Kimchi Mac & Cheese (Bacon Optional)

kimchi macI can make macaroni and cheese from scratch, but sometimes it’s just not a roux sort of day. Sometimes it’s sweater weather and you’re hangry. Kimchi pasta used to be one of my go-to recipes when I lived in Taiwan. It’s a really easy, delicious recipe that combines kimchi, garlic, and red pepper paste with your choice of pasta. Continue reading


Goat Cheese and Parmesan Mac

When I was in college, my best friend was studying in the UK and she would tell me horror tales of lumpy inedible cheese sauce. Apparently at that time at her local Tescoes, they didn’t have macaroni and cheese in a box. Or perhaps she just couldn’t afford it on her student budget. But I remember that lumpy sauces seemed to be a particularly apt metaphor for college and adulthood. Why is something that looks so basic, that everyone else can do, be so inexplicably hard? Bah, impossible!
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Roasted Mushrooms with Lemon and Thyme

lemony mushroom thyme pastaI’ve been on a major herb kick for the past few weeks, and this past weekend, decided to break into the thyme. I found a baked mushroom recipe on foodienarium. Originally, used as an appetizer served on toast, I enjoyed it tossed with pasta with a tablespoon of butter and lots of additional Parmesan cheese. The mushrooms let out quite a bit of liquid that you can thicken with butter and pasta water for a light sauce. Continue reading

Brown Butter and Sage Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and Zucchini

sage butter pasta
Sage smells and tastes amazing. Earlier this week I went to a nursery to pick up some herbs to start a little culinary garden. In college, I tried my hand at plants and it was all slaughter and death. But now armed with Getting Things Done (read my review here), online watering calenders, and a healthy peer group of gardeners, I hope things will end up differently. When I was picking out my herbs, I nibbled on leaves and, sage was far and above my favorite. I think a lot of herbs are for lack of a better word, pungent, like a flick in the nose. But sage was warm, fragrant, earthy, toasty, but not overwhelming.

Although I looked at a lot of recipes, I built mine around Mark Bittman’s butter pasta recipe and added veggies so it would feel healthier.
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Goat Cheese Pasta with Olives

goat cheese pasta
The French have their mother sauces; I have Smitten Kitchen’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion. It’s my go-to pasta sauce, pizza sauce, sauce for Maxim’s surprise, and infinitely buildable. I’m sure you can add broth to make it into a tomato soup or thicken it up, and serve it as a sauce spooned over rice. I’ve had it with seafood and hot pepper flakes, chicken, ground beef, mushrooms, mixed greens, and in its latest iteration, goat cheese and olives. Continue reading

Instant Ramen Paella

In my original cookbook (download it here), I had an entire section dedicated to instant ramen. Recently, my love for it was reignited when I started watching Anthony Bourdain’s Mind of a Chef with David Chang. In one of the early episodes, David makes some riffs on gnocchi, fideos, and cacio e pepi with instant ramen. He explained that ramen is actually full cooked and then deep fried in oil. Continue reading

Roasted Red and Yellow Pepper Pasta Salad

I love Japanese macaroni and potato salad. I love the sweetness of Japanese mayo, but I understand that for others it is overly sweet and cloying. Recently, I made a pasta salad that combined the two, because I did not have enough American mayo and I had a ton of leftover Japanese mayo from my foray with mentaiko.
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Lemony Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta

NOTES: Used gluten-free pasta and it was delicious!Image

ADAPTED from Smitten Kitchen


INGREDIENTS: 1/2 lb pasta, 1 ounce of goat cheese, zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a handful of asparagus stems

DIRECTIONS: Cook pasta according to the directions. Cut asparagus into one inch pieces, discarding the tough end pieces. Three minutes before the pasta done, dump asparagus into pasta water. Meanwhile mix goat cheese, lemon zest, olive oil, and a few rounds of pepper in a large bowl.  

Using a colander, fish out the pasta and dump it into the goat cheese bowl. Add a few dashes of pasta water, Stir to combine and ingest happily.