A new recipe in the kitchen just makes me happy. I love trying new food, and one of the best parts of adulthood (to me, anyway) is the freedom to buy whatever I want at the grocery store and to turn it into something delicious.
While I have cookbooks (who doesn’t), I find most of the recipes I use online. I organize them using Springpad, which I highly recommend if you are looking for a way to organize your digital content. You can create different notebooks for your content and then save it in the proper format (there’s even one called “recipe”!) for future reference. A few things that I love about Springpad:
- Tags – Keep all of your recipes in a single notebook and sort them using tags (“appetizer”, “vegetarian”, etc.) and then it’s a cinch to pull up the type of dish you’re looking for when you’re meal planning! (You do meal plan, right?)
- Shopping list – Springpad allows you to add recipe ingredients to a shopping list, making your trip to the grocery store that much simpler.
- Access – You can open and edit your notebooks on their Web site or download the app for your iOS, Android or Kindle device. I have it on my Galaxy S4 and on my Kindle Fire, which I set on a stand in the kitchen for easy access to the recipe. It’s far easier than trying to keep a book propped open or carrying my entire laptop into the kitchen.
- “Spring it!” Chrome extension – Do you use Google Chrome? (If not, why?) Springpad has a fantastic extension that allows you to “clip” the content from most Web pages and add it to your notebooks without opening the Springpad site. If you are looking at a magazine online or a site like Epicurious and find the perfect recipe, it’s a matter of a couple clicks to save it to your recipe notebook! You can go in later and edit the formatting if you want. This function isn’t perfect, and I’ve learned to carefully look at the clipped content before saving, but it is overall a huge time-saver.
Shannon, aren’t you going to share a recipe?
Yes, yes I am! I found this recipe for rigatoni with roasted broccoli and chickpeas originally on Epicurious months ago and clipped it to try at some point. When I was meal planning a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had a batch of broccoli sitting in my fridge and that this was the perfect recipe to cook it up, so I grabbed the ingredients and went with it.
Chickpeas are a filling bean with a great taste, and they are an excellent, inexpensive meat substitute (less than $1 per can) – one of the reasons I saved this recipe in the first place. Also, don’t let the anchovies put you off; I had never cooked with them previously but I was pleased with their consistency during prep and their contribution to the overall flavor of the dish (not overly fishy, and salty enough to bring out the roasted flavor of the garlic and broccoli.
Rigatoni with Roasted Broccoli & Chickpeas (Serves 4)
- 1 can (2 ounces) anchovies packed in oil, chopped (oil reserved)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas (liquid reserved), rinsed and drained
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1/2 pound whole-wheat rigatoni (we used whole-wheat penne – I advise sticking with a similarly-sized pasta, but you can do regular pasta if whole-wheat isn’t your thing)
- 1/2 cup grated Romano (I used Locatelli Pecorino Romano because we had it on hand, and it was delicious)
- Heat oven to 450°F.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, saute anchovies with reserved oil and garlic until anchovies dissolve (they really do!) and garlic browns.
- Add chickpea liquid and bouillon to anchovies; cook, stirring, until bouillon dissolves.
- Pour anchovy mixture into roasting pan; add chickpeas and broccoli; stir to coat.
- Roast 20 minutes.
- Cook rigatoni as directed on package until al dente.
- Drain rigatoni, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
- Add pasta to chickpea-broccoli mixture; roast until pasta is completely cooked, adding reserved cooking liquid a little at a time and stirring to reach desired consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. (I ended up using about half of the reserved cooking liquid, but this will depend on your taste.)
- Remove from oven; let sit 5 minutes; serve topped with Romano.
The finished product was a hit with Brian (fortunately, the only one I have to impress with my cooking right now) and this recipe will definitely end up in our regular rotation. Because it serves 4, there was also enough for each of us to take some for lunch the next day.
Next week’s recipe: Low-Cal homemade Fettucine Alfredo (with homemade pasta!)