Raspberry Pear Tart

This is a great recipe I found last year in the magazine “Taste of Home.” It turned out well and wasn’t complicated — and it was a hit at dinner with friends the other night.

Here’s the recipe, tweaked just a tiny bit.

CRUST:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cold butter
1/3 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

FILLING:
3 medium pears (try Bosc), peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

TOPPING:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 cup cold butter
1/3 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 425F degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 11-in. fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

In a large bowl, combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Add raspberries; toss gently. Pour into crust. Bake for 25 minutes.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and lemon peel; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Pasta con Salsa di Pignoli

This is an easy, no-cook, creamy sauce for pasta that works perfectly for these hot summer nights. The pine nuts (pignoli) add some crunch and protein. You can use either fat-free or regular dairy ingredients, and you can serve it atop any kind of pasta you like — although I favor linguine for this one.

The raw garlic is strong, so leave it out if it’s too much for you, but I personally loved the kick it added to the sauce.

Serves 3

300g (10.5 oz.) linguine
1/2 cup milk
170g (6 oz.) cottage cheese
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 Tbsp. pine nuts, plus extra for garnish
Dried oregano
Salt
Black pepper

Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and mix until combined.

Cook the linguine in the water. When it’s done, drain it, then quickly whiz the sauce ingredients in the blender again. Arrange the pasta on plates and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle a small handful of pine nuts on top, along with some more oregano. Serve immediately.