Soy Chorizo Carbonara

This is the first time I used soy chorizo. Having cooked with pork chorizo in the past, I didn’t notice a difference in texture or in taste. I liked using the soy chorizo because I didn’t feel sluggish after eating it like I do when I eat pork.

This recipe was inspired by Serious Eat’s Chorizo Carbonara. I loved how this tasted and it left plenty more servings so I can feast on it during the week. I added a few pieces of arugula in the picture to make it look prettier.


5 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, linguine, or other long pasta
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 cup soy chorizo
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
Black pepper

Add the pasta to a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chorizo and fry briskly for about 10 minutes, until crisp and cooked through.

Beat the egg yolks and cream together.

When the pasta is done, drain thoroughly and immediately return it to the hot pan. Tip in the crisp chorizo, followed by the egg mixture. Use 2 forks to mix the eggy cream into the hot pasta. It will cook in the heat of the pasta, coating each strand in a light, creamy sauce. Serve right away, with a final grinding of black pepper on top.


Chinese Kasha Varnishkes

I have been so M.I.A. Life has been incredibly busy and I regret neglecting this blog for so long. I enjoy doing this and I have been taking pictures and notes on what I’ve been making but haven’t been posting. I suck. I have a lot of stuff that will be coming up here soon.

As for this recipe, I love it. So easy and delicious. I love the chili garlic sauce with it.


8 ounces dried bowtie pasta
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Kosher Salt
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

For the Dressing:
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced, about 2 cups, divided
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons Chopped cilantro
Chinese garlic chili paste or hot chili oil for serving

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and toss with 2 teaspoons oil. Set aside. Bring 2 cups water to boil and add kasha. Simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit covered and undisturbed until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, make the scallion oil: Set aside 1/4 of scallion greens for garnish. Cook remaining scallions in remaining oil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the slivers of scallions are browned and sweet, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir to combine. Add pasta, kasha, scallion oil, reserved sliced scallions, and cilantro to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve with garlic chili paste or chili oil.

Chinese Kasha Varnishkes

Drunken Macaroni and Cheese with Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

What’s drunken macaroni and cheese? It’s mac ‘n’ cheese with booze, of course! This recipe if primarily based off of Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe with additional awesomeness: sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and ale.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
6 slices wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup ale (I used Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard)
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips 

Heat over to 350 degrees. Place sausage links on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake on one side for 8 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 8 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut links into thin slices.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In the microwave, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.

While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano, 1/2 cup of beer; set cheese sauce aside.

Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Add sausage and sun-dried tomatoes.

Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.

Whole Wheat Pasta With Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sherry Tomato Cream Sauce

Yeah, I know. Another recipe with sun-dried tomatoes. I can’t help it though. I love them! This recipe is inspired by a pasta dish I had when I went to the Magic Castle a few months ago. It had rock shrimp in it. I decided to make a vegetarian version of this dish. I love the sauce, and the sun-dried tomatoes and chives really make it taste great.


1 lbs whole wheat penne rigate
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallots
3 garlic cloves
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup vegetable broth
15 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 cup fat free heavy cream
Chives, diced
Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
Salt & pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan boil water for the pasta. When water begins to boil add salt liberally, let water return to a boil and cook pasta to al dente. Drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Add shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute 5 minutes.

Stir in sherry, stock, and tomatoes and bring to a bubble. Stir in heavy cream and bring to a bubble.

Toss hot pasta with sauce. Top with chives and sun-dried tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. You can also top with shredded parmesan cheese too!

Seafood Pasta with Sherry Tomato Cream Sauce 

Artichoke Pasta Salad with Roasted Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I love love love this recipe. I pretty much used Alton Brown’s Artichoke Pasta Salad recipe with a few small changes to quantities and a couple ingredients. The herb oil is fantastic! I have been making this dish over and over again over the past couple of weeks because I can’t get enough of it. So good!


2 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta, cooled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons herb oil, recipe follows
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned 
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted chicken
1/4 cup roughly chopped marinated artichokes
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients. Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Herb Oil:

1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 cup packed fresh oregano
1/2 orange, zested
1 whole dried arbol chile
1 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
2 cups canola oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a 1-quart mason jar or glass container, place all of the herbs, zest, chile, and peppercorns. Pour both oils into a saucepan and heat to 200 degrees F. Pour the hot oils into the jar and cover with a kitchen towel. Let stand overnight.

Place cheesecloth or strainer over the top of the jar and replace the outer rim of the lid. Invert and strain oil into desired container.

Greek Pasta With Sausage And Cheese

Again, another great recipe from Serious Eats. I absolutely love this recipe for Greek Pasta with Sausage and Cheese. Again, per usual, I made some changes to make this leaner without sacrificing for taste.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 ounce reduced fat blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fat free heavy cream substitute (Recipe here)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the sausage and cook until golden, stirring only occasionally, 7-10 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Once the sausages are browned, add the wine and turn the heat to high. Reduce the liquid for 2 minutes, then lower the heat and add the blue cheese, cream, and oregano.

Once the cheese is melted, add the pasta along with some of the pasta cooking water as needed to create a creamy, loose sauce.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among plates, and garnish with Parmesan.

Caprese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I had a pasta salad similar to this while I was in Chicago and I thought I would attempt to make it on my own.


1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta
1/4 pounds sun-dried tomatoes roughly diced
1/2 pound fresh, water-packed mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 packed cup basil leaves, washed, spun dry, and slivered

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it heavily (it should taste like seawater), then add the pasta and cook until just done.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes and cheese and put them in a very large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.

Drain the hot pasta and shake it dry (don’t rinse it), then add it to the bowl with the cheese and tomatoes and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Then fold in the basil.

Came out great! Really easy to make too. Also made a lot of servings so this will be in the fridge for a while.

Caprese Pasta Salad