Whenever I see “puttanesca” on a menu, I think of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a movie starring Jim Carrey as “Count Olaf.” If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it – wonderfully creepy original soundtrack. According to IMDb, here is the synposis: “When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents’ vast fortune.”
In one scene, Count Olaf has his wretched friends over and demands that the children make a meal for his guests, using whatever is in the kitchen. The kitchen is absolutely barren, filled with not much more than cockroaches and rotting canned goods. Spotting some pasta in a drawer, the crafty oldest girl decides to make Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. Her smart brother quickly points out that puttanesca is the Italian word meaning “very few ingredients.”
Mozzarella. Abbreviated most lovably as “mootz” and most notably sung in an Italian melody as “moots-ah-rell” at my grandparents’ house. The best pizza I ever had was on the Amalfi coast (in Italy)…. a thin crusted pizza baked simply with slices of mozzarella cheese over a blank canvas of tomato sauce, topped with drizzles of olive oil, salt, pepper and basil. So good – can someone teleport me there right now?
Since I can’t get to Italy right now, I’ll have to make something mozzarella-y in my apartment and pretend. To my delight, the Farmer’s Market yesterday had a beautiful ball of fresh mozzarella, made at a local farm. How could I not grab it? Mozzarella cheese is so inviting – it looks like a mini pillow.
I met this really cool chick at the cooking demo I did in Hoboken a couple weeks back. Like me, she’s a blogger. Unlike me, she’s a newlywed! Her blog, Life a la Wife, chronicles her adventures living with her new hubby! Alyssa loves to eat healthy, be active and live life to its fullest…. pretty positive vibes, right?
Naturally, I figured her readers would love an Inspiralized recipe. What better dish to create for Life a la Wife than a manly pasta that any husband (or boyfriend for that matter) will love? A great way to ease the “manly” man in your life into healthier pasta (Inspiralized pasta!) Read more about this recipe and why I decided to make it on Alyssa’s blog by clicking here. In the meantime, here it is…. a healthy spin on Chicken Parmesan!
If you’ve been following my Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been spending some time with Jen from HobokenGirl (a Hoboken blog geared towards girls). So, what’s up with that? Well, besides the fact that she’s a cool Jersey chick with an adorable French bulldog pup named Pierre, her audience happens to be perfect for Inspiralized dishes – girls who to love to try new things!
On Tuesday, I went to the Downtown Hoboken Farmer’s Market and stocked up on zucchinis, corn and some fresh cracked wheat bread and headed over to her apartment to cook us dinner. Check out my Instagram and hers for some funny videos from the evening.
Time to channel our inner vegans and vegetarians and talk meatless! Yesterday, I was honored to be part of Hoboken Girl‘s first “Hoboken Girl Social.” I’ll do a separate post with pictures on that, but in a nutshell – it was an event designed to bring a bunch of cool girls living in Hoboken together for a night of wine, hors d’oeuvres, giveaways and a makeup tutorial by Dina’s Cosmetics and cooking demo by yours truly! During my demo, I gave away samples (in cute little clamshaw boxes that I DIYd with sticker ingredient labels) of a pesto zucchini pasta salad. I’m a crafty lady, let me tell you.
Seeing the broccoli rabe today at the grocery market, I knew there was no choice but to make a pasta with spicy Italian sausage and those beautiful leafy greens. I’m a big spicy-food lover and one dish I missed most during my 2008-early 2013 no-meat stint was my grandfather’s spicy sausage and peppers…. Hope you like it spicy! The only thing this dish is missing? A great glass of red. Mmm….
This classic Italian favorite can be a bit indulgent (the fat of the sausage, the carbs in the pasta). Luckily, we have the spiralizer to at least take out most of the carbs and calories! The spicy flavor pairs perfectly with the lightness of the zucchini noodles and the bitterness of the b-rabe. If you’re afraid of broccoli rabe because of its bitterness, fear not….. peel the skin of the stems (just use a knife or vegetable peeler to get it started at the bottom) and that helps take out bitterness.
Rolling out of bed and checking my iPhone’s Weather Channel app resulted in a decision to take a rain check on today’s Farmer’s Market Thursday. The 60-70% chance of rain was too much for me to gamble – what if by the time the farmer’s market opened, it got rained out?
Instead, I went to my local grocery market and picked one ingredient to base a dish around. I headed straight to the greens….. the big leafy ones! And what first caught my eye? Broccoli rabe.