Thyme & Anise Farfalle

Thyme & Anise Farfalle

When you have thyme but not much time, try this simple pasta dish with two of my favorite flavors. If you don’t like anise (a licorice-like flavor), omit the liquor.

Prepare farfalle or any pasta. When pasta has just a few minutes left, lightly saute sliced sweet plum tomatoes and sliced green olives in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, with fresh garlic, fresh thyme, oregano, and black pepper. Add a splash (i.e., just a fraction of a teaspoon) of an anise-flavored liquor such as Pastis (French, that I had on hand), Ouzo (Greek), or Sambuca (Italian). When the pasta is done, add diced fresh mozzarella to saute so that it just begins to melt and the garlic and herbs cling to it. Drain pasta and serve topped with the oil and sauteed ingredients.

Pan-Seared Cod with Creamy Fennel Ragoût and Quinoa

Pan-Seared Cod with Creamy Fennel Ragoût and Quinoa

This one is not my own recipe nor variation, but from here:

Tips: You can get everything at Trader Joes (currently), and if you use their Dijon mustard, that happens to be very sharp, I think it’s a bit better for this recipe than, say, Grey Poupon Country Dijon, a staple I always have in my kitchen.

Quinoa can be easily prepared in a rice cooker.
I use this one, that cost only about $15:
One downside of this super-cheap, small model is that the plastic handles on the lid and steamer tray aren’t dishwasher-safe.  Also, if you fill it to prepare its maximum capacity, the water will occassionally spit out the vent hole when it’s boiling, until some of it is absorbed.  This can be avoided by always placing the included steamer tray on top, even when you have nothing to steam. :)