Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Penna with Spicy Lamb Sauce

This is unique pasta dish can be on your dinner table in about 45 minutes or less, and it’s a nice riff on traditional meat sauce.  It’s called “spicy lamb sauce,” but depending on your preference, that can simply mean plenty of warm spices, but not necessarily heat.  The sauce is richly flavored with smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and a touch of cinnamon.  These spices give it a warm, smokey flavor that pairs well with the earthiness of the ground lamb.  When you start cooking, I recommend measuring the oil that the garlic and shallots are sauteed in.  If you […]

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Pasta Carbonara with Chard

I love cooking in someone else’s kitchen.  I love to evaluate the available ingredients, and morph them into a fabulous meal.  In fact, I enjoy this process at home as well.  Sometimes my best meals come from a seemingly barren kitchen; however, it’s even more fun in the home of someone else because they undoubtedly have different items on hand.  This past week, I got to partake in an interest twist of this experience.  My aunt and uncle recently left town for an extended trip, and the night before their departure, my aunt sent me home with any lingering food […]

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Lasagna with Sausage and Basil

I recently moved into a one bedroom apartment, nestled between the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, and West Hollywood.  This is momentous because it is my first time having a separate bedroom (I have been a reigning queen of studio apartment living), but also because I am settling further into my life in Los Angeles.  After subletting for eight months, I have moved into my own place; I have a lease; I have purchased furniture; I’m making a commitment.  And I have a separate room for my bed.  This is huge.  The other morning, I woke up, and walked into my kitchen.  […]

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Whole Wheat Linguine with Kale and Sausage

Whole-wheat linguine with kale and sausage: I’m not sure if I need to say anything else, but I will give it a whirl.  I adapted this dish from my newest cookbook, cheekily titled “50 Shades of Kale” (completely ridiculous, I know, but I do attest that it was the most creative and compelling of the 5 kale-based cookbooks at Peppercorn, the local culinary retail Mecca of Boulder).  This dish is very simple, but it has all the best things in it: pasta, cream, white wine, garlic, crushed red pepper, sausage, and loads of kale. The recipe called for whole-wheat linguine, […]

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Easter Egg Pasta

The most recent issue of Bon Appétit is pretty brilliant; while I read it every month upon arrival in my mailbox, this month’s copy has myriad recipes that I truly want to make, flagged with hot pink Post It notes.  On the list of intriguing items, there was a short article on various uses for leftover Easter Eggs.  Though I don’t celebrate Easter, but I do enjoy eggs.  One of the recipes was for a garlic-olive oil-anchovy-based pasta that was finished with grated hardboiled eggs and parsley.  I would never in a million years imagined adding hardboiled eggs to my […]

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Artichoke Pasta with Lemon Grilled Chicken

I really shouldn’t go into a lot of detail here.  It is simply unnecessary, but I can’t help myself.  This delicate pasta recipe should sell itself with its classic flavors, imprinted with the latest psycho cooker trend: grill everything.  This light summery pasta is full of flavor.  I started with a simple marinade for chicken breasts, consisting of a few ingredients with big flavors: white wine, fresh lemon zest/juice, extra virgin olive oil, and a few tablespoons of fresh thyme.  I whisked the ingredients together in a wide shallow dish, so my chicken cutlets could take a languid swim in […]

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Bacon and Tomato Pasta

Sometimes I like to put bacon on my pasta.  I think most people would find that at least slightly appealing.  The idea for the recipe just came through me; it was so organic (name that movie reference).  But seriously, the other night it was snowing after a solid month of 70-degree weather, and I felt obligated to make something comforting and to take the opportunity to enjoy the heat of my stove.  A slow-simmered tomato sauce was the answer.  It had a healthy dose of white wine in it, lots of tomatoes, and as promised, bacon. The key to success […]

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Braised Kale and Linguine

Confession: up until I made this recipe, I have had a fear of cooking kale.  I like kale, although I have not had many opportunities to eat it.  Obviously, it is a super trendy super food at the moment, but I have been paralyzed by fear around actually cooking it.  I have spent some time trying to concoct a kale-based recipe that I would feel comfortable cooking.  My foresight and thought have thus far been unproductive.  Lucky for me, a specific incident catapulted me out of my trepidation around kale into a place of genuine curiosity.  It was the kale […]

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Blackened Chicken Pasta

On the off chance that you don’t have enough decadence planned for your Thanksgiving festivities, I recommend indulging in this delicious Cajun pasta.  I actually made this a few weeks ago.  Usually, my intrinsic motivation can tolerate about a one-week delay between cooking and writing.  I rarely retrieve the necessary motivation to write outside of that timeline, but this pasta defied my usual patterns.  I had to share it; it was that good. Those clowns at the Food Network have come up with yet another enticing gimmick: a show called The Best Thing I Ever Made.  A smattering of “Food […]

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Pasta With Chicken and Mushrooms, Risotto Style

When I’m cooking and blogging, I try to maintain a semblance of balance in my choices.  Ideally, I would avoid my recipe archives being so heavily laden with tales of cheese and carbohydrates.  However, this notion of blog-balance is an art I am yet to master.  There are certain ingredients that are undeniably “psycho,” and this post reeks of them.  This pasta is flavored with onions, mushrooms, and chicken.  It is prepared like risotto: by adding small increments of chicken stock to the simmering pot until the pasta is cooked through.  Everything cooks together in chicken stock.  Unlike traditional pasta […]

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