I grew up in an Italian family, practically raised on pasta. My mom cooked different types of spaghetti recipes from different family members plus favorites from family-owned restaurants. I learned, especially after visiting Italy, that the secret to perfect pasta is simple flavors without a lot of fuss. Dishes don't need to take hours; a beautiful pasta meal can be made in 20 minutes or less. This is a spin I created off the classic Aglio e Olio (Garlic and Oil) and is one of our go-to dinners in our household.
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 large cloves of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon or more of crushed red pepper
2/3 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 pound thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
Boil the pasta according to package directions. Reserve one cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta.
In a large skillet, drizzle the pan with olive oil and heat to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. Do not allow to brown; only cook for about one minute.
Add the peas and cook one minute more. Next add the pasta water to the pan and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Lastly, add the drained pasta and toss to coat. Allow to meld in the pan for one or two more minutes. Then remove from heat and serve.
Optional Toppings or Garnishes: Bacon (we use veggie bacon), additional crushed red pepper, a slice of lemon or a small sprinkle of Parmesan
I started growing my own food because I'm a foodie; I love cooking with fresh ingredients and getting the most flavor I can for each meal I prepare. This rustic homemade pizza was inspired by what's in season; I let my garden be my grocery store and combine seasonal flavors with my favorite homemade crust recipe.
1 pizza crust (store-bought or homemade)
12 oz. Bleu or Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
1 Delicata squash, seeded and sliced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup arugula, washed and dried
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Roast the Squash
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the slices of squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast for 8-10 minutes, until slightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Make the Balsamic Glaze
In a small saucepan combine the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let simmer until glaze is thickened and easily coats the back of a spoon (usually around 10 minutes). When finished, remove from heat and set aside.
Assemble the Pizza
Raise oven heat to 500F. Place pizza crust on a piece of parchment paper. Top with cheese crumbles. Next top the cheese with the roasted squash slices, shallot, arugula, and dried cranberries. Use a baking sheet or pizza peel to slide underneath the parchment paper and transfer the paper and pizza to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbles (roughly 8-10 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool and let sit for 2 minutes. With a spoon, drizzle the balsamic glaze over the pizza. Slice and serve.
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