Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

My sister has requested that I share a few more recipes, so I figured I would start publishing some of our favorites, along with some more detailed instructions and tips, for people who are just learning to cook.
First, do not dismiss this recipe from it’s title. When I first tried this dish, I did not like zucchini or mushrooms, but I still loved this. This is a fairly easy dish to make, and it is easy to make lots of it (i.e. it is good for entertaining). We served it to our Italian friends in Italy when it was our turn to cook (they naturally cooked for us first). There isn’t much cream sauce served in southern and central Italy, and they were very impressed by this dish. My roommate got the recipe from his Mom, and I stil think about him every time I make this.


  • One pound of pasta (I like bow-ties, penne or ziti, or something short like that)
  • One or two (depending on preference) regular-sized packs of mushrooms
  • Two green zucchinis
  • Two yellow summer squash (They look like the green zucchinis, but they are yellow. As their name implies, they are in season in the summer and early fall)
  • A pint of cream
  • 8-16 sun-dried tomatoes (again, depending on preference)
  • Some good parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Wash and chop squash and mushrooms into nickel to quarter-sized chunks.
Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with oil. Warm the oil for a couple of minutes. Unlike water, oil does not boil when it gets hot. (If it is boiling, you are about to start a kitchen oil fire.) So after a couple of minutes, if the air above the oil is warm, you are good to go.
Peel and press (or chop) garlic and put it in the saucepan.
Sauté the garlic, stirring frequently — keep a close eye on it because garlic burns very quickly — you don’t want it super-brown.
Add chopped mushrooms and squash to the garlic and sauté until soft, stir off and on to ensure that nothing sticks to the pan. If you need a bit more fluid in the pan, you can add olive oil and or a touch of white wine. Shoot, I forgot the first step in this recipe, which, like most, involves pouring yourself a glass of wine (in this case, white, because you can cook with a bit of it).
Start water boiling for the pasta. Add a bit of salt and olive oil to the water — salt for taste and olive oil to decrease the likelihood that the noodles will stick together when they are added.
Add the noodles to the water once it is at a steady boil.
Cook the pasta until it is al dente (which, in Italian means, “to the tooth.” So, it should be soft, but still have a texture in your mouth — you should feel it between your teeth), then strain and set aside.
Cut the sun dried tomatoes into large chunks.
TIP: The vegetables sometimes release lots of water in the pan, if you notice that you have lots water in the pan as the squash are starting to become soft, you can either pour it out or add a bit of flour to the water — just a touch — which will help it thicken up. If you add flour, stir vigorously right after you add it so that it does not form chunks. Once the squash are soft and you have dealt with any extra water, add the cream and sun dried tomatoes and stir until everything is warm.
Turn off all burners and serve the sauce over cooked pasta. Top with cheese and salt to taste.
Squash in Cream Sauce


Read Full Post »

Butter Sage Sauce

I have been a bad blogger. Turns out that starting a new job, traveling to four weddings, taking part in the annual traditional family summer vacation in Vail, going on a long weekend with Dan to Colonial Williamsburg, and hosting a number of visitors including my wonderful, amazing brother, has made for a very busy summer. It’s freezing outside right now (OK, its 50 degrees), the leaves are falling, and I feel like fall completely snuck up on me. Maybe the cooler weather will mean that I have time to download my pictures off my camera, organize them, and write about some stuff — I’ll cross my fingers but I won’t hold my breath.

In the meantime, I have been meaning to share some recipes here, and I have been asked for this one, so here it is —

Butter Sage Sauce (This is my own combination of a number of different recipes and I encourage everyone to experiment with it.)

8 sage leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup cheese (good Parmesan)
4 TB butter
1/4 tsp dried red pepper (or one chopped Tabasco pepper from your window garden)
optional: chopped peppers, tomatoes

Brown the butter
Remove from heat
Then add: spices, lemon juice, cheese
Stir and serve over pasta — I recommend ravioli

If you add peppers or tomatoes, put them in the butter as soon as it starts to melt. It takes longer for the butter to brown, but everything else works the same.

Butter Sage Ravioli

Butter Sage Ravioli

Butter Sage Gnocchi with Peppers

Butter Sage Gnocchi with Peppers

Read Full Post »