Prosciutto, Tomato & Olive Pasta

Prosciutto, Tomato & Olive Pasta

There’s something about Italian sliced meats, I really cannot describe my obsession, but anytime I see prosciutto on a menu, I need to order whatever entree ends up containing my salty friend. So obviously, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate these delicious meats into meals I can make at home. Normally, I end up pilling prosciutto slices nearly sky high on sandwiches (do you notice at restaurants how skimpy they are with it??), but when I saw this recipe pairing the protein with pasta, I knew I had to try it! This recipe definitely brings the flavor- I am a big fan of Italian ingredients, so olives plus tomatoes plus my favorite protein made this a big winner. Bill on the other hand, refers to these as “Lauren” flavors, so he wasn’t as convinced. But that’s nothing a pile of prosciutto can’t fix!

Prosciutto, Tomato & Olive Pasta

ingredients:

1 lb linguine, or your choice of pasta
8 cups cold water
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 shallots, finely minced
1 cup black olives, pitted
3 to 4 roma tomatoes, diced
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
2.5 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated
6 oz prosciutto

Prosciutto, Tomato & Olive Pasta

directions:
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. When it boils, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package instructions, stirring often to loosen up the sticky strands.

Drain the cooked pasta, but save about 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.

Set the same pot over medium heat with and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, lower heat to medium-low and saute garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to medium, add olives, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes. Next add the wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and butter until dissolved.

Put the pasta back in the pot and gently mix until each strand is coated in the sauce. Add reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too dry. Toss with Parmesan cheese and garnish with prosciutto slices.

Recipe from Tartine & Apron Strings.

Brie & Jalapeno Jelly Toast

Brie & Jalapeno Jelly Toast

I’m all about easy appetizer options, especially when I’m packing them for a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. I discovered these adorable brioche toasts at Trader Joe’s and knew they would be the perfect vessel for whatever cheese combination I ended up going with… Brie is always a safe choice when it comes to apps on the go, so I opted for a rectangular slicing brie and the perfect sweet and spicy jalapeno jelly. The combination is actually genius! You’ve got hearty grains in the toast, just the right amount of heat in the jelly and a creamy cheese to balance everything else out. What are some of your favorite toast appetizer combos?

Brie & Jalapeno Jelly Toast

ingredients:
Brioche Toasts
Jalapeno Jelly
Slicing Brie

Brie & Jalapeno Jelly Toast

directions:
Spread jalapeno jelly on top of brioche toasts and top with a slice of brie before serving.

Brie & Jalapeno Jelly Toast

Obsessed Much: Red O Happy Hour

Red O Happy Hour

Red O
1541 Ocean Ave., Suite 120
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-1600

I’ve been to the original Red O location a few times for both brunch and dinner and have always been blown away by the service and quality of the food. When I heard they had opened a new location in SM, I knew I had to check it out – especially for their amazing HH (4-6:30PM everyday)! Since I was promoted to Accounting Manager, we decided to stop by happy hour for a celebratory dinner and not feel bad racking up a big tab ($90 for the two of us, 2 drinks each and we both left stuffed) since it was a special occasion after all. :]

The restaurant itself is on Ocean Ave and is very bright and airy. When we arrived around 5:30pm on a Friday, there were plenty of high tops available in the bar and we were seated right away. Our waitress was extremely attentive in asking if we needed anything when she walked by, taking drink orders before HH ended and making sure our old plates got cleared as new ones were added to the table.

Red O Happy Hour

Classic Guacamole – $5 HH – Great price for a healthy helping of guac to pair with your free chips and salsa

Red O Happy Hour

Mary’s Duck Taquitos – $7 HH – If you are a taquitos fan, you will not be disappointed, these are served warm and crispy without feeling heavy and greasy

Red O Happy Hour

Ahi Tuna Tostadita – $8 HH – Sushi grade ahi tuna is all you need to know – these are delicious and probably my favorite thing on the HH menu!

Red O Happy Hour

Classic Albacore Ceviche – $8 HH – Jam packed with flavor, plantain chips are interesting and definitely balance all the different components in the ceviche

Red O Happy Hour

Soft Tacos – Carnitas, Shrimp & Short Rib – $6 for two tacos HH – skip the shrimp, if you’re only ordering one set, opt for the short rib, the crispy thin potatoes bring these tacos to the next level!

House Margaritas – $7 HH – Well balanced flavor, they can make it spicy for no extra charge.

Let me know if you ending giving Red O’s Happy Hour a try!

BB&B Rating 5//5

Soba Noodles + Kimchi Vegetables

Soba Noodles + Kimchi Vegetables

So I kind of cheated on this recipe by buying kimchi veggies instead of actual marinating and fermenting my own. Sometimes it’s just easier to take the hint in the recipe and save yourself a day of work 🙂 Eventually, I will actually make the veggies from scratch, but for now this is a super easy dish to whip up for a picnic or potluck. I actually prepped this recipe a day ahead of time and brought it on a weekend camping trip. The noodles and veggies really soaked up the sesame sauce and even when stored in an ice chest, the dish kept well and was a great lunchtime treat post hike.

Soba Noodles + Kimchi Vegetables

ingredients:
16 oz soba noodles
2 cups kimchi vegetables, homemade or store-bought
4 scallions
1/2 salted roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup sesame vinaigrette (recipe below)

Soba Noodles + Kimchi Vegetables

directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles, bring the water back up to a boil and cook according to package directions.

Drain the noodles in a colander. Immediately rinse with cold water to wash off any starch or gumminess from the noodles.

Combine the soba noodles with the kimchi vegetables, vinaigrette, scallions and peanuts. Toss well to coat and evenly distribute the ingredients.

vinaigrette:
1 large egg yolk
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup canola oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

In a blender combine the egg yolk, garlic, mustard, soy, vinegar and sesame oil. Blend on medium speed for a few seconds, then reduce speed to low. Slowly add the canola oil until emulsified. Pour into a mason jar and mix in sesame seeds.

Yields 1 cup

Soba Noodles + Kimchi Vegetables

Kale Caesar Salad


I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s, mainly because they offer so many prechopped, precooked options to make your cooking or salad combining that much easier. We spent last weekend in Lake Tahoe and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was go to the grocery store and meal prep for a few hours. Instead I opted for some “just chicken” strips and the remaining Caesar salad ingredients and had some delicious salads for tomorrow’s lunch ready in less than 10 minutes.  Kale always seems like a scary salad base, but if you have the time to let the kale marinate in your dressing of choice, you’ll find yourself reaching for kale instead of the spinach or spring greens blend.


ingredients:
2 cups kale
1/2 cup chicken breast, cooked and sliced
2 Tbsp red onion
2 Tbsp Caesar dressing
1/4 cup garbanzo beans
2 Parmesan crisps, whole or crumbled
Parmesan cheese, shredded to top


directions:
Combine kale, chicken, onion, garbanzo beans and dressing in a bowl. Toss throughly to ensure that dressing is evenly distributed. Refrigerate overnight to marinate and soften kale. Top with Parmesan crisps and shredded Parmesan to serve.

Serves 1 // 350 calories