Friday, April 1, 2011

Family Style Recipe

Besides Slow-cooker recipes, Family Style is my favorite way to cook. My definition of "family-style" cooking is when everything ends up all in the same pan or pot at the end of the cooking process. I love how all the ingredients meld together in the end and all the flavors combine. Yum!

I came across this particular recipe in People magazine a few years ago and the title "Dinner For Four Under $10" caught my eye. Not to mention it was pretty easy....and most of the ingredients I had on hand and used in my cooking often. I, in pure Kirsten fashion,  had to make this recipe my own by adding a few of my own touches to this dish. I will give Curtis Stone the credit for the main idea of this recipe (excerpted from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone) but have to give myself a little credit for putting my own twist on this beautiful dish. In the end, because I pretty much doubled the ingredients, it became "Dinner For Eight Under $20". I now call it "Wheat Rigatoni with not-so-spicy Baby Salami" formally, "Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Salami".

Ingredients you'll need to gather:

~20-25 cherry tomatoes
~10 tsp. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
~salt and ground pepper
~1 stick of salami (small, baby version found in the deli area of your grocery store)
~4 garlic clove, minced
~1/2 cup dry white wine (I use white cooking wine)
~1/2 cup kalamata olives
~1/2 cup extra-fine capers
~1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
~ l lb of wheat rigatoni pasta
~crumbled feta to taste
~a few good squeezes of a fresh lemon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2-3 tsp. olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for about 8 minutes. Remove and let cool.

2. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Heat remaining 7-8 tsp. of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced up salami, cook for 30 sec on each side. Remove salami from pan and reserve. Return pan to the heat, and add garlic and saute. Add tomatoes, saute for 3 minutes.

*Tip: When chopping fresh parsley or any fresh herb, keep fingers tucked in, and tip of sharp knife on cutting board at all times. Gather herbs into a pile, and make a rocking motion over them with the knife, keeping the tip of the knife always on the cutting board. Keep gathering the herbs together and repeating the same motion until they are cut as finely as desired. In most cases, one never uses the whole bundle of fresh herbs when bought from the store. In order to preserve them so that they can be used again, either wrap them in a wet paper towel, place in a plastic zip-lock bag, and refridgerate or place in a freezer bag and freeze. If frozen, run under warm water when ready to use again.*

3. Add wine, simmer for about 3 minutes. Add olives and capers and big squeeze of lemon. Bring mixture to a simmer and add salami that was set aside and chopped parsley. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain and toss it in the pan with the sauce. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

I added a nice simple salad to go with the dish using a mixture of field greens and baby spinach. I made my own dressing using the juice of a lemon, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

My sister and her boyfriend were very happy to join us for dinner that night and generous enough to bring a nice bottle of Pinot Noir that paired very nicely with this dish. I thought I'd also include a mini wine review with this recipe since it's been a little while since I've done one.

Mark West Pinot Noir
price point: approx. $9.99 (for half bottle)
aromas of strawberry, rhubarb,& cranberry
notes of vanilla
light enough red wine to pair with fish and lean meats as well as light and/or spicy pasta dishes

I hope you and your family enjoy this dish as much as mine does. Enjoy!


P.S. Here's a picture of my sister, Beth, enjoying that very wine she so generously shared. I did  promise (especially since I made her pose for me while drinking wine...a very hard task)  that I'd somehow include her in my post. lol. Here ya go Beth!! xoxo


  1. Looks good and healthy!!!

  2. It's delicious....and so flavorful w/o the salami, that you could so easily make this vegetarian. Hope you try it sometime.