Carciofi alla Romana (Roman Style Artichokes)

*artichokes alla romana

I ate these everyday in Rome. Usually, they are stuffed with the parsley pesto- I however, prefer the raw fresh taste of the garlic and greenness of the parsley so I choose to put it on prior to serving. If stuffing them, simply smash the pesto into the leaves of the artichokes and carefully place them in the cooking pot so as not to tip them over while cooking. If there is extra water when finished cooking, simply cook them uncovered for 5 minutes to let some of the water evaporate out- the cooking liquid, oil is SO delicious you wouldn’t want to waste any of it.

Carciofi alla Romana (Roman Style Artichokes)

3T fresh parsley

2-4 cloves fresh garlic

1/2T pink salt or more to taste

Black pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 artichokes, halved and trimmed of coarse leaves, choke removed, (when trimeed, set aside immersed in lemon water or else they will brown)

1 lemon, cut into wedges, more if desired

In a large pot, place the artichokes, tightly together. Add in a couple of cloves of fresh garlic, the juice of ½ a lemon, squeezing the wedges and leaving them in the cooking water. Add in about 1/4c of the olive oil. Salt and pepper the artichokes and pour about 2-3 cups of water over them. Bring them to a boil over medium hight heat, once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for 45-60 minutes or until tender.

On a clean cutting surface, mince the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper until it makes a dry pesto. In a small bowl, combine the parsley mixture with about 1T of olive oil. Set this aside for when the chokes are done.

When serving, remove the chokes to a platter, serving with the cooking liquid if not to watery, add more fresh lemon and olive oil, salt and pepper. Smear the parsley garlic pesto all ova all of them. Serve at room temperature. Serve with crusty bread or eat them all on their own! BUONNISSIMI.

White Girl Pho / Asian Noodle Soup

*asian noodle soup

This is a favorite go to soup. I LOVE the flavor of this soup. It reminds me of a macrobiotic soup I used to get in Los Angeles  at a restaurant called Inaka. They would use glass noodles, also gluten free. I use rice vermicelli, but glass noodles (mung bean noodles) or any other rice pasta of your choosing would be equally delicious. I adore the Japanese sweet yams, they are white in flesh color and subtly sweet. This is a fast, awesome, satisfying, winter treat.

Asian Noodle Soup

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

1 small carrot, thinly cut on the bias

1 stalk celery, thinly cut on the bias

1 honkin’ large handful of baby spinach

1/2 pound of tofu, cut into small cubes

1 small japanese yam or sweet potato, thinly cut on the bias

1t hot sesame oil

3T olive oil

2T Tamari

1” piece of fresh ginger, sliced or grated (slices can be removed, grated adds more flavor but floats around in the soup)

1/2 pound of asian style rice noodles

2 dried or fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1t red chili flakes or 1/2 fresh hot pepper

4c hot water

1t toasted black or white sesame seeds *optional

salt and pepper to taste

In a heated soup pot, add the olive oil. Saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms until golden in color and aromatic. Add in the tamari, and the hot water.

Add in the sweet potato, fresh ginger, tofu cubes and bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the yams have softened. At this point, taste the broth, add in more Tamari if necessary, and also some salt and pepper.

 Bring the temperature up again to a low boil and add the hot sesame oil, the uncooked noodles, carrots and celery and cook just until the noodles are done through.

 In the last few minutes of cooking, add in the fresh spinach. Season if necessary.

Serve immediately.

Penne Spinach “Lasagna” Casserole

*gluten free penne spinach lasagna

The premise of this super tasty dish is that is an easier, quicker, version of my traditional lasagna; it is more accessible as a casserole style baked pasta dish. My friends could not believe it was dairy free. Super cheese like, and could easily be made without the faux cheese if that is not your thing, simply omit it. It has the same basic components of a lasagna but the handling of the pasta goes much faster and delivers fantastic results.

Components:

  • 6 cups spinach- quickly sautéed in garlic and olive, salt and pepper OR blanched and pressed
  • fresh tomato saucerecipe below
  • 1 pound of Gluten Free Penne, Rigatoni, or Fusili
  • Tofu Spinach “ricotta” filling- recipe below
  • shredded non- dairy cheese of your choosing; Daiya (meltability factor), Follow Your Heart (taste factor), I use a mix of the two.

Putting it together:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • ladle in about 1 cup of fresh sauce in the bottom of the baking dish
  • place down one layer of pasta
  • spread in the tofu filling
  • layer in sprinkle with the shredded vegan cheese
  • layer in sauce
  • layer in pasta
  • spread in the tofu filling
  • layer in the last of the pasta
  • layer in last layer sauce
  • cover the top layer with shredded vegan cheese
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for 60 minutes.

Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

4c tomatoes, diced

1/4c fresh basil, lightly packed, chopped

1/4t black pepper

1/4c water

1/2-1 fresh cherry bomb, chili or other hot pepper, minced

1/3c extra virgin olive oil

1t salt or to taste

In a skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic  until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, black and red pepper. Allow the tomatoes to break down and to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the fresh basil.

At this point, the sauce is delicious as is or can be pureed to create a smoother sauce.

Tofu “Ricotta” Filling

Tofu Ricotta

1/2 Pound tofu- blanched

1 clove garlic, smashed, minced

3T extra virgin olive oil

1 heaping T mellow white miso

1t brown rice vinegar

1t ume vinegar

1 heaping T sesame tahini

6c fresh spinach or 1 1/2c steamed and pressed (all water out) OR sautéed with garlic and 1t olive oil

1/2c vegan mozzarella or favorite vegan cheese (or a blend)

1/2t black pepper

In a bowl, crumble or smash the  tofu with a fork or fingers with all of the other ingredients. Add the vegan cheese and the chopped steamed / pressed spinach. Mix well, taste and adjust seasonings.

Bordeaux Chipotle Red Sauce

Bordeaux Chipotle Red Sauce

Deliciously rich and decadent tasting, I had just enough wine left over to change the whole flavor of a basic marinara sauce. The smoke from the chipotle and the depth of the wine creates a wonderfully balanced sauce…So delicious over Gluten free Penne served with a fresh radicchio salad or sautéed greens.

Bordeaux Chipotle Red Sauce

2 large cloves garlic, smashed & minced

24-28oz of diced or crushed tomatoes – I use the Bionatura brand)

1c water

1 large onion, medium dice

1/4t black pepper

1/4t cayenne (opt) or one whole small chili

1/4c extra virgin olive oil

1T chipotle powder

1c red Bordeax wine (another dry red wine will work also)

1t salt or to taste

1T-dried or fresh parsley, and other fresh herbs like basil, oregano etc *opt

In a large pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic, and hot pepper until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley (dried), salt, black and chipotle pepper. Add the water and wine and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes and add in any fresh herbs in the last 5 minutes of cooking, adjust the seasonings.

At this point, the sauce is delicious as is or can be pureed to create a smoother sauce.

Fusili with Broccoli & Garlic

*broccoli and garlic pasta

Pasta With Broccoli & Garlic

 1 head broccoli, washed, cut, trimmed into bite size pieces

1/4c fresh parsley/ basil *optional

1/4c +1 T XVO

1T vegan butter

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

¼ fresh chili pepper, minced or pinch red pepper flakes

1/2t pink salt

1/4t fresh ground black pepper

1 pound of preferred pasta- I use Gluten Free.

In a large heated frying pan over medium heat, add the 2T of olive oil, hot pepper and 1/2 of the garlic and sauté just until golden, not browned. Add the broccoli and toss in the pan until well incorporated and turns bright green and tender- about 5-10 minutes- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside off heat.

In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil, remaining garlic and sauté just until golden. Add the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked broccoli back in and toss in the butter.

Chop up the fresh parsley or basil just before serving and toss into the mix.

Serve immediately topped with vegan parmigiana or nutritional yeast.

FRICKEN DELICIOUS.

Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi

*GF Gnocchi

I made these with Bob’s Gluten free All Purpose Flour mix. I am considering trying the recipe again using just potato flour, or a blend of white rice flour and potato. The texture came out really nice with this flour but I am just curious! I served them up with my favorite Sugo (Red Sauce) and local Garlic Sautéed Broccoli. FRICKEN YUM.

Gluten Free Gnocchi

2c smashed potatoes

3/4c gluten free flour mix 

½c nutritional yeast

Pinch onion powder

1T extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3T organic cornmeal

 In a large bowl, re-smash the potatoes, making sure there are no lumps. Add the GF flour, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and pepper into the bowl and with clean hands, form everything into a ball of dough.

Turn out the dough onto a clean surface lightly covered in cornmeal. Cut the dough into two.

Work one half at a time by rolling it with both hands into a ½” thick rope. With a pastry cutter, cut ½” pieces on the bias.

Gently roll each piece and pinch the ends towards each other and place on a plate lightly coated in cornmeal. Do this until all of the dough is used.

In batches, drop the gnocchi into heavily salted boiling water and scoop out with a slotted spoon after they rise to the surface. Once strained, I tossed mine in a large bowl with vegan butter prior to putting my favorite Red Sauce on top.

If not using right away, or if you have more than you can eat or you made extra, place the plate of uncooked gnocchi in the freezer. Once partially frozen, transfer them into a storage container like a baggie or glass container to keep for a later day.

Sugo..Red Sauce…Marinara….

*marinara

A STAPLE SAUCE. MAKE IT. FREEZE IT. ALWAYS HAVE IT IN THE HOUSE.

Ellen’s Simple Marinara Sauce

2 large cloves garlic, smashed & minced

1 large can (28oz) of diced or crushed tomatoes – I used the equivalent from a glass jar (Bionatura brand)

1c water

1 large onion, medium dice

1/4t black pepper

1/4t cayenne (opt) or one whole small chili

1/4c extra virgin olive oil

1T maple syrup or agave

1t salt or to taste

1T-dried or fresh parsley *opt

In a large pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic with the sweetener until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley (dried), salt, black and red pepper. Add the water and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, adjust the seasonings. Add in the parsley (fresh).

At this point, the sauce is delicious as is or can be pureed to create a smoother sauce.

FOR A SMOOTHER SAUCE:

In batches, in a blender or vita mix*, puree the tomato sauce until desired consistency is achieved. Adjust the seasonings again after pureeing.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous.

Smashed Potato Gnocchi

*gnocchiThese are INCREDIBLE. I used the leftovers from the Smashed Potatoes, with just a little bit of flour, these transform into one of my most favorite Italian delicacies. Gnocchi gone bad are just not a good scene, heavy, clumps of dough that stay with you long after you’ve eaten them- THESE WERE NOT THOSE GNOCCHI!. They were light and had the perfect dumpling like texture. I tossed them with a Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce and they only thing that was unfortunate about this meal was that there were ZERO leftovers.

*gnocchi prep

Potato Gnocchi

2c mashed potatoes, or leftover smashed potatoes

3/4c organic unbleached flour + for dusting

1T extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3T organic cornmeal

In a large bowl, re-smash the potatoes, making sure there are no lumps. Add the flour, olive oil, salt and pepper into the bowl and with clean hands, form everything into a ball of dough.

Turn out the dough onto a clean surface lightly covered in cornmeal. Cut the dough into two.

Work one half at a time by rolling it with both hands into a ½” thick rope. With a pastry cutter, cut ½” pieces on the bias.

Gently roll each piece and pinch the ends towards each other and place on a plate lightly coated in cornmeal. Do this until all of the dough is used.

In batches, drop the gnocchi into heavily salted boiling water and scoop out with a slotted spoon after they rise to the surface.

If not using right away, or if you have more than you can eat or you made extra, place the plate of gnocchi in the freezer. Once partially frozen, transfer them into a storage container like a baggie or glass container to keep for a later day.

Fresh Tomato, Cauliflower & Basil Penne (GF)

*fresh tomato cauliflower pasta

Fresh Tomato & Cauliflower with Basil Pasta Sauce

1 small head cauliflower, cut and trimmed into bite size pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large tomato, diced

1/4c extra virgin olive oil

1/4c fresh basil, lightly packed, chopped

1/4t black pepper

1 small cherry bomb pepper, sliced

1t salt or to taste

1 Pound cooked pasta (can  be gluten free)

Steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes in salted water. Remove and set aside. (you can add this water to the pasta cooking water)

In a skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic and sauté until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, black and red pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes (perfect pasta cooking time). In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add in the steamed cauliflower and sauté until heated through. Add the fresh basil just before serving. Serve over ziti, (gluten free) penne pasta or rotini and drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh basil and nutritional yeast.

#frickenyum