These terrific recipes include gnocchi with wild mushrooms and spaghetti with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella.
Food & Wine
February 22, 2013
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Orecchiette with Pistachio Pesto
This amazingly flavorful pesto has a key ingredient that makes it stand out: Sicily’s famed pistachio nuts. Frank Falcinelli says, “Sicilian pistachios are incredibly sweet and fruity, not like the cheap ones we eat in front of the TV here in the U.S.”
Orecchiette with Marinated Eggplant, Burrata and Chiles
Missy Robbins makes this elegant, decadent pasta dish with burrata, the creamy cow's-milk cheese from Italy. She says, "I absolutely love burrata, but this recipe also includes my trifecta of favorite ingredients: marjoram, lemon and chiles."
This pasta is an ode to the mountains of fried zucchini Gwyneth Paltrow ate at Elio's, an Italian restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, growing up. Here, she adds the crispy zucchini slices to spaghetti that's tossed with shredded Parmesan cheese (which adds texture to the dish) and plenty of olive oil and basil.
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Basil, Olives, and Fresh Mozzarella
Since the tomatoes here are not cooked, you'll really notice their flavor—or lack of it. Make this sauce in the summer when fresh tomatoes are at their peak. The garlic is heated briefly in the oil, and then the garlicky oil is tossed with the spaghetti so the flavor is dispersed throughout the dish. The pasta is equally good warm and at room temperature.
Succulent little cherry tomatoes know no season, so you can enjoy this fresh-tasting no-cook pasta sauce any time of year. Marinate the tomatoes for at least the time it takes to boil the water and cook the fettuccine; the longer you let them sit, the better the sauce will be.
Parsley, rather than the traditional basil, makes this pesto a year-round staple. Because the taste of almonds is more delicate than that of the usual pine nuts, we have chopped rather than ground them. Their flavor really comes through when you bite in to a nutty chunk.
Spinach Fettuccine with Tangy Grilled Summer Squash
At her restaurant, Amanda Cohen tosses herb fettuccine with pickled squash blossoms and grilled zucchini. This simplified recipe features squash that's pickled and then grilled, plus freshly sautéed squash.
Roasting vegetables at a high temperature caramelizes them, making them intensely flavorful. You may think of roasting as a long process, but we cut each of the vegetables into small cubes or thin slices so they need only thirty minutes in the oven.
Andrew Carmellini cooks homemade gnocchi in his own intense mushroom stock, then serves them with porcini butter (blended with garlic, herbs and Parmesan) and white-truffle shavings. To simplify the recipe, use store-bought gnocchi and chicken stock fill in for the homemade kinds. The topping: Parmesan cheese and truffle oil.
Here's one of the quickest pesto sauces you'll come across. It's a perfect match for cheese tortellini, but you can use other tortellini such as mushroom or meat instead. The pesto is also great with just about any plain pasta.
Hear the name ravioli nudi—literally, naked ravioli—and you may envision little sauceless pasta packets, but in fact it's not the sauce that's missing, but the pasta itself. Ravioli filling, in this case spinach and ricotta, is simmered like tender little dumplings. To save time, buy precleaned spinach from the salad bar.
Orecchiette with Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Peas
Vegetables play an important role in the cuisine of India, and cauliflower and peas are a favorite combination. Here Italian orecchiette catches the peas and the sauce so that each bite is full of flavor.
We've added sautéed mushrooms to the classic—and very simple—spaghetti with garlic and oil, but the dish can still be made in no time at all. Regular white mushrooms are excellent here; portobellos or wild mushrooms would be great, too.
Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Tarragon, and Goat-Cheese Sauce
The delectably rich-tasting sauce that clings to each strand of fettuccine here requires no cooking. Just combine goat cheese, Parmesan, milk, and some of the still-hot pasta-cooking water, and it's done.