Monday, February 15, 2010

Super Fast, Super Easy, Super Delicious!

I've been cookin' up a storm lately so be ready for lots of recipes to be shared.  Leading off is the meal my husband and I made together for Valentine's Day this weekend.  It's simple and fast and making it together is twice as nice. :)

Rigatoni with Prosciutto and Parmesan (from Everyday with Rachael Ray)

1 lb. rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
2 oz. prosciutto, cut into 1/4 inch strips
Salt and pepper (I omit the salt...definitely doesn't need it!)

In a pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, 9-10 minutes. 

Meanshile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.  Add the pasta and toss to coat.

Remove the skillet from heat and stir in 1 cup cheese and the prosciutto.  Season with salt and pepper (or just pepper) and toss.  Top with additional cheese, if desired.

The entire dinner takes less than 15 minutes to make (toss together a nice spinach salad while the pasta is just getting started cooking).  It's very simple in its ingredients which blend together nicely but still hold their own in a unique way.  It's hard to describe but I think you'll see (or rather taste) what I mean when you make it for yourself.  It's also low in calories (if you can stick to a single serving) coming in at just over 350 calories per serving.  Not sure it gets better than that in a pasta dish that is still really tasty!  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Healthy Hummus

Hummus in general is a pretty good choice as far as snacking goes but how about a hummus that is only 33 calories per serving while still being incredibly flavorful?  Combine that with a high fiber, black bean base and you've got quite the protein powerhouse.  Check it out for yourself...

Black Bean Hummus

1 clove garlic
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drain and reserve liquid
2 Tbls. lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbls. tahini
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
10 Greek olives (optional, for garnish)

Mince garlic in food processor.  Add black beans, 2 Tbls. reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.  Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add additional seasoning and liquid as needed to taste.  Garnish with Greek olives, if desired.  Serve with pita chips or crackers.

Tahini can be hard to find...take a look at your local grocer near the artichokes.  When in doubt, ask if they carry it or check out a specialty food store.  This dip is super easy to make a double batch if you're expecting a big crowd.  Perhaps those of you looking for a last minute Superbowl snack will whip some up.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Confusing Carbonara Capers

So I must admit my love for carbonara (and my husbands too!), however, I rarely make it or order it at restaurants because of all the heavy cream, butter, and bacon involved.  Imagine my amazement when looking for a new recipe online I found that some big names in food poo-pooed the cream, along with many other familiar carbonara ingredients (peas, mushrooms, etc)!!  Don't believe me?  Check out a few for yourself...

Tyler Florence (Though he also has a recipe for "Ultimate Cabonara" which includes cream.)
Rachael Ray (This is the recipe I decided to use!) She even has a second carbonara recipe that also nixes the cream. (check it out)

Now at the same time there are plenty of familiar foodies who stick with the cream version of carbonara...
Emeril Lagasse
Giada DeLaurentiis (Cinnamon in carbonara?!  This I might have to try...)
Paula Deen

As I said, we went with the Rachael Ray recipe and it was FANTASTIC!  I even made it with whole wheat pasta...yummy and healthy!  (Well, sort's still carbonara.)  I would definitely recommend checking it out if you're a pasta fan looking for a slightly lighter version.  All that's left to do now is get cookin!