Fine Fixin's

Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce

Photo of Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce


Pasta! We don’t usually make a lot of pasta, because Sarah and I have opposing ideologies when it comes to noodley dishes: she likes thick, creamy, and meaty sauces, while I prefer my noodles with just a little cheese and butter or oil.

However, I think we’ve just found a happy compromise! This recipe from the Splendid Table has tomatoes, but a lot of the sauciness comes from goat cheese. This might be the perfect combination to satisfy both of us. Plus, the cinnamon really sets it apart from your usual pasta meal. If you you are in a pasta rut, this might just help.

Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce



  • 5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot


  • Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 tighty-packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano (Greek oregano preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper or other medium-hot chile; or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
  • 2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes; or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juice
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups diced cooked chicken or lamb (organic if possible; optional)


  • 1 pound imported long hollow pasta like perciatelli, maccheroncelli, or ziti, broken into more or less 2-inch pieces, or short hollow pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) fresh goat cheese, crumbled


Bring the salted water to a boil.Generously film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, parsley, and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. Saute the onions to golden brown. Then stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, and Aleppo pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.


If using fresh tomatoes, grate them on a grater over a bowl, and add the pulp with its juices to the pan. For canned tomatoes, crush them as they go into the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce for 8 minutes, or until thick. Taste for seasoning, remove the pan from the heat, and if using the chicken or lamb, stir it in. Cover the pan.


Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Boil, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has a little bite. As the pasta cooks, reheat the sauce over medium-high heat. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and add it to the sauce. Toss over the heat for a minute or more to help the sauce permeate the noodles. Turn half of it into a serving bowl and dot with half of the cheese. Add the rest of the pasta and top with the remaining cheese.


from the Splendid Table


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Fine Fixin's

Tomato & Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

Here’s a nice summery side dish that’s pretty darn easy to put together. We cooked our potatoes until they were very tender, which meant we got more of a smashed potato salad. If you prefer a firmer potato for your salad, make sure you check on them frequently so you can take them out before they get so tender.

Tomato & Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

serves 8

3 pounds petite red or Yellow Yukon potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey, warmed
8 ounces tiny mozzarella balls
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces basil, roughly chopped

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously with at least 1 tablespoon salt. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are very tender but not yet falling apart. Drain cooked potatoes and return them to the pot.

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour this dressing over the warm potatoes and toss to coat.

Toss with the mozzarella balls, halved cherry tomatoes, and basil. Season generously with salt and fresh pepper (the salad will need more salt than you expect). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.

from The Kitchn

Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Skillet Rice with Chickpeas, Coconut Milk & Tomatoes

American's Test Kitchen Skillet Rice

This recipe is all about balance and contrast. You’ve got hot and cold, sweet and sour. Something about those combinations make it a really exciting dish, and a pretty filling meal. It also packs up and travels pretty well, which makes it ideal for work lunch.

America's Test Kitchen Skillet Rice

Skillet Rice with Chickpeas, Coconut Milk & Tomatoes

4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 yellow bell peppers
1 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves
dash of cayenne
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 can of light coconut milk
2 15oz cans chickpeas
2 cups grape tomatoes
5 scallions
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in rice, garlic garam masala, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds

Stir in the broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and summer gently, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes

Stir in the beans, cover, and continue to simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, 20 to 35 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the tomato mixture over the rice and beans and serve.

From America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
America's Test Kitchen Skillet Rice

Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Inside Out BLT’s

illustration of inside-out BLT's recipe

Do you like BLT’s?  If so, you’re gonna love this.  If not, you’re probably still gonna like this.  I’m not crazy about BLT’s myself.  I blame the tomato.  I try to like tomatoes… I really do.  Every time I get a sandwich, I restrain myself from saying “hold the tomato, please”, because I think “this time, this time I’m gonna like it.”  And you know what always happens?  I pick the tomato off.  But praise the lord!  I have found a tomato I can appreciate, thanks to BUST Magazine.  In their Dec/Jan issue, I found this intriguing recipe, and because of my blind determination to like tomatoes, I decided to give it a try.  We served these Inside-Out BLT’s at Brian’s birthday party, and they were a big hit.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get a good photo (before Sarah H. scarfed them all down), so I drew a wee picture to illustrate their cuteness.  Ok, ok.  I helped Sarah eat them all.

“Start with 2 pints of cherry tomatoes.  Cut off the top and scoop out the insides of each one.  Fry a package of bacon (turkey or tempeh bacon works too) until crispy.  When it’s cool enough to handle, crumble and mix with a shredded head of iceberg lettuce.  Fill your tomatoes with this and top with a drizzle of mayo.  These can be made up to a half hour before serving but no earlier, as they can get soggy.”

If you’re like me, you’re not afraid of a gut-filling glob of Miracle Whip and a heartier (anti-artery-er) portion of bacon.  Instead of the bacon bits and shredded lettuce combo, I mixed the lettuce with a few spoon-fulls of the Miracle.  Then each little tomato buddy was topped with a single chunk of bacon.  Heaven, people.  Heaven.