There is something really special about this recipe. Not just that it’s a neat bruschetta remixed with fig and gorgonzola. It is definitely that, But this is the first recipe video I ever made. I hope watching it gets you even more in the mood for some figs & gorgon!
Frozen dinners have been really elusive to me. I know that is completely shocking because so many people insist they are weeknight dinner life savers. I just never think to do it! But now I’m trying to start. This recipe was double the freezer meal fun because 1) I made a huge batch of pesto. I was totally thanking myself too because I hate cleaning out the food processor every time. It never dawned on me to make double, or even triple batches and freeze the pesto. (Crazy.)
2) Lately, whenever I make a dinner that is freezer compatible, I have been preparing double to stock up for after baby is born. I FEEL LIKE AN ABSOLUTE WIZARD. And all those good feelings just from being nearly the last person in the world to try frozen dinners. Sheesh.
BAKED PESTO MACARONI Serves 5-6
1 pound macaroni pasta, cooked al dente
2 cups my favorite pesto
2 cups heirloom tomatoes, halved
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat strained macaroni in olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.
Stir pesto into pasta. Fold in tomatoes.
Transfer to 9×13 baking dish. Top with parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Eating this for lunch one day, a couple friends asked me what I was having. It’s hard to reply “spaghetti carbonara” and not feel pretentious. So I was downplaying as much as possible and sneaking out the words. BUT IT’S REALLY NOT A COMPLICATED DISH. You could do it. And then you can feign non-chalantness with all your impressed friends. (Kidding.)
The other reaction people have is, “Oh. What actually is spaghetti carbonara?” Simply a pasta dish based on eggs, cheese, and pepper. It’s popular to add green peas too. And I, of course, did bacon.
SPAGHETTI CARBONARA Serves 3-4
1 pound spaghetti
1 and 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeño, diced
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper
Prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Saute onion, jalapeño, and olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and heat for 1 more minute.
Whisk together parmesan, eggs, and pasta water. Add spaghetti, bacon, parsley, and egg mixture to pan with onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Stir to coat spaghetti with sauce and let cook for 1-2 more minutes. Top with parmesan and season with salt & pepper.
It’s really rocking my world how much the produce at my local grocery stop is, well, rocking. I am more and more convinced that although American grocers know no seasons, your personal kitchen benefits from cooking in sync with the calendar. Hear me when I say I’m no produce elitist. I buy non-organic more often than not. But, the flavor and quality of even something as simple as the pre-packaged bag of carrots I bought last week is far from the bag of water-y, tasteless carrots I bought in December.
Thus salads have become my routine because I’m loving summer and kind of fearing winter again. For Michiganders that is a long six months with a short list of fresh produce. But I won’t think about that now! Nectarine salad and happy thoughts today.
NECTARINE QUINOA SALAD Serves 3-4
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 hothouse cucumber, diced
15 ounces corn
15 ounces black beans
4 nectarines, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
2 teaspoons honey
2 limes, juiced
Salt & pepper
Combine quinoa, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, black beans, corn, nectarines, and red onion in a large bowl.
Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper flake, honey, lime juice, and salt & pepper. Drizzle salad with dressing.