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Summer Pasta with Veggies and Marinated Mozzarella

pasta

This is a very quick, seasonal meal and I get to proclaim that orecchiette is my favorite pasta type ever. Some say ‘little ears’ but I think they look like little UFOs! We used a combination of two tomatoes from the garden and one heirloom local tomato procured elsewhere. I like using orecchiette here, as it is about the same size and shape as all the chopped vegetables.

The sauce is super quick, just tomatoes, veggies, olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. You can marinate your own mozzarella balls or just buy the already-marinated ones. They will melt into the sauce and you will like it.

Summer Pasta with Veggies and Marinated Mozzarella
12 oz Orecchiette Pasta
2 tbsp + more olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 yellow, orange or red bell peppers
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 tomatoes (heirloom or garden fresh are great!)
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp basil, chopped
10 small marinated, fresh mozzarella balls (Boccini), halved
salt & pepper to taste

Start your pasta water (get it boiling). Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the cores and seeds. Push down flat on a foil covered baking sheet and stick under the broiler to roast. Let the skins get . . . → Read More: Summer Pasta with Veggies and Marinated Mozzarella

Grilled Garlic Steak with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce

steak title

This is a meal inspired by a dinner that jwa had at his parents house a little while ago. He had gone down there to help them with some things and returned with tales of steak with garlic in it. Mmmmm…garlic in steak. I was intrigued. Such a great idea!

So, we grilled some up, with the addition of chimichurri sauce and some grilled veggies.

This was also a great opportunity to use out new outdoor grill — I still love it!

For the Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce:
Adapted from a recipe from Bob Blumer, The Surreal Gourmet
1/2 cup lightly packed chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 tbsp shallot or onion, minced
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp sherry wine vinegar, or red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Steak:
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp kosher salt
2 1/2 pounds rib-eye, New York strip, or sirloin steak, 1 1/2 inches thick
3 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers

Preheat your grill. You could also do this inside on a grill pan. If you cook on a grill pan, omit the salted water/cayenne mixture. Just salt the steak before cooking.

steak . . . → Read More: Grilled Garlic Steak with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce

California: The Week in Pictures

California

Mostly pictures of our vacation to California last week. Very good as I am way tired. Goodnight. *snore*

Places mentioned –

Benbow Inn
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Boathouse Vacation Rental
Sea Ranch
Trinks
Redwood Grill

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Mussels with chorizo, tomato and tarragon at the Benbow Inn.

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Benbow Bridge over the Elk River

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More Elk River

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Benbow Inn

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View from our room

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Approaching the Golden Gate Bridge from the North

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On the bridge

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Sea horses at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Sea dragons at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Deck at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Assorted sea creatures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Near the aquarium

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Willow Glen (San Jose) Starbucks at night

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Deck of our vacation rental in Anchor Bay (The Boat House)

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The front of the Boat House

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More front

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More deck (looking out over redwoods and the ocean)

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Trinks Coffeehouse in Gualala, CA

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Sea Ranch coast

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More Sea Ranch

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Stairs on the beach

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Tide pool

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Hanging out on Walk On Beach

. . . → Read More: California: The Week in Pictures

Decadent Pizza Alert: Tarragon Pizza Bianca

pizza

This was really good. I used pizza dough from Pasta Works for this, but you could also make your own (this is a good, easy recipe) or use a store-bought crust. I grilled my squash first and caramelized the fennel. You don’t have to do this. If you don’t, use the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to drizzle over the pizza before you bake it.

I also made a balsamic reduction for another part of the meal but we discovered that it was delicious on the pizza also! The vinegar really helps cut some of the richness of this pizza (and with brie and olive oil, it is mighty rich!) Just pour a little balsamic vinegar in a pot and reduce it for a bit over medium heat. Then proceed to drizzle.

On the side we had some prosciutto-wrapped melon which was amazingly good. Pictures below.

If you are going to cook the squash and fennel first, you don’t have to slice that thinly. If you are using them on the pizza raw, slice them very thinly!

Tarragon Pizza Bianca
Adapted from a recipe in Bon App├ętit, April 2004
pizza dough for one pizza, store bought or home-made
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 . . . → Read More: Decadent Pizza Alert: Tarragon Pizza Bianca