Southwestern Pasta Salad

A Southwestern influence pasta salad packed with an explosion of bold flavors. Made with crispy corn, earthy black beans and grape tomatoes, a chili lime dressing brings all the flavors together…. 

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Curried Chickpea and Cauliflower Couscous

Deliciously-hearty, curried, whole-grain couscous packed with all the goodness of chickpeas, cauliflower, spinach, golden raisins and almonds.

I made it twice in as many days; the first I shared, the second I didn’t. I greedily ate the leftovers at all hours of the day and night. It made me deliriously happy for days on end…. 

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Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Penne Pasta

A quick and easy penne pasta tossed in a creamy sauce packed with the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I can’t help but love a recipe where the sauce can be made in the same time it takes the pasta to cook! Especially on a night when you want need good food fast but don’t have time to spend in the kitchen…. 

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Angel Hair Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Angel Hair Pasta with Tuna Sauce

To fully enjoy this dish requires a love of tuna fish. Not just any tuna but canned tuna packed in olive oil. That’s where the secret to success lies. Water packed tuna is too dry and bland. It’s imperative that you use a good quality oil-packed white albacore tuna.

I love dishes like this where in the time it takes to boil and cook the pasta you can make the entire meal! Onion, garlic and red pepper flakes are sauteed along with tuna then tossed with the angel hair pasta and some of its starchy water to make a bare bones sauce. Chopped parsley adds a much needed hit of freshness and color. You can eat this as a main dish with crusty bread to sop up the oily sauce or serve it as an appetizer, it’s light enough for that. This is best eaten fresh as the leftovers tend to get a little fishy!

I grew up eating tuna in tomato sauce as a part of our traditional Christmas eve fish feast. For me it’s the kind of dish I have to be in the right mood for. Like liver and onions. Or corned beef and cabbage. It’s not something you want to eat everyday or even every week, it’s one of those occasional cravings that hits you out of the blue.

Angel Hair Pasta with Tuna Sauce
(adapted from Saveur)
3 tablespoons olive oil, for sauteing
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, optional
3 (6-ounce) cans oil-packed white albacore tuna fish, undrained
12 ounces angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. In a large skillet saute onion and red pepper flakes in olive oil (season with salt and pepper) over medium low heat until translucent, add garlic and saute until fragrant.

2. Meanwhile cook angel hair according to package directions in plenty of salted water setting aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Once drained toss with a tablespoon or two of extra-virgin olive oil to prevent sticking.

3. Add tuna with its oil to skillet and cook about 5 minutes, breaking up tuna into small pieces.

4. Add pasta and pasta water to skillet and toss well with tuna sauce. Cook, stirring vigorously until sauce thickens and clings to pasta. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a main dish or 6-8 as an appetizer.

Angel Hair Pasta with Tuna Sauce

I’m linking this to Chaya of My Sweet and Savory for Let’s Do Brunch.

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Mollie Katzen’s Gypsy Soup

Gypsy Soup

Gypsy soup is packed full of the incredibly delicious combination of sweet potatoes, chickpeas and kale. The rusty color of the broth comes from a combination of tomato, paprika and turmeric with sweet basil thrown in for good  measure.

It’s a deeply nourishing elixir that I could feel coursing through my body into my bones making me feel instantly warmer and healthier. It lifted my spirits and rejuvenated me when I didn’t realize I felt bad to begin with! I can’t help but love a soup like that. I’m convinced it has magical properties. Magical, healing properties.

Try this if you’re feeling under the weather or just need a little pick-me-up. It works wonders for the body, mind and soul!

Mollie Katzen's Gypsy Soup

Gypsy Soup
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 large sweet potatoes, diced
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon basil
a dash of cinnamon
a dash of cayenne
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 (14 ounce) can chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 cups kale leaves, torn into bite size pieces, stems removed

1. In a soup pot or large saucepan heat the olive oil and saute onion, garlic and celery over medium-low heat until tender. Add sweet potato and salt; saute 3-4 more minutes.

2. Add seasonings, tomato, broth, chickpeas and kale. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender. Taste halfway through and adjust seasonings if needed. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

I’m linking this to Chaya of My Sweet and Savory for Meatless Mondays and to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad, Sammie) Sundays event.

The winner of the Tassimo T20 is Raina of Garden of Yum and the winner of the Natural Vines giveaway is Emily Z. of EZ’s Recipes. Congratulations to Raina and Emily Z. and thank you all for entering!