Arsip Tag: quick

quick pasta and chickpeas – smitten kitchen

Pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas) is one of Rome’s most iconic dishes, the only dish so essential that it shows up on both Tuesdays and Fridays on the informal meal calendar.* And while there are no two matching ways to make it (a fine excuse to spend as many weeks in Rome as it takes to try them all, if you ask me), the rough guiding recipe principles are fairly consistent: a sautéed base of garlic, sometimes onion, celery and carrot too, and seasonings to which chickpeas, water or chickpea cooking broth, and pasta are added. Some are a more brothy like soup, some blend some chickpeas for a thicker base, some more herby with rosemary or sage, some are light and others are heavy on tomatoes. And then then came Victoria Granof’s version that took the internet by storm over the last couple years as word of it trickled out from her Chickpeas cookbook (which goes so far beyond hummus in ways that only a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and famous food stylist would think of) in the lovely Short Stack single ingredient cookbook series.

what you'll needwhat you'll need

I bet you think this means it will be complicated. It is, in fact, the opposite. Granof’s version has 5 ingredients, I bet every single one is in your pantry right now, and takes 20 minutes, which is why there’s no making it just once. We all need more 20-minute dinner magic in our lives, so it’s not surprising that it’s already made the web rounds from Food52 to Dinner: A Love Story.

add tomato pasteadd the rest

It could also be argued that there’s little I can add to it: why mess with perfection? But I found two little things along the way: The first is that the first time I decided I wanted to make it (you know, 5 minutes after reading about it; this recipe has that effect on people) I discovered that I didn’t have any small pasta around except for little rings familiar to anyone who ate or wish they got to eat (me!) Spaghetti-Os growing up, the little Os are an official pasta shape called annellini. Did I originally buy them with vague aspirations of reverse engineering the canned stuff? You betcha. But after I saw how quickly my children gobbled this similar-looking dish up (and it’s so great in a thermos for lunch too, so go ahead and double it), I am glad I hadn’t gotten to it yet.

a-simmeringa little extra

The second thing is a little extra finish that I do when I have a minute or two more to spare. Rather than just drizzling olive oil on top, as is traditional, I love to heat it with some additional chopped garlic, minced rosemary leaves, salt and pepper flakes for a minute for a nutty, flavorful, slightly crispy, and dramatically sizzling finish, and alternative to the usual parmesan or pecorino, which is not unwelcome here, just not nearly as dynamic.

* Please note: 80% of what I know about Roman cooking, and particularly pasta e ceci, I’ve learned from the fantastic Rachel Roddy; please do not miss her Guardian column, blog, or books but be warned you might buy tickets to Rome five minutes later, which is essentially what we did in 2013. (The other 10% is from non-Roddy Roman food writers and the remaining 10% was gleaned on that vacation.)

quick pasta con ceci

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quick, essential stovetop mac-and-cheese – smitten kitchen

A couple years ago, at my second home (the grocery store, alas, not, like, the shore) I was passing through the boxed macaroni and cheese section and realized my son, then five, had grown up so far without ever trying it. I realize some people pat themselves on the back about this, but I’m more skeptical about things. Realistically, by the time my kids grow up, I will have inundated them so with so many kale caesars, farro salads and wholesome slaws, sweet potatoes, and homemade from-scratch birthday cakes they’ll have no choice but to rebel with a steady diet of sugar cereals, frozen pocketed foods, and frosting from a can. Maybe leveling things up earlier on will help avoid this outcome? So I bought a box, made it for dinner that night (with the requisite steamed broccoli on the side, nobody ever tells you how much broccoli you’re going to steam when you become a parent) and oh, I’m sorry, were you waiting for me to call it terrible? A disappointment? A memory from childhood that did not hold up? It was anything but. I love orange cheese powder and I do not wish to keep it to myself any longer.

NEW: Watch me make this on YouTube!

i love this ruffly shapea little water and a lot of pasta is fine hereparmesan is all you needsometimes I get fancy with aged cheddar

I understand that the internet can supply me with orange cheese powder but I promise, that’s not where I’m going with this. I want to talk about why we like it and what I — an adult who doesn’t want to make a habit of the boxed stuff, nor live a life devoid of the dish it creates — do when I’m craving stovetop pasta with a sauce of melted cheese intensely* and nothing else will do.

stir the cheese in off heat
mix it

Please note a perfect recipe for a decadent, show-stealing, centerpiece casserole of macaroni and cheese with baked buttery crumbs on top already exists and we’ve been making it for years. A miraculous hack (you don’t even pre-boil the pasta or make a sauce) of a rich, bronzed macaroni-and-cheese also exists in the archives, but it spends a long time in the oven. This isn’t for those times. This is for 15 minutes from now, all in one pot, from ingredients you already keep around. And it’s a single serving, so when your craving has passed, you can return to a life of leafy greens, or, you know, do it again tomorrow.

quick, essential stovetop mac-and-cheese

* often on days I thought I’d be fine just eating, like, a hard-boiled egg for breakfast after going for a run and roar into the kitchen an hour later ready to tackle any food that isn’t already dead


One year ago: Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes and Pomegrante Grapefruit Paloma
Two years ago: Broccoli Melts and White Russian
Three years ago: Perfect Corn Muffins and Spaghetti Pangrattato with Crispy Fried Eggs
Four years ago: Stuck Pot Rice with Lentils and Yogurt and Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
Five years ago: Italian Stuffed Cabbage and Blood Orange Margaritas
Six years ago: Double Coconut Muffins
Seven years ago: Green Bean Salad with Pickled Onions and Fried Almonds and Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil
Eight years ago: Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes with Mint Cream and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Nine years ago: Alex’s Mom’s Stuffed Cabbage, Toasted Coconut Shortbread, Devil’s Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks and Red Kidney Bean Curry
Ten years ago: Pear and Almond Tart and Greens, Orzo and Meatball Soup
Eleven years ago: Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringues and For Beaming, Bewitching Breads

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Fried Rice with Zucchini and Tomatoes and Cheesecake Bars with All The Berries
1.5 Years Ago: Burrata with Lentils and Basil Vinaigrette
2.5 Years Ago: Frozen Hot Chocolate
3.5 Years Ago: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
4.5 Years Ago: Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts

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quick, easy salsa – smitten kitchen

quick, easy salsa – smitten kitchen

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I had a very good reason for making this, in fact, the very best reason, the only reason I ever really want to cook anything on busy weeks with no other gravitas-adding forces at play: I wanted it. Last week I had an intense craving for the kind of salsa you get in a jar, that we went through buckets of when I was in college, the kind of salsa that you’d get on a table at a Mexican restaurant that may or may not sell margaritas in cactus-stem glasses and I wondered why I didn’t have a go-to recipe for making it at home. Isn’t that, like, my purpose here? Isn’t that what I do here, week after week for nearly 15 years, share recipes I hope will become your go-tos as much as they’ve become mine? Where was my seasonless* salsa recipe?

And so I fixed it. Once I’d gathered my ingredients, it took about 5 minutes, and it tasted better than anything I’d ever bought in a jar or scooped from restaurant bowls and we finished the whole thing so the next day I made more with Rachel, who helps me out sometimes, and she said “Isn’t this just a big bowl of vegetables?” and I said “It’s basically a salad,” and, we finished that too, although I suspect we would have, emboldened or not. I hope the simplicity and ease of this matches the simplicity and ease your week requires, and it ends in lots and lots of basically-salads, plus or minus a few crisp black bean tacos, guacamole, or and possibly a perfect margarita.

all you'll needdrain your tomatoesonion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantroblend the baseadd the tomatoesall done!

* If you’ve got good fresh tomatoes where you are, don’t sleep on this three-ingredient summertime salsa, okay?



6 months ago: Morning Glory Breakfast Cake
1 year ago: Layered Yogurt Flatbreads
2 years ago: Braised Ginger Meatballs in Coconut Broth
3 years ago: Fig Newtons and Cripsy Tofu Pad Thai
4 years ago: Granola Bark
5 years ago: Caramelized Brown Sugar Oranges with Yogurt and Potato Pizza, Even Better
6 years ago: Why You Should Always Toast Your Nuts (Please!) and Obsessively Good Avocado-Cucumber Salad
7 years ago: Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
8 years ago: Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast and Bee Sting Cake
9 years ago: Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche and Banana Bread Crepe Cake with Butterscotch
10 years ago: Blackberry and Coconut Macaroon Tart
11 years ago: Baked Kale Chips and Almond Macaroon Torte with Chocolate Frosting
12 years ago: Artichoke-Olive Crostini and Chocolate Caramel Crackers
13 years ago: Spring Panzanella and Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake
14 years ago: Arborio Rice Pudding and Gnocchi with a Grater

quick, easy salsa

Quick, Easy Salsa

You could also spice this salsa with a few spoonfuls of pickled jalapeños, some puree from a can of chipotle, or a rehydrated dried chili or two. Save the drained liquid from your canned tomatoes for Bloody Marys.
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a small or 1/4 of a large white onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of half a lime (2 to 3 tablespoons)
Drain the can of whole tomatoes in a strainer set over a bowl to catch the juices. If the tomatoes look full (i.e. whole and intact), press on them a bit to release more.

Finely chop the white onion, jalapeño (removing the seeds if you wish), and garlic. Add to a blender or food processor with along with the cilantro and salt and grind the pieces a bit smaller. Add the drained tomatoes and lime juice and pulse the machine until you get your desired salsa consistency. If the mixture seems too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice, a tablespoon at a time. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Pour into a bowl and eat right away. Leftovers will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Note: You can watch an Instagram Story or TikTok demo of this recipe, too.


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