Orecchiette Salad

May 14, 2010

My Food Network Magazine subscription has paid for itself 10 times over. I have gotten so many wonderful ideas from each month’s pages… last night’s dinner was no exception. The recipe came from the April 2010 mag.

I was on my own for dinner last night. I had been looking through recipes on my lunch hour and decided on making the Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef. I stopped at the store for some ingredients before heading home from work.

The Ingredients:

8 ounces orecchiette pasta (little flying saucer-shaped discs)
1 cup bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
8 small sweet marinated peppers, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil (I used mint since I already had it)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups baby arugula
6 ounces of deli-sliced roast beef – cut into strips
Kosher salt and ground pepper

The above is for 4 servings – I cut it in 1/2 and have lunch for today.
Per Serving: Calories 500, Fat 22 grams, Sodium 548 mg, Carbs 51 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 26 g.

I got the pot of boiling water started while doing my “ingredients” photo shoot. It was second nature for me to rip into the pasta package once the salted water came to a roaring boil…WHOOPS! Hadn’t gotten a good photo at that point, so I had to tape the back of the ripped package, LOL.

I’m an orecchiette pasta newbie – hadn’t ever cooked that shape before. There was definitely some hooking up going on in the pot. They all wanted to be up inside each other. 😉

While the pasta was cooking, I combined the bocconcini, artichokes, marinated peppers and mint in a serving bowl.

I was pretty much ready to eat straight from that bowl. I then added the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste… then I gave it a good toss. I kept tasting the flying saucer noodles and each time determined that they needed more play time in the pot. Wink, wink!

Once the noodles were FINALLY ready… I drained them and set them aside. Do not rinse the pasta…very important.

The next step was to add them to the mixing bowl to toss again.  The last step is to add the sliced roast beef and the arugula and yep…you guessed it – toss again… and if you are crazy like me… plate, photograph and then you can EAT! Hah!

We’ve been having some pretty incredible weather lately. I ended up sitting outside eating my salad while Higgy played. The neighbors probably think I’m crazy. 27 photographs, 5 different locations… then the girl finally sits down to eat – on a different plate… every night. Gotta love having a 2 story house right behind us, ugh!

I later found myself  in front of the TV watching Top Chef Masters. They were cooking some pretty exotic/scary stuff – even I’m not brave enough for that. Black chicken, monkfish liver, sea cucumber, duck tongue, kangaroo, goat, geoduck and other exotic surf and turf. I preferred the show’s Simpsons cartoon Quickfire Challenge – The chefs had to create dishes inspired by a Simpsons character. Donuts, grilled cheese, pasta, sloppy d’ohs …way more my thing. I did not know that Lisa Simpson became a vegetarian in season 7.

While I don’t think I could be a full-time vegetarian, I definitely could do it 4-5 days a week. Sometimes I just gotta have a burger or like tonight… roast beef.

Have a great weekend everybody!



  1. Wow does this look and sound delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

  2. Do you watch “Chopped” on Food Network? Love that show – it’s interesting to see the combinations they come up with!

    • I DVR Chopped and love it. The judges are pretentious a-holes, but it is fun to see what the chefs come up with.

      • Is Chopped the one I like witn that sexy chef?

      • Yep…not your Ultimate Recipe Showdown fave, but the guy that looks like him.

  3. How funny! I looked at the photo of the artichoke hearts and thought “mmmm, I’d like some of those right now” and then read your comment. It’s lunch time, so it would be nice to have some of that….hint, hint! LOL! I have a sandwich & pineapple for my lunch, which will have to do… 🙂

    • I seriously was ready to dive into the bowl. Wish I read this before leaving for lunch… Could have shared the salad!

  4. P.S. I’m learning stuff! I had no idea what bocconcini was…but now I do!

  5. I’m learning too! I can’t wait to see what’s next that you are making!

  6. Nice picture!

  7. What an awesome meal!! I agree the weather has Been awesome. I can’t wait to chef up with you. Almost done with this round of tests.

    • Can’t until your next test is over…let’s start bakin’!

  8. That’s a lovely-looking salad!

    The Top Chef exotic surf & turf challenge bothered me…why did they have to wheel in all of the proteins next to taxidermy? That poor stuffed kangaroo. I got all queasy every time they did a closeup of him.

    • Thanks. I totally agree…not necessary to roll in the items, I kind of gulped too.

  9. Ha, I know exactly what you mean about the photos. I walked around Brooklyn yesterday shooting anything I could find and felt like a real loser the whole time. 😉 Recipe looks YUMMY!

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