Pasta Every Which Shape and Candied Fruit Half Moon Pasta Recipe for World Pasta Day

There's life beyond spaghetti as previously posted Pasta for your Eyes, Corals, Morels to Rooster Combs, Colorful Shapes (August 2013)

Colorful pasta


Sweet pasta treat? Mezzelune Dolci, Candied Fruit Filled Half Moon Pasta recipe from Pasta Italiana (Kyle Books USA, January 2012), by Gino D' Acampo

My way to celebrate #WorldPastaDay

Not quite Risotto, Kritharaki Me Manitaria, Mushroom Orzo from Maria Loi 'The Greek Diet'

I cannot guarantee that you will 'look and feel like a Greek god or goddess...' as the subtitle of The Greek Diet by Maria Loi with Sarah Toland (William Morrow, October 2014) suggests.

You will surely be sasiated after eating her not quite risotto 'Mushroom Orzo' vegetarian pasta dish.

Kritharaki Me Manitaria (Mushroom "Risotto"):

Serves 8 to 10

1 onion, very finely chopped (by hand or in the food processor)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated tomato (grated on the large holes of a box grater)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds white button mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
About 2 cups vegetable stock or water
One 1-pound package Loi Kritharaki Orzo Pasta (or other whole-grain pasta)
Freshly grated pecorino cheese, for garnish
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Kritharaki Me Manitaria (Mushroom Risotto)

1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the onion until golden and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes, sprinkling it lightly with salt as it cooks. Add the tomato and garlic and continue to cook until well combined.

2. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. The liquid they release as they cook will be used later to coat the pasta. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

3. Pour in the wine and add 2 cups of stock. Continue to cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by one-third. There should be enough liquid in the skillet to comfortably hold all the orzo, about 1 cup. If not, add a little extra water or stock as needed.

4. Preheat a small sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown and develops a nutty aroma, less than 5 minutes.

5. Carefully add the orzo to the skillet with the mushroom mixture and allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 to 10 minutes. If the orzo has absorbed all of the liquid but isn’t quite done, add another ¼ or 1/2 cup of stock to the skillet. Taste the sauce, and add salt and pepper as needed.

6. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. To serve, ladle the pasta into large bowls, sprinkle with pecorino and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from The Greek Diet by Maria Loi with Sarah Tolland -published by William Morrow, October 2014)

Feast Food, Maftool, Palestinian Couscous from Olives, Lemons and Za'atar

Rawia Bishara in her Maftool recipe from  Olives, Lemons & Za'atar (Kyle Books, February 2014) reminisces on her parents making the pearly couscous by hand at home when she was growing up.

The Romance of Maftool

My father was a rather chivalrous man, particularly when it came to my mother. His gestures were not necessarily showy or grand, but they were nothing if not charming. One of my favorite memories of my parents is tied to the ritual of making maftool, a pasta that is often incorrectly
referred to as Israeli couscous here in America. Given how much patience and diligence is required to make the grains by hand, it is clear proof to me just how important food was and remains to our culture.
In our Nazareth home, my mother started making this pearly pasta early in the morning. The first step was roasting and grinding her own spices. The aroma of caraway, anise and cumin floated in the air. She filled a huge stockpot with either lamb bones or whole chickens, vegetables, the spices and water. While the water came to a boil, my mother shaped the pasta. She stood while rolling a bit of wheat flour with drips of water in the palms of her hands over a sieve, continuously sprinkling flour and water in her palm until the granules were the size of BB pellets. She would then coat the pasta with clarified butter to prevent the grains from sticking together while they steamed in a colander set in the pot of boiling stock. The fragrant stock perfumed the maftool before the two
were combined in a bowl. Layering flavors this way was the key to my mother’s memorable cooking. She insisted on spicing and perfuming every component of a dish.
Maftool is made with what seems like an absurd amount of pearl onions. Peeling them is one of the most time-consuming steps in making the dish. For my parents, though, it was the most charmed. Because he hated to see her cry, my father always stepped in to tackle the mountain of onions on the kitchen counter. This may not seem especially gallant these days, but back then, men simply did not carry their weight in the kitchen. Watching my dad peel all those onions made me swoon. As a little girl, it just seemed so romantic! The most endearing part of the process was not that my father saved my mom the burning eyes and endless tears, but that he’d close the kitchen door while he was preparing all of those onions because he didn’t like anyone seeing him cry.
“Watching my dad peel all those onions made me swoon. As a little girl, it just seemed so romantic!”

Palestinian Couscous with Chicken, Chickpeas and Pearl Onions, MAFTOOL

It used to be that the whole family gathered to make homemade Maftool. These days, almost no one makes it by hand, which is not surprising, since the process is very involved. Maftool is truly a one-dish meal—there are never pickles, sauces or salads served with it because the chicken, chickpeas and onions are like side dishes themselves. I prefer fresh pearl onions, but if you need to speed things up, use the frozen variety.


6 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sea salt or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 chicken (21/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 4 or 8 pieces
10 tablespoons olive oil or 4 tablespoons ghee
2 pounds fresh pearl onions, peeled, or frozen pearl onions
4 yellow onions, chopped
1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled (see page 21) or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 pounds maftool (see opposite) or Egyptian rice

P.140 Maftool

In a small bowl, combine the caraway, allspice, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon. Rub half of the spice mixture all over the chicken. Set aside the other half.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 6 tablespoons of the oil or all of the ghee over medium heat. Slip the chicken pieces into the pan, skin-side down, and sear, leaving them untouched for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Turn over and sear the other sides, 5 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the pearl and yellow onions and saute until the onions begin to take on color, 5 to 7 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot, pour in the chickpeas and 3 quarts water, raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and, using a spoon, skim o% the foam from the top, trying not to skim o% any spices along with it. Cover and simmer until the chicken is about to fall o% the bone, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in the lemon juice and set
the pot aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice, stir to coat and saute until the grains are snowy white.

Stir in the reserved spice mixture and until fragrant. Pour in 6 cups of the chicken broth from the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is soft, adding more broth as needed, 15 to 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon the rice onto a large, rimmed serving platter and arrange the chicken, chickpeas and onions around it.

(* Recipe reproduced from 'Olives, Lemons & Za'atar' by Rawia Bishara -Kyle Books, February 2014- Photography by Peter Cassidy, all rights reserved...)

Polish- Japanese Fusion for the Summer Table, Polish Summer Soba Noodles from 'Salad Samurai'

Polish- Japanese fusion powers this third and last recipe from Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love (Da Capo Lifelong BooksJune 2014by Terry Hope Romero...

Polish Summer Soba Salad



Chilled soba noodles, a Japanese staple in many warm-weather dishes, are traditionally made with
buckwheat flour. While enjoying a cold sesame soba noodle salad on a steamy summer day, it hit me that buckwheat is also a staple in Eastern European cuisine. So here it is, a salad that infuses these earthy noodles with the rustic flavors found in Polish warm-weather salads: beets, cucumbers, and the requisite heap of fresh dill. White beans add a touch of richness and protein too.


1⁄2 pound uncooked beets, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon celery seeds
Pinch of salt and a few twists
of freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces soba noodles
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
1 cup cooked white beans
3 tablespoons chopped roasted walnuts

1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the diced beets on the parchment paper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, celery seeds, salt, and pepper and toss. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork.

2. Prepare the soba noodles according to package directions, but slightly undercook them to al dente. Drain, rinse with plenty of cold water, and transfer to a mixing bowl.

3. In another mixing bowl, combine the scallions, cucumber, and white beans. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a glass measuring cup or bowl, pour half over the bean and vegetable mixture, and toss. Add the remaining dressing to the soba noodles and toss.

4. Divide the soba noodles among serving bowls and twirl into a mound in the center of each bowl.
Spoon the bean and vegetable mixture over the soba, garnish with roasted beets, and sprinkle with
roasted walnuts. 

Other recipes from 'Salad Samurai' I previously shared:

-Grilled Kale Salad with Spicy Lentils

-Sweet Beet Drink with Dash of Kombucha and Ginger

(* Recipe from Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. June 2014- courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books)

It's Gnocchi Day in Argentina, July 29, Celebrate with Ricotta Gnocchi and Alta Langa Potato Gnocchi Recipes

It's Gnocchi Day in Argentina,  Ñoquis Del 29

Celebrate with Alta Langa Potato Gnocchi by Manolo Allochis...

Alta langa potato gnocchi

and Blooming Recipe, Ricotta Gocchi with Squash Blossoms and Clams by Fabio Viviani...

Ricotta gnocchi

Ricotta Gnocchi (first shared April 2013) by Fabio Viviani from Fabio's Italian Kitchen (Hyperion- April 24, 2013).

Alta Langa Potato Gnocchi (first shared August 2011) by Manolo Allochis from  from Italy's Great Chefs and their Secrets (White Star Publishers, 2010).

(* Recipe and photo from Italy's Great Chefs and their Secrets (2010), reproduced courtesy of White Star Publishers, all rights reserved...Photos by Luigi Rossi)

(* From FABIO’S ITALIAN KITCHEN by Fabio Viviani. Copyright © 2013, VF Legacy, LLC. Published by Hyperion in April 2013. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved)

Noodle Around with Noodle! by Mimi Aye, Fresh off Absolute Press

Ready and willing to noodle around, Mimi Aye of Meemalee (Burmese food and beyond) has Noodle! fresh off Absolute Press for you to play with.


Book was out late May in the UK but if i am to trust Indiebound U.S publication is scheduled for October 2014.

It is part of 100 Great Recipes series.

I have not seen (read) Noodle! yet

Dairy Free, Gluten Free Pasta Alfredo, Almond Milk Alfredo from 'Almonds Every Which Way'

One last taste of Almonds Every Which WayMore than 150 Healthy-Delicious Almond Milk, Almond Flour and Almond Butter Recipes (Da Capo Lifelong, March 2014) by Cheeky Kitchen Brooke McLay after No-Bake One Bite Vanilla Almond Butter Cups...

Almond Milk Alfredo

(Dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian)

Pasta lovers, unite! This simple alfredo sauce takes the cream and cheese out of the classic version but retains so much flavor, you won’t miss all the fat! Gluten-free eaters will want to serve this over g-free pasta. If you’re watching your carb content, or just want to boost the veggies in your life, try spooning this sauce over spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons and serving it with the No-Meat Neatballs (page 150).

4 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 ½ tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
16 ounces fettuccine, cooked
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley


1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and shallots together until the shallots are softened and aromatic, about 2 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and vegetable stock, then pour it into the skillet. Whisk in the almond milk and nutritional yeast. Cook it just until the sauce thickens and is steamy. If you're using cornstarch, whisk just until the sauce begins to boil and thicken.

3. Remove from the heat and serve it over the fettuccine. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving
(1/6 recipe, sauce only)
Calories: 475
Calories from Fat: 105
Total Fat: 11.7g, 18%
Saturated Fat: 5.3g, 27%
Total Carb: 75.6g, 25%
Dietary Fiber: 1.4g, 5%
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 16.6g
Cholesterol: 114mg, 38%
Sodium: 353mg, 15%

(Recipe from Almonds Every Which Way by Brooke McLay. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014, Photo Credits: Brooke McLay, Franklin Bennett, and Melanie North.)

Argillae Orvieto with Fettucine with Vodka and Lemon from Patricia Wells 'French Kitchen Cookbook'

Worried about what to serve with the recipes in The French Kitchen Cookbook (William Morrow, October 2013) by Patricia Wells, Patricia recommends a wine pairing with each dish.

In this case an Italian white preferably an Orvieto.

Fettuccine with vodka and lemon

• 6 servings •

One of the greatest hits from my Trattoria cookbook was Penne with Spicy Tomato-Cream Sauce, or what is generally known as vodka pasta, a dish inspired by one served at a trattoria in Florence. This is a clear variation on the theme, made with nests of fettuccine and a nice hit of citrus. It’s a real go-to weeknight pasta in our house.

Equipment: A 10-quart (10 l) pasta pot fitted with a colander; a large skillet with a lid; 6 warmed, shallow soup bowls.

1 pound (500 g) dried Italian fettuccine
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon vodka
1 cup (250 ml) light cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup (35 g) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Grated zest of 2 lemons, preferably organic
Coarse, freshly ground black pepper


1. In the pasta pot, bring 8 quarts (8 l) of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine
and salt, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook until tender but firm to the bite, about
6 minutes. While the pasta cooks, warm the lemon juice, vodka, and cream in the large skillet.

2. When the pasta is al dente, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the colander and drain the
pasta over the sink, shaking to get rid of the excess water. Reserve some of the cooking water for
the sauce.

3. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to evenly coat the fettuccine. If the pasta is dry, add
pasta cooking water, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the pasta is moist. Add half of the cheese and toss once more. Taste for seasoning. Cover and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the pasta to thoroughly absorb the sauce. Toss again. Taste for seasoning.

4. Transfer the pasta to the individual soup bowls. Season with the lemon zest and freshly ground
pepper. Serve immediately, passing the remaining cheese and a pepper mill at the table. 

The secret : The secret here is not to burn off the alcohol by reducing the vodka. Even though vodka is a neutral spirit, it is not flavorless. The key is that the flavor is in the alcohol, so burn off the alcohol, burn off the flavor.

Wine suggestion : A lovely Italian white is my choice here. For some reason this dish takes me back to the charming town of Orvieto, so I’ll suggest the Argillae Orvieto from Umbria.

(* Recipe excerpted from 'The French Kitchen Cookbook' by Patricia Wells- published by William Morrow, October 2013- Photographs byJeff Kauck, all rights reserved)

1899 Soul Warmer, Nagasaki Champon from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono - Harris Salat

"Move over sushi, it's time for gyoza, curry, tonkatsu and furai' are first words greeting us when we open Japanese Soul Cooking (Ten Speed Press, November 2013) by Tadashi Ono who recently opened Maison O in New York and  Harris Salat of comfort food restaurant Ganso in Brooklyn and The Japanese Food Report...

Today's recipe comes from the Ramen chapter.


Nagasaki, located on the southwestern main island of Kyushu, is an old trading port that attracted Chinese students in the nineteenth century. Naturally, restaurants popped up to serve their home-style chow. In 1899, at one of these places, a Fujianese chef named Hejun Chin invented a dish based on his native Fujian-style noodles—a dish that evolved into today’s Nagasaki champon, which soon became popular across the country. The word champon refers to something mixed, and indeed these noodles are a satisfying combination of seafood, pork, and vegetables, all served in a mouthwatering soup. In restaurants, slow-cooked pork bones (like with tonkotsu ramen, page 7) give this soup a milky appearance; we use actual milk to create this effect, plus to add body and flavor. Traditional champon noodles are thicker and wider than regular ramen noodles, but the ramen version is fine to use. If you like heat, add a dab of tobanjan (spicy fermented bean paste, see page 236) to spice things up.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons sesame oil

4 ounces thinly sliced pork (available at Asian markets), cut into bite-size pieces

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

4 ounces squid, cleaned and sliced into rings

4 ounces scallops, cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices

4 ounces small shrimp (51/60 size), peeled

1 small carrot (about 3 ounces), peeled and sliced into 2-inch-long pieces

1⁄2 onion (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

4 ounces cabbage, cut into bite-size pieces

1⁄2 cup sake

2 quarts ramen soup (page 9), hot

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

2 cups milk

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced on an angle into 1-inch pieces

4 packages (about 6 ounces each) fresh-frozen ramen noodles

1 tablespoon ground sesame


To prepare the champon soup, heat the sesame oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the pork and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the squid, scallops, and shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more. Add the carrot and onion, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the shiitake mushrooms and napa cabbage, cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Add the sake and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ramen soup, salt, soy sauce, and mirin. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk and scallions. Cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.

To prepare the ramen, fill a large stockpot with water and place over high heat. Ready 4 large bowls on a work surface. When the water boils, add the noodles. Stir the noodles for about 10 seconds, so they separate and cook evenly. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through and toothsome. Drain the noodles into a colander and divide them among the 4 bowls. Pour one-fourth of the champon soup into each bowl, over the ramen. Make sure the pork, seafood, and vegetables are divided evenly. Garnish with ground sesame and serve piping hot.

Authors are doing an on stage Demo of Japanese Home Curry, today November 14 at Japan Society in New York. Starts at 6:30 PM

Ramen with 1899 roots for Tokyo Thursdays # 272

Previously: Japan, Land of Immigrants? Through the Camera Lenses of Camille Millerand

(*Reprinted with permission from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono &  Harris Salat, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Food Photography: Todd Coleman © 2013")

White Vermouth Included, Mac and Cheese with Ground Cashews and Truffle Oil

After Spoonable Bloody Mary recipe from The Cheesy Vegan More Than 125 Plant-Based Recipes for Indulging in the World's Ultimate Comfort Food by John Schlimm (Da Capo Lifelong, October 2013), put Vermouth in your 'Meatless Moinday' with this second serving.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Ground Cashews & Truffle Oil


Crumb topping


Even if served on the most ordinary of days, this macaroni dish with several cheese options has special occasion written all over it . . . and with white and black truffles to boot.

In a food processor, pulse the bread until you’ve made crumbs. Set the crumbs aside and wipe out the processor. Then, mince, in this order: garlic, shallots, celery, and mushrooms, pulsing the latter three vegetables just until nicely chopped.

In a heavy, large, stainless-steel skillet over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the processed ingredients and sauté until tender, stirring, about 6 minutes. Add the vermouth (or dry white wine) and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Add the soy milk, miso paste, thyme, and bay leaf to the skillet, and bring just to a simmer. Reduce the mixture over low heat for about 15 minutes, then remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Cheddar cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Remove the bay leaf and puree the mixture with an immersion blender (or carefully, in batches, in a standing blender, and return to the same skillet). Stir in the black truffle (if using). Season with salt and white pepper.

Heat the broiler. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain very well.

While the pasta is cooking, make the crumb topping by combining the topping ingredients.

Then, in a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs set aside in the beginning, green onions, parsley, and ground cashews. In a medium-size skillet over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the bread crumb mixture and sauté, stirring, until golden and coated with margarine, about 2 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce in the skillet, then stir in the white truffle oil (or 1⁄2 teaspoon white truffle powder). Toss to coat. Pour into a large gratin dish and top with the crumb topping. Broil watchfully until the topping is crisp and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve at once.


(*Recipe from the book The Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2013, Photo by Amy Beadle Roth)