Cacio e Pepi: Cooking with Miyoko’s Kitchen!

 IMG_7086Cacio e pepe = cheese and pepper

A decadent, rich and deliciously simple dish. This vegan version is made possible by Miyoko’s Kitchen Aged English Sharp Farmhouse. This cheese has wonderfully complex flavors that are hard to describe but remind me of those decadent cheese sauces made with salty Italian cheeses. It turns luscious and deeply rich but not overwhelmingly any one thing.

Is it too much to say that I am in love with this cheese? I-am-in-love-with-this-cheese! Have you tried it yet?? I raved about it here and I have been ordering every since. And now the company has made it super simple to order a la carte so you can get the ones you love. My top 3 personal faves are the Rustic Alpine, the Classic Double Cream Chive, and the Sharp Farmhouse.

I know it’s only 11am but it’s lunch time around here. Pasta with cheese and pepper or you can even call this adult mac ‘n cheese!

Serves 1
Linguini, enough for one person
Miyoko’s Sharp Farmhouse, 1/4 of the wheel
Hot pasta water, 1/2 cup

Boil the water. Drop in the pasta.

Place in the cheese in a pan with sides. When the pasta is almost done, take 1/2 cup of pasta water and add it to the cheese. Whisk it together until the cheese is melted.

Use tongs to lift the al dente pasta out of the water and add it to the pan. Coat the noodles with the cheese. If it is too thick, add a bit more pasta water.

Generously top with freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!

Auntie Jill’s Super Yummy Eggplant Pasta

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My friend Jill arrived for a sleep over with a bag full of ingredients fresh from the farmer’s market in Union Square. What a pleasure to have someone cook up a big meal for us. My son says this dish is super yummy and so that is now it’s official name!

Serves 6 to 8

3 small eggplants *
3 onions
3 big tomatoes
1 cup marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (nooch)
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes.
Salt, to taste
1 lb. gluten free pasta

Peel and dice the eggplant. Place into a big bowl of water with a teaspoon sea salt. Set aside.

Dice the onions. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big pan that has a cover. Add the onions and cook until softening.

Dice up the tomatoes and add to the pan with the onions. Cook them down for a few minutes until they break apart.

Drain the water from the eggplant and add the eggplant to the pan. Toss around and add a cup of marinara sauce, the nooch, and the crushed red pepper flakes. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Cover and cook until the eggplant is soft. Taste and adjust the seasonings and add more marinara if you desire.

Cook the pasta until al dente.

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the eggplant sauce. Mix well and enjoy!

* CSA 2013 Week #22

Fettuccine with Sundried Tomatoes, Capers & Artichokes or Olives

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These Mediterranean Organic Sundried Tomatoes are my favorite. No oil, no spices. Just perfect sundried tomatoes. Just drop them into boiling water to soften them up.

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And I use this fettuccine from Le Veneziane, an Italian gluten-free brand made from corn. I love it because the package comes with little nests of pasta that are the perfect portion size – two per person!

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When I make this dish for me, I use artichokes (pictured.) When I make it for my husband, I use olives.

serves 3 to 4

1 box fettuccine pasta
1 cup sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup capers
1 cup artichoke hearts or pitted green olives
The juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt

Boil the water for the pasta. Slice the sundried tomatoes into strips. Drop them into the water for the pasta and then add the pasta.

Cut the artichokes into quarters or smaller if too big. If using olives, remove the pit and chop. Add 2 tablespoons of water to a pan with sides and add the artichokes or olives. Drain the capers and add them to the pan. Squeeze the lemon juice over the pan and mix well. Cook over a low flame to heat through.

When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta and sundried tomatoes to the pan. Mix well. Season with a pinch of salt. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Aglio & Olio (Garlic & Oil)

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This is pretty much the traditional dish of spaghetti with garlic and oil that you would find in many Italian restaurants. I got 4 amazingly fragrant bulbs of green garlic at the farmer’s market today and this is the first thing I thought to make.

Note: Green garlic is kind of sweet, so the garlicky-ness is not as garlicky as regular garlic.

1 package spaghetti (I use gluten-free quinoa spaghetti )
1/3 cup olive oil
2 big heads of green garlic (or 4 garlic cloves)
Crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
Fresh parsley, a big handful

Thinly slice the garlic. Place the olive oil and garlic in a pan with sides. Cook on low heat until the garlic is softening. Add the red pepper flakes.

Get the pasta going and cook until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta water to the oil and garlic and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it reduce just a bit.

Chop the parsley.

Using tongs, add the pasta to the oil and toss well to coat.

Take the pan off the stove and add the parsley and toss around again to coat. Let the pasta sit for a few minutes to fully absorb the flavors.

Use tongs to plate the spaghetti. Use a slotted spoon to get the extra garlics if they are left behind. Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Lunch: Spaghetti with Kale, Ramps & Peas in Cream Sauce

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The perfect lunch for me on Mother’s Day!

serves 1

1/2 package gluten-free spaghetti
2 curly kale leaves
6 ramps
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup cashew cream *
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon nutitional yeast (nooch)
Salt, to taste
Olive oil

Get the spaghetti going.

Very thinly slice the kale and ramps. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan and cook the kale and ramps until bright green, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the cashew cream, lemon juice and nooch. Season with salt and then taste and adjust.

Throw the peas in with the spaghetti to quickly defrost them.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the peas and toss them in with the kale and ramps. Add the cashew cream and mix together.

Lift out the spaghetti with tongs and add it to the vegetables. Add as much pasta water as necessary to get the consistency of cream sauce that you like. I like the sauce on the thick side.

Enjoy!

* Cashew cream
My cashew cream sauce has evolved since the early days of the blog. When my son was a little baby, I would place cashews, olive oil, water and lemon juice in the food processor and then add it to my lunch. This was the fast and easy way to have a gourmet lunch between naps and nursing. Now, I make a batch of plain cashew cream and keep it in the refrigerator.  It can be sweetened for dessert or jazzed up for pasta.

To make cashew cream, soak cashews overnight and then drain the water. Add to the Vitamix or blender with enough water to cover the cashews. Let it go until the cashews become creamy. Add more water, if necessary.