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Meatless Monday: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese

whole-wheat spaghetti

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

 

Swiss chard: you know you’re supposed to eat it (leafy greens cure everything from cold sores to the plague, it seems.) But really, does anyone really know what to do with chard? Spinach and lettuce are no-brainers, and everyone’s mastered kale by now. But Swiss chard often gets ignored. Don’t pass it by the next time you encounter a bunch at the market. The easiest way to cook chard, like many mystery vegetables, is to saute it in a little olive oil and garlic and serve it over pasta.

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Italian, With Only a Few Ingredients

Sometimes, the fewer the ingredients, the better.

Such is the case at the new location of Frankies Spuntino at 570 Hudson Street in Manhattan. Chef/owners Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo have let classic Italian dishes shine by focusing on essential ingredients like amazing extra-virgin olive oil and heaps of fresh garlic in their grandma’s dining room-style restaurant. When the duo appeared on Food(ography), they shared their paramount pork dish, Pork Braciola Marinara, and explained how a dish can have the maximum amount of flavor with a minimum amount of ingredients. In this case, parsley, Parmesan, provolone and homemade tomato sauce are key.

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Fresh Pasta Sauce in a Flash

As everyone knows, I hold Italian food close to my heart, and in my kitchen as often as possible. Lately I’ve been preparing lots of pasta, and wanted to share two delicious (and easy) fresh sauces to serve up when you’re short on time.

Bucatini All’Amatriciana (top left)
While your pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Sauté pancetta (amount to your liking) in a little olive oil until it’s crisp. Add in chopped onions, garlic and chili flakes, and cook with crispy pancetta until onions are soft. Add in crushed plum tomatoes, and simmer for 5 minutes. 1 minute before the pasta is ready, finish cooking it in the pan with the sauce until it combines and thickens up the sauce. Remove from heat and add grated pecorino cheese!

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