Spicy Italian Arrabiata

Post by Aine Davis

Full disclosure: I’m not Italian. Not even close. But I am #1 Big Time Italian Food Fan Extreme. That being said, this is one of my favourite Italian dishes, I learned it when I was in Italy and over the years its grown into my own delicious concoction. If you’re looking for a carb-filled splendor well then look no further, and feast your eyes on my spicy Italian Arrabiata.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 660ml strained, crushed, organic tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil, divided in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 tbsp dry red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp dry parsley
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pasta of your choice, to serve 2

METHOD

  1. In a large, heavy bottom pot with a lid, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. While the olive oil is heating, thinly slice the garlic cloves and rough chop the fresh basil.
  2. Once the olive oil is hot, add garlic, dry red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper. Once the oil is fragrant and a little red from the dry red pepper flakes, add half of the fresh basil. Saute for about a minute.
  3. Add the tomato puree, olives, oregano, thyme, parsley and salt. Stir together until combined. Put the lid on the pot and simmer over medium-low heat, making sure to stir it every so often so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
  4. If you want extra yummy sauce, simmer for a few hours. If you’re in a time crunch, no problem! Prepare your pasta and by the time it’s ready, your sauce will be ready too.
  5. Once ready to serve, stir in the other half of the chopped basil. Serve immediately over pasta.

Enjoy! Serves 2.

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Cashew Cream Alfredo with cremini mushrooms and kale     

Post by Megan Stulberg

On my way home from the gym one day last week, I decided to quickly do some grocery shopping. Before I knew it I found myself in front of a boxed macaroni and cheese display, lost in a daydream-like stupor for at least five minutes. Finally I managed to fight the craving and tear myself away, then opted to make this similar (but healthier) comfort food instead.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free penne pasta of your choice (I prefer corn)
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO
  • Dash of sea salt and black pepper

Directions…

  1. On stovetop, bring medium pot of water to a boil. Reduce to simmer.
  2. Add pasta, cover, then let cook for 15 minutes or until all water has evaporated and pasta is soft.
  3. Drain pasta, then put back in pot and set aside.
  4. In high-speed blender or food processor combine cashews, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, pepper, butter and milk. Blend until a thick sauce has been created. If desired, add more milk for a creamier texture.
  5. In large saucepan, heat oil until it sizzles. Reduce heat and add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add kale and continue sautéing until leaves have wilted and shrank down in size.
  6. Stir sauce into pasta in pot. Add mushrooms and kale, then mix thoroughly until incorporated. Top with additional paprika and salt before serving.

Serve hot and enjoy immediately! Makes 2 large portions.

Summer Recipe: Balsamic Pesto Pasta

From contributor Aine Davis

I am madly, truly, deeply in love with Italian food. After visiting Italy a few summers ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all of the rich and flavourful foods I devoured abroad.

I recently whipped up this dish for a romantic evening with my “fidanzato” and the results were to die for. Use my following recipe for a hearty dish that takes only 15 minutes to make:

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Ingredients…

  • 1 box rice pasta
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large head of garlic (roughly 10 cloves)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions 

  1. Boil water in large pot on stovetop.
  2. Place basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes in blender or food processor. Combine until smooth.
  3. Following box’s instructions, cook pasta accordingly. Drain, then mix thoroughly with pesto.

Serve immediately on a bed of arugula. Makes 4 large portions.

Bellisimo!