Tag Archives: pasta recipes

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Enjoying the fresh bounty of fresh juicy tomatoes and eggplant is this delicious salad . It’s a great side dish or toss on to some pasta with a little more olive oil and cheese and you have a yummy dinner. Mangia!!

From by the bay, wishing you tomato food memories!


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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad


1 small eggplant, cubed with skin on

1 small onion, chopped

1 large heirloom tomato, chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

fresh grated parmesan cheese

fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. To one sheet at the eggplant and the second the onion. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over each sheet and season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Toss eggplant and onions with the olive and place in the oven until onions start to brown and the eggplant is softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.  Place in a bowl the eggplant, onion and tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar and sea salt and pepper to taste. Place in a bowl or serving platter. Add fresh chopped basil and grated cheese and serve.


Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Here is a classic to enjoy with your next barbecue – Deli style macaroni!  Sometimes, you want to keep it simple. I mixed up the recipe with some Mexican cream because I had some in the refrigerator. If you can’t find Mexican cream you could replace the cream with an additional 1/2 cup mayonnaise with a 1/4 cup sour cream. It all works well.

From by the bay wishing you happy deli food memories!


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Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

1 pound cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup Mexican sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons whole milk

3 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2 onion ,chopped finely

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


In a medium saucepan add the vinegar and sugar and bring to a bowl, dissolving the sugar. In a large bowl add macaroni and pour the sugar/vinegar mixture over and stir. Place in the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Remove bowl from refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

Pasta with Roasted Summer Vegetables

It’s after Labor Day, and the signs of fall are sadly arriving everywhere. Acorns are dropping onto the deck, leaves are gently falling into the pool, evening’s are getting a little cooler and the farmer’s market stalls are starting to fill with up with chrysanthemums and gourds. I am determined to savour the end of summer by snapping up in my shopping basket eggplant and summer squash. Once I arrive home, I enjoy the task at hand , figuring out what I’ll make with all that eggplant and squash. I came up with this easy pasta dish , which is light and delicious and uses alot of fresh eggplant and squash. Roasting vegetables in a little olive oil , can make the most finicky eater love vegetables. I chopped the vegetables into nice little cubes, toss with a little olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and roast in the oven. Next, I saute until crisp some great quality slab bacon or pancetta also cut into cubes. Cook some pasta and use some grated cheese and you have a fantastic meal. Enjoy your last days of summer with some fresh vegetables and savour the moment!

From by the bay, wishing you memorable end of summer food memories!


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Pasta with Roasted Summer Vegetables
Serves Four
8 ounces dried pasta such as tagliatelle or thin spaghetti, cooked according to directions.
2 cups cubed eggplant
2 cups cubed assorted summer squash, such as zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces chopped good quality pancetta or slab bacon, cut into cubes
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cooking water from pasta
fine sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice your eggplant and summer squash into cubes, approximately 1/4 inch in size. Dice your bacon or pancetta into similar size cubes. Line two roasted pans with foil. Place the eggplant cubes on one pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, coating the cubes. On the second pan add the squash, thyme and remaining olive oil. Toss well coating the squash. Place both pans in the oven and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until the vegetables become soft and start to brown. Watch the vegetables as cooking time could vary depending on the cube size. Remove from oven and place in bowl and keep to the side. While the vegetables are roasting in the oven take a medium saute pan and add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Cook the pasta according to directions. Just before straining the cooked pasta, reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Place the pasta in a bowl , add the roasted vegetables, bacon and cheese. Add some of the cooking water to make the sauce creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


blog zucchini pasta

Mediterranean Grilled Clams with Spaghetti

New York City and it’s outer boroughs are a wonderful place to grow up. This is especially true as a young child discovering New York City.  I often think of NY as a collection of neighborhoods strung together, each one unique to discover. It’s amazing how there are all these wonderful locations tucked away ,often, only discovered when someone who inhabits one of these special places, invites you to share in their special world. Rockaway Beach in Queens is such a place. It stretches on a peninsula along the Atlantic Ocean and is the largest urban beach in the United States. The streets are lined with small bungalow houses. Fun fact these bungalow’s are currently being used to film the new HBO show Boardwalk Empire – recreating the rows of bungalows that once existed behind the Atlantic City Boardwalk – another favorite location from my childhood…but that’s another blog entry. This one is about how , as a child , my family would visit one of those cute bungalow’s in Rockaway Beach. The days were filled with sun, sand and clams. We would dig for clams along the beach and then the clams would be cleaned and cooked. It seemed to me that there were endless buckets of clams to eat, the adults would sit drink and laugh and the kids would be running along the beach. It’s here that I ate my first of many clams right out of the shell. This along with memories of wet bathing suits, sand in the bottom of my two piece bathing suit along with great food, laughter and good company lead me to create my clam recipe that I share today with you.

Wishing you the happiest and clammiest of food memories!   Maryann

blog med clam

This is also know as clams in sand as the breadcrumbs in this dish resembles sand when thrown in around the clams , however you would like to refer to this dish it’s a wonderful dish that evokes the seaside. 

Mediterranean Grilled Clams with Spaghetti

Serves 4

To make clams and bread crumb topping:

1 cup toasted bread crumbs

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

¼ cup toasted walnuts, ground

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

36 littleneck clams, cleaned 


Rinse clams with water removing all sand. Fill sink with cool water, add clams and 2 tablespoons salt Let stand for at least a ½ hour. When ready to grill, rinse with cool water again. 

In the meantime in a large bowl, combine all ingredients except clams and mix well. Remove ½ of the mixture and set aside. Heat grill, place clams on grill until they open. Discard any unopened clams. Toss together with the breadcrumb mixture to serve. 

To make spaghetti

1 lb spaghetti cooked 

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemon zest

½ bread crumb mixture

Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Remove from heat and drain. Place spaghetti into a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Place onto a platter. Add the clams and bread crumb mixture on to of the platter of spaghetti and serve. 

Note: You can serve this as a clam appetizer by eliminating the pasta and serving the clams with just the bread crumbs. Serves 6.

Mom’s Red Clam Sauce

My sister Nancy decided this was the weekend for elective surgery on her elbow. I had some time off and could help take care of her. My mom also offered to take care of her little girl. The surgery went well and the recovery was moving along. I thought I would make the most of a weekend shut in by taking the opportunity to cook with Mom one of our favorite comfort food sauces – red clam sauce. This was a sauce which both my mom and grandmother would cook for the family. My mom’s parents were both from Greece. They loved cooking seafood. When they settled in the United States it was in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn so that they could be close to the water. My grandfather was a sailor in his youth, he traveled often to the ports of both Italy and Greece and this is where he learnt to cook. This recipe is from the days of his youth on a carrier ship. Once my grandfather settled with his family in Brooklyn he would go down to the docks for clams and bring them home to be prepared. My grandmother would put up a big pot of this red clam sauce for their large family and their frequent visitors. By the time my mom was making the sauce, she opted for going to the fishmonger to buy shucked clams. Thankfully, this is how I’m preparing the sauce this weekend. Mom and I enjoyed out time discussing the recipe and making it. Perhaps even more important was how wonderful it was to be flooded with happy and loving memories that just tasting this sauce brought back to all three of us!

From by the bay, wishing you the happiest of food memories!
blog clam sauce
Red Clam Sauce
Serves 6
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 bottle clam juice
2 cups water
3 springs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound shucked and chopped clams
1 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. To the onion add tomato paste and mix well. Add the tomatoes, water, clam juice, fresh thyme , dried thyme, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil , reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes partially covered. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers. After the 30 minutes add the cleaned littleneck clams to the sauce and cook until opened. In the meantime, in a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the chopped clams cooking a few minutes. Add the cooked clams and juices into the sauce. Simmer a few more minutes , taste and if needed add the sea salt and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve with cooked linguine, spaghetti or bucatini immediately. 

Enjoying Corn Two Ways :Fresh Corn Pesto with Tagliatelle and Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

blog corn
It’s the beginning of September , Labor Day is this weekend and it’s time to take advantage of the abundance of fresh corn that is still available. Here are two more recipes to try this weekend. Both of these recipes are tasty ways to think of fresh corn beyond eating on the cob. The first recipe is for cooked corn with a fresh zucchini dressing to create a lovely side dish that would compliment any main course. The second  recipe features corn as the main event by creating a corn pesto to use on pasta. Using corn as the base of the pesto makes a sauce that is creamy in texture and very delicious! So run out this weekend, buy some corn and give a try to these recipes . Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
From by the bay, wishing you bright and fresh food memories!

blog corn zuc salad

Fresh Corn  and Zucchini Salad
Serves 6
8 ears of corn, cooked
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1 1/2 cup zucchini or summer squash, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Cut corn off off the cob and place in a bowl. Add to a food processor mint, chives, zucchini, lemon juice , salt and pepper and blend. Slowly add the olive oil and continue to blend to a smooth consistency. Pour dressing on top of corn and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
blog corn pasta
Fresh Corn Pesto with Tagliatelle
Serves 4
6 ears of fresh corn
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
12 ounces tagliatelle 
In a frying pan cook bacon until crisp, drain and place to the side. While bacon is cooking cut the corn off the cob. Once the bacon is done cooking, keep 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat from bacon and place frying pan back onto a medium heat and saute the corn for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Take half of the corn and place into a food processor along with the pecans, remaining olive oil, cheese, basil and salt and pepper and blend until it’s a creamy consistency. Cook pasta as directed, before straining take 1 cup of hot pasta water and place to the side. Place the strained pasta into a bowl, top with the corn mixture, remaining whole corn kernels and 1/2 the pasta water. Mix well. You are looking for a creamy sauce that covers the pasta well, , add more water if needed. Sprinkle the top with crumbled cooked bacon and more parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.