Make dinner more special with the perfect pasta

By ELIZABETH KURTZ, GOURMETKOSHERCOOKING.COM
January 30, 2011 11:43

There is probably no more popular weeknight dinner than pasta. Luckily it can be presented in so many forms that there is no need to get bored.

4 minute read.



Fusilli with eggplant

Fusilli with eggplant. (photo credit: Courtesy)

For more great kosher recipes go to: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com


There is probably no more popular weeknight dinner than pasta.  Luckily it can be presented in so many forms that there is no need to get bored.  Here are just a few possible variations.

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Angel Hair Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Serves 5

1 (10 ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped (oil reserved) Angel hair with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 ounces soft goat cheese, coarsely crumbled (you can use feta cheese if goat cheese is hard to find)

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine and chopped sun-dried tomatoes and simmer until the liquid reduces by half about 2 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a generous amount of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring, about 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta and parsley to the tomato mixture and toss to coat, adding some of the reserved pasta water to moisten. Season the pasta with sat and pepper. Mound in pasta bowls, sprinkle with the goat cheese.

Fettuccini Alfredo with Mushrooms

1 pound fettucciniFettuccini with mushrooms
Salt and pepper
8 tablespoons butter, cut into pats, divided
8 ounces loosely packed, finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2-3 cups. I like to grate the fresh Parmesan)
2 packages of mushrooms, sliced (16 ounces total or more to taste)
½ cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 -4 minutes. Add the Marsala wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has boiled off, about 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Place a large shallow serving bowl in the oven to warm.
When the water boils, season with salt, add the pasta and cook to al dente.
When the pasta is just about done, remove the warm bowl or platter from the oven. Scatter the butter pats into the warm serving dish. Add the mushrooms to the dish. Reserve a generous ladleful of starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta and place it over the butter; pour the starchy water over the top. Scatter half of the cheese over the pasta and toss for 1 minute. Add more cheese and continue to toss another 2 minutes, until the pasta is evenly coated and the cheese has melted into the sauce. Serve immediately.

Fusilli with Eggplant

2 16-ounce eggplants, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slicesFrusilli with eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup pine nuts, toasted
¾ cup dried currants
½ cup drained capers
2 14 ½ -ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 pound fusilli pasta
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
½ cup chopped fresh basil

Place eggplant slices on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Turn eggplant slices over. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 20 minutes longer. Rinse eggplant. Drain: pat dry with paper towels. Cut eggplant into ½-inch cubes. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add eggplant; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, currants and capers; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices; bring to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return pasta to pot. Add eggplant mixture, ¼ cup cheese and basil. Toss to combine. Transfer to large bowl. Serve, passing remaining cheese separately.

For more great kosher recipes go to: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com


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