Easy to make for your Easter meal, Angel Hair Pasta ‘Flan’ is my signature dish (oh, and my bread pudding!) I have been making this dish for over 20 years for my catering clients and friends and never have I had anyone leave behind one tiny bite on their plate! There’s something about pasta, cream, cheese and eggs that is a brilliant combination with a yummy mouth feel and delectable yumminess. The tangy lemon zest and fresh thyme make it perfect!
Angel Hair Pasta Flan
1 c heavy cream
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
zest from 1/2 a lemon
2 c cooked Angel hair or other pasta
4 oz 6 T grated parmesan cheese
3 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped & chopped finely
butter for preparing molds (non-stick cooking spray is ok too)
Whisk eggs and cream together. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Place cooked pasta loosely in 5 buttered, 4 oz. ramekins or custard cups. Cover with egg mixture and top with 1 T parmesan cheese. With a spoon, push down gently gently to mix in the cheese, then sprinkle a little lemon zest over each one. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes then run a knife around the edge to un-mold onto plates, right side up. These flan can be made ahead and successfully re-heated in the microwave or oven up to a few days ahead.
Substitute fresh corn in season for the pasta and add jack cheese and mild green chiles. You can use any kind of pre-cooked rice or grain or potatoes and any kind of cheese or herb for these flan!
Easter is the perfect time of year to share this ‘Spicy Marinated Carrots’ appetizer! Stolen (with permission!) from my good friend Kathleen, this recipe is incredibly easy & enormously flavorful! Traditionally made with cut carrots, the elegance & beauty of whole carrots with their bright green tops, make this so much more special, & tasty enough to please Bugs Bunny himself!
Spicy Marinated Carrots
1 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t dried thyme
1 t dried basil
1 bay leaf
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2# carrots, peeled & cut into sticks or use whole baby carrots!
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c country dijon mustard
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
Put all the ingredients except the carrots, oil, mustard and parsley in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir to combine and to melt sugar. Toss in the carrots, drizzle with oil and cook 30 - 40 minutes covered, at a simmer, until fork tender, keeping crisp but absorbing liquid. Remove from heat and let cool in the liquid for 15 minutes or so. Drain liquid and toss with the mustard. Let come to room temperature. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
My Dad’s side of the family came from Ireland in the mid 1800’s. It was a big tradition in our house to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a party, inviting lots of friends and making great Irish specialties. My favorite was the corned beef that my Mom made. She would simmer it for hours with oranges, lemons, onions & spices then glaze it with brown sugar & cloves in the oven before slicing it for small sandwiches that she served with applesauce mixed with horseradish, yum! Here is the recipe for that famous corned beef!
4# corned beef brisket, rinsed
2 oranges, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 yellow onions, peeled & sliced
1 T pickling spice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cloves
Place the corned beef in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and skim the foam. Add the onions, oranges, lemons & pickling spice. Simmer for 4 hours until tender.
Take the corned beef out of the water and place on a sheet pan. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the brown sugar with the cloves and rub all over the top of the beef. Heat for 15 minutes or until the sugar melts to a glaze. Slice & serve warm or cool at room temperature and slice for sandwiches.