you’re feeling ambitious and hungry, make some authentic Italian meatballs to go along with it.)

Sometimes you need a recipe like this to remind you how easy perfection can be.

This is a simple tomato and pasta dish that dates back to the classic Italian cookbook, “The Art of Eating Well,” published in 1891 by Pellegrino Artusi. Artusi travelled throughout Italy collecting the best family recipes from each region.

This dish is from Naples and is called, “Neapolitan-Style Macaroni II.”

 

Tomatoes, onion, and basil
These are only three ingredients for this sauce: tomatoes, basil and onions (and you discard the onion after frying it until brown). All three are cooked in olive and butter.

 

You can use whatever type of pasta you like, but it should be one that absorbs the sauce well. So textured pastas, tubular pastas, and large fat noodles work well. I used some pappardelle but I’ve also used penne in the past and both work well.

 

Chopped tomatoes
Peeling, chopping, and deseeding the tomatoes is the most work needed for this dish.

 

This basic sauce is made by cooking tomatoes and although fresh tomatoes from a garden would be best, I used what I could find in February in Boston (rubbery tomatoes sold on the vine) and it still came out delicious.

 

 

Bowl of tomato sauce
The recipe creates a light, but flavorful, tomato sauce that tastes fresh.

 

The sauce is simple to make but takes a little work as you have to peel the tomatoes and then take the seeds out. I found using this vegetable peeler to be much easier than trying to peel the tomatoes with a paring knife.

 

Bowl of pasta with tomato sauce.
This old classic is quick, easy, and delicious: perfect for a weeknight.

 

This recipe is what Rootsliving is all about. It’s an ethnic recipe from the past that is tried and true, and simple. Buon Appetito!

 

EASY WEEKNIGHT PASTA (AKA: NEAPOLITAN-STYLE MACARONI II)

February 28, 2019
: 30 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • One pound of pasta (Penne can be used as it absorbs the sauce well)
  • Two large slices of onions
  • 1 1/4 pounds of peeled, seeded tomatoes (4 or 5 will do)
  • Fresh basil (a couple of tablespoons minced)
  • Butter (1/2 stick, plus two tablespoons)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
Directions
  • Step 1 Saute onion in two tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. The onion will split into rings as it cooks. When it browns, press it down with a spoon and then discard.
  • Step 2 Stir in the tomatoes. Add basil, salt and pepper.
  • Step 3 Simmer until done. About 1/2 hour or until it’s not watery.
  • Step 4 Cook pasta until al dente. Add sauce, 1/2 stick of butter and grated parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a salad, if you like.

 

Recipe Videos From Boston’s Best Chefs

This is one of my favorite recipes from the weekly Dorm Room Chef series I produced for the Boston Globe. (more…)

Marco’s Fuscilli

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This is a quick, easy pasta dish I created several years ago (probably 10 or more). It’s an old favorite around the Rootsliving kitchen.

It’s great for an easy, weeknight meal and it’s quicker than ordering take-out. You can make this dish as fast as it takes you to boil a pot of water.

The first thing you do is put a good size pot of water on the stove. I use this pasta pot with built-in strainer.  It makes boiling and serving pasta hassle-free and safer. And you can even steam vegetables at the same time. It’s one of my favorite kitchen utensils.

While the water heats up, cut the grape tomatoes in half, put them in a bowl and add the other ingredients.

 

Tomatoes in a bowl
I use grape tomatoes because here in the Northeastern part of the U.S. you can’t get good tasting tomatoes year round. These are always sweet and good.

 

Once the water comes to a boil, put the fuscilli in and cook it until it’s al dente, which means “to the tooth” in Italian. That means cook it until it’s still a little firm when you bite into it. With dried fuscilli, this could take about 10 minutes. With fresh fuscilli, it will only take a minute or two.

 

Marinated mozzarella balls
I usually use a knotted bar of marinated mozzarella and cut it up but when I can’t find that, I use marinated mozzarella balls.

 

You then put the fuscilli in a bowl and while it’s still piping hot, add the mozzarella cheese and stir. The cheese should melt into the pasta as you stir. Once it does that, add the tomato mixture and you’re done. See detailed recipe below.

 

Pasta in a bowl with tomatoes and mozzarella
The colors in this dish make it perfect for a holiday meal.

 

(Thanks for reading this far. To show our appreciation we’re offering this free eCookbook with “5 Recipes to Help you Stay Healthy and Lose Weight,”  along with free subscription to the Rootsliving newsletter.)

 

Marco's Fuscilli

September 21, 2012
: Super Easy

This takes minutes to make but tastes like it took a lot more care.

By:

Ingredients
  • Fuscilli (1 pound box)
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes (1 pint, chopped)
  • Fresh oregano (About 1 tablespoon
  • or 1/2 teaspoon if using dried oregano)
  • Dried basil (About 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Wine (A healthy splash, about 1/4 cup. I usually use red wine, but white would be fine too.)
  • Olive oil (About 1/4 cup)
  • Butter (About 1/4 – 1/2 stick)
  • Marinated mozzarella cheese (8 oz. It’s available at most supermarkets.
Directions
  • Step 1 Cook fuscilli in a large pot of salted water. Drain, put in a bowl and add butter, oil (about 1/8 cup), salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Step 2 Chop up tomatoes, put in a small bowl. Add olive oil (about 1/8 cup), salt, pepper, fresh oregano, and a healthy splash of wine. Mix it up.
  • Step 3 Add mozzarella pieces to pasta and stir, letting it melt evenly.
  • Step 4 Pour tomato mixture over fuscilli. Add dried basil and stir. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a salad.

 

Work Night Dinner: Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho/Sandwiches

Work Night Dinner: Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho/Sandwiches

Here’s something to kick off a weeknight in the late summer: two quick and easy recipes, perfect to make and eat after a long day of work or to enjoy while you’re working through dinner.

An Octupus’s Garden Gazpacho with Leftover Chicken Hummus Sandwiches

BEWARE: This Octopus's Gazpacho may attract a puss or two.
BEWARE: This Octopus’s Gazpacho may attract a puss or two.

(Tip: Gazpacho should sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before eating, so you could make this the night before. This soup is also very low in calories. For you Weight Watchers, it’s about 4 points per serving with the shrimp — or only 3 points without.)

An Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho

This recipe came from Parade Magaziine via Epicurious. The original name was Farmstand Gazpacho, but my brother Peter (who first made this for me) had the brilliant idea of adding shrimp to it, so I changed the name.

Eating this is like eating a bowl of nature and combined with the shrimp, you may feel like a playful sea otter surfacing from the deep with a fresh morsel in his mouth.

Octopus's Garden Gazpacho

September 12, 2009
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups, about 1 large, peeled and diced (1/4 inch) cucumber
  • 2 cups, about 2, diced (1/4 inch) red bell pepper
  • 2 cups, about 2, diced (1/4 inch) ripe tomato
  • 1/2 cup, about one small, diced (1/4 inch) red onion
  • 2 cups of tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (You can add more if you like it more spicy. I added four dashes and found that suited my taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shrimp (about 16 whole, medium-sized cooked shrimp. More or less to suit your taste.)
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all of the diced vegetables in a large bowl. Add tomato juice, vinegar, oil and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 2 Transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off to coarsely puree the ingredients. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
  • Step 3 Add eight of the shrimp to the soup. Save and refrigerate the other shrimp to use as garnish around the cup or bowl. Refrigerate gazpacho for 4-6 hours. I put it in the refrigerator for only three hours before eating it and it was fine.
  • Step 4 Put soup in bowls or cups and hook a few shrimp around the rim. Serve with your favorite sandwich.

I made the following sandwiches with some leftover fried chicken and what I had hanging around my icebox. (The tomato and cucumber in the sandwich echoed some of the main ingredients of the soup making this a perfect combination.)

Leftover Chicken Hummus Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • Good, real, Italian bread (I used a loaf of pane francese)
  • Leftover chicken, sliced thin
  • Tomato slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Hummus

What I did:

Cover one bread slice with chicken. Put slices of tomato on top and add salt and pepper. Put slices of cucumber on top. Spread hummus on the other slice of bread and make a sandwich.