I know, I know… You’re probably thinking: “she definitely missed the boat on that one… Cauliflower Crust is old news!”. And you’d almost be right. After all, it has been around for a bunch of years now, so it is kind of old news. However, I found a way to challenge the “classic” recipe, by removing cheese from the crust. If this recipe is meant to be “healthy”, why make a cheesy dough? It’s no better than flour! So I decided to make my crust dairy-free, so that I could enjoy it without guilt! As you can see, I also wanted it non-soggy, so that slices could be picked up like regular pizza.
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It’s good to be back! Though I had a wonderful Spring Break, it’s time to get back to work, and start cooking again. It’s been a while since I last posted a (pasta) recipe, and I feel like it’s necessary for me to do so, since I eat so much of it! It’s also always good to have an extra recipe to switch things up a bit. So get ready, because this isn’t your typical Caprese salad… For starters, I should admit that I don’t really like pasta salads. Pasta is just so much better when it’s warm, that I never even think of eating it cold. Additionally, the pasta is too often mushy, or completely drowned in sauce. So this week, I decided I’d give a classic, the Caprese Pasta Salad, a little twist and make my delicious *warm* version of it. The star of this recipe is obviously the pesto rosso, or red pesto, which is basically pesto with a mix of fresh and sundried tomatoes. It adds a wonderful touch to the dish and make the flavors and textures of the fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes stand out in contrast. It’s also incredibly easy to make, with ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge or pantry! This recipe makes about two servings of pesto so you can keep the rest in the fridge and add it to scrambled eggs, or a bowl of quinoa the next day. Ti amo, Pesto Rosso… Bon appétit!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the Pesto Rosso: Serves 2
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/6 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 garlic clove
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1/8 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/2-1 tbsp grated romano cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper
Ingredients for the Caprese Pasta:
- 80g medium shells pasta
- 1/2 pesto rosso preparation
- a handful of cherry tomatoes (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (diced)
- chopped fresh basil (optional)
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot, and cook the pasta for the time written on the packaging (mine takes about 9 minutes).
- Meanwhile, make the pesto rosso. In a food processor, add the sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and almonds. Pulse until everything is roughly chopped, and chunky. Next, add the cherry tomatoes, and a light splash of balsamic vinegar. Pulse again, until well combined. Then, add the olive oil with the cheese and keep pulsing. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and pulse until the sauce is creamy and homogeneous. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot, add the diced fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, and toss with the pesto rosso. Top with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Mamma mia how delicious it is!
Not surprisingly, I love food blogs! Which isn’t breaking news considering I have my own. What I mean by that, is that I also spend a ridiculous amount of time reading a lot of them. Seriously though… They’re addicting! I find it way more entertaining than watching TV, or stalking people on facebook. It’s such an amazing source of inspiration! Among my favorite ones, is Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks. If you’ve never been on it, you should definitely take a look and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I actually like it so much that I also bought her book. This quinoa patties recipe is one of my favorites. It’s so perfect that the only changes I made are to use a different cheese and type of herbs. It’s a great quick meal if you have leftover cooked quinoa in your fridge, and you can keep the batter for an extra couple of days and cook the patties to order. Bon appétit!
Prep Time: 20 min
Ingredients: serves 2
- 1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa (cooled down)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 yellow onion (chopped in food processor)
- 1/6 cup grated Romano cheese (you can also use Gruyère or Parmesan)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/6 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tsp olive oil
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked quinoa with the eggs and salt. Next, add the grated cheese, onion, parsley, garlic, and breadcrumbs. Mix well and let the batter sit while it absorbs the liquid. It should be moist, but it should easily hold.
- Next, form patties and heat olive oil in a pan. Cook the patties for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip them over and cook for about another 7 minutes.
- Top with a mashed avocado, good olive oil, fresh mozzarella or chopped tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with tabasco.
TIP: These patties are delicious on their own, but a variety of toppings take them to the next level! I always mix and match them and eat the patties with a big bowl of salad!