Hello Westchester Food Finders!

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite, quick and easy meals. This one should take you under 20 minutes from start to finish and is a great combo of vegetables and pasta that will satisfy the most discerning tastes and will keep your kids coming back for more as well.

Linguini with Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, and Oil

The ingredients are few but flavorful.

Broccoli Rabe



Pecorino Romano Cheese

Olive Oil

Start by cutting and cleaning your broccoli rabe. You will want to cut off the bottom end of the stems as they are not really tender. Now if you have time, cut your stems individually, I tend to not have the time, so a good time saving rule is to cut the stems at the point where the packaging ends. Take look at the illustrations below.

Individual Cut

Quick and East Cut


Once cut, wash your vegetables.  Boil some water and drop in your broccoli rabe. You will want to boil for 3-4 minutes or until tender to the touch. Once tender, strain and place in a cool water bath. The cool water will stop the cooking process and will keep your vegetables green.

Pulling the veggies out of the boiling water allows you to reuse the water to boil your pasta and thus cut down your cooking time. Drop your pasta in the boiling water. While e the pasta is boiling, peel some garlic and slice. Fill a small pan with half a cup of olive oil on low heat and toast your garlic. The low heat will warm your oil and help infuse the flavor of the garlic without burning. Remember burnt garlic gets bitter.

Take your garlic off the heat as soon as it starts to get golden. It will get darker off the heat, so don’t overcook.

When your pasta is cooked you are less than a minute away from sitting down and enjoying your meal. Strain your pasta, toss in your broccoli rabe, and drizzle with the garlic and oil. Add some fresh pepper and cheese, and now you have a meal in minutes. You can cut some strips of grilled chicken for a lean protein, or feel free to grill some spicy sausage, cut on a bias and toss in as well for a bigger kick. If you can’t decide, try both.  I have and the dish is even more delicious!

Linguini with Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, & Oil



Hello Westchester Food Finders!

With the Holidays approaching one of our readers reached out and asked If I could share a quick and easy cocktail that she can serve at a small party she is hosting.

Aimee from Bedford, let me introduce you to the Pear Sparkle.

Grab a pitcher or simply leave out the champagne flutes; The Pear Sparkle is easy to prep in bulk or a la carte, which makes it a great cocktail for entertaining.


Pear Liquor or a pear flavored Cognac or Brandy

Pear of choice, Sliced. (Pear needs to be hard. Too soft and the pear will fall apart when you soak it in the liquor)

Prosecco, Champagne, or sparkling wine of choice.


Slice your pear and place the slices in a container with one ounce of liquor for each slice. Soak your pear for 2-4 hours. Too short of a soak, and the liquor will not have enough time to take on the added flavor. Too long of a soak and you end up with a mushy pear!

Add a slice of “marinated” pear and one once ounce of the soaking liquid into a champagne flute. Top with bubbly of choice, mix and serve.

If you want to make a kid friendly or alcohol free version, simply add a sliced pear soaked in simple syrup to your flute and top off with a half seltzer, half apple cider mixture.





Pasta Aglio Olio

IMG_3581 (2)

This is a very quick, very delicious, low prep and low ingredient dish. It is perfect for a quick after work meal for the kids. Nice if you want to fake your cooking skills to impress your date too. Had a long night out with some friends and you get back to apartment hungry, don’t go for the cereal. Grab a box of spaghetti or linguini and you’ll have a meal in under 15 minutes. Be sure to call it Pasta Aglio Olio instead of Pasta with Garlic and Oil if you want to sound all gourmet.

Ingredients List

Favorite Brand of boxed Linguini or Spaghetti

Half a cup of the best olive oil you have in your pantry

4 cloves of garlic

Half a cup of chopped parsley

Grated cheese to taste


Here’s the quickest way of getting your pasta from the box to the table.

Start your water on your stovetop, and salt your water (Use a pot big enough for the whole box of pasta)

In a small pan, pour in your oil. Place on low heat as you don’t want to burn your garlic, you are simply warming the oil so that you may infuse the garlic taste in all of the oil. If you like spice, drop in some red pepper flakes in the oil a minute or so before your pasta is finished boiling so you can infuse some heat as well.

Cut, chop, slice, mince, smash, crush your garlic and drop it in the oil. It’s completely up to your taste. If you plan on taking the garlic out, the larger the pieces the easier to remove. Love your garlic, thinly sliced is nice. I say leave it in as it makes a difference in taste. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use the canned roasted variety. I prefer fresh, or a combination of both. You’ll be making this pasta frequently enough that you can decide by trial and error.

You have your garlic heating, pasta boiling. Take out your cheese. Most will have either pre-grated Parmegiano or Peccorino Romano in their fridge. Either or both will do get it ready for your plating. If you are trying to impress, grab a block of either/both and a cheese grater and get fancy.

Pasta is ready. Strain, and put it in a nice size bowl so it will be easier to toss your pasta. Pour the oil and garlic on top and start to toss. Drop in your parsley and continue to toss, coating the pasta with the garlic infused oil. Fresh Parsley is the toughest ingredient here. Most people will have olive oil, pasta and cheese in their kitchens. I usually will have fresh parsley growing on my window sill or in my garden 9 months out of the year. Luckily every grocery store will have fresh parsley for those of us who don’t have a green thumb. Now you may be asking, what do you do for fresh parsley in the dead of winter? Parsley freezes well. If you don’t think you’ll use all the parsley before it starts to wilt, chop a half of a cup of cleaned parsley for your pasta now and put the rest in a cup of water. Next day clean and chop the rest and put it in your freezer in half a cup portions for your next recipe challenge.

Ok, your pasta smells good and you’re hungry. Grate some fresh cheese on top of the pasta while still in the large bowl. Toss a few more times and add some more cheese. Pour yourself a glass of wine, plate and enjoy.