Spring Pasta with Scallops, Asparagus and Blood Orange


I went home for spring break last week but we were only in San Diego for 4 nights so my mom and I had to plan our menus strategically. Two nights were already taken care of because fish tacos and Cardiff Crack go without saying. Some of my favorite things that I am usually too cheap to buy while I’m at school are scallops and lamb. They both also happen to lend themselves well to spring-y dishes so those took care of our other two nights.

links to the other spring recipes: Slow Cooker Lamb with Chick Peas and Grilled Eggplant, Cabbage-Beet Tahini Slaw, Chard with Anchovy Tomato Dressing

  • 1 box fussili pasta
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 blood orange (for juice and zest)
  • bay scallops
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • sprinkle truffle salt
  • 2 handfuls little yellow tomatoes
  • 4 pats butter
  • 1 handful baby kale
  • 3 sprigs basil
  • 2 cups peas (preferably fresh)
  • splash of dry white wine (plus another bottle for drinking while cooking)
  • Parmesan
  1. in a non-stick skillet melt butter over medium low heat with 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. slice shallot and add to pan, cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally until opaque, then remove from pan
  3. line a pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and put tomatoes on it, drizzle them with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with truffle salt, bake at 350°F until blistered (15 minutes-ish)
  4. slice asparagus in 1 inch pieces and remove peas from shells if necessary
  5. boil water and prepare an ice bath, cook them in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath as fast as possible
  6. drain those guys and put them in a large mixing bowl, zest and juice the blood orange into said bowl
  7. wash kale and basil and slice them, add to the bowl, add capers
  8. cook pasta according to isntructions
  9. add the remaining 2 pats butter and the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the shallot pan over medium high heat
  10. add the scallops carefully
  11. when they start turned brown on the cook-side flip them over, with tongs slide them along the bottom of the pan to absorb the toasted butter flavor
  12. continue cooking until opaque throughout then add them into the bowl with all the other items
  13. add a splash of white wine to the scallop pan to deglaze it and transfer that sauce to the bowl with all of the other items then add all that good stuff to the drained pasta

We had grilled shrimp on the side because grilled shrimp goes with everything.

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cabbage-Beet Tahini Slaw


This is my bastardized version of Mission Chinese Food’s beautiful cabbage salad. But hey, sometimes when you’re a college student on a budget you have to pick and choose which exotic pantry items you can afford and which are just going to have to wait. I used peanuts for a crunchy element, although I would love to try it with some sort of grain. I also cut out quite a few ingredients that I couldn’t find at the local market but still thought it came out pretty good.

note: This makes a BIG salad. I wanted to use the whole cabbage in one go so I upped the dressing, the good news is it makes for great leftovers. On the other hand you can always use half a cabbage and dial down the dressing measurements.

  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 1 large yellow beet
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp tahini (you’ll definitely want a runnier tahini for this, the Whole Foods 365 one is my best friend)
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 anchovy fillets (preferable ones packed in olive oil)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 sheets nori (like the big sushi ones)


  1. slice cabbage and beets (I did matchstick cuts-see photo) and mince garlic
  2. in a bowl or jar add tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, tamari (or soy sauce) and rice vinegar and shake well
  3. slice the anchovy fillets as finely as possible then add them to the dressing and continue shaking until combined
  4. heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat then add the sesame seeds, make sure to keep an eye on them and continue tossing them
  5. once they start to smell nice and turn a little brown remove them from the pan
  6. in the same pan add the peanuts and do the same thing
  7. rip the nori into little pieces and add it to your big bowl of cabbage and beets, add the nuts and seeds as well then pour dressing over
  8. mix thoroughly with tongs or your hands

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Giant Pumpkin Cookies with Spiced Ricotta Frosting

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad
Pumpkin everything.


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cup raw sugar +a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20 walnuts (optional)

spiced ricotta frosting:

  • 3 cups Ricotta
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  1. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment
  2. beat together butter and sugar with a fork in a large mixing bowl
  3. add egg, vanilla and pumpkin puree stir until combined
  4. add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and mix until combined
  5. spoon cookies onto baking sheet and cook for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown
  6. remove and let cool
  7. in a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients for ricotta frosting until fluffy
  8. spread ricotta mixture over the cookies and sprinkle with remaining sugar, press a walnut on top
  9. great with chai tea. or red wine, as is everything

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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