Tag Archives: pasta

What Did You Eat This Ramadan?

During Ramadan, our foodie family has been taking turns cooking iftar meals. These past couple of weeks of making old favorites and trying new recipes has been absolutely fun. Here are our top three dishes that I hope inspire your cooking as we near the end of the holy month.

Nothing beats Mama’s cooking! I mean, she’s the one that has truly inspired us kids to be the foodies we are today. We can’t go through the holy month without Mama’s delicious kushary. A popular Egyptian street food dish that consists of rice, lentils and pasta that’s drizzled with garlic marinara sauce, and topped with crispy fried onions.

What makes my mama’s take different than most traditional takes is that she makes the typical Egyptian rice with vermicelli noodles and uses two kinds of pasta, both spaghetti and salad macaroni. If this isn’t carb heaven, it’s not kushary.

For Mother’s Day dinner, my brother Samy took a risk from his usual steak and curry dishes to make a slow cooked brisket. Alongside all the fixings, it came out pretty good! We’re talking baked potato, roasted tomatoes, garlic and corn as well as a side of sauteed asparagus for good measure.

The meat was tender and seasoned to absolute perfection. Kudos to my brother because I can’t wait for the encore!

Speaking of encores, when I make something the family loves, I’m usually almost asked to remake it. Now when my nephew raved for days about my crispy chicken tenders and waffles -from scratch might I add- I couldn’t say no when he asked for more chicken.

Thus I combined two of his favorites that I’ve made for the family throughout Ramadan into one simple dish. Crispy chicken tenders atop Parmesan penne pasta. I use boneless chicken breasts, cut into four pieces each and use seasoned breadcrumbs. As penne pasta is one of my favorites, I love coming up with varying recipes for it. This one however has always been a favorite with the family, with a light fresh tomato sauce with cheese cooked in the sauce as well as garnished on top.

Who can say no to more cheese? And I’m lactose intolerant!

Do share in the comments what’s a dish you must have in Ramadan? What’s a dish you tried for the first time? What’s a favorite you’re favorite dish to cook up?

Tomato Basil Penne Pasta w/Sauteed Mushrooms

I just made a really yummy and simple dinner!! Penne pasta in a fresh tomato basil sauce topped with sauteed mushrooms and green onions. Very simple to make, very delicious to eat!

Here’s how simple it is…

I started with a pound of mini penne pasta in boiling water with a bit of salt, saving a cup of the water before draining the pasta. The salt and starch from the pasta helps make the sauce nice and thick.

For the sauce, I started with a bit of butter and olive oil, cooked a chopped tomato until it  softened. Then I added a canned tomato sauce and the pasta water. As the sauce simmered, I added about a tablespoon of fresh chopped basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of dried cilantro, thyme and cumin. About ten minutes in, I added about a teaspoon of cream cheese to make the sauce creamy.

Then I brought the pasta and the sauce together and let it cook on low heat.

In a small sauce pan, I put a really small piece of butter to saute about six decently sized mushrooms, chopped in nice slices. As the mushrooms shrank, I added one chopped green onion. Then added salt, pepper and cumin to taste.

Served my pasta, topped it with the mushrooms and ate to my heart’s delight!