Penne Pasta in Parmesan-Garlic Sauce with Italian Parsley and Scallion

Penne Pasta in Parmesan-Garlic Sauce with Italian Parsley and Scallion | Culinary Compost RecipesI created this simple recipe as an alternative to purchasing high-priced store-bought pasta salad at a ridiculous $5.99/pound. You can use either penne or orecchiette pasta with fantastic results. The quantity shown here will set you back a whopping two dollars.

This is a cold pasta salad that should be chilled before serving so the flavors have time to set. Enjoy—



3 cups penne or orecchiette pasta, cooked al dente
1 pinch table salt
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup XV olive oil, plus more for mixing
1/4 cup finely-sliced scallion greens
2 tbs. minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. crushed dry Italian basil
1 cup coarse-grated hard Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste



Heat one quart of water in a saucepan with a pinch of table salt until boiling. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until just al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain and run under cold water in a colander to stop it from cooking. Shake off all the water and place in a large mixing bowl.

While preparing the pasta, heat 1/4 cup of XV olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced raw garlic and sauté until fragrant. It should just start to turn a straw color. Remove from the heat and let stand to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and fold in with a spatula. When cooled, add the garlic and olive oil and mix to incorporate. You can add more olive oil if necessary based on preference. Correct the seasoning if needed and chill for 1 hour before serving.

Mike’s ProTip: Take the time and sauté the garlic. This step is critical. It mellows the acrid bite while infusing the olive oil, adding an incredible depth of flavor.

Serves 4.

Savory Rice with Sautéed Carrot, Onion and Mushroom

This is a super-simple side dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare and is very inexpensive. Pair it with grilled chicken, pork or salmon. Use real butter or it will not turn out.


2 cups instant white rice (5-min)
2 cups water
1 heaping tbs. chicken base
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs. butter
1 small 4oz. can mushrooms, pieces and stems (with juice reserved)
1 medium carrot, washed, peeled and diced fine
1 small onion, minced
1 stalk scallion with greens, trimmed and thinly sliced


In a sauté pan, fry the minced onion and diced carrot in butter over medium heat until tender, but not carmelized. Remove and put aside.

In a covered saucepan, bring the water and reserved liquid from the mushroom to a rolling boil, then add the chicken base, parsley, mushrooms, sautéed onion, carrot and the rice. Season to taste with black pepper.

Stir, remove from heat and let stand covered for five minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but not overcooked.
Before serving, add the scallion and gently fold in.

Serves 4.

Stir-Fry Carrots with Shiitake Mushrooms and Scallion

This is a simple, healthy and quick vegetable side dish that compliments a variety of main-course meals. Be sure to add the scallion only at the last minute or two so it doesn’t wilt too much.


5 large carrots, peeled, cut into thirds and then cut into matchsticks
4 stalks scallion, roots trimmed, cut into thirds and then matchsticks
2 large shiitake mushrooms, washed, stems removed and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. rice vinegar
2 tbs. soy sauce
Dash of sesame oil

1 tbs. peanut oil for frying


Prepare the vegetables and pat dry, so the stir-fry will be crisp and not soggy. Allow to warm up to room temperature. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Mince the garlic and ginger in a food processor and set aside.

Heat a wok until it just smokes over high heat – a drop of water should vaporize within one second when ready. Add the peanut oil to the sides of the wok and swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic and ginger and quickly stir-fry for about ten seconds, until aromatic. Immediately add the carrot and mushrooms and stir-fry until lightly seared, about two to three minutes.

Add the soy-vinegar-sugar mixture and stir to incorporate. Reduce for one minute. Add the scallion and sesame oil and stir until just heated through.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serves 2-4

Asian Scallion Salad

Asian Scallion Salad | Culinary CompostThis is a refreshing salad loosely based on the Korean Pa Muchim. It has a fair amount of kick due to the crushed chili. Kochukaru is the traditional Korean dried chili used for this dish. It is the same chili that makes kimchi so spicy.
You can substitute any crushed hot red chili for this recipe with great results.


3-4 medium scallions, washed and roots trimmed
2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. white sugar
2 tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root
2 tbs. fine-chopped cilantro leaf
1/2 tsp. Kochukaru red pepper flakes (or any hot chili flakes)
1 pinch coarse/kosher salt
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Cut scallions in thirds, then slice lengthwise into fine strips and submerge in ice water until curled – 30 minutes to one hour.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Drain the scallion well and place in a serving bowl with the dressing. Stir lightly to coat. Serve immediately either as a garnish, side dish or starter course to your favorite Asian dish.

Serves 2-4

Green Onion Dressing

This is a great recipe from Emeril Lagasse. I’ve made it several times and it is always refreshing. A nice change of pace.


1 cup XV olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup fine-chopped scallion, greens only
1 tbs. chopped garlic
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 tbs. white vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar


Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutes. You can also mix in a shaker jar for 30 seconds.

Place in fridge for one hour before serving. Will keep for several days.

Makes 2 cups.