The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘leftovers’

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

In Clams, Pasta, Pork, Recipes, Seafood on February 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

A few nights ago, Betty made a big platter of her famous Paella Isabella. It served 5 for dinner very nicely. However, not all of the clams and chorizo that we had bought wound up in the paella, which got me thinking about what to do with them the next day.

Having a vague recollection of a pasta dish with clams and pancetta, and thinking about dishes where seafood and pork combine nicely, I decided to experiment with these leftovers. A light tomato sauce, almost a Marechiaro, seemed to be the right approach. Rather than parsley, Betty suggested a little cilantro to finish the dish. It was the right thing to do, and the result was sublime.

(Serves 2, preparation time, 30 minutes)


¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 cloves of garlic, minced
2 dozen Littleneck Clams, scrubbed and rinsed
¼ lb. Chorizo, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup of dry white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut-up
½ lb. spaghetti
Chopped cilantro, about 3 tablespoons


1. Boil a large pot of water for the spaghetti.
2. Heat olive oil in a separate pot, about 5 qt. sized.
3. Add the garlic to the oil, and sauté lightly; do not let it burn.
4. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
5. Add the clams and cover the pot.
6. After about 2 or 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and chorizo.
7. When clams begin to steam open, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to directions.
8. Once most of the clams have opened, to avoid over-cooking them, remove them to a bowl while the sauce continues to boil and thicken, and until the spaghetti is done.
9. When the spaghetti is al dente to the taste, drain it and add it to the sauce.
10. Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a large serving bowl, add the clams and garnish with cilantro.
11. Serve immediately.
12. Feel free to add grated pecorino-romano cheese, if so desired.


Turkey Soup

In Recipes, Soups, Thanksgiving on December 4, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Turkey Soup with Cheese Tortelloni


Reserved turkey carcass, skin, bones and meat scraps, as well as any stuffing and gravy that you don’t want to save for leftovers
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
3 stalks of celery, including leaves, cut into thirds
4 carrots, skin left on and cut into quarters


1.    Place all of the ingredients in a 16 qt. pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 1 hour.
2.    Remove cover and continue simmering for 2 more hours or until the meat falls of the bones.
3.    Strain the soup out and discard all of the solids.
4.    When cooled, place soup in refrigerator overnight.
5.    The next morning skim off and discard all of the gelatinous fat that has formed on the top.
6.    Heat the soup; add any cut up leftover turkey and gravy.
7.    Serve with separately cooked tortelloni, tortellini, ditalini, ditali, elbow macaroni or pastina, whatever is your choice, as well as grated Pecorino – Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Please also see: The Turkey that Keeps Giving

Mediterranean Vegetable Spread

In Recipes, Vegetables on October 9, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Another use for leftover Ratatouille


  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 cups of leftover ratatouille


  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes with some of their oil in food processor and chop into a paste on ‘Pulse’.
  2. Add leftover ratatouille, 1 cup at a time, and continue ‘pulse’ processing until well blended with the sun-dried tomatoes into a paste.

Serve as hors d’oeuvre on thin slices of crusty Italian bread, or crackers, or in a cold antipasto combination plate.


In Recipes, Vegetables on October 8, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Ratatouille is one of those French dishes that many people have a difficult time pronouncing. However you pronounce it, it is delicious. A great vegetable stew that is best served at room temperature as side dish with any meat entree, such as Steak au Poivre or Lamb Chops.

The following recipe will produce about 4 quarts of ratatouille, I usually make a large batch, freeze the leftovers in individual portions  in plastic Zip-Lock bags, defrost then in the morning and eat them in the evening; so all of that up-front work is paid back for weeks to come. Or, if you prefer, you can easily cut the recipe in half.

(Preparation Time 75 minutes, cooking time 2 hours)


Ratatouille Ingredients

2 cups extra virgin olive oil
7 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely
2 large eggplants, cubed (1 inch cubes)
6 medium onions, chopped coarsely
4 zucchini, cubed (1/2 inch cubes)
4 red peppers, seeded and cubed (1 inch cubes)
4 green peppers, seeded and cubed (1 inch cubes)
8 large ripe tomatoes, cubed (1 inch cubes)
1 cup of capers
2 cups of loosely packed basil, chopped
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar


1.    Heat 1&1/2 cups of the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat, add the garlic and sauté until soft but not browned. Add the eggplant in batches and sauté until it is cooked to a light brown color. With a slotted spoon, remove the eggplant to a large (12 qt.) stock pot.
2.    Add the onions to the pan and scraping up the eggplant and garlic bits–cook the onions until translucent, transfer them to the stock pot, stirring in with the eggplant.
3.    Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil to the pan; sauté the zucchini until slightly soft. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the stock pot, stirring it with the other vegetables.
4.    Add the peppers to the oil in the pan and sauté until soft. Transfer the peppers and any remaining liquid in the pan to the stock pot.
5.    Add the tomatoes and capers to the stock pot.
6.    Add the basil, chicken broth and vinegar to the stock pot, mixing all the ingredients well.
7.    Cook uncovered on a low flame for 2 hours.
8.    When cooked and slightly cooled, drain the vegetables from the liquid and refrigerate the ratatouille.
9.    Bring to room temperature for 1 hour prior to serving.

Finished Ratatouille

Note: Save the excess liquid to use as a base for Garbanzo Bean Soup.

Note: When you tire of eating the ratatouille you can use the remainder as the base for a delicious Mediterranean Vegetable Spread.

Crispy, Fried, Leftover Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce

In For Moms on the Go, Pasta, Recipes on April 10, 2011 at 10:50 AM



Leftover Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground Locatelli Romano cheese


1.    Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauté pan
2.    Add the leftover linguine and cauliflower, frying the pasta and cauliflower.
3.    Sprinkle the cheese on the pasta and cauliflower and stir and turn until fully blended.
4.    Keep frying and stirring until the pasta noodles become crispy.
5.    When done to your taste remove from the heat and enjoy.

See the Related Article at: Another of Big Mike’s Favorites

Big Mike’s Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce

In Pasta, Recipes on April 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce

Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce


1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
12 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, separated
1 pound of Linguine
Kosher salt or sea salt
Freshly ground Locatelli Romano cheese
Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce


1.    Fill a six quart pot with water, bring to a boil.
2.    Add the cauliflower and cook until fork-tender.
3.    In the meantime, pre-heat a large cast iron frying pan on high, then add the olive oil.
4.    When the oil is shimmering, reduce the heat; add the garlic and sauté lightly, do not let it brown.
5.    Remover the cauliflower from the boiling water, remove 4 cups of the water for developing the sauce and reserve the rest for cooking the linguine.
6.    Add the cauliflower to the oil and garlic, and mash it in the pan continuing to break it down until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes.
7.    Raise the heat, allowing the moisture from the cauliflower to burn off and the cauliflower to begin to brown.
8.    Continue this process, by pushing the cauliflower to one side of the pan while adding some cauliflower water; scraping  up the burnt fond on the bottom of the pan and let it burn off again and again, until the mashed cauliflower takes on a nut brown hue.
9.    In the meantime bring the remaining cauliflower water to a boil, add the linguine and cook according to directions on the box.
10.    After tasting the linguine to determine if it is al dente, drain it in a colander.
11.    Add the cooked linguine to the cauliflower sauce and mix thoroughly, adding some of the reserved water if too dry.
12.    Serve in bowls for people to add their own grated Romano cheese and Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce.

Note: This pasta dish is best accompanied by a loaf of fresh, crusty, Italian bread to sop up the leftover sauce and a chilled bottle of white wine, perhaps a Soave or a Verdicchio.

LEFTOVERS: This dish lends itself to a great leftover, if there is any – Crispy, Fried, Leftover Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce.

Please see the Related Article at:  Another of Big Mike’s Favorites

Another of Big Mike’s Favorites

In General Articles on April 9, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Another pasta dish that was a memorable staple growing up in my family, one which we introduced to our children and they loved as well, was Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce. With this pasta dish the memory is olfactory. First, the less than pleasant smell of boiling cauliflower, quickly, and thankfully, followed by that of sautéed garlic, then the exquisite aroma of the finished product, which of course contains both Locatelli Romano cheese and Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce.

This pasta dish (sorry Dad – macaroni dish) was another favorite of my father and was great during those meatless Fridays when Catholics had to ‘suffer’ by abstaining from meat. When it comes to food, Italians have a knack for turning suffering into a joyful feast; just think La Vigilia the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes!

See the recipe for Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce for the technique of preparing this delicious dish.

If you have any of this pasta dish leftover, which is highly unlikely in my house, then you are really lucky and you can use ‘the leftovers’ to make Crispy, Fried, Leftover Linguine with Cauliflower Sauce.

Of course my father was not the only cook in the house, my mother also had her repertoire, which was frequently focused on what was good for you. Please read Eat It! it’s Good for You!, to get a better understanding of what I mean.

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