Pasta with Broccoli Cream Pesto


1/2 lb broccoli
1/2 lb pasta

1 T butter
1 T olive oil 

1/2 small onion
1-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt or more...
Fresh ground pepper or red pepper flakes (or both) 
4 T heavy cream 

Heaping pile of grated parmesean 

Boil salted water for pasta. Cut broccoli florets from stems and chop into medium pieces. Slice the stems into 1/2 inch chunks. 

Use pot of pasta water to steam broccoli and stems (either by suspending a strainer over the pot or throwing them in for 5-6 mins. Set them aside. 

Add pasta and cook. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Set aside. Drain the pasta. 

In the bottom of your pasta post, melt butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Add steamed broccoli, salt and pepper. Pour cream over mixture and let cook for 30 seconds. 

Transfer broccoli mixture to a blender or food processor ( or leave it in the pot and use an immersion blender). Don’t worry if it looks dry— you can add some pasta water either to the mixture, or wait until you’ve combined the pesto with your pasta. Add broccoli pesto back in the pot with pasta- add cheese and enjoy! 

Pasta with Golden Fennel

Adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison 

Large fennel bulb
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
Grated zest and juice from 1⁄2 a Lemon
1 garlic clove minced 

3⁄4-1 lb. fettuccine- or whatever pasta you prefer
Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
(We added a pinch of crushed red pepper on top- for some spice) 

Quarter the bulbs, and slice thinly, even the core. Melt 1 T of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the fennel and sauté over high heat, until browned slightly, 7 to 10 mins. Season with salt. Toss with lemon juice then add 1 cup of water. Reduce heat and cook, covered until liquid has evaporated. Add more water as needed until fennel is very soft and golden in color– about 25 mins in all. 

Chop some of the greens (if there are any) with the garlic and lemon zest and set aside. When pasta is ready, add it to the pan with fennel along with the garlic, greens, and lemon zest combo. Season with salt and pepper and cheese to your liking. 

Summer Kale Pasta

For 4 people:

4 cups of coarse chopped kale
8-12 pearls of garlic, the more the better in our house
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth

Put everything in a large frying pan with a cover. Saute to your desired preference of tenderness; this should take 5-15 minutes depending on what one likes. Meanwhile, boil 1/2-2/3 lb of pasta and when done, toss with the kale. We like farfalle for the pasta, but spaghetti is great, too. 

Top with some grated cheese. Mangiamo! 

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

1 medium delicata squash, seeded & sliced 1/3-inch thick
3 shallots, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil or melted clarified butter
fine grain sea salt
4 medium cloves garlic, peel on
12 kale leaves, washed & dried well, de-stemmed & cut into 3-inch strips
1 1/2 cups / 9 ounces uncooked orzo pasta, or other pasta
1/2 cup /  plain yogurt
For serving: slivered scallions, fresh oregano, toasted nuts or seeds

Preheat the oven to 400F / 205C with racks arranged in the top and bottom thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment. You're going to roast the squash, shallots, and garlic on one sheet, and the kale on another.

Prep the delicata squash, and toss it in a large bowl with the shallots, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and a big pinch of salt. Arrange in a single layer on one of the baking sheets, add the garlic and place on the bottom rack, for about 30 minutes. Spin once or twice along the way to get even roasting - let it all get deeply golden.

After the squash is in the oven, use the same bowl to toss the kale with another splash of olive, and pinch of salt. Arrange the leaves on the other baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until you get a touch of browning, but the leaves are primarily still green. Set aside.

Get the pasta water boiling, salt well, and cook the orzo pasta. Drain and use quickly (warm) OR (if you won't be serving for a while) run under cold water, and toss with a tiny splash of olive oil.

For the dressing, extract the roasted garlic from its peel, and mash it with a bit of the yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Work in the rest of the yogurt, taste, and add more salt if needed.

When you're ready to serve, toss the orzo, and roasted vegetables with about half of the yogurt. Turn out onto a platter and sprinkle with scallions, oregano, and seeds/nuts. Serve the remaining yogurt to the side.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 30 min

Cranberry Bean, Kale and Pasta Soup

1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 1/2 tablespoons, divided
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced, about 2 cups
2 medium carrots, finely chopped, about 1 cup
1 onion, finely chopped, about 1 cup
3 cups dried cranberry beans or red kidney beans
Kosher salt
2 bunches lacinato kale, cleaned, stemmed and coarsely chopped, about 10 cups
3 cups dried orecchiette pasta (about 9 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh minced sage
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. In a 4-quart soup pot or cast iron casserole (with a lid that fits), heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and cook the leeks, carrots and onions over medium-low heat until just softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the dried beans and 12 cups of water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid, stirring occasionally. After about 45 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Continue to cook, covered, and again stirring occasionally, just until the beans are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour or more (this may vary according to the beans you use).

3. With a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the beans and, separately, 2 tablespoons of bean liquor and set both aside. Add the kale to the soup, stirring in a few cups at a time as the greens wilt. Cover, and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes more until the greens are tender, then remove from the heat.

4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve.

5. In a food processor, combine the reserved beans and bean liquor, sage, parsley, paprikas and lemon juice, the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, then check for seasoning, adding more salt if desired, or bean liquor to aid in blending.

6. Just before serving, stir the cooked pasta into the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with about 2 tablespoons of spiced bean purée. Grate Parmesan over the top of each bowl to taste and serve immediately.