Quick and Easy Sesame Garlic Noodles

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 5 MINS

COOK TIME | 10 MINS

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I have been making a version of this dish for years. I love its chameleon-like versatility. Missing an ingredient-improvise! This dish can take it. Add seasonal veggies for an ultimate fresh and healthy version.
The bonus is I haven’t met a kid who hasn’t gobbled it down! Double Duty Recipe: Make extra sauce to use later in the week to pour over rice or marinate fish, beef or chicken and broil or grill.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 8 oz. package favorite spaghetti, I like thick spaghetti
* 2 tsp chili oil or vegetable oil
* 8-10 oz cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 carrot, julienned
* 2 Serrano peppers or to taste, thinly sliced1
* 3-4 scallions , cut into 2” pieces and then slices lengthwise, set aside a few pieces for garnish
* 3 Tbsps soy sauce
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tbsp maple syrup
* 2 tsps fish sauce
* 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
* 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds 
* 4-5 large basil leaves cut into ribbons, optional for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Start a large pot of water. over high heat and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.


2. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, whisk the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, maple syrup, sesame seed oil. set aside.


3. In a pan large enough to toss all the ingredients including the pasta, heat the chili or vegetable oil over medium heat.

4. Add the Serrano, bell pepper and carrot. Cook, for about 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally or until tender.

7. Add the chopped mushrooms, stir and cover. Cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir once or twice.

9. Uncover and remove from the heat. The liquid will evaporate.


10. Add the cooked pasta and and toss and then add the sauce and mix well.

11. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with basil, if using, scallions and sesame seeds.


NOTES

Add in any vegetables you would like. Add add extra carrot or beansprouts and broccoli.
Substitute rice vinegar for the fish sauce to go vegan and vegetarian.

Oil Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

YIELDS | 4 cup SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10-15 MINS

COOK TIME | 2-21/2 HOURS

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I make a big batch of these oil roasted cherry tomatoes and freeze them. I use them throughout the winter months and spoon them along with the oil into pastas, on top of flatbread’s and pizzas and toss into stews for a burst of fresh tomato flavor.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 pints cherry tomatoes
* 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
* 6 fresh thyme sprigs
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed, optional
* 6 Serrano peppers, optional
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 225F.

1. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a baking dish and drizzle them with the oil.
2. Add thyme, garlic and salt. Bake until the tomatoes are swollen and the skins are wrinkled. About 2.5-3 hours.
3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Freeze in 1 cup containers along with equal amounts of oil or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

NOTES

I typically make two batches; one with time and kosher salt iand 1 batch with garlic and Serrano pepper for a spicy version.

Tomato Bread with Smoked Olive Oil-Lemon Ricotta and Sardines

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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My son, Adam, and I created this recipe together. It is so easy to make yet it delivers a complex layers of flavors. The smoked olive oil gives the creamy ricotta an earthy flavor and pairs perfectly with the sardines. The lemon brightens the entire dish and is a delightful compliment to the overall umami profile. This tomato bread bursts with flavor. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making it over and over again.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
* 2 Tbsps smoked olive oil plus more to taste
* 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
* 2- plump garlic cloves, peeled
* 1-2 large, fresh ripe tomatoes, halved
* 1- large loaf crusty bread, such as a French boule or baguette
* 1-tin, 3.735 oz skinless, boneless sardines, packed in olive oil
* 2 Tbsps room temperature butter or olive oil to brush onto the bread
* One small bunch chives, chopped for garnish, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread each side with butter or olive oil and grill or toast in the oven until golden brown, set aside.

2. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice to a food processor or high powered blender. Turn the machine on low to medium and slowly drizzle in 2 Tbsp smoked olive oil and blend until the mixture has a silky texture. Add more smoked olive oil as needed.

3. Pour mixture into a small bowl and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Rub the fresh garlic on to each side of the toasted bread.

5. Generously rub each side of the toasted bread with the tomato. Be sure to get the tomato into every nook and cranny.

6. Top tomato toast with the heaping Tbsp of the creamy ricotta-Lemon mixture.

7. Top each slice with 2 to 3 sardines, sprinkle with additional kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and garnish with chopped chives, optional.

NOTES

Use any leftover ricotta mixture to mix into mashed potatoes or stir into rice for a savory side dish. Top grilled chicken or fish with it and garnish with chives or another favorite herb.

Cream, Tumeric & Cheese Pasta

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 20 MINS

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I had a version of this dish at a fantastic restaurant , Bacari, in Los Angeles this summer, and it inspired me to try it at home. Although there are several recipes available for turmeric spaghetti, I like the simplicity of this version. I decided to use pecorino instead of Parmesan. While I like both flavors, I really like the sharpness of the sheep’s milk cheese in this dish. It plays beautifully with the earthy turmeric. I also like using a cylindrical pasta instead of spaghetti. The turmeric, cheese and cream seep into every nook and cranny. This recipe can also do double duty. See Notes below. Definitely a keeper!

INGREDIENTS

* 1 pound rigatoni or spaghetti
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 1 large shallot, sliced thin
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
*  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
* 1 cup half-and-half
* 11/2 cups freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan plus more for serving
* 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. and cook the rigatoni according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.
2. While you wait for the water to boil, melt the butter in a pan large enough to hold the pasta over medium-low heat.
3. Add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and stir until lightly golden and bubbly. Add the turmeric and stir to incorporate about 16-20 seconds.
4. Whisk in the half-and-half bring to a simmer.
5. Whisk in the pecorino or Parmesan.
6. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta water gently mix until the pasta has a silky consistency. Add more pasta water as necessary.
7. Garnish with parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and a shower of grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese.

NOTES

Double Duty Recipe:
Make extra sauce to use again during the week to mix into veggies or dollop over fish or chicken

Roast Tomatoes to Freeze for later

STORY

Got a bumper crop of tomatoes? Consider roasting them to freeze for later! I love the taste and versatility of roasted tomatoes and I like to preserve their wonderful flavor for later by freezing them to use in soups and sauces. It is best to use cherry tomatoes or smaller Roma tomatoes when roasting to freeze. I toss these frozen tomatoes into a hot pan with olive oil, garlic and stir until a bubbly sauce appears. Toss in your favorite cooked pasta, a little pasta water, some Pecorino and you have a fast and great tasting pasta sauce and meal.

Ingredients:
* 12-14 cherry tomatoes or 6-8 Roma tomatoes (depending on size) cut in half
* Olive oil for drizzling
* Sea salt
* Freshly ground pepper

Directions:
* Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
* Rinse, dry and half the tomatoes
* Line a large sheet pan with parchment
* Rinse, dry and cut the tomatoes in half and lay on sheet pan cut side up.
* Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and a few good cranks of freshly ground pepper.
* Roast for 40-60 minutes or until roasted to your preference.
* Let cool and then pop the sheet tray into the freezer for a couple of hours. When frozen, place the tomatoes into a resealable bag and store in the freezer until ready to use.

Chicken with Smashed Cherry Tomato Sauce

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 20 MINS

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This mouthwatering dish bursts with sweet cherry tomato sauce and juicy chicken. The sweet basil brightens the cherry tomato sauce. The mushrooms and spinach add an additional layer of flavor. This recipe comes together in a pinch and is perfect for weeknight meals. Serve with pasta and a crisp, green salad for a complete meal.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 Tbsp olive oiln• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts n• 2 cloves garlic, mincedn• 1⁄2 Tsp saltn• 1⁄4 Tsp ground black peppern• 2 cups or 8oz fresh mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed and slicedn• 1⁄2 cup onion, choppedn• 3 cups red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved. See Kitchen Tips on how to easily and quickly slice several cherry tomatoes at once.n• 4 cups or 5 oz fresh baby spinachn• 1⁄4 cup basil. cut into ribbonsn• 2 Tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated

INSTRUCTIONS

1. in a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pan.n2. Add mushrooms and onion to skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms and onion are tender and lightly browned, add garlic and cook for 1 minute more and until garlic is fragrant.n3. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to pop and wrinkle, 5-7 minutes. n4. Reduce heat to medium, add spinach and mix. Simmer until the spinach is wilted.n5. Add chicken back into the pan and cook until chicken is warm about 3-5 minutes. n6. Season with additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. n

NOTES

Happy Eating!nMushroom are optional, if not using, add 1 additional cup pf tomatoes