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Salt-As-You-Go Pasta

Salt-As-You-Go Pasta

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The combination of salty water and salty Parmesan puts this pasta at risk of becoming oversalted. If that happens, throw in a knob of unsalted butter at the end to mellow it and add a smooth finish.


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 small bunches of broccolini
  • 12 ounces tubetti or other short tube pasta
  • 1½ ounces Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot; season with salt. The water should taste like ocean water, so keep adding salt until it tastes very, very saline (you should use around ¼ cup).

  • Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallots, garlic, and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes; season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Remove florets from broccolini and cut into bite-size pieces. Slice stems into ½" pieces. Add to boiling water. Cook 1 minute, then, using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to reserved skillet.

  • Return water in pot to a boil and cook tubetti, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, 7–9 minutes. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta and pasta cooking liquid to skillet, tossing to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, gradually adding 1½ oz. Parmesan and tossing often, until pasta is al dente and liquid has reduced to form a thick, glossy sauce, about 4 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

  • To serve, squeeze lemon wedges over pasta, drizzle with oil, and top with more grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 490 Fat (g) 18 Saturated Fat (g) 4 Cholesterol (mg) 15 Carbohydrates (g) 67 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 4 Protein (g) 16 Sodium (mg) 630Reviews SectionThis was so delicious! I packed it with some extra vegetables and a little bit more red pepper for extra spice. It was really simple and the sauce wasn’t heavy or over the top. I will absolutely be making this one again. My new fave.Jess93Melbourne, Australia 05/23/20

Yiayia’s Pastitsio Recipe

I’m so excited to share with you my Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe. Pastitsio is a quintessential Greek dish — it’s synonymous with being Greek: large parties, plenty of food, drink, and celebration. It’s true that Greeks love to celebrate. We love to cook, feed our friends, dance, and celebrate life.

Yes, that’s me! It’s 1984 and I’m celebrating Greek Independence Day.Whenever I think of pastitsio, I am instantly transformed back to my childhood. I become the little girl you see in the photo, dressed in my traditional Greek costume, anxiously waiting to recite my poem during the annual Greek School Independence Day program at my Church, The Cathedral of the Annunciation, in Baltimore, Maryland.

It may look complicated, but it’s not too hard to prepare Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe. There are, however, multiple steps involved, so give yourself a little extra time and patience.

Greek Pastitsio is definitely a showstopper and worth the effort! Your guests are sure to be impressed.

If you need a dish to take to a potluck function or for a special occasion, Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio is the one. You can make one large dish, or you can use two smaller pans with this recipe if you’d like to make one to store in the freezer. It tastes just as delicious thawed and reheated in the oven on low heat.

What I love about Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe is the delicious combination of flavors — the hints of cinnamon in the meat sauce, the sturdy bucatini noodles, and the nutmeg-flavored, creamy bechamel sauce that just melts in your mouth.

Plus, it’s the kind of dish that doesn’t need extra side dishes. Serve it alongside a plate of fresh greens, some olives and cheese and you have a balanced, delicious meal.

I hope you enjoy making my Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe and sharing it with your family and friends. It’s truly one of the best Greek main dishes I’ve ever had.

Yiayia’s Pastitsio Recipe

1 1/2 Pounds of Ground Beef (Or Ground Turkey)

1 lb. Pasta (I used bucatini pasta, but you can also sub penne or rigatoni)

Baked Spaghetti and Mushrooms in Parchment (Spaghetti con Funghi al Cartoccio)

8 oz. dry spaghetti
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, king mushrooms, and matsutake, trimmed and cut up if they’re large
1 small shallot, minced
Fine sea salt
¼ cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 2 minutes short of the timing for al dente on the package.

Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Push the mushrooms to the side and add the shallots. Sauté over moderate heat until translucent, about 3 minutes, seasoning with salt as you go. Stir the mushrooms into the shallots, add the wine, and cook until almost completely absorbed, 3 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until reduced and flavorful, 5 minutes.

Drain the undercooked pasta and stir into the sauce. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

On a work surface, lay out two (or three) 15-inch squares of parchment paper. Place one portion of pasta onto the center of each square. Moisten the edges of the parchment with water and fold up into a triangle shape, crimping all along the edges to make a seal. Gently transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining square/squares.

Bake until the parchments puff up (from the steam inside), about 5 minutes. Use a large flat spatula to transfer each parcel to a plate. Serve immediately, letting your date open up their cartoccio.

The Sauce

It goes without saying that it all begins and ends with the tomato. I was never privy to the research, planning, and negotiation that went into the seemingly simple act of purchasing a trailer-load of tomatoes, so I’ve blindly inherited only the panic and obsession, which I now gift onwards to my grocer. After searching high and low, I ended up back at one of my first and favourite grocers from when I first moved over east, Trugolds. I remember good old Fred used to stand out the front yelling about Fuji apples and offering a slice or two with a flattering comment about how good I was looking that weekend. I used to eat a lot of Fuji apples.

Offering a niche product like this takes a lot of understanding and care from the grocer. Not to mention a willingness to face hordes of picky Italians descending on you and your tomatoes each summer. Long story short, history repeated itself, and I was an unintentional nuisance to deal with, but Tony and the crew nonetheless went out of their way to make our tomato day happen. And look at these fine things. Vine-ripened, thin-skinned Roma goodness. Specially sourced from Shepparton in Victoria, and ready for only one month a year.

  • Quality control.

Now, first things first: prime your coffee machine, because you’ll need to be up before the sun. First step is to clean the tomatoes, and then cut off and discard the tops, any bad bits, and the watery cores. This will take longer than expected, and you’ll come to realise that you make passata for the heart more than the stomach.

Line some large tubs with cheesecloths (or for a more traditional approach like us, bed sheets) and then load up the tomatoes with a sprinkling of salt between layers. For us, that’s about 1tsp per kilogram. Leave them for 2-3 hours, allowing the salt to draw out as much moisture as possible, then bundle up the sheets and firmly wring out any remaining water.

Next, crack out the tomato machine and pass the skins through 5-6 times. Make sure that you never let the machine run dry, and chuck the skins to the chooks.

Full disclosure, our chooks retired a few decades ago.

There are many ways to sterilise your bottles, but we work in small batches, handwashing them with hot soapy water then drying them in the oven for 15-20 minutes before bottling. A few minutes in boiled kettle water for the caps.

Drop a large leaf of basil into the bottom of each bottle, then fill and cap leaving some space in the neck for the sauce to expand as it heats. Use hessian sacks or thick towels to layer them into a large stock pot/s (the sacks will prevent them knocking together and shattering) set over a 3-4 ring burner, submerge with cold water, and bring slowly to a gentle boil. We used to cook them in 44 gallon drums over a mound of wood, but memories of my uncle running out the front every half an hour to check whether any smoke was visible from the road suggest that it’s less legally ambiguous to use gas during Australian bushfire season.

They’ll need to be in there for 4-6 hours, so keep an eye on the boil and make sure it doesn’t get too excited. Turn off the heat and allow the pots to cool overnight before lifting the bottles out. Store this red gold away in a cool, dark location, bask in the glory of what you’ve achieved, and treat yourself to an early dinner with any leftover tomatoes.

Caramelized Brussels Sprout and Cabbage Pasta with Panko

Here in Charlottesville, the winter’s been a mild one. I slept with the windows cracked last night and fell asleep dreaming of all the greens I’m going to go ahead and plant in my garden this weekend. (I can always cover the crops if a cold snap strikes.)

Tender greens and open windows aside, the early spring also arouses a sense of foreboding. Is this the new normal? Spring blooms on Groundhog Day? Climate change is sewing chaos and it’s frightening. (And clearly whatever small changes are happening in my backyard, there are catastrophic changes happening in Australia and many other places right now.)

Taking Action

If you’ve noticed this site hasn’t been as active as usual, that’s because I’ve been doing another kind of work on the side. The Virginia legislature is in session for two short months in Richmond and I’ve been traveling there to organize and lobby around the issues I care about most. I’ve been speaking with my legislators and sitting in on committee hearings and rallying outside the Capitol. It’s exhausting work, but it’s also incredibly empowering to dig in and figure out how this stuff works. I do all this hoping they’ll pass legislation that leads to real change, including the Virginia Green New Deal and a host of other bills related to halting climate change.

Turning my helpless/hopelessness into action has been personally transformative. If you feel the same but aren’t sure where to start, team up with local organizations and get to know your local government. Go to the meeting of your city or county’s governing body. Meet with state reps. Government is opaque by design and there’s a huge learning curve, but now that I’m plugged in, I see very clearly all the ways I can effect change and make a difference. (Many of these local meeting are livestreamed, too. That’s a great way to get informed even if you can’t spend long hours at meetings.) Here’s to making a better world, one meeting at a time.

A Versatile Dish for Weeknights

Now, about this Brussels sprout and cabbage pasta.

Even with the warmer temperatures, the busier days, I still crave the foods that usually get me through February’s gloom. I love the comfort of a really good pasta dish – especially one that comes together quickly. This Brussels sprout and cabbage pasta is layered with caramelized vegetables, anchovies, Pecorino, and crispy panko. Cutting through the richness are fresh Fresno chilies and literal handfuls of parsley.

It’s the kind of meal you can make for a quick weeknight dinner. It’s perfect with a zippy salad alongside and maybe a bright white wine to complement the richness. It’s also incredibly versatile – most any brassica will do in place of the cabbage and sprouts and any assortment of seasonal herbs would be delicious.

Trinbagonian Doubles

Start by making the mango chutney. Blend mango, TABASCO ® Original Red Sauce, cilantro, and salt in a blender or food processor on high until completely incorporated. Set aside.

Next make the dough: Mix the flour, baking powder, dry yeast, turmeric, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle and slowly pour in the water. (Depending on the brand of flour, you may need a little more or less water.) Incorporate the ingredients by hand and knead the dough while spinning the bowl until it’s ready, about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes, or until the dough roughly doubles in size.

While the dough rests, make the chickpea filling: Blend the onion, garlic, and cilantro until finely minced in a blender. Add the oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the curry powder and briefly sauté. Add a splash of water to form a paste. Then add the blended ingredients and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook for about 20 minutes, until they are softened enough to be easily mashed with a wooden spoon. Season with the seasoning salt as you go. Finish by folding in the geera powder. Set aside.

Begin frying the dough by heating a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add about half an inch of oil to the pan and get it nice and hot (350 degrees ideally). Tear a couple golf ball-sized pieces of dough from the bowl — coating them in a splash of oil — and flatten on a plate, cutting board, or counter. (The oil makes it easy to flatten the dough without it sticking to your fingers or to the surface.) Working one at a time, fry each piece of dough for 5 to 10 seconds, then flip and let fry for another 5 to 10 seconds. Move to a paper towel lined plate or bowl.

Add a spoonful of the chickpea filling on top of the fried dough. Garnish with grated cucumber, mango chutney, and TABASCO ® Original Red Sauce.

Rainbow chard tempura with anchovy mayonnaise

Tempura makes for one pretty plate, and these deep-fried leaves are as easy on the eye as they are on the palate – lightly crunchy greens with a homemade muddle of salty anchovy mayo. Serve with thinly sliced discs of fresh apple to act as a foil to the richness.

Serves 4
4-5 rainbow chard leaves
80g cornflour
80g plain flour
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of salt
180ml ice-cold sparkling water

1 apple, cored and thinly sliced into discs, to serve

For the anchovy mayo
50g tin of anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, chopped
Leaves from a few sprigs of thyme, chopped
75g dijon mustard
3 egg yolks
150g vegetable oil
100g olive oil
A splash of sherry vinegar

1 First, make the mayo. In a food processor, whizz the anchovy, garlic, thyme and mustard until they form a smooth paste. Add the egg yolks, whizz again, then very slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, then the olive oil, until the mixture becomes thick, glossy and voluminous. Finish with a splash of sherry vinegar – just enough to cut the richness of the anchovy. You’ll end up with plenty more than you need, but it keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is wonderful on toast with boiled eggs, or served with cold roast meat.

2 Cut away the thick stems from the middle of the rainbow chard leaves and slice the stalks into thin batons at sharp diagonals. Slice the leaves into 2cm-wide strips.

3 Just before you want to serve the dish, make the batter: combine the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the sparkling water, until the consistency resembles double cream. Don’t over-whisk – a few small lumps will create a nice texture.

4 To finish the dish, heat 2 litres vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or large pan until it reaches 170C/338F – or hot enough that bubbles form around a wooden spoon handle. Dip the rainbow chard leaves and stalks in the batter, and fry in separate batches in the hot oil. The leaves must be bone dry, or the batter won’t stick. When the batter is a very light golden colour, remove from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper, seasoning with a little salt as you go.

5 To serve, swipe some anchovy mayo on to the bottom of a plate to act as a sticky base, then pile the chard tempura high on top. Serve with extra anchovy mayo on the side, for dipping, and some slices of apple.
Nicholas Balfe, Salon,

15 Secrets from Top Chefs That Every Home Cook Should Know

There's an expression used to define what goes on behind-the-scenes in a restaurant kitchen: "choreographed chaos." An efficient kitchen staff operates quickly, quietly, and keeps up with the dance. To do this, chefs have many go-to tricks. Below is a list of some of their secrets that will benefit any home cook.

1. Master mise en place.
This might be the most important tip of all. "Mise en place" is French for "everything in place." What it means to a chef? Before you cook, have everything measured, peeled, chopped, pans greased, etc. and within reach. This will keep you from running around looking for the dried basil while your sauce is on the brink of burning.

2. A sharp knife is essential.
Sharpen it on a regular basis and hone in between sharpening. Dull knives are dangerous and make cutting much more difficult.

3. Taste as you go.
You should know what the dish tastes like before serving it. Sometimes a little more salt or a dash of spice brings perfection. Which brings us to the next tip&hellip

4. Salt as you go.
Don't be afraid of salt! Since you're cooking a fresh meal instead of eating a packaged one, you're starting out with much less sodium to begin with.

5. But lose the salt shaker.
Use a small bowl of kosher salt and add pinches as you cook and taste. It's easier to control the amount and ensures even coverage.

6. Tongs are an extension of your hand.
Walk into any restaurant kitchen and you'll see a set of tongs in almost every cook's hand &mdash usually gripped low down on the handle for maximum control. Use it to flip meat, pull a pan out of the oven, stabilize a steak while slicing, the list goes on and on.

7. Put a wet paper towel under a cutting board.
Not only are cutting boards that slide on the counter annoying, they're extremely dangerous when you're holding a knife and trying to chop something. Wet a paper towel and lay it under the board and it won't budge!

8. Sear chicken breast and finish in oven.
Chefs sear a piece of meat, poultry, or fish in a pan and then place it in the oven. Not only does this free up burners, it results in a much moister result.

9. Don't overcrowd your pan.
When roasting or browning anything, the tendency is to cram as much in the pan as possible &mdash resist! Do it in smaller batches instead. Crowding the pan leads to steaming and lowers the temperature of the pan so you won't get the caramelization you're looking for &mdash and that's where the flavor is.

10. Cook with a 1:1 ratio of butter and oil.
Oil stops the butter from burning and the butter adds richness to the dish.

11. Cut the ends off onions, tomatoes, cantaloupe, etc.
Pretty much do this for any other food that does not stay stable on the cutting board to make a flat surface. This allows you to have complete control of the item as you chop.

12. When baking, only mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Over-mixing causes toughness by developing gluten in the flour. For light and fluffy cupcakes, only mix until the batter's come together.

13. Your broiler is basically an upside down grill.
Use it for more than storage!

14. Don't forget the power of your nose.
If something in the oven smells done but the timer's still ticking, check on it.

15. Clean as you go.
This simple tip makes a world of difference. Wipe down your cutting board in between items. Not only is it hard to chop something that is swimming in tomato juices, it's unsafe to chop on a wet surface.

TELL US: What's your top tip for cooking like a pro? Share in the comments below!

Delia lasagne recipe

For the sauce

  • 850ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 60g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the lasagne

  • 12 fresh lasagne sheets (shop-bought or make your own, as I did. See here for instructions)
  • 600g young leaf spinach
  • 225g Ricotta
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Knob of butter
  • 1/4 whole nutmeg, grated
  • 200g Gorgonzola Piccante, crumbled
  • 200g Mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the sauce. Heat a large saucepan on the hob and melt the butter. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour a little at a time until it is absorbed. Add the milk a little at a time and use a whisk to combine it with the flour/butter mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture comes to the boil, then lower the heat to the lowest setting possible and add the bay leaves. Cook the sauce for 10 mins, then stir in 50g of the Parmesan until it is combined. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Transfer to a bowl and place some Clingfilm on top to prevent a skin forming. Set aside until needed. This can be done several hours in advance.

2. Make the lasagne sheets according to these instructions, unless you are using shop-bought. But they must be fresh, not dry for this recipe.

3. Remove the stalks from the spinach. Add a knob of butter to a large saucepan and pile the spinach leaves on top, sprinkling with a little salt as you go. Out the pan on a medium heat and cook the spinach for approx. 2 mins, turning over halfway through, until they hae collapsed down. Drain in a colander and allow to cool. Once cool, wring out every drop of excess water with your hands and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Place the spinach on a chopping board and finely chop.

4. Combine the spinach, Ricotta, Gorgonzola, nutmeg, seasoning and 150ml of the sauce in a bowl until evenly mixed.

5. Heat a large frying pan and dry-fry the pine nuts for 1-2 mins until they are toasted but not burnt.

6. Assemble the lasagne by adding a pasta sheet to the bottom, then a layer of sauce, then a layer of pasta, then a layer of spinach/cheese mixture, then a scattering of pine nuts, then a layer of pasta (or, actually, any layering combination you like the key is to have lots of layers). Finally, add the torn Mozzarella to the final layer, and the last of the sauce.

7. Cover with tin foil and preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Bake the lasagne for 40 mins, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10-15 mins until the top is golden a bubbling.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few mins. Serve with green salad.

Assembling the Pasta

1. Bring a big pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a big bowl.

2. When the pasta’s nearly al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta water and drain the pasta. Vigorously stir a little of the pasta water into the sauce a little at a time until the sauce comes together. (You won’t need all of the water at this point.)

3. Add the pasta to the bowl and stir vigorously, adding pasta water as needed until the sauce coats the noodles. If it’s not as creamy as you like, add a few tablespoons of cold butter and stir until melted.