Category Archives: Pasta Recipes

Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce

Does the smell of certain foods make your mouth water and your stomach growl even when you are not hungry?For me, just the fragrance of fresh herbs makes me want to cook them in a dish.  I was shopping at the local fresh produce market yesterday, and came upon this wonderfully fragrant bunch of basil. I can tell that it was very fresh as it looked to be right out of the soil, with its root and dirt clinging onto it and all. It was an impulse buy, and I didn’t even know what to cook with it initially.

It came to me after reviewing the items in the home pantry and the other produce that was available – I can make a nice clam pasta with it! The results turned out very nicely, and I hope that you like it as much as I did.


  • 1/2 box of thin spaghetti pasta
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cans of clams with juice
  • 1.5 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and spaghetti.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or follow instructions on the box.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta and mix well.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Add garlic and shallots, cook until fragrant  Add onion, tomato and the clam juices, cover and cook for a couple minutes.  Add asparagus and mushrooms.  Cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until everything is cooked through.  Stir in flour,  half and half, and wine.  Cook until the sauce thickens, stir in pasta, basil and clam meat.

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Beef Bourguignon/ French Pot Roast

A few days ago, I bought a cheap bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from the local supermarket, with the initial intention of drinking it as a casual dinner wine. It turned out to be pretty bad for that purpose, and simply wasn’t going to be enjoyable, so i decided to use it to cook.

This is a simple version of boeuf bourguignon, which is a classic French dish of beef stewed with red wine and beef broth. A few things to keep in mind when preparing this dish:

  1. Leaner cuts of meat is typically used for this dish. In this case, we used chuck roast
  2. Because a lean cut is used, a bit of fat is needed when searing the beef. Bacon is used for this purpose and helps provide a nice caramelized crust to the beef before the braising process
  3. A long cooking time is needed in order to ensure that the meat is tender. If braising on the stove top, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient liquid to avoid food sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you find that the liquid is drying up and there hasn’t been sufficient cooking time, you may need to add in extra broth or water

That’s all there is to it! While the cooking time is long, you really only need to check up on it once in a while, so it’s not actually all that much effort and you can be doing something else while it cooks. Bon appetit!


  • 2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb chuck roast, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1/3 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 1/3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1.5 cups frozen pearl onions and peas
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, stems removed
  1. Preheat a large skillet or nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.  Set aside and leave pan on the heat.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and beef in a small bowl, until the pieces are lightly covered with flour.  Add the beef to the hot pan and cook until all sides are golden brown.
  3. Remove the beef and add to a slow cooker.  When all the beef has been browned, add 1 cup wine to the hot pan and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Pour over the beef, along with the rest of the wine, the broth, the tomato paste, bay leaves, and bacon pieces.
  4. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3 hours, until the beef is tender and falls apart with pressure from a fork.  In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add, carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms.  Right before serving, add the peas and simmer for a few minutes to cook through.  Discard the bay leaves.
  5. Serve the stew by itself or over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice or with french bread.
Source:  Cook This, Not That! with modifications.

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Seared Scallops with Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta

A tasty recipe from Cooking Light.  The only modification I made to the recipe was the flour.  The sauce came out to be a little thin, so I added a tablespoon of flour which turned out to be just right.  This is a light version of a creme sauce pasta with very little butter and creme, but it’s just enough to cling to the pasta.


  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Half a box of pasta
  • 8 scallops
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium skillet; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). Drain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids.
  • Return wine mixture to skillet. Add half and half; cook over medium heat 1 minute. Add butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in tomato, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt, flour, and pepper. Add pasta; toss well. Cover and keep warm.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Arrange scallops in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Add scallops to pasta mixture; toss gently to combine. Garnish with cilantro, if desired
1 Comment

Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Italian, Pasta Recipes, Seafood Recipes


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Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta

This dish is inspired by one of my favorite pasta places in New York City – Il Corallo Trattoria in Soho. When I went there for the first time, I was blown away by the simplicity but deliciousness of their Capellini Limone. This recipe is meant to recreate the dish at home. While it is not exactly the same, I think that I was able to capture the essence of the dish: clean and fresh flavors, simple, and feels like summer.


  • 1/2 box of angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Montreal Steak Seasonings
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, julienned
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  1. Marinate shrimps with 1 teaspoon McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and spaghetti.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or follow instructions on the box.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta and mix well.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and cook until the shrimps are opaque.  Remove from skillet.
  4. In the same skillet, stir in garlic, onion and tomato, cook for a couple minutes.  Add pasta and lemon juice, cook for 1-2 minute or until everything cooked through.  Then add basil and shrimp.  Serve with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Italian, Pasta Recipes, Shrimp Recipes


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Lasagna Roll

Making a full lasagna may not be practical if, like me, you are usually making a meal for two. Lasagna rolls on the other hand allow for flexibility in controlling the portion size and are also very easy to make. You may add more or less ingredients depending what you have on hand, and there is also a lot of flexibility in using healthier alternatives in the ingredients. It’s ready in a fraction of the time and with much less effort!


  • 4 long, thin lasagna noodles
  • 6 oz Italian-style chicken or turkey sausage
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of nutmeg, basil, italian seasonings
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup non-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 bottle marinara
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grate Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente (usually about 30 seconds to a minute less than the package instructions recommend). Drain and toss with just enough oil to coat (to keep them from sticking).
  2. Brown the sausage in a large saute pan over medium heat until cooked through. Add garlic, spinach, pepper flakes, and nutmeg and cook until the spinach is warmed through. Season with salt, basil, Italian seasonings, and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Combine with the ricotta in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread a thin layer of the marinara on the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Lay out the noodles on a cutting board and cut each in half cross-wise. Working one strip at a time, place a large spoonful of the spinach-ricotta mixture at the end of the noodle, then roll into a tight package (but not too tight or the filling will squeeze out). Continue until you’ve run out of the ricotta-spinach mixture, about 8 lasagna rolls. Place the rolls in the pan as you complete each one.
  4. Top the lasagna rolls with the remaining marinara, then with the mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 2 minutes, until the cheese and sauce are bubbling.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top to serve.

Source: Cook This, Not That with modifications.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

There are many different versions of Spaghetti Carbonara recipes online and I was glad to find that the traditional version doesn’t use creme.  It’s lighter and the sauce is just the right amount and consistency so that it sticks to the pasta; the last thing you want with this dish is pasta swimming in too much sauce. The fresh parsley, melting cheese, egg, and wine combine to create flavors that are just the right amount of richness without being too overpowering.  This is a recipe that was adapted from the Cooking Light Magazine, with slight changes.  I adjusted the serving size and used half a box of spaghetti instead of one box. Also, I added peas and mushrooms as I thought that the peas add a bit of color and mushrooms pair well with the dish.



  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ounces Parmesan Chese or Asiago Cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup of parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of frozen peas
  • 8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, crack the eggs and beat lightly.  Add parsley and 1/2 cup of the grated cheese to the eggs.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add mushrooms and frozen peas.  Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over high heat.  Add bacon and cook until it is brown.  Remove and set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and spaghetti.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or follow instructions on the box.  Drain well and immediately pour pasta into bowl with egg mixture.  Mix well.  Pour the mushrooms, peas and bacon on top of pasta and combine throughly.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and pepper to taste.


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Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese

After a delicious meal at Capital Grille, Lobster Mac and Cheese has become one of our favorite dishes.  Although it took the two of us more than 2 hours to prepare this meal, the result was outstanding!


  • 3 lb lobsters (heads were used for Lobster Miso Soup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups Cheddar, grated
  • 3/4 cup Asiago, grated
  • 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cups panko breadcrumb


  1. Add lobsters in a pot of boiling water; boil 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to cutting board. Cut off tail and claws. Crack tail and claws and remove meat. Cut meat into bite-size.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlics and lobster body to skillet and sauté 4 minutes.   Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain well. Stir in about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Set aside
  4. In a bowl, whisk the flour with soymilk.
  5. In a saucepan, melt the butter and stir in flour mixture.  Continue to stir and cook for several minutes until thickened and smooth.
  6. Remove from heat.  Add all the cheese, salt, and cinnamon.
  7. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well.
  8. Place the mixture in a casserole baking dish and cover with breadcrumbs.
  9. Bake in the oven at 375 degree for 10 minute and broil for 3 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Related Posts:

上湯龍蝦伊麵 Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)


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Spicy Mentaiko (Spicy Cod Roe) Spaghetti with onsen egg

In NY, there are a few Japanese Italian restaurant that serve Spicy Mentaiko Pasta, but I love to make this at home so I can add extra mentaiko with an extra large onsen egg.  My favorite pasta of all time  and it’s so easy to make!!



Spicy Mentaiko Spaghetti


  • 1/2 box of spaghetti
  • 2 sacks of spicy cod roe
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 sheet of Nori (dried seaweed), cut into thin strips


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente.  Drain well.
  2. Cook and stir onion in saucepan until cooked through
  3. Using a spoon, scrap out the roe.
  4. Heat butter in microwave until melted and let it cool down.
  5. In a bowl,  mix butter with spicy roe and onions.
  6. Add the spagetti to the bowl and mix with roe.
  7. Sprinkle nori and add onsen egg on top!

For the Onsen Tamago/Hotspring Egg:

The standard recipe would be to boil the egg at 158 to 167  degree F for 30 to 45 minute with dashi and other ingredients.  But here is a simpler way to do this in 9 minutes.


  1. Place extra large egg with cold tap water in pot, with enough water covering the entire egg if you’re using a smaller pot, or covering half the egg if using a larger pot.
  2. High heat for 9 minutes

Note:   This requires experimentation due to the variables  – strength of the stove, pot size, egg size, temperature of tap water.  Basically you want to keep everything constant except the cooking time until you get it right.  Have fun!!


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