One-pot harissa pasta

How many hours have you been staring at the computer today? Spring is so busy, and sometimes it’s hard to shake off the glow of our screens and step out of the tunnel of the Internet.

We’re doing just that in Greece for our honeymoon right now, and oh man, does it feel good. Fresh air, new scenery, SO much to eat. After an insanely busy past few weeks, Greece feels like breathing deep again.

I’m just so happy to be spending some time outside, away from the computer. A lot of folks think us book people are introverts who’d rather sit inside all day reading a book rather than socializing. Which is totally true. But I’m also willing to sit outside all day reading a book. I think that makes me adventurous.

If you also want to try something new tonight, and you’re bleary eyed from staring at your manuscript or the computer screen for hours, then come over here. Back away from the computer, tiptoe into the kitchen, and make this really, really slowly. Isn’t it nice to remember what unrushed cooking feels like?

harissa pasta skinnytaste recipe

This pasta is:

  1. Cozy, comforting, reassuring, and all those other words you want to come home to after a long day
  2. Excellent when paired with a book or ouzo
  3. Spicy, and just a little bit adventurous. Like reading outside.

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Wintertime Farro Bowl

Farro Bowl005

One of my favorite things to have my grandma cook is arroz cubano. When she and my grandpa come to visit from Brazil the menu usually looks something like this:

Tortilla de Patata
Pollo Tia Ely
Arroz Cubano
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

One of these things does not fit. But that’s a long story.

Arroz cubano is pretty fancy. It’s white rice shaped into a mound using a mug, then topped with tomato sauce and a perfectly fried egg. Definitely a classic stretching-the-grocery-budget meal, and definitely a kid-pleaser. Anything is immediately more exciting when it looks like a volcano and can be smashed. That’s a fact of life.

Luckily, these days I’m about 1% more sophisticated than my rice-volcano-smashing 8-year-old self, and so I came up with this warm farro bowl that has all the nostalgic goodness of arroz cubano. This is the perfect starter meal if you’ve never cooked farro before—it’s quick cooking, simple, and pretty darn foolproof. The key is to keep tasting your farro and adding more liquid if it needs it—it’ll be done when it’s firm but not crunchy.

Farro Bowl002

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Salmon Bacon

Salmon bacon is really just crispy, fried bits of salmon skin. And it’s insanely, crazy good! It has all the salty, crunchy, fatty goodness of bacon, but it actually won’t kill you. Salmon skin is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids that keep your heart healthy, so you don’t have to feel guilty about this bacon. This is great on any type of burger, but especially on top of healthy salmon burgers.

Salmon Bacon

Salmon skin (make sure it’s been scaled!)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Liquid smoke (optional)
Vegetable oil

1. Scale side up, slice the salmon skin into thin strips. You’ll need a very sharp knife. Put the strips into a bowl and add several splashes of liquid smoke, if you’d like a more smoky bacon flavor. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain the excess liquid and cover with the salt. Let sit for 10 minutes.

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