Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives


Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.  

I have chosen to feature this dish because cherry tomatoes, which I roast, are fairly reliable in taste.  Roasting the cherry tomatoes intensifies their flavor, and to avoid the seeds and the skin, I puree it all in a Vitamix. The sauce becomes creamy and delicious.

I like to serve this pasta at room temperature or warm. The sauce freezes well.


  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, rinsed

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.  

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 small Vidalia onion, sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn into small pieces 

  • 1 pound imported spaghetti


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. 

  2. In an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish, combine the cherry tomatoes with the oil, garlic, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Roast until tomato skins are slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes.   

  3. Puree all in a Vitamix until smooth. Place in a largebowl adding the olives and basil.  

  4. In a large covered pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once. Stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 9 minutes. The pasta should be al dente since it will continue to cook in the hot sauce.

  5. Toss with the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Snapper with Olive Topping

Snapper with Olive Topping.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

This main course fish dish is simple, easy and tasty.


  • 4 skinless snapper fillets, about 6 ounces each

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice


  • 4 sundried tomato halves packed in oil, cut into thin strips

  • ¾ cup mixed pitted olives, cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat the broiler.

  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.

  3. Place the fish on a foil lined broiling pan and sprinkle with the oil and lime juice.

  4. Broil very close to the heat source for about 6 minutes, without turning, or until the inside is opaque.

  5. Keep the TOPPING warm in a small skillet and scatter over the fish.


Mushroom Frittata

Mushroom Frittata.jpg

Makes 8 first course servings or 4 luncheon servings.

This is a fall and winter dish when wild mushrooms are in season.  To further enhance the mushroom flavor I add dried porcini mushrooms. I serve the frittata warm or at room temperature with a variety of greens dressed with truffle oil and salt.


  • ¾ ounce dried porcini mushrooms (See Note)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ¾ pound pound wild assorted mushrooms; shiitake, porcini, oyster, cremini
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped (See Note)
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from 8 full thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the reconstituted mushrooms and squeeze dry all the liquid back into the bowl.        
  3. Place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  4. Wipe all the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. For the shiitakes, discard the stems and quarter.  For the rest of the mushrooms, trim the stems and quarter. Add to the food processor, in two batches, and chop coarsely. Remove to a large bowl.  
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12 inch non- stick skillet, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté over low heat until soft. 
  6. Add 2 tablespoons oil and all the mushrooms. Sauté over high heat until the mushrooms are beginning to release their juices. Cool.   
  7. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, add all the mushrooms, parsley and thyme. Season to taste.
  8. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium/high heat.
  9. Pour in the mushroom-egg mixture, distributing the mushrooms evenly and reduce the heat to medium.  
  10. Cook the frittata, COVERED, over medium heat for about 15 minutes. The sides will be set but the top will be soft to the touch. Shake the pan once or twice.
  11. To serve cut into wedges of your choice.


I chop shallots and garlic together in a food processor and the parsley separately.

I freeze the reconstituted mushroom liquid, which is a wonderful addition to soups, stews and even pasta.


Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Tuna

Makes 4 servings as a main course, 6 servings as a first course.

This dish is extremely convenient to put together at the last-minute because all of the ingredients are generally in everyone’s pantry.  Except for boiling the pasta, there is no cooking required.  A slightly different version of this recipe first appeared in my cookbook, Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine.  


  • 1 pound imported whole wheat spaghetti


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 12 ounce can tuna packed in water, drained, separated into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, approx
  • 1 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Coarsely chop the garlic cloves on a cutting board. Sprinkle over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and using the blade of a knife crush them into a paste. Place in a large bowl adding tuna, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley.  
  2. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large covered pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered for 7-8 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Drain well in a colander and toss with the sauce.
  3. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.


Leftover pasta will require extra seasoning. The lemon juice gets absorbed very quickly into the pasta.


Farfalle with Smoked Salmon and Vegetables

Makes 6 first course servings • Makes 4 main course servings

I serve this dish frequently because it is easy to prepare, versatile, nutritious and elegant. You can even make it several hours ahead of time. See note at the end of the recipe.


• ½ pound haricots verts
• ¼ pound sugar snap peas
• 4 scallions, including green part, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
• ½ cup pitted black olives, quartered
• ¼ pound smoked salmon cut into wide strips (2 by 1 inches)
• ½ pound imported farfalle, or any other small shaped pasta (I like to use DeCecco pasta).


• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 tablespoons lime juice (approximately)
• 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.

2. Trim and discard the stem end of the beans. Steam the beans for about 4 minutes, or until just tender. Place in a bowl and cool.

3. Pinch off both ends of the snow peas and pull off the string running along the sides. Steam the snow peas for about 4 minutes, or until just tender. Add to the beans and cool. When the vegetables have cooled, add the scallions, parsley, olives and smoked salmon. Set aside.

4. In a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the farfalle and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered for about 8 minutes, until the farfalle is al dente.

5. Drain well in a colander. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl to cool. Toss the pasta with ½ of the dressing, add the beans, sugar snaps, scallions, parsley, olives and salmon. Toss with the remaining dressing. Let rest for a minute and season well with salt and pepper.


If you wish to prepare this dish ahead, I suggest that you cook the pasta and toss it with ½ of the dressing. Prepare all the other ingredients but combine it all a few hours before serving. It is easier to preserve the wonderful green color of the vegetables.