Spinach Chive Linguine with Chicken Sausage

This is just one one of those meals that I hastily put together for lunch. Sometimes it’s easy to make a dish with a few simple but flavorful ingredients.

I got this Spinach Chive pasta from Trader Joe’s. I liked their lemon pepper pappardelle pasta which I was looking for initially but saw this instead. Since the pasta is already flavored, I thought it doesn’t really need a lot of things added to the sauce to make it taste good.

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Cook the pasta according to package directions. Then set aside. Then get a skillet and saute some bell peppers in 2-3 tbsp olive oil ( I used half a green and half yellow) and a couple of king oyster mushrooms. You may use red or green bell peppers or any other vegetable you may have like zucchini or white mushrooms. Just cook until crisp tender. Remove from pan. Place a couple of chicken sausages (I used spicy Italian but you can use whatever type sausage you want) in the same pan that has been cut up and cook until done and brown on all sides. Put back your vegetables and stir. Then add your pasta, toss to combine. You may add some pasta water and a bit of olive oil to finish off the dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I served this with some rustic whole wheat bread.

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Instant Ramen Fried Rice

This is the new food craze that has been sweeping Japan early this year. I honestly didn’t know about it until I read an article on Serious Eats, a food blog I have been following for many years now. It may sound unpalatable when you think about it, but during these times we can’t afford to be picky and may be the survival food we need right now. It’s also a way to dress up your instant cup noodle and maybe even stretch it to serve two people.

You will only need three basic I ingredients: 1 cup noodle, 1 cup cooked rice and an egg.

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To make, pour the contents of your cup noodle in a resealable bag (ziplock bag), and crush the noodles into small pieces. Place it back into the cup and pour just enough hot water to cover the noodles. Set aside.

Heat a skillet and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add one beaten egg and cook it scrambled. Then add your rice and continue stirring until heated through. Pour your ramen and mix together until everything is well combined. I just seasone it with some ground black pepper and a touch of low sodium soya sauce for color (which is optional).

To serve, I packed it into a ceramic bowl and inverted it onto a plate. Serve hot. You may want to dress it more by sprinkling some nori strips on top or drizzling ketchup.

The verdict, it’s not as bad as you think it might be, so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

P.S. the Ramen maker Nissin actually made their very own version where you can read about it here.

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Bucatini Aglio e Olio

I whipped this up when I wanted to have pasta for lunch and didn’t really have a lot of ingredients on hand. This is one of the easiest and simplest pasta dish you can make. You will only need dried pasta, garlic and good quality olive oil.

This recipe is for good for one serving.

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First, cook your pasta according to package directions. I used this guide to measure the portion of a single serve pasta. Don’t forget to salt your water and set aside 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.

Thinly slice 2 cloves of garlic. Take a skillet and place 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and cook your garlic over low heat. It should just gently sizzle while cooking. Then add a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of kosher salt. It is done when the outside edges of the garlic is starting to brown. Add 2 tablespoon of pasta water so that the garlic would stop cooking and prevent it from burning. Let it cook for a bit then add your cooked pasta and the rest of the reserved water. Stir and shake the pan until the sauce thickens creating an emulsion. Add a handful of chopped parsley (optional), toss and stir and serve immediately.

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Chapaguri (Jjapaguri)

Have you ever find yourself feeling hungry after watching a movie or TV show. Being a foodie this almost always happen to me. I have recreated dishes featured from shows I have watched and even blogged about it. One of this is the Netflix series Midnight Diner where I made Tuna Mayo Don and Octopus Sausages.

This noodle dish “Chapaguri” is inspired from the Academy award winning film “Parasite”. It’s been blowing up the internet and other social media platforms with pictures and recipes of it. It’s made from instant noodles topped with steak cubes. It combines two different types of noodles: Chapagetti black bean noodles and Neoguri spicy noodles.

You only need three ingredients to make it: a piece of steak, one packet chapaghetti and one neoguri.

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To make, cut your steak into cubes and season with salt and pepper. Using a thick bottomed skillet or cast iron pan, cook your steak into your desired doneness.

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While your steak is cooking, boil 5-6 cups water in a small pot. Then add the noodles and vegetable packet. Cook for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Drain the noodles but reserve 2/3 cup of cooking water. Add the entire seasoning packet of Chapagehetti and 1/2 of the seasoning packet or Neoguri and reserved water. Cook and stir for about a minute. Add the steak cubes and the oil packet from Chapaghetti and mix until combined.

Transfer to a bowl and serve hot.

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For those who don’t want to be bothered making it themselves, Nongshim has created an instant ramen version of chapaguri.

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Photo via nongshimusa.com

Fetuccine with Salmon Flakes, Avocado and Arugula

I was set on making pasta with smoked salmon for lunch. I have all the ingredients I needed but had to make a last minute change when I realized that my smoked salmon has gone bad already. After a hurried inventory of my pantry, I spied an unopened bottle of salmon flakes. These are the ones I use for making onigiri. For these recipe you will need the following: fettuccine, olive oil, garlic clove, salmon, avocado, arugula, lemon and salt and pepper.

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Cook your pasta according to package directions (I used just enough for two servings). Don’t forget to salt your pasta water.

Get a sauté pan and heat about 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Then add 1-2 cloves minced garlic. Cook until fragrant but don’t let it brown. Add 2 tablespoon of your flaked salmon (You can use leftover baked salmon fillets about 1/4 cup) and the zest of one lemon. Continue cooking until warmed through. Add your cooked pasta and half of an avocado that has been diced. Stir until everything is well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a handful of arugula and remove pan from heat. Carefully mix in your greens. Plate and serve with a slice of crusty bread. I squeezed a slice of lemon on my bowl for an added brightness to the dish.

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Spicy Tuna Pasta with Olives and Capers

This is another recipe that is quick and easy to prepare. The secret to making this dish is using the right kind of canned tuna. I prefer using the Hot and Spicy Century Tuna, which is a Filipino brand. I just supplemented it with another canned tuna in oil since I’m making a big batch of pasta.

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To make, cook 1 pack of spaghetti according to package directions. While your pasta is cooking you can start making your sauce. Heat a pan and add 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil. Then add 2 cloves of finely minced garlic and cook until fragrant, do not let it turn brown. Then add your canned spicy tuna (note: use 2 if making a big batch), 1 small can of black olives, about 2 Tbsp. green olives and 1 Tbsp. capers. Cook until just heated through being careful not to break up the tuna. Place your cooked pasta from the pot directly to your sauce and toss. Add about 1/4 cup of pasta water if it’s a bit dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place is a wide bowl and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and chopped parsley of top. I also like to squeeze a lemon just before serving.

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Spanish Sardines Pasta

Mary Grace cafe is my favorite restaurant in Manila. During our last visit to the Philippines, we ate there several times. I just love their pastas, specially their sardine pasta.

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I have tried to recreate their sardine pasta a couple of times without much success. The pasta becomes too fishy even after adding capers, olives and other spices I can think of. Until I had a sort of epiphany – omitting onions in the recipe. I find that sautéing garlic, onions and tomatoes to make the sauce makes it taste like “Guinisang Sardinas” and this is not the flavor I am aiming for.

To make this dish, you will need a bottle of Spanish sardines in olive oil. I used the Philippine brand San Sebastian which I got at our local Asian grocer.

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Start by cooking your pasta. Take out 1/2 of the dried fettuccine from a 1 lb box and cook according to package directions.

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While your pasta is cooking, heat a pan and add about 4 Tbsp. olive oil. Add two roma tomatoes that has been diced and seeded and 2 cloves of finely minced garlic. Cook until the tomatoes have released a bit of it juices but has not turned mushy. Add 5-6 pieces of baby portabella mushrooms that has been sliced and a small can of black olives. Continue cooking until just heated through. Add half of the contents of the bottled sardines and break it into big chunks while stirring. Then add your cooked pasta from the water to the pan using tongs. Gently toss until pasta is coated with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Place in big bowls and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Serve with a side of garlic bread. This recipe serves two.

Note: you can substitute a can of sliced button mushrooms for the baby portabella

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Malunggay Pesto Pasta with Longganisa

Malunggay a common backyard plant is now getting international attention and is acclaimed to be the next superfood. Aside from having high nutritive value studies show it has a lot of healing properties.

Malunggay is widely used in cooking not only in South East Asia but in South Asia and the Caribbean as well. Fresh malunggay leaves is hard to come by here in the Northeast, though I know that you can get these in most Asian grocers in California.

I chanced upon a bottle of Malunggay Pesto at Legaspi Sunday Market on our trip to Manila last year. The vendor gave a lot of suggestions on ways to use this pesto.

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For this recipe, you only need a handful of ingredients. Your bottled pesto, spaghetti noodles, parmesan cheese, and longganisa.

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Remove 4 sausage (Longganisa) meat from casings, crumble and pan fry in a non-stick pan until brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Sausage meat will render fat so it’s not necessary to add any type of oil during cooking.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions (I only cooked 2 serving portions). Remember to salt your water. Once cooked save a cup of pasta water then drain your spaghetti. Place pasta in a ceramic bowl, add desired amount of malunggay pesto and a handful of grated parmesan cheese and about 1/2 cup pasta water to begin with. Toss everything together until well combined. You will notice that the water helps the sauce to emulsify and become creamy. This is the secret to making creamy pesto pasta without the added grease.

Place your pesto pasta in a deep bowl. Top with more parmesan cheese and a generous portion of your pan fried crumbled longganisa. You can add a handful of baby spinach when tossing your pasta with the sauce for added texture.

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Tuna Pasta with Basil and Tomato

One of my favorites things to do in the Summer is going to our town’s farmer’s market. Tomatoes and Fresh basil are it’s best during this time of the year. I got a pint of cherry tomatoes for less than 4 dollars and a big bunch of basil for 2 dollars. The vendor suggested that I freeze the basil if I won’t be able to use most of it.

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I already have pasta in mind when I bought all those produce from the farmer’s market. To make, cook a pound of spaghetti according to package directions, set aside about 1/4 – 1/2 cup pasta water.

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In a heated pan pour about a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil and add 5-6 cloves of finely minced garlic. Gently fry until fragrant and be careful not to burn it. Then add your cherry tomatoes that is cut in half. Cook until softened and starting to release it’s juices. Then add one can of Hot and Spicy Tuna. I used Century Tuna label which is a Filipino brand, you can use any canned tuna in oil. Carefully stir then add your cooked pasta with the reserved cooking water. Season with salt and pepper. Last, add a generous amount of basil and gently toss. Serve immediately.

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You don’t have to spend a lot to feed your family well. I spent less than 10 dollars for this tuna pasta dish which I served for lunch.

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Chicken Mami

If Japan have ramen, the Philippines have mami. Noodles was introduced and was brought to us and Japan by the Chinese. As history has shown Filipino food is highly influenced by China. Noodles plays a big part in the Filipino food scene.

Chicken mami is considered merienda fare. Before burgers and pizza joints can be found in every street corner of Manila; chicken mami, lugaw, pancit are typically the choice for midafternoon snack.

Making the broth for chicken mami is very straightforward and not as complicated as the soup base for ramen. The traditional way of making the broth for mami is boiling bone in chicken meat in water with several aromatics and spices like onion, garlic, peppercorns and spring onion. I made my broth using leftover rotisserie chicken. First, get your chicken carcass and add about 6-7 cups water, then add 1 medium onion roughly chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbsp. of whole peppercorns. Let this come to a boil and then lower heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain stock, keep warm and set aside.

Take a pack of fresh egg noodles and cook it by boiling in water for about 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in running water if you are not using it immediately.

Place your egg noodle in a deep bowl. Then arrange some shredded chicken breast (I used the leftover from my rotisserie chicken), boiled eggs cut in half, some spring onions and garlic chips on top. I also added a tablespoon of garlic oil as I found it enhanced the flavor of the soup. Then ladle some of your chicken broth and serve immediately. Note: I seasoned my chicken broth with a little bit of fish sauce for some umami.

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