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Pasta and Noodles

Comida Latina, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chipotle Cream

October 17, 2017
Baked spaghetti squash takes on a whole new meaning when draped in fiery chipotle cream sauce and sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs and Cotija cheese.

We had a couple of crisp days last week. Well as crisp as the air gets in early October in Southern California, let’s just say I needed a sweater…a light sweater.

Anyway, during those slightly chilly evenings I got the urge for all things rich and creamy and belly warming. I rarely do cream-based things around here due to the fact that I’m the only one who likes it and/or can eat it, but when the urge strikes, I find it’s best to just go with it before it becomes unwieldy and wildly out of control and the next thing you know you’ve eaten a pound of pasta covered in straight cream, parmesan, and butter—not that I’ve ever done that, I’m just saying, it could happen.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, right. So I wanted something rich and creamy, but also spicy and soul-satisfying so I turned to my favorite thing about fall, squash, and got to work. Do you have a favorite fall fruit/vegetable? The thing you wait all year for? Mine is absolutely the hard-skinned squashes of fall..all of them.

Baked spaghetti squash is much lighter in texture than other varieties so it was the perfect vehicle for the smoky, spicy chipotle cream sauce. Baked spaghetti squash is super easy to pull off, the hardest part is cutting the darn thing open—a heavy, sharp knife is essential. Then just scoop out the seeds, rub with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and let the oven do the work.

While the squash is baking, sweat some onions and garlic and chopped chipotles en adobo in olive oil until soft and sweet, add the cream and thin a little with veggie broth so the cream isn’t overwhelming. If you don’t mind about keeping it veggie, you could use any kind of broth you want, also a little white wine would be nice here too. Once the sauce has simmered a little bit, you can blend it nice and smooth if you’d like. Leaving it as is, is just fine too.

Shred the squash into thin strands with a fork and gently mix with the sauce. Sprinkle each dish with crunchy toasted breadcrumbs, thin slices of scallion and a crumbling of sharp Cotija or grated Parmesan would be nice here too. Also cilantro, if you’re into to that kind of thing.

There you go. A dinner for when you need a little hug in the form of cream, spice, and cheese.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chipotle Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2-3 pounds
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 chipotles en adobo, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle the cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake in oven until knife tender and shreds easily with a fork, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chipotles and cook a minute more. Add cream and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. Add teaspoon of salt, taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan. Add breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until toasted and golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. To serve: Shred squash into strands, add to cream sauce and gently fold to coat in sauce. Divide between four plates, top with toasted breadcrumbs, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and Cotija cheese.


Seeded Pull-Apart Rolls

Roasted Beet and Green Olive Salad

Sweet Molasses Apple Pie

One More Thing

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Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

10 Recipes To Try This Week

July 31, 2016
10 Recipes To Try This Week

¡Happy Sunday Amigos!

Oh my, what a crazy summer it has been! I’ve lost count of how many Sundays I’ve missed spending with you. There has been so much I’ve been wanting to share; about the move, about Louisa turning eight (she got her ears pierced guys—at Claire’s; where else?! I’ve been wanting to talk with you about the political scene and hear your thoughts on all this gun violence and the fear that comes in its wake. About how Hiro wanted to take his toy gun to the park and I said no because it looked too much like a real one—Mother’s are you with me? Is that where we’re at now?

What are your plans for the week? Heading out on vacation? Where to? I want to know hear all about it when you get back! We are staying put (Thank God!). I feel like I haven’t stopped moving since May. If you are looking ahead to a week at home with mouths to feed, I’ve got 10 new recipes you’ll want to make. Have a great week everyone! xoxo, Kate

  1. Mondays are made for nachos. Nachos Al Pastor from Host the Toast
  2. Part sorbet, part semifreddo, all of it frozen and delicious. Watermelon Lime Bars from Not Without Salt
  3. Have you ever had socca? These are like a very thin version with crispy edges. Homemade Chickpea Flatbread from Food In Jars
  4. File this one under; how I’m going to use up avocados this week. Requeson Stuffed Avocados with Pistachios and Sesame Seeds from Nibbles and Feasts
  5. Made a big batch of these for Louisa’s birthday party. Killer drink guys. Ginger Beer Cherry Vodka Soda from Half Baked Harvest
  6. Soup in the summer? I know, but this is for the mid-week-comfort-food-blues. Mexican Pasta Soup with Vegetables from Mexico In My Kitchen
  7. Combining my two favorite summertime foods into one delicious mash-up. BLT Potato Salad from Heather Christo Cooks
  8. Here’s what you are going to take to your sister’s BBQ next week. Tart Cherry Tabbouleh from Love and Lemons
  9. Okay, I’ll admit, the name alone makes me love this recipe. But then there’s the cilantro, and chiles, and so much citrus…..Papi Chulo Sauce from Honestly Yum
  10. Call all your friends and plan a party next weekend. Your menu can be found here: Mexican BBQ Menu from Mexican Food Memories

Photos Via

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes, Soups and Stews

Spring Sopita de Letras: Foodies Fighting Hunger

May 3, 2016
Sopita de letras is a Mexican vegetable soup made with alphabet pasta loved by kids and grown-ups alike. It is a healthy, easy, and budget-friendly dinner.

We’re gonna step back from the all day-every day Cinco de Mayo fiesta for just a minute. Hope that’s okay.

I’ve got something a bit more serious but very near and dear to my heart that I want to share with you today. A few weeks ago I was asked by the forever lovely, Whitney from Jewhungry,  if I wanted to join in a collaboration with other food bloggers to talk about a silent but growing issue in our society: hunger.

It goes without saying that as someone who thinks of basically nothing but food this is a topic that concerns me a great deal. More importantly as a mama of her own babies it pains me to no end to think about other kids, just like mine, who aren’t getting enough to eat in this very wealthy country.

Spring Sopita de Letras Recipe

What Whitney was proposing is that as talented recipe developers, we food bloggers could come up with meal ideas that would cost very little money (around $5) to pull off. We could also use our voices to spread the reality of what life is like for 15.3 million American children and hopefully urge our readers to take action and help fill the gap wherever we can.

We have teamed up with MAZON, a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger in the United States. They have given us the information we need to make this campaign accurate and help us find ways to stop this growing problem.

Here’s the facts:

  • 1 in 7 Americans don’t get enough to eat. Just take a look at this interactive map that shows how many food insecure households reside in your state.
  • Hunger exists even in a country abundant with food. It is a political problem that doesn’t allow equal access to healthy food.
  • Local charities and food pantries cannot keep up with demand.
  • Even military families are going hungry. Marine and Naval bases hold regular food distributions to families living on their grounds.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Tell Congress to end hunger for military families now.
  • Invest and improve child nutrition programs.
  • Share this information with your loved ones so we can spread the word about this tragic epidemic.

Spring Sopita de Letras Recipe

I wanted my recipe to be something comforting, filling, and fun. This is a simple, but delicious soup that my kids adore, because of the little letter-shaped pasta. It makes enough for 4 generous or 6 smaller servings so you could feed a few people on a little bit of money. I will admit the ingredients did go a bit over my $5 budget but you could leave some things out if you are working with very limited funds.

The necessary ingredients are oil, onion, salt, tomato paste, and small pasta shapes. You could make the soup with just these 5 things and it would still be good. The others are extras that boost the flavor  but are optional and could even be substituted with different dried herbs or vegetables or whatever you have on hand. You could absolutely used frozen or canned vegetables too if that’s all you had.

Spring Sopita de Letras Recipe

Want more ingenious ways to make $5 into something wonderful? Check out these other recipes from the other Foodies Fighting Hunger:

Ramen Alfredo with Fresh Herbs from Jewhungry

Rice Bowl with Egg from Cooking In Heels

Black Beans and Cheesy Tortillas from A Nutritionist Eats

Vegan Kale Tortilla Salad from Greens & Fries

Crustless Veggie Frittate from Kosher Like Me

Avocado Toast with Foolproof Soft Boil Egg from The Kosher Spoon

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats from Let’s Eat Cake

Roasted Tomato Galette from A Jew’s Bouche

Dessert for Two

Fried Green Tomato Sabich from What Jew Wanna Eat


Spring Sopita de Letras Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I've used dried chick peas here for economical and flavor reasons. You can cook them straight from dry but they are going to take a little while (about 2 hours) to soften. You can soak them overnight and this will reduce the cooking time by about an hour or you can substitute a 15-ounce can, drained. If you use the canned chick peas add them at the end with the pasta. The alphabet pasta is super cute and kids love it. Use any small shaped pasta, like orzo, for a more grown-up version.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup dried chick peas, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (15-ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) bag alphabet pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook another minute.
  2. Add chick peas, bay leaf, oregano, and chicken broth. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook until chick peas are soft, about 1½ -2 hours.
  3. Add pasta and cook until just tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add peas and cook one minute more. Add about 1 tablespoon salt and a sprinkling of black pepper. Taste and add more if needed.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

10 Recipes To Try This Week

March 19, 2016
10 Recipes To Try This Week

What’d ya do this weekend? After being out of town all week Armando finally returned home last night just in time to watch all of us perform in our mini dance recital which is happening today (!)

I have not been in a dance recital in over 20 years so it’s a little surreal. As you get older life is punctuated by too few of these types of events where you are doing something simply for sheer pleasure. And I love, love, love watching the kids, of course. Anyway, wish me luck!

Back in real life we still have to get dinner on the table seven nights next week!! Here’s some ideas if you’re tired of eating leftovers or more accurately plain pasta (holla, parents of the world!)


I like any kind of breakfast taco, but these look soooooper good! Austin-Style Breakfast Tacos from Salt and Wind

Love the crunch, crunch, crunch of this salad. Jicama, Radish, and Cucumber Salad from Muy Bueno

If you’ve never had chilaquiles, you must try them this week. Chilaquiles from Spoon Fork Bacon

Cheese and crackers is definitely dinner, especially when you make your own homemade crackers, you fancy-pants, you. Homemade Fruit and Nut Crisps from Girl versus Dough

Um, yep! Hibiscus Jam Cocktail from Sweet Life

Move over avocado toast. Harissa Roasted Carrot Toast from Naturally Ella

Fun fact; Snickers is my favorite candy bar. Second? Tie between Heath and Butterfinger. Vegan Snickers Cheesecake from Minimalist Baker

I’m always on the hunt for new breakfast options. Oatmeal Bake with Strawberries and Banana from Nibbles and Feasts

I’m not hardcore enough to eat a plate of spiralzed anything but mixed with actual pasta and I’m totally game.  Spaghetti and Spiralized Zucchini with Pesto from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

This salad will make you feel like an adult again. Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toast from Not Without Salt

Image via

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

Heirloom Tomato Guajillo Pasta with Tuna

September 5, 2015
How to make a delicious heirloom tomato and guajillo pasta with tuna recipe for a healthy weeknight meal using the best of summer's ingredients.

Is it strange I feel things have slowed down a bit since everyone went back to school? Maybe it’s because they’ve all left me (even little Hiro) and there are moments of silence during the day that this house hasn’t experienced since early May.

Heirloom Tomato Guajillo Pasta with Tuna

But Louisa will start swim lessons soon and we are leaving in a couple days for Michigan to take The Professor’s work to ArtPrize (!) and before I know it things will ramp up significantly. So its best to start stocking up on some pantry staples that can be thrown together last-minute-style for easy weeknight dinners.

Guajillo Chiles

This simple pasta is a riff on one of my favorites from Pati Jinich’s cookbook Pati’s Mexican TableThe list of ingredients are interesting but so very easy to pull off and as long as you stock dried guajillo chiles in your cupboard and grow heirloom tomatoes and Italian parsley in your backyard (as we all do) then you should already have everything you need to pull this off (in the time it takes to help a second grader with her math homework).

Guajillo Pasta


Heirloom Tomato Guajillo Pasta Recipe with Tuna
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe inspired by Pati Jinich
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles, rinsed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans albacore tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Once boiling add pasta and cook for 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain pasta.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add garlic and guajillos and fry for 30 seconds to a minute, don't let burn. Add pasta and reserved cooking liquid and toss to coat. Season with salt then add tuna, tomatoes, and parsley. Toss to combine and serve.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

Fideo + 10 Pantry Essentials for Easy Weeknight Meals

January 19, 2015

Recently a friend asked me if there was some secret to making fast, easy weeknight meals. She was in a cooking rut and was looking for inspiration. I thought it was such a great question because while I don’t pretend to be holding any magical secrets I do have an arsenal of recipes that I intuitively know and make without any planning as long as I have certain ingredients in the house.

So (aside from olive oil, salt, and pepper) here are my 10 ingredients I can’t live without, some recipe suggestions, plus a tried an true quick, easy recipe for Mexican Fideo, which can either be considered an extra saucy pasta or a thick tomato soup with noodles, whatever you want to call it, it is comfort food at it’s best.

1. Jasmine Rice

Jasmine Rice

We have steamed rice at least twice a week, usually as a side to round out a meal. If you have a rice steamer—use it! Here’s a trick that will give you perfect rice every time: for 4 servings place about 1- 1/12 cups of rice in the pot of the rice steamer. Rinse it two or three times then fill it with enough water to just cover you fingernail when you insert your finger into the water and touch the surface of the rice. Cover it and let the rice steamer do it’s work.

2. Pasta


I always have at least 3 or 4 types of pasta on hand. Pasta will make a meal out of just about anything. Adding butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper is about the most comforting food known to man but tomato sauce is also good (and healthier). If you have pasta, you have dinner.

3. Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes

High-quality whole canned tomatoes (bonus if they are homegrown) are essential to homemade pasta sauce, which along with pasta (of course) is a meal we have at least once a week. Every home cook should have a tomato sauce recipe memorized because I have yet to taste a store bought version that is better. Here’s a good one to start with: Basic Tomato Sauce.

4. Aromatics (Onions and Garlic)


You will need onions and garlic to make any meal taste better; soup, chili, stew, stir-fry, all rely on onions and garlic. Having carrots and celery on hand is not a bad idea either.

5. Two or Three Fresh Vegetables


I am always trying to get my kids to eat more veggies, so I try to keep the ones they like on hand at all times. Right now my kids are into carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and spinach so I try to have that in the house at all times, cutting up a few raw vegetables is an easy and totally acceptable side.

6. One or Two Kinds of Protein


In the real world I probably make three to four meals a week then eat leftovers the rest of the time, so one or two kinds of protein should be enough for one week. Many quick-cooking proteins like pork chops or steaks make easy meals, all you need is salt and pepper, a hot pan, and some olive oil. Serve it with the steamed rice and veggies we discussed and you’re good to go. If you are vegan, beans are an excellent option, so is tofu.

7. Broth


I buy broth by the case. Broth stretches a can of beans and some veggies into a soup, makes braising a snap, and is essential for re-heating leftovers.

8. Eggs


Eggs really are a magical food. It has been scientifically proven that topping any leftover with a fried egg makes it astronomically more appealing, plus there is no more satisfying dinner than breakfast.

9. Beans


Hoarding a few cans of beans in your cupboard is always a good idea (unless you despise the taste of canned beans, then I’d go with bags of dried). When I’m at a loss for dinner I gussy up a can of beans with some sautéed onions and garlic and little cumin and coriander and serve it with some steamed rice and a hard boiled egg and maybe some sautéed spinach if I’m feeling especially generous.

10. Tortillas


We always have either corn or flour tortillas in the house. Leftover chicken or steak can be reheated with some sautéed onions and garlic and made into instant tacos, not to mention quesadillas and breakfast burritos—two other excellent quick dinner options.

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? What are your 10 essentials? Share with me in the comments, I’d love to know.


As for the fideo, it is one of my kid’s favorite meals that they request every time their Nana comes to visit. It is also known as sopa seca or dried soup because the thin, vermicelli-like noodles soak up all the rich tomatoey broth making it more of a pasta dish than a soup. Even better it comes together in less than 30 minutes using the ingredients I just listed, making it another good option for a weeknight dinner.


Yield: 4 servings

Look for the Mexican-brand fideo noodles. They are shorter than Italian-style vermicelli or angel hair pasta. They can be found in the Mexican section of most grocery stores.

If you want to add a little spice, a half teaspoon or so of ground chipotle chili powder is nice.


  • 7 1/2 ounce package Fideo or vermicelli pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. If using vermicelli place in a bowl and break into about 1-inch pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add fideo and toast, gently moving the pasta around in the oil until it changes color, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside. It's okay if a few noodles remain.
  3. Add onion to the oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes, broth, and oregano. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Add salt and sugar.
  4. Blend tomato mixture with a immersion blender, or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot and add more salt or sugar if necessary. Add noodles and stir to coat. Let sit a minute or two or until noodles are tender, then serve.

Comida Latina, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes, Side Dishes

Green Chile Mac + Cheese with Chive Breadcrumbs

November 3, 2014

Heeelllooooooooo Friends!

As you can see I’ve survived the weekend and did not go into a sugar coma from the intoxicating amount of fun-sized candy bars I ate. It might have been enough to increase my chances of diabetes in the future but I’m hoping for the best.

How was your Halloween and then Dia de los Muertos? Ours was fun, then bittersweet, then fun again….ahhh the roller coaster that is life.

I made the poor children wear their snow suits and snow boots under their Halloween costumes because it was somewhere in the vicinity of 30°F that night. They were champs about it and only complained slightly—The Professor on the other hand……….let’s just stay we didn’t visit too many houses, but they had fun and I—I mean they got lots of chocolate (see above).

I’m kinda pooped from all the festivities and feel like some good cheesy carbs are kind of the answer, don’t you? Mondays are rough, and carbs make everything better so let’s look forward to spicy mac and cheese at the end of our day, never hurts.

Here’s wishing everyone a great week and stay tuned because now that its November I can freely bombard you with Thanksgiving options. Consider yourselves warned.

Green Chile Mac + Cheese with Chive Breadcrumbs

Yield: 8


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) cream cheese
  • 8 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups grated) chihuahua cheese or white cheddar
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pound short pasta, such as macaroni, orecchiette, or penne
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives


  1. Heat oven to 375°F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, until all milk has been added. Bring to a simmer and add half the cheese. Stir until melted, then add remaining cheese, chiles, salt, mustard, and onion powder. Stir until all the cheese has melted and mixture is well combined. Remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 3-4 minutes less than is instructed on the package. Drain and return to the pot. Add sauce and stir to coat. Transfer pasta mixture to the baking dish.
  5. Place breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Melt remaining butter and pour over breadcrumbs. Add chives and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Evenly spread breadcrumbs over the pasta and place in the oven.
  6. Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Turn broiler to high and place under broiler until crumbs are golden and crisp, about 3-4 minutes.

Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

You Look Good: Zucchini {you too summer squash}

August 14, 2013
 This landed on my doorstep this week. I’ve been zucchini bombed. This is the third time this has happened this summer—not that I’m complaining—but now I have to do something with all this beautiful squash. So far I’ve made three iterations of zucchini bread, green coconut curry with summer squash and eggplant, countless zucchini pastas (my favorite was with fresh chiles and mint) and have served them grilled topped with chimichurri. I have a feeling I’m not alone in my summer squash overload so I’ve scoured the web and come up with 10 more great ideas for all that zucchini bounty.

Dang zucchini….you look good (you too summer squash)

1. Zucchini Crumble from The Yellow House
2. Zucchini Parmesan Sliders from Take a Megabite
3. Green Machine Pizza from Weelicious
4. Chicken Breasts with Zucchini Pappardelle from The Bitten Word
5. Zucchini Chocolate Olive Oil Bread from A Sweet Spoonful
6. Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches from Oh My Veggies
7. Curried Zucchini, Chicken, and Goat Cheese Rolls with Cashew Mango Fried Rice from Half Baked Harvest
8. Zucchini Pizza with Green Chutney from Food Fashion Party
9. Shredded Zucchini Salad from Nami-Nami
10. Bacon and Zucchini Risotto from Abbe’s Cooking Antics

Dairy Free, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

July 10, 2013

Blogs seem to be heavy with summer travel these days and we are no different. The whole fam’ just returned from a week out in the wild west complete with a 4th of July parade filled with faux jail floats, mountain men covered in raw hide, and horses—234 of them to be exact.

4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

There’s something particularly patriotic about spending the nation’s birthday in a place that feels as if it could’ve been settled yesterday. Especially when we decide to partake in firework viewing from the open tailgate of our Volvo in a Walmart parking lot—doesn’t get much more American than that.

4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

But now we are home, I’ve got an inch of dirt under my fingernails from all the weeds I had to dig out of the garden and on a walk today some random guy said hello to my kids and then said “¡Hola! They probably understand that better, huh.”   What?!

4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Anyway, I’m still recovering from spending 12 consecutive hours in the car with my children one (who shall remain nameless) only slept a grand total of 33 minutes the entire time. And I’m in no mood to make the über gourmet meal I usually whip together so I’m falling back on this deliciously simple pasta that I like to make with the herbs from the garden. I use spinach as the backbone for this pesto-esque sauce and then add whatever herbs are plentiful, so feel free to switch it up, tarragon, oregano, or arugula would be good here as well.

4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

The best thing about this pasta is I can make the sauce and toss it with the pasta in the afternoon then just loosely cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit out at room temperature until dinner time. This gives the pasta a chance to soak up all the herby goodness from the sauce and when we are ready to eat all I have to do is toss in the tomatoes, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some pine nuts and we are ready to eat.

4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Yield: 6


  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound rigatoni or other tubular pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • chive blossoms for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine spinach, mint, basil, chives, half of the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Turn machine off, scrape down the sides and pulse again until sauce is smooth. Add more salt or lemon juice as needed then either set aside until pasta is cooked or transfer to a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to cooking pot. Add about 3/4 of the herb sauce and toss, adding more if pasta seems dry. This pasta can be served hot, room temperature, or cold, but I think it is best at room temperature. After you've mixed the pasta with the sauce, spoon it out onto a large platter and cover loosely with plastic wrap (you can let it sit out for an hour or so). When ready to serve toss in the tomatoes, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and chive blossoms.
  3. If you'd rather have it hot, just toss the tomatoes in immediately and drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the pine nuts and blossoms onto each serving.
  4. If you'd like it cold, just stick it in the fridge, covered, after you've added the sauce. Then once it is chilled, toss in the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the nuts and blossoms on top.

Dairy Free, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Sausage, and Yellow Wax Beans

October 19, 2011
 This summer I increased my gardening two-fold. That is to say last year I had no garden and this year I have two. I guess I’m making up for lost time.

While I increased my gardening by two I did not increase my knowledge of gardening. Research? Planning? Why would I do that? Don’t you just plant a seed, water it, and voilá? More or less.

It wasn’t that I was unsuccessful, more like unaware that if you plant 3 watermelon plants and 3 cantaloupe plants they will take over your entire garden in a creepy, crawly, sort of way and kill off your basil, cauliflower, and chives.

I did however manage to have an overwhelming crop of swiss chard as you may have noticed from this recipe, and this one.  Luckily, chard makes me feel like I’m being healthy and nice to myself so I don’t mind cooking it up for dinner.

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Sausage, and Yellow Wax Beans

Yield: 4


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 12 ounces hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 3 cups packed, chopped swiss chard
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sausage and brown, breaking up with the back of the spoon while cooking. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add beans and stock and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until beans are just tender, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, and return pasta to the pot.
  3. When beans are barely tender, add chard and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and pour sausage mixture over pasta, add parsley and more pasta water if it seems dry. Toss together to combine and serve, drizzling each bowl with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese if desired.