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Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine E Pinoli The geometry of pasta involves pairing up the perfect shape with the perfect sauce. According to Caz Hildebrand, co-author of the Geometry of Pasta, doing so, ” . . . makes the difference between pasta dishes that are merely ordinary and truly sublime.” In this recipe, the simple lemon and olive oil dressing lightly coats the farfalle pasta, also known outside of Italy as bow-tie pasta. The fragrance and flavors of briefly sautéed slices of zucchini, shreds of fresh basil and Italian parsley, and toasted pine nuts combine to make this recipe “truly sublime.” As a matter of fact, I give it a four “S” rating for Super Special Summer Salad.

Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine e Pinoli
The Geometry of Pasta

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound farfalle
3 smallish, firm zucchini (2/3 pound), thinly sliced in 2-4-millimeter rounds
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup pine nuts
Oil for frying the pine nuts
A small handful each of basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely shredded
Grated Parmesan, to serve, (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Boil the farfalle until cooked as you would like them, then drain and cool under cold running water.

2. Heat a frying pan until very, very hot over a high flame. Add the zucchini, then 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, and a little salt. Sauté for a minute or so. When half-cooked, a few nicely browned, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. When still just underdone, turn off the heat, and leave in the pan to finish cooking. The zucchini should be partly coloured, fully cooked but still slightly crunchy, and nicely dry.

3. Make a dressing of the lemon zest, juice, and remaining 4½ tablespoons of olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To toast the pine nuts cover them with oil in a small pan and fry over a medium heat until pale amber.

5. When the zucchini and pine nuts have cooled to room temperature, toss with the pasta, herbs, and dressing.

6. Best left to stand for 20 minutes before eating plain or with a light grating of Parmesan.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Try to slice the zucchini so that the slices are uniformly thick. This helps to ensure that they are cooked evenly.

2. I drained the toasted pine nuts on a paper towel-lined plate. The next time I make this, I will use less oil to fry the pine nuts.

3. Before serving, I topped the dish with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and I also served some in a small bowl on the side for those who wanted more.

Enjoy!

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Watermelon Mint Coconut Lime Popsicles What could top off a lovely summer evening of swimming under the stars? What about lazily counting shooting stars while eating delicious homemade popsicles? With the exotic flavors of watermelon, coconut, lime, and mint, these icy treats are as sophisticated as they are refreshing.

Waikiki Kickers
Nugget Markets, The Field Guide, Issue No. 16

INGREDIENTS
4 cups watermelon (cubed)
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon chopped mint

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree.

2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Serves 6

LINNELL’S NOTES

1. Because the watermelon I purchased wasn’t as sweet as it could be, I added 1 teaspoon of organic light agave nectar to the mixture before freezing.

2. Coconut cream is not the same thing as coconut milk. Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk.

3. The ingredients separated while the popsicles were freezing. I think the coconut fat rose to the top. The popsicles still tasted great and they looked like I had intentionally layered them.

4. This recipe made six popsicles, plus a full ice cube tray. I need to go out and purchase more popsicle molds!

Enjoy!

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Peach and Moscato Wine Slushies A blistering hot day has no beginning, middle, or end. Morning heat slides into afternoon heat which fades into evening heat. There’s no escaping it, so look for cool relief. How about a slushy cold drink? Something so light and refreshing that you’ll forget it’s over 100° F outside. Needing only three ingredients and a little freezer-time, you’ll be sipping this slushy fruit beverage before you can master this Japanese tongue twister: sumomo mo momo, momo mo momo, sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi! Translated into English it means: a plum is also a peach, a peach is also a peach, both plums and peaches are types of peaches!

Moscato Peach Wine Slushies
Divas Can Cook

INGREDIENTS
1 bottle Moscato wine (750 ml), plus more for blending
2 cups frozen peaches (unsweetened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (can cut back, but it needs to be pretty sweet)

DIRECTIONS
1. Add frozen peaches, sugar and a few splashes of Moscato to food processor or blender.

2. Blend until completely smooth.

3. Pour the rest of the Moscato and blend until incorporated.

4. Quickly pour the mixture into ice cube trays. (Stir mixture if peaches begin to settle on the bottom.)

5. Freeze.

6. Just before serving, place frozen cubes in a blender. (I never measure them out. I just toss a handful in and add more if I need it.)

7. Add a splash of wine to make blending easier.

8. Blend until slush consistency, adding a splash of wine to thin out if needed.

9. Pour into wine glasses, add a straw (if desired) and serve immediately.

10. Garnish with fresh fruit like strawberries and peach slices.

Serves 4

DIVA’S NOTES
You’ll need to add a few splashes of wine to the frozen ice cubes for blending. You can reserve a small amount of wine or just use some wine from another bottle, which is what I do.

ADD ice! If you like for your slushies to have those tiny little ice chips, then throw in a few ice cubes and a little bit more wine.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I chilled the wine glasses in the freezer prior to serving to give them a frosty finish.

2. Purchasing an extra bag of frozen peaches, I used some of the frozen peach slices for garnish. They served both an aesthetic and functional purpose – making the drink pleasing to the eye and keeping the drink cold a little bit longer.

3. This is a great recipe to experiment with other fruit flavor combinations.

4. Because of the alcohol content, the frozen fruit cubes will not freeze ice-hard. To make ahead, you can freeze your fruit mixture in the ice cube trays and then pop them out and put them in zip-type plastic bags. Recognize that the cubes are soft, so don’t pile stuff on top of them in the freezer. Alternatively, you can leave the mixture in the ice cube trays until needed. You may need to buy a few more trays to do the latter.

Enjoy!

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Krasnapolski: spinach and Cheese Casserole Flipping through the pages of a cookbook from Hawaii, I spy recipes for classic Hawaiian dishes such Laulau and Pipikaula. Turning a couple more pages, a recipe called Krasnapolski catches my eye. Krasnapolski? That doesn’t sound Hawaiian at all. A Google search for Krasnapolski reveals little information other than it is the name of a five-star hotel in Amsterdam that began as a restaurant in 1865. Whether this rich spinach and cheese casserole has fancy origins or not, it is versatile enough to be served as a tasty main dish for brunch or an easy-to-make side dish for supper.

Krasnapolski
A Taste of Aloha

INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
2 (10-ounce) packages chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (32-ounce) carton of cottage cheese
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Beat eggs.

3. Add spinach, butter, cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese.

4. Sprinkle flour over ingredients and blend.

5. Bake for 1 hour in a greased 3-quart casserole.

Serves 6-8

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Squeeze out as much liquid from the spinach as you possibly can. I thought I had, but I still found the casserole to be a little liquidy. After taking one slice out, I felt compelled to spoon out the extra liquid.

2. Bake the casserole until it is set in the center. It will solidify more as it cools down, so plan on serving it only after it has sat for a while.

3. The next time I make this, I will use a 9 by 13-inch baking pan instead of a 3-quart casserole. I think the depth of my casserole dish contributed to the longer cooking time (73 minutes).

4. This is not a low-fat or low-cholesterol recipe! I plan on experimenting with low-fat substitutions the next time around.

Enjoy!

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Lasagna With Turkey Sausage Serve lasagna in the summer? You bet! Tender noodles sandwich layers of flavorful tomato-turkey sauce and creamy three-cheese blend. Fresh herbs and mozzarella add a bright flavor and a classic texture. Just add a crisp green salad and a glass of wine and you have a perfect summer meal.

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
Ina Garten

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.

5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

6. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

7. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

8. Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce.

9. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Yields: 8 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used 2 pounds of turkey sausage and 1 pound of ground turkey meat for a heartier sauce.

2. I also added half of a jar of spaghetti sauce that I had in the refrigerator.

3. I purchased a chub of pre-sliced fresh mozzarella. In order to distribute it more evenly, I sliced each round in half (half-moons).

4. I put my 9 by 13-inch baking pan on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet before putting it in the oven. I’m glad I did, because the bubbling lasagna overflowed.

5. To aid preparation, the sauce can be made the night before serving and reheated a bit before layering the lasagna the following day.

Enjoy!

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Plum Dipping Sauce for Shrimp A gift of perfect plums and and sweet peaches needs to be devoured while at the peak of their perfection. This means I only have a few days to eat them. Is that a big problem? Not really. Besides eating them au naturel, I plan on using them to test out new recipes. The first new recipe uses three ripe plums to give this spicy plum sauce a sweet and fruity flavor, while rice vinegar and spices make it piquant. This is not a run-of-the-mill dipping sauce for shrimp. Thank goodness!

Plum Dipping Sauce For Shrimp
Food Network, recipe courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall Resort, Jamaica

INGREDIENTS
3 plums, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chopped habaneros
Cornstarch, optional
Sugar

DIRECTIONS
1. Place the plums in a blender or food processor. Add the water and mix at high speed until the plums are puréed.

2. Pour the purée into a 1-quart saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes to reduce the sauce. If necessary, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

3. Remove from heat. Add sugar, to taste. Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 4-6 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Although not as hot as habanero chilies, I used serrano chiles in this recipe, because I had them on hand.

2. I reduced the sauce longer than 20 minutes and still added a little cornstarch to thicken up the sauce.

3. I added a pinch of salt and about 2 teaspoons of sugar to the reduction.

4. I prefer serving this sauce chilled.

Enjoy!

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Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks “Dessert, Ma’am?” the waiter asked. “Oh, no thanks. I already had it,” I replied. Noticing his puzzled look, I explained how I used up my dessert calories by eating three of the most addicting bread sticks I’d ever eaten in my life. Smiling knowingly, he looked at me and said, “I understand.” Let me explain: there are bread sticks and then there are THESE bread sticks. Cheesy, buttery, crunchy, and with just a slight amount of kick these bread sticks make a perfect accompaniment for a salad or a bowl of soup.

Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks
Cooking With Cafe Pasqual’s

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 large organic egg
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon medium-hot chile powder

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Put the butter and cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment to combine. When well incorporated, scrape the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook attachment.

3. Add the egg and mix, then add the heavy cream and mix again to combine all.

4. With the machine running on low, slowly add the flour, then the poppy seeds and chile powder. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

5. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand on a floured surface for one minute. Re-flour the work surface and roll the dough into a log shape, then flatten the log.

6. Flour the work surface again. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle 12 by 16 inches by 1/4-inch thick. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter to make them straight, then cut strips lengthwise 1/2-inch thick in width.

7. Place parchment paper on 3 baking sheets and carefully transfer the bread sticks, 12 to each pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until the sticks are just lightly browned.

8. Remove and let cool completely before carefully transferring the sticks to a serving container.

Makes 3 dozen bread sticks

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Cafe Pasqual’s uses a multi-wheel cutter which makes it easy to cut the bread sticks evenly. Not having one of those cutters, I washed and floured my metal yardstick. Pressing against the yardstick, I was able to cut straight lines in the dough with my pizza cutter. Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks

2. I got 18 bread sticks and a dozen 2-inch crackers out of one recipe. Next time I will double the recipe.

3. The author states, “The dough may be made a day in advance of baking, if it is tightly wrapped with plastic wrap for storage in the refrigerator.”

Enjoy!

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