Spaghetti with Olives & Capers

Some would say pasta is the ultimate comfort food and I am not here to disagree. ¬†Sometimes it’s as easy as throwing pasta in some boiling water and tossing the noodles with a jar of pre-made sauce and calling it a day. ¬†Though it may be intimidating at first, making sauce from scratch is not that difficult and if you have the¬†inclination to do so, it really is¬†worth the extra effort.

This is a take on a puttanesca sauce, which includes the briny tang of capers and Kalamata olives, however, with a simple pomodoro sauce in mind, I¬†added a bit of ghee (or you could use a pat of butter) to really round out its flavor¬†and then stirred in about a ¬Ĺ cup of pasta water to make the sauce cling to the noodles. ¬†You can pump up the nutrition a bit by using whole wheat spaghetti or even zucchini noodles or toss in some extra veggies such as squash, broccoli or spinach. ¬†This time, I just wanted a simple pasta dish with a sauce¬†that I could call my own.


spaghetti with olives & capers

Whole-wheat spaghetti tossed in a slurp-able sauce and punctuated with the briny tang of olives and capers really doesn’t get much better! ¬†Unless you top your bowl with Parmesan cheese and basil…and then it does.

(serves 2-4)

  • 2-4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed in a blender
    • I used Muir Glen’s fire roasted tomatoes which, to me, are the best!
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ¬ľ cup capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs kalamata olive brine
  • 1 tbs caper brine
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs

 

  • 8-10 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 tbs ¬†ghee (or unsalted butter)
  • ¬ľ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Heat olive oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat.  Add minced shallot and cook, stirring frequently, about 8-10 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring,  for 2-4 minutes.  Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook another minute longer.

Increase the heat to medium and season with kosher salt.  Then add in the pureed tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, olive brine, caper brine and sugar.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and flavors come together about 20 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and stir in basil sprigs and set aside.

Meanwhile,¬†bring a large pot of water to a boil. ¬†Season with kosher salt and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally until about 2 minutes before noodles are tender. ¬†Reserve about¬†¬Ĺ a cup of pasta water while draining pasta.

Discard basil in skillet and warm¬†sauce over high heat. ¬†Stir in pasta water to loosen sauce, and bring to a boil. ¬†Add noodles and cook, stirring so sauce coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. ¬†Remove pan from heat and add ghee and¬†¬ľ cup of parmesan cheese. ¬†Toss together until cheese and ghee melt.

Serve into warm bowls and top with more parmesan cheese if desired.

 

(inspired by Cookie+Kate and Bon Appetite)

 

Spaghetti with Olives & Capers

Loaded Ceviche

When the temperature breaks 100¬į for at least five days in a row, the kitchen is one of the last places even I want to be.

Ok, that may not be a completely true statement since I can’t stay away from cooking for more than a day. ¬†But what better way to combat this crazy heat than with a super refreshing ceviche?? ¬†This dish satiates my need to be in the kitchen without turning on the stove or the oven. Win-win.

Ceviche is a dish ordered often around these parts and my husband and I typically eat it as an appetizer or snack whenever possible.  That being said, it is extremely easy to make yourself and completely customizable to suit your tastebuds, so why not give it a go?

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If you’re not familiar with the ceviche, it’s a dish comprised of raw seafood that are essentially “cooked,” or cured, by marinating¬†it¬†in a bath of citrus juice for at least two to four hours. ¬†In this recipe, we opted to marinate three types of seafood: wild-caught Alaskan salmon, snapper and shrimp, finding¬†the flavor was better the longer they marinated. ¬†Since you’re working with raw fish, the dish will only be as good as your ingredients so I¬†recommend purchasing the best quality available. ¬†It is a waiting game with this dish, so plan accordingly!

Once the fish/seafood are done “cooking,” it’s time to get creative with your add-ins. ¬†I loaded mine up with fresh tomatoes and a cucumber for some freshness, onion for a crunchy bite and a roasted poblano for a hit of smokiness. ¬†Finally, a generous bunch¬†of chopped cilantro to garnish, which is absolutely necessary. ¬†Dare I say perfect?

At least for this home cook it was!


loaded ceviche

(makes about 4-5 cups)

This is a no-cook dish and perfect for summer.  Serve as an app with a bowl full of tortilla chips or top some butter lettuce and eat as a side or even an entrée.  Feel free to switch up the fish, use only one type or all three.  Either way, this ceviche is the perfect accompinament to a warm summer evening and and ice cold beer.

  • ¬Ĺ lb wild Alaskan salmon, cut into¬†¬Ĺ inch cubes
  • ¬Ĺ lb snapper filet, cut into¬†¬Ĺ inch cubes
  • ¬ľ lb medium to small-sized shrimp, cut into thirds or quarters depending on how big they are
  • 1 generous cup lime juice (approximately 4-5 limes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 scant tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 serrano chiles, diced (feel free to sub 1¬†jalape√Īo¬†for a little more heat)
  • 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes (approximately 1¬Ĺ tomatoes)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • ¬ĺ cup diced white or red onion
  • 1 roasted poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, cut into ¬Ĺ inch cubes
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • more sea salt, to taste

The idea is to chop all ingredients roughly the same size.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the salmon, snapper and shrimp.  Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, garlic cloves, sea salt and serrano chiles and blend until smooth. ¬†Pour the mixture over the fish and toss a few times to make sure everything is completely incorporated. ¬†To marinate the fish, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. ¬†Typically the fish will be ready to eat in about two hours, however, the fish will be completely “cooked” in about four (which is how long I waited for mine).

Once the fish is “cooked” to your desired doneness, toss in the remaining add-ins: tomatoes, cucumber, onion, poblano pepper, avocado and cilantro. ¬†Mix everything together. ¬†Taste and add more salt as desired.

(adapted from Rick Bayless’¬†Mexican¬†Everyday)

Loaded Ceviche

soused & sun-dried tomato soup

Soup in the summer?? ¬†It doesn’t seem right¬†but when you’re in need of a quick dinner, this one comes together in a cinch (as long as you have your soused tomatoes ready). ¬†It’s also one of the most flavorful soups I’ve ever made, thanks to a combination of slow-roasted Roma tomatoes with tons of herbs and garlic and some sun-dried tomatoes for fun.

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soused & sun-dried tomato soup

Cherry-Avocado Smoothie Bowl

This post is short and definitely sweet. ¬†I’m loving this smoothie bowl because it’s thick and creamy- perfect for a post-workout snack or even a filling breakfast.

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Now I’m wondering, why have I not added avocado to my smoothies before? ¬†Silly question since there are hundreds (no, thousands I’m sure) of recipes out there using them. ¬†Duh. ¬†It lends creaminess with all the good fats which¬†result in a perfectly scoopable smoothie bowl. ¬†Almost like ice cream. ¬†With toppings, we’ll just consider this a superfood sundae!

Continue reading “Cherry-Avocado Smoothie Bowl”

Cherry-Avocado Smoothie Bowl