CEiMB – Ellie’s Choice: Whole Grain Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto

This weeks recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly caused quite a stir as it was chosen by Ellie Krieger herself. I was so excited to make this, as it was right up my ally: who can go wrong with pasta, garlic and tomatoes?

We were given an option of roasting our own tomatoes or using a can of roasted tomatoes for the sauce. Since I couldn’t find canned roasted tomatoes I opted for making my own, also added some garlic cloves to the roasting dish mixed them in with the pesto. This dish is so easy to put together and the small bite I tasted was wonderful! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy a whole plate as my last wisdom tooth was extracted today and I now have a gaping hole in the back of my mouth with 3 stitches.  I froze it all and am sure that I’ll enjoy the spaghetti later this week! I loved the taste and the smell and think I might even be able to convince E. to give this a try!

Go here to check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of Ellie’s choice!
Up next week: Muesli Parfaits picked by Sarah of Sarah’s Kitchen Adventures.


Whole Grain Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto

Olive oil cooking spray
1 1/3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and quartered (about 6 medium) or 1 15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup blanched sliced almonds
1 medium clove of garlic
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 pound Whole Grain Spaghetti (note: I like Barilla)

If using fresh tomtatoes, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray. Place the tomatoes on the tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until they are soft and slightly charred. When the tomatoes are nearly done, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In a medium dry skillet, toast the almonds over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden and fragrant, 3-4 minutes.

Transfer the nuts to a food processor, add the garlic and process until they are finely ground. Add the roasted or canned tomatoes, basil, vinegar and pepper flakes to the processor. As the processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the parmesan cheese and ¼ teaspoon salt and pulse to combine.

Add the pasta to the water and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain and return the pasta to the pasta pot or to a serving bowl. Add the sauce and toss to combine. Season with additional salt to taste. Serve garnished with whole basil leaves.

Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 1 ¼ cups

Prep time: 12 minutes
Cooking time: 36 minutes


My Tapas Birthday Party: 4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp


Another easy to make recipe that all my guests enjoyed at my Tapas Birthday Party, this one is by Rachael Ray and was found on Foodnetwork. I can’t tell you much about the flavor because I haven’t tried these. You see, I have this thing against shrimp: I can’t stand their texture!



4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed away from skin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails in tact, ask for easy peels at your fish counter
  • 2 teaspoons grill or steak seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, a handful

Directions

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, garlic, red pepper flakes and shrimp. Season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper and cook shrimp 3 minutes or until just pink. Toss with lemon zest, juice and chopped parsley. Remove shrimp to a serving platter leaving the garlic cloves in the pan.

 


>Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Sauce

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There’s and abundance of Asparagus around here at the moment, which is fine with me: I love asparagus!! So I started looking for new recipes for me to try out. To my big surprise most recipes out there are for green asparagus, whereas most Dutch people eat white aspargus. I love both varieties. Last weekend I picked up a kilo of green Asparagus at the market.

Today I made the most delicious and simple dish: Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Sauce. I found the recipe here and followed Susan’s directions (both for this dish as on how to roast the garlic) exactly, except for using pecans instead of walnuts. Let me tell you: this was amazing!! There’s no cream in this sauce, but it tastes sooo creamy! I loved that I could taste all the ingredients: the garlic, pecans and lemon juice, Delicious!! I’m definitely making this again!!

Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Sauce

1/2 head roasted garlic
1/4 cup walnuts (pecans work too)
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp. water
salt to taste
1 pound asparagus

Lightly toast the walnuts. The easiest way to do this is to put them in the oven with the garlic during the last 5 minutes that it’s roasting. When they’re hot but not burning, remove them from the oven and grind them in a food processor (or mash them to a paste in a mortar and pestle). Add half a head of roasted garlic, the lemon juice, and the water and continue to puree. Add salt to taste.

Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the tough ends (just hold a spear at the bottom and in the middle, and it should snap off in the right spot). Steam them lightly for 3 minutes or until they are bright green and just starting to become tender. Place them in a serving dish, and toss them with the roasted garlic sauce. Serve, trying not to fight over the last spear on the plate!

Garlic Noodles

 

A while ago I saw on Facebook that Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch was preparing Garlic Noodles. As I’m a huge lover of both garlic and noodles I bookmarked the recipe instantly.

Yesterday I decided to give this recipe a go and oh my god, did I enjoy it!! I was a bit apprehensive about the oyster sauce, but barely noticed it. Iloved the combination of the garlic and brown sugar!!!



Garlic Noodles

Adapted from: The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch

7 ounces dry Chinese noodles or spaghetti
1 large red onion, minced
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Boil a large pot of water and cook the noodles according to package instructions.
Drain the noodles and wipe the pot clean. Place the noodles back in the pot and set aside.

In fry pan bring butter to a sizzle and add shallots and garlic. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.

In a small mixing bowl add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce and stir well to mix. Add to the garlic and onions and mix well. Add the noodles and toss well evenly distribute the sauce on the noodles.