When in doubt, make pasta.

Sausage, kale, and caramelized pasta in a spicy Dijon sauceI love the combination of hot sausage and Dijon mustard. It’s a very common combination found on charcuterie platters with different kinds of meats and cheeses or even in German food. The saltiness from the sausage, the tanginess from the mustard… It just seems to work.

Tonight I made a Dijon mustard-dressed spicy sausage, kale, caramelized onion pasta.
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East meets west.

Shiitake and green bean parsley pesto rotiniI love trying to mix and match ingredients that may unseemingly go together with others (ie. Asian ingredients in Western food and vice versa) and to find that they totally work. Let’s see… some examples… Lamb with cumin? Cheese ramen? Maple bacon? Miso butterscotch? They work. It works. So when my friend Abby posted a recipe for a vegetarian carbonara that had spinach, shiitake, tofu, and asaparagus (or something along those lines), I immediately thought “What’s shiitake doing in there? Weird.” Call me sheltered, but I’ve only ever had shiitake mushrooms in Asian dishes, specifically Chinese cuisine. But then the more I thought about it the more I wanted to make a dish like that thus, my shiitake mushroom and green bean parsley pesto rotini was born.

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Spanakopita pasta.

Spanakopita pastaIt’s been a while since I’ve had Greek food. The last time that I could recall having Greek food was back on my vacation last year in Montreal at Marven’s, this wonderful family-run establishment in the town of St. Laurent. It was comforting, cheap on the wallet, and the portions were generous. Although I thoroughly enjoyed their huge, onion ring-sized calamari and tasty rib steak, I was disappointed (and much too full) that I didn’t get to try their spanakopita.

Spanakopita, or spinach pie, is one of my favourite Greek dishes. Spinach, dill, feta, onions and lemon are carefully contained in a delicate multilayered phyllo pastry that is rich, flaky and delicious. I wanted to recreate this flavour without mucking around with the fuss of buying and layering all that phyllo pastry.

The solution? Pasta. Duh. I present you with spanakopita pasta.

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