Tag Archives: pasta

Parshat Vayeira

In this week’s Parsha God appears to Avraham as he sits at the entrance to his tent (Bereishit 18:1). Before Avraham gets a chance to react, he see three men (angels, actually) at the tent, who he welcomes with extraordinary hospitality.

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So what happened to his interaction with God?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers a truly incredible insight here  by suggesting that in Pasuk 3, Avraham is not actually addressing the guests when he says, “My lords, if only I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass on from beside your servant,” but he’s talking to God.

Wait a minute. Avraham is asking God to wait while he serves human beings?

Rabbi Sacks’s explanation is unbelievably profound. He explains that in Avraham’s time, people worshiped the sun, the stars and the forces of nature — God’s creations. Avraham, by contrast, understood that God is beyond nature.

The Torah tells us that out of all of God’s creations, only one was set in His image: the human being.

Rabbi Sacks explains that, “the forces of nature are impersonal, which is why those who worship them eventually lose their humanity. You cannot worship impersonal forces and remain a person: compassionate, humane, generous, forgiving.”

He further explains that “because we believe that G‑d is personal, someone to whom we can say “You,” we honor human dignity as sacrosanct.”

Avraham recognized the Divine in the faces of the strangers. Welcoming them was an affirmation of God Himself. Avraham was honouring God through honouring His image – humanity.

This week’s recipe is inspired by the three strangers that came to Avraham to deliver the news of Sarah’s impending pregnancy. They were messengers from God – angels.

Grilled garlic chicken on angel hair pasta.

Bereishit 18:2 2. And he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing beside him, and he saw and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and he prostrated himself to the ground.

Bereishit 18:2 And he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing beside him, and he saw and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and he prostrated himself to the ground.

Grilled Garlic Chicken on Angel Hair Pasta

This recipe is ridiculously easy, but oh so delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into strips 1 1/2″ wide
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons teriyaki or garlic sauce
  • 1  lb angel hair pasta

Directions:

  1. Cut up chicken breasts and marinade in garlic sauce for an hour.
  2. Bake chicken for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F in marinade.
  3. Remove chicken from oven (reserve sauce) and place on grill (if you don’t have a bar-b-q, you can broil it) for five minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce on top of the cooked pasta, adding another 2 tablespoons of garlic sauce. Place chicken on top of the pasta.

Enjoy!

B’tayavon and have a great Shabbos.

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Parshat Naso

When the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was finally dedicated on the first day of the month of Nissan, the heads of each of the Shvatim (tribes)  together brought six covered wagons and twelve oxen to help transport the Mishkan

According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe: there is an important lesson to be learned from this. The nation of Israel is comprised of twelve different tribes, each of which is distinguished by unique characteristics, each bringing its own distinct contribution to the fulfillment of its spiritual mission. We also recognize that although we were blessed with something that our fellow tribes might not have, “it is they who provide us with what we lack.”

 Half a wagon is useless—we must combine our gifts in order to have something with which to transport the “Tent of Meeting” in our journey through the spiritual desert that is our material world. And while we may perhaps be able to produce a complete “ox” by our own efforts, it takes two oxen to pull our common wagon.

Here’s a recipe to commemorate the six ‘Agalot’  (wagons) that were brought by the twelve tribal chieftains in honour of the dedication of the Mishkan.

Wagon Wheel Pasta with Basil 

Bamidbar/Numbers 7:3: They brought their offering before the Lord: six covered wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for each two chieftains, and an ox for each one; they presented them in front of the Mishkan.

Bamidbar/Numbers 7:3: They brought their offering before the Lord: six covered wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for each two chieftains, and an ox for each one; they presented them in front of the Mishkan.

This is a very casual recipe so amounts do not need to be exact.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Wagon Wheel pasta, cooked
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil,
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoon pine nuts, crushed
  • handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste

Directions:

While basil is soaking in soapy water (to remove bugs) sautee onions in olive oil. Add garlic and then chopped basil, pine nuts and tomatoes. Toss with pasta and add seasoning.

Enjoy!

B’tayavon and Shabbat Shalom!

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Parshat Shelach – June 16, 2012

So this was a week where I actually thought I could post the recipe on Wednesday night. (Sorry Marilyn, I was thinking of your Thursday morning Parsha class.) I knew what the D’var Torah would be and had the ingredients for the recipe ready to go. But you see dear reader, I made a terrible mistake. I had a horrendous allergy attack that lasted for an hour so I took a ‘daytime’ anti-histamine.

Friends: Learn from my mistake!

DO NOT BELIEVE THE BOX WHEN IT SAYS ‘DAYTIME.’ It was only after I took the pill that I noticed that it also said, ‘may cause drowsiness’ as well as ‘don’t drive.’

I fell asleep at 9:30 am. When I woke up I tried going to the gym but I could barely lift my legs. I fell asleep in the afternoon again. After dinner I lay down to ‘rest’ for two minutes… I woke up in the next morning with my clothes on. Ewww.

I essentially took a sleeping pill first thing in the morning.

Rant over.

Anyhow, back to the Parsha. This week’s Parsha gives the dramatic account of God allowing Moshe to send scouts to the land of Israel to survey it before the nation of Israel will enter. In Bamidbar 13:23

They came to the Valley of Eshkol and they cut a branch with a cluster of grapes. They carried it on a pole between two people

Rashi comments that two poles were used. Eight of the spies took the cluster of grapes, one had a fig, and one had a pomegranate. That totals ten out of the twelve scouts. The remaining two: Yehoshua and Calev didn’t take anything. This confirms that the intention of the ten spies was to bring back a terrifying and slanderous report about the land. The fruit was extraordinary, so imagine how gigantic the people are!

Midrash Rabbah adds that they prefaced their fear-mongering with the words, ‘the land does indeed flow with milk and honey…’ Such is the way with gossip – start off with something positive and then get to the evil.

In this week’s recipe we’ll celebrate the extraordinary bounty and gift of the produce of Eretz Yisrael. And let’s be honest – we all know that the fruit and veggies taste a thousand times better in Israel!

Orzo, Grape, and Almond Salad

  • 2 cups orzo, cooked
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • oil for sauteing
  • lemon juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute almonds with garlic, basil, and oil until they have a nice golden colour. Add to the pasta. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add grapes.

B’tayavon and have a great Shabbos!

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Parshat Naso – June 2, 2012

Bamidbar 6:5  he shall allow the growth of the hair of his head to grow wild.

In this Parsha, the Torah discusses the status of the ‘Nazir:’ the individual whose desire to separate from the physical world and cling to God takes a vow of abstinence from wine/grapes, cutting their hair, and becoming ritually impure. He’s referred to as a sinner but also as ‘Kodesh’ (holy). Rambam explains that a person should seek moderation in their ways and not choose extremes. According to Rabbi Yakov Haber striking a balance is the ideal.

Partaking of the physical pleasures of the world within moderation for the purpose of nurturing the body and providing the necessary physical happiness to serve as the backdrop for ‘avodas Hashem is the approach the Torah advocates for most. 

Here’s a recipe that gives homage to the Nazir (as ‘Kodesh’ of course) and his uncut hair – as symbolized by spaghettini.

Bamidbar 6;5 …and he shall allow the growth of the hair of his head to grow wild

Spaghettini with Grilled Chicken 

  • 2 cups cooked spaghettini
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Marinaded and Bar-b-q’ed Chicken Breasts
  • 4 pieces skinless/boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Mix cooked pasta with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Top with chicken marinaded in soy sauce, ketchup, and honey and then grilled. Add sliced scallions and peppers and sesame seeds.

 

 

 

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