Linguine, Arugula Pesto, Edible Flowers

Linguine Arugula Pesto

Linguine with Arugula Pesto
Arugula Flowers and Borage Flowers

Arugula flowers taste just like the leaves, but maybe slightly less peppery and with an interesting hint of sweetness. They make a mighty tasty garnish for such a delicate little white blossom.

Borage flowers have much less flavor, only a whisper of cucumber taste, but what they lack in flavor they make up in color. Because the flavor is mild, borage can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, and they make any presentation pop!

arugula and borage

With Spring in full force, my garden is bursting with arugula and borage…and since they are growing side-by-side, I thought I would combine them in a pasta dish.

Arugula leaves make a peppery pesto so I lower the volume and balance the flavor with the addition of cilantro and mint. Those who are not fans of cilantro can combine the arugula with another mild-tasting herb, such as parsley.

Linguine Arugula Pesto Recipe

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Saffron Lemon Shrimp with Bucatini

Saffron Lemon Shrimp with Bucatini

Saffron Lemon Shrimp with Bucatini
Feta, Kalamata Olives, Oregano, Red Chile Flakes

These large plump shrimp have a striking golden hue. Here, the exotic flavor of saffron – that heady spice derived from the dried stigmas of a crocus – takes a simple shrimp and pasta dish to another level.

Traditional Greek ingredients – kalamata olives, oregano and feta play supporting roles as lemon “two ways” adds bright tangy notes and red chile flakes bring piquant qualities.  And while spaghetti or linguini shapes would work just fine, those robust bucatini noodles magically weave this super-satisfying dish together.

Saffron Lemon Shrimp with Bucatini Recipe

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Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

It’s a sprightly mash-up of two traditional Italian pasta dishes: Paglia e Fieno and Pasta e Fagioli. Paglia e fieno, translates to “straw and hay” named for its two color fettuccine made from both egg and spinach. The yellow and green pastas are typically paired with prosciutto and peas and Parmesan. Pasta e fagioli is a brothy dish combining pasta and beans.

Here, conchigliette (small pasta shells) are paired with peas and bacon in a flavorful chicken and vermouth-based broth, brightened with fresh mint. Scoops of whole milk ricotta are stirred into the broth taking the place of the traditional rich Parmesan cream sauce. A sprightly mash-up indeed.

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta Recipe

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Inspired by Ottolenghi

rigatoni, roasted oyster mushroom, arugula, smoky chile walnuts, garlicky yogurt, feta

rigatoni, roasted oyster mushrooms, arugula
smoky chile walnuts, garlicky yogurt, feta

While Chef Yotam Ottolenghi makes his with conchiglie, peas, pine nuts, and basil – my dish with rigatoni, oyster mushrooms, walnuts, and arugula was totally inspired from the recipe in his fabulous cookbook Jerusalem. 

There are endless combinations of pasta, vegetables, and greens that can work with this garlicky yogurt sauce, feta, and smoky chile walnuts. With its pretty earth-tones, varying textures, and smoky flavors – this is one super-satisfying vegetarian meal.

inspired by ottolenghi recipe

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A Pasta Made Exclusively from Black Beans?

black bean spaghetti, heirloom tomato, garlic, basil

black bean pasta
heirloom tomato, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, olive oil

The noodles are marketed as “Organic Black Bean Spaghetti Shape” but the shape is actually closer to a cross between linguini and capellini. A long flat skinny noodle. The flavor is definitely reminiscent of beans, and the tooth is chewy in a pleasant way.

I was not expecting to be impressed, but it turns out that this pasta substitute is actually good. Really good. Love the creamy black color, al dente texture, mild sweet bean-y flavor, and earthy aroma. I think my gluten-free friends will be extra happy at our next Italian-themed dinner party…

black bean pasta recipe

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peas & pasta, garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

peas & pasta, yogurt sauce, smoky walnuts
peas & pasta
pea sprouts, basil, feta
garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

peas & pasta, garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

Color, texture, aroma, flavor – it’s all here in this delightful pasta bowl. Beautiful green peas and fresh pea sprouts, summery herbaceous basil, toasty walnuts cooked with hot chile and smoky paprika, a garlicky creamy yogurt sauce, briny tangy feta. Nope, nothing’s missing.

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