Pike Place Pasta Bar

Its been far too long since I sat down to blog. In the past 6 months I’ve gotten married, bought a house, moved across country, remodeled master bedroom and got a chocolate lab puppy. Needless to say its been an amazing whirlwind. The boxes are finally all unpacked and my wedding presents are ready to be used. I am loving my new pots & pans, knife set, Kitchen Aid food processor and every little gadget. Its great to have a fully stocked kitchen with plenty of storage.

We planted a garden with kale, romaine, swiss chard, cilantro, basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, onions, peppers, and more! I’m looking forward to many fun recipes this summer straight from my garden. My latest obsession is making different variations of pesto. The bright flavors inspired a Pike Place Market Italian Pasta Bar night.

A few weeks ago I was able to host Girl’s Night at my new house! (Check out our great blog). I went shopping at Pike Place Market for fresh wholesome ingredients with a Northwest flair. Here’s my list for a knock out self serve pasta bar that will satisfy any group of friends.

Apps

When guests arrive have the following set out ready to devour with wine;

  • Sliced bread
  • Olive oil (I served garlic and original)
  • Balsamic (I served vanilla fig)
  • Prosciutto wrapped asparagus (recipe below)
  • Beecher’s cheese and crackers
  • Smoked salmon

Dinner

While guests enjoy apps boil your pasta. Make the sauces ahead of time and have toppings ready in bowls;

  • Pasta: A few options like penne & macaroni (short pasta holds up longest)
  • Sauces: Pesto, meat sauce (recipes below) Alfredo (I jazzed up a jar version)
  • Lettuce and dressings
  • Toppings: peas, sundried tomatoes, olives, artichokes (for salad and pasta)

Recipes

Prosciutto Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • Asparagus (go for thicker if possible)
  • Prosciutto: 10-12 pieces thinly sliced
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • Balsamic
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Trim the ends off asparagus
  2. Cut Proscuitto into 1 inch strips
  3. Start at top of asparagus spear and wrap prosciutto around to the end
  4. Place on foil lined baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper
  6. Bake at 415 for 8-12 minutes (depending on thickness) until prosciutto is crisp
  7. Place asparagus on platter and drizzle with balsamic and freshly shredded Parmesan

Pesto

Making pesto is all about individual preference. I like to mix up the herbs used based on what is fresh and available, but the basics are always cheese, garlic, olive oil an herb and nuts.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil – depending on consistency preference (for dip use less, for sauce use more)
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes (optional but nice kick)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup nut option
  • 2-3 cups herb option

Nut Options About 1/4-1/2 cup or to taste of your choice

  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts

Herb Options About 2-3 cups fresh of any of the following (or combo)

  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in blender or food processor
  2. Seasoning as necessary with salt and pepper

Ragu d’Anitra (meat sauce adapted from Serafina restaurant chef)

Ingredients:

  • 6oz smoked bacon
  • 1/2 Lb veal
  • 1/2 Lb ground beef
  • 1/2 Lb sausage
  • 3/4 C chopped onion
  • 1/2 C chopped carrot
  • 1/2 C chopped celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tb chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 Tb dried porcini
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 C red wine
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C heavy cream (milk ok too)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot/dutch oven saute vegetables (carrot, onion, celery) in oil until softened (3-5 min)
  2. Add meats, parsley, salt and pepper and simmer for 35 min
  3. Add wine, porcinis, rosemary and tomato paste and simmer for 2.5 hours
  4. Add heavy cream, check seasonings and serve over pasta

Enjoy!

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