Spaghetti 2 Ways

I’ve been on a cooking spaghetti kick lately.  Here are two kinds I’ve made in the last week.

Above: Pasta With Sardines, Bread Crumbs and Capers from Mark Bittman of the New York Times.  I had this with some vinho verde, my default house white.  Fantastic.

Below: Shiitake carbonara – my own creation.  Super easy.  Sauté some cubed pancetta in some olive oil, add a diced shallot and diced clove of garlic, some hot chili flakes, a pinch of pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika), 3 chopped shiitake, some herbes de provence, and plenty of black pepper.  When things start to brown, turn off heat and whisk in 2 raw eggs, a handful of grated cheese (I used Manchego) and a bit of half and half or cream.  Then add the cooked spaghetti and serve.  That’s it.  This would make a great brunch dish with some champagne, cava or prosecco.  Or even a some of the 8-bit wine I still have around from last fall.

Autumn Pantry Pasta

I improvised this pasta dish tonight out of ingredients in my fridge and pantry that I needed to use up.  Despite the wacky mix of ingredients, it actually tastes delicious!

First I sautéed 4 cloves of garlic, 1 shallot, and 4 scallions in plenty of olive oil, seasoning with some herbes de Provence, freshly ground black pepper, and dried kombu and shiitake-laced sea salt (similar to the Breakaway Cook’s umami salt, but minus the Parmesan).  Then added a bunch of white Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons, a handful of chopped walnuts, and a roughly chopped Fuji apple.  Then I added in a few splashes of 100% pure apple cider from the farmers market and a heaping spoonful of organic white miso.  I let the mixture braise on low heat for a bit until the greens wilted.  Meanwhile, I cooked up the whole wheat penne pasta.  I used the apple and chard mixture to dress the pasta, adding a bit more olive oil, and topping things off with some grated Gruyère cheese and more freshly ground black pepper.