Tag Archive: Pasta

  1. Lemon Herb Ricotta Agnolotti


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    March 17th last year was day three of our ten day trek on the Torres del Paine circuit. Some of you weren’t with us last year when we took a hiatus to Patagonia, Chile. I made Pisco Sours when we came home. In any case, we had put in 20km that day and looked ahead at a challenging summit early the next morning. Shaun made camp by the lake of Los Perros Glacier, pitching the tent as I propped up my swollen feet against the tree from where I started putting up the hammock and stopped halfway. I draped the hanging portion of the hammock over my face and listened to the moaning and creaking of the glacier, waiting every 15 minutes or so to hear large, school bus sized chunks of ice dislodge and crash into the water below.

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    Shaun came over to where I lay comatose and finished my hammock job. I crawled in and tried not to think about food. We had underestimated our calorie needs for the trek and were on a tight ration of freeze-dried meals, oatmeal, and cliff bars for the remaining 100 kilometers. The two books and journal I had brought haunted me. I would have given my left arm to have swapped them for a jar of peanut butter when we left the hostel in Puerto Natales four days prior. I rocked over on my right side in the hammock to survey the area as other hikers limped in for the night. A splattering of white sticks at the base of a tree at the next campsite over came into focus. DEAR GOD, IS THAT SPAGHETTI? With a sudden burst of energy I rolled out of the hammock and motioned for Shaun to join me at the base of the tree. Sure enough. Dried spaghetti exploded across the roots in the dirt as if someone yesterday had been standing there and ripped open the package too quickly. One by one we collected the pasta like a game of pick-up-sticks, careful to keep the larger pieces intact before delicately placing them  in my beanie. We crouched by our tent for an hour brushing off the dirt before boiling a pot of water, cooking it, and adding it to our allotted packet-meal for the night.

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    That bizarre, desperate, and humbling moment is everything to me. It is the most mortifying and perfect reminder we often just need one person to be with us in the amber of the moment and bear witness to our existence. Someone to sit with us in the dirt after a long day to sort through the muck and pick up the pieces of our lives and make something good of it. A hug, a look, a gesture that silently says… I hear you, I see you, and I’m right here with you. I’m pretty psyched on the fact that the person who eats spaghetti from the forest floor with me in times of famine is the person I get to call partner and “husband” for the rest of my life. And if we’re lucky enough to have a partner, sibling, parent, or friend who doesn’t back away from the vulnerable, ugly, and often lopsided parts of our journey, we should be bold enough to say thank you loudly and often. There is no work more important, in my opinion, than to accept this love and learn to share it with as many people as we can muster. It is the only work to be done in this lifetime, really. We go through our years busy-ing ourselves with work and pleasure and community, yet despite it all, we still often feel so darn alone. We must reach for one another, constantly.  We have to try and crouch together, we have to try to laugh, to listen, to cry, to bear witness to each other’s lives… they are affirmations to our humanity and our deep and fundamental longing to know and be known. I’m pretty young in the scheme of things and probably don’t know much about much, but this is what I believe: we were put here to hold on and hang in there, together. We’re here to seek each other and support and try our merry best to humble ourselves to the madness that is being alive together at the same time, rolling the dice, getting creative with hands outstretched to make the best of the whole thing.

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    Lemon Herb Ricotta Agnolotti

    Big hugs to my friend Bre Graziano, Italian food guru through and through, with the creation of this recipe.

    • 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese, homemade or purchased
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chervil
    • juice of 2 lemons
    • 2-3 tbsp sea salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • ———
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon semolina flour, plus more for dusting
    • 4 extra-large eggs
    • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • —–
    • pea shoots and fresh herbs for garnish
    • olive oil for cooking
    • juice of 3 lemons
    • 1 stick of butter


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    In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, herbs, lemon juice, egg and salt/pepper until thoroughly combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

    In a large bowl or clean, flat work surface combine the flour with the salt, nutmeg and the 1 tablespoon of semolina. Create a well in the flour and crack eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth, drizzle with olive oil, then continue with your hands to mix the oil and eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined. As Jamie Oliver says “with a bit of work and some love and attention they’ll all bind together to give you one big, smooth lump of dough.” Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and cover with plastic wrap while you work with one quarter at a time. Flatten the dough ball and dust with flour. Roll the dough through pasta machine at the widest setting. Fold the dough in thirds (like a letter), then run it through the machine at the same setting, folded edge first. Repeat the folding and rolling once more. Roll the dough through at successively narrower settings, two times per setting, until it is thin enough for you to see the outline of your hand through it. Lay the dough out on a work surface lightly dusted with flour and trip the edges so they are straight.

    Fill a ziploc bag (or piping bag if you’re fancy like that) with ricotta filling. Pipe filling across the bottom of the pasta sheet in a straight, even line. Pull the bottom edge of the pasta up and over the filling. Seal the agnolotti by carefully molding the pasta over the filling and pressing lightly with your index finger to seal the edge of the dough to the pasta sheet. Set aside, cover with a towel, and continue until you’ve used up your dough. You will probably have filling leftover! Double the dough recipe or use the filling for later. 

    In a large saucepan, melt butter with lemon juice and olive oil over low-medium heat. Cook agnolotti in batches for 5 minutes at a time, using a spoon to drizzle pasta with hot liquid to cook evenly. Serve immediately with fresh herbs, pea shoots, and a bit of leftover Parmigiano-Reggiano

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  2. Kimchi Ramen


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    The table is set, and our glasses are full,
    Though pieces go missing, may we still feel whole. 
    We’ll build new traditions in place of the old, 
    Life without revision will silence our souls. 

    Let the bells keep on ringing, 
    Making angels in the snow, 
    May the melody disarm us when the cracks begin to show.
    Like the petals in our pockets, may we remember who we are,
    Unconditionally cared for by those who share our broken heart.

    – Ryan O’Neal

       listen here

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    Kimchi Ramen

    • Traditional Kimchi recipe from Food & Wine
    • 2 cups ramen or soba noodles
    • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
    • 1 poached egg
    • 2 cups quick broth
    • – 4 cups water
    • – 1 onion
    • – 1/2 apple, sliced
    • – 3 lemon slices
    • – 1/4 cup sliced shallots
    • – 5 garlic cloves
    • – 1″ nub ginger
    • – 1/2 cup kimchi
    • – 3 tbsp miso paste


    For the broth, mix together all ingredients (save for the miso) and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix in miso after 30 minutes and remove from heat. While the broth simmers, cook the noodles, slice the green onions, and poach an egg with your method of preference.

    Combine Noodles, 1 heaping cup of kimchi, 1/2 cup green onions and pour over 2 cups of broth and top with egg.

    ** I quadrupled my batch of Kimchi and am letting it continue to ferment for New Years gifts, it makes 8 quarts if you’re wondering!

    *** Special thanks to New West Knifeworks for sending me a collection of knives to try. They’re beautiful and if you’re going the gift-route for the holidays, I highly recommend this Wyoming based company.

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  3. Chard Pesto Linguine


    “I took you by the hand and we stood tall,

    Remembered our own land, what we lived for.

    And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.

    And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

    Get over your hill and see what you find there,

    With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”

    Mumford / Sons

    Linguine with Chard Pesto

    • 1 large bunch (or more) rainbow chard (lightly de-ribbed)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 cup pine nuts
    • Juice of 3 lemons
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • dash of salt
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
    • 1/4 cup Parmasean Reggiano
    • One package dried pasta of choice

    In a large food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the cheese, until completely pureed. Add cheeses last, and blitz together or an additional 1-2 minutes. Toss pesto with cooked pasta.

  4. Peas and Bows


    I knew we were in the final stretch today while in the market I picked up a bag of garbanzo bean flour and actually hesitated, wondering, will I be able to use all of this by the end of May? As I write this, Shaun is taking pictures of a surfboard and an old printer for craigslist. At the front door there is a bankers box of pots, glasses, and towels for goodwill that we’ve somehow accumulated over the past few years. Books are stacked for sorting, graduation announcements strewn about the table waiting for stamps.

    By now it’s probably a good time to tell; we’re moving to Colorado. The Mountains are calling. We’re going where our heart is, not where we think it “should” be. And that feels so darn great. Many of you have been trying to trace our steps since January, and I should give you all gold stars for your patience as I danced around in circles making and un-making up my mind. Brooklyn? DC? Portland? San Francisco? Denver? It has been a long, tiresome, soul-stretching process. Shaun and I honored it, and each other, by digging through the thicket privately. But there is more…

    … since (most of) the whirlwind has subsided, it’s time to let everyone in again. We’re going to Colorado, and in a way you’re coming too (!!). To that, I have to stop and say thank you. Your love, encouragement, and wisdom has enriched my life in more ways than I could possibly put into words. This whole blog thing completely blows my mind. I’ve probably been more vulnerable with you, in this space, than I have ever been with some of the people I call friends in real life. How is that? How does that happen? I think I’m still figuring it all out. Thank you for coming into my life with your unique perspective and light, week after week, and thank you for letting me into yours.

    This is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart. (e.e cummings)

    Here’s the thing. If you have an hour to kill on Sunday afternoon, try the pasta yourself. But because I love you, because I carry your heart with me in my heart, I urge you to take some shorcuts here. How do I put this lightly, gluten free pasta is… frustrating to work with. Time. Patience. Practice. I set out to make fettucine, but failed miserably. Determined to not let the dough go to waste I made bows, instead. The first batch was too thick, but on second go, I got a great size and texture. If you’re feeling gutsy, try it. I love the nutty taste of chickpea pasta, but I think whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice shells, or any other type of pasta would go brilliantly with the lemony, herby peas.

    Chickpea Bow Tie Pasta with Spring Peas 

    • 2 cups garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2-3 tbsp water
    • 1 lb shelled peas
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lg. lemon, juice and zest
    • basil, large handful
    • mint, large handful
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • salt
    • optional: roasted pumpkin seeds, parmasean

    For the pasta, add the flour to a large bowl, making a well in the middle for the eggs. Crack eggs and slowly begin to whisk with a fork, incorporating the flour until you get a shaggy ball. Add a little water to pull together the scraps. Turn out onto a ULTRA floured surface (on the first go, I went straight onto the cutting board, bad idea, second go, I used an old silicon mat underneath the flour to prevent sticking). Roll out until 1-2 mm thickness.  Cut vertical strips, 1/2 inch thick, then cut horizontally every 2 inches until you have made small rectangles. They should look like stubby, short sticks of gum. Pinch at the center of rectangle on the long-side to create the bow.  Set aside. Repeat. Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook in small batches for 2-4 minutes.

    Place shelled peas into a heavy pan. Add minced or grated garlic and the olive oil. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Tear or roughly chop up the basil and mint, add to peas. Stir to coat for for 1-2 minutes. Add zest of the lemon and the juice just before you toss in the cooked pasta. Finish with a bit of salt, roasted pumpkin seeds, and if you’re into cheese, a bit of fresh parmesan.

  5. Jerusalem Artichokes & Orecchiette


    Mostly just a quote today. There is a ping-pong match going on upstairs. Lots of thoughts. Ideas. Beginnings and endings always get me riled up. Maybe it’s all the coffee. I would recommend holding off on calling me anytime in the next ten days. I’ll probably bulldoze the conversation with things like how corporations should not be considered ‘persons’ with constitutional rights equal to real people, failed institutions in Guatemala, the movie 50/50, or how I almost ran out of gas again. I can’t always keep the crazy in check. And maybe that’s okay. I love this quote in all its affirmation. Get crazy. Get reckless.

    “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.” J. Didion (again, I know, what can I say, she’s amazing)

    Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Orecchiette 
    Pairings suggested by Nigel Slater, Tender

    • 12 oz dried or fresh orecchiette (or other pasta of choice)
    • 1-2 lbs firm ‘chokes
    • 2-3 lemons
    • 1 head flat leaf parsley
    • pat of butter or ghee
    • olive oil
    • salt/pepper

    Jerusalem Artichokes, Sunchokes to some, are stubborn buggers to clean. If Nigel Slater hadn’t warned me otherwise, I would have been tempted to just be done with the caked on mud and peel the darn things. I’m glad I was patient — Cooking the ‘chokes with their skins helps preserve their crispness and earthiness. Just make sure you spend a good ten minutes scrubbing the tubers or else dinner is likely to be on the gritty side. I washed them, sliced them thin, then rinsed them again to dislodge the soil from the deep notches.

    Once you’ve sliced them thin, throw them in a steaming basket for about 5-10 minutes just to loosen up the fiber. While you wait, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, bring a bit of olive oil and butter to a sizzle. Transfer steamed ‘chokes and sauté for about 10 minutes to absorb the fat and slightly brown. Kill the heat. By now the pasta water should be boiling. Cook per packaging instructions until just past al dente. Remove. Strain. Rinse. Let dry. Then toss with the ‘chokes.

    I LOVE parsley, so I used a whole head of leaves, chopped roughly. But a heaping cup or so would do. Toss into the pot of ‘chokes and pasta. Add juice of 2 or three lemons, a good shake of salt and pepper, and a few lugs of olive oil. Toss together to coat. For the omnivore, Slater suggets adding chopped bacon or seared bay scallops. Find another great recipe using ‘chokes here.

Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.