After creating my Pine Nut and Parsley Pesto with Grape Tomatoes and Italian Farro recipe a few weeks ago, I was anxious to create another dish using this chewy, pasta-like grain. I also had just picked up a few cartons of some lovely grape tomatoes at my favorite Italian market and was really, really excited to use them (tomato season is here again – yay!). So I created this Italian Farro with Sausage, Grape Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts recipe.
I got the idea to create a shepherd’s pie with a Mediterranean influence by brainstorming about some of the ingredients that traditionally comprise the dish and wondering what I had in my pantry that I could swap for them. “Well, lentils are sort of round, and I have those,” I mused, thinking about what could be a legitimate substitute for corn and peas, two typical components. Not that similarity in shape is necessarily any indication of a sound substitution!
Pesto! I love its rich, pungent flavor. This was my first time creating my own pesto recipe, and I have to say, I was very pleased with the outcome. This pesto sauce is very rich and flavorful without being too strong-tasting.
It was Easter Sunday, a mild, early-spring evening – not exactly the setting that inspires the creation of a traditionally cold-weather recipe. But I really wanted to put the butternut squash languishing in my refrigerator and my last three sweet potatoes to use. So this butternut squash and sweet potato soup was born.
Spring has sprung, allegedly. I woke up to the shock of several inches of out-of-the-blue snowfall yesterday. But that’s spring in Michigan! All in all, the daily temperatures are on the general upswing, and it’s time to start eating lighter (green peas and asparagus and mint and fresh greens, yum . . .).
I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but I often like to eat that way. If you do, too, then you’re gonna love this spicy bell pepper bulgur bowl, which becomes vegan when vegetable stock is used in place of chicken stock.
I decided to do another ricotta quinoa bowl because I loved the Crispy Pancetta Quinoa Bowl that I made last week. And, frankly, I still had some ricotta cheese left. And some mint and some peas I’d been dying to use, and an excitement for the spring equinox this weekend.
Originally when I conceived this recipe, I envisioned using whole-wheat pasta instead of quinoa. But then when I got ready to make it, I was at a point of being O.D.’ed on pasta, having just made a large batch of it and eaten it over the course of several days. So I decided, why not try this with quinoa?