NEW ENGLAND PASTA BAKE
This is like New England Clam Chowder, but baked into a casserole
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 yellow onion, cut into medium dice
1 stalk celery, cut into medium dice
2 carrots, cut into medium dice
Salt and ground black pepper
2 boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
1 1/2 teaspoons, about 6 sprigs, fresh thyme leaves, minced (1/2 teaspoon dried)
3 cans chopped clams and their juice (6.5 ounces each can, divided
1 pound of pasta shells
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Preheat broiler. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.
Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender but not caramelized, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes, thyme, juice of the clams and 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and bring the liquids up to a bubble. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes.
While the veggies are simmering, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook to al dente according to package directions. Just before the pasta is ready, reserve a large mug of starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan it was cooked in.
While the veggies and pasta are cooking, place a medium saucepot over medium heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the milk and 1 cup of starchy cooking water into the roux and bring up to a bubble. Add the clams to the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Reserve warm.
When everything is ready, toss the cooked veggies and prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a large casserole dish.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and grated cheese over the surface of the casserole and brown under the broiler.
VEGETABLE SLOPPY JOES
Sloppy Joes goes vegetarian with this healthy version of an old childhood fave.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Two cans black beans (15 ounces each) , rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and pepper
One can diced fire-roasted or crushed tomatoes (15 ounces each)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lime
4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
2 large dill pickles, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (a generous handful)
In a large skillet, heat the oil, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, jalapeños, red onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the black beans, cumin and coriander; season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Add to the black beans and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve the Sloppy Veg-Head Joe on the rolls. Top with the pickles and cilantro.
Enjoy a light meal with these Sensational Salmon Cakes!
One can salmon (6 ounces), drained
1/2 cup cracker meal or dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dil, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mixed greens, for serving
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lemon
5-10 fresh chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, gently mix the salmon and cracker meal. Mix in the egg, bell pepper and dill. If the mixture is too wet, mix in a bit more cracker meal. Form
the mixture into five 2-inch patties.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook until golden-brown, 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Arrange the salmon cakes on a plate with the mixed greens. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and chives; season with salt and pepper. Serve with the salmon cakes.
Recipes from Rachel Ray