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CombatCritic's Favorite Recipes


Orecchiette with Broccoli and Bacon Sauce


1lb Bacon
1 Medium Below Onion
2 Cups Chicken Broth
24 Ounces Broccoli Florets - No Stems
2 Clove Fresh Garlic
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
6-8 Fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon Oregano (dry is ok)
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
2 lbs Orecchiette Pasta (may substitute pasta)

Boil broccoli in a large sauce pan until tender. Set aside.  Pan fry bacon until crisp, but not burnt. Cut into pieces (size unimportant because bacon will be blended) and set aside. Add crushed, chopped garlic to bacon grease, adding chopped onion and simmering on medium heat until soft.
Add broccoli, bacon, garlic, and onion to large blender or food processor, bacon grease included. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, basil leaves, and oregano to mixture. Using a potato masher or similar object, push the mixture down into the blender, freeing additional space for broth. Add enough broth so mixture will not overflow when blended/processed. Blend on high speed, adding broth if necessary, until you have a thick puree.

Start boiling water in large pot, adding a small amount of olive oil and salt.

Pour broccoli puree into a large saucepan and heat on low, adding salt, pepper, Olive oil, Parmigiano (all to taste), and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding broth if necessary.  Puree should not be so thick as to ne clump nor so thin as to ne runny.

Boil pasta for 12-14 minutes (times vary depending on type, altitude), drain well, and place in large serving platter. Spoon broccoli puree over pasta until well coated, stirring gently and adding extra Parmigiano if desired.

Mangia ... e buon appetito!

Serves 8-12 hungry guests

CombatCritic pasta broccoli bacon onion basil Parmigiano puree sauce oregano chili salt pepper, Middle Eastern appetizer tahini tahina dip pita sesame seeds food processor Hummus lemon cloves garlic cumin garbanzo beans garnish lemon juice garlic blend salt pepper olive oil



Tahini can be prepared homemade or purchased at a Middle Eastern grocer in a can. It is called tahini or tahina, depending on the region.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

·         5 cups sesame seeds
·         1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, tossing the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

Yield: 4 cups

Storing Tahini

Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.


Ingredients - Recipe makes 5 Cups/40 Servings

2 Cloves Garlic
2 (19 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper and cumin to taste
1/4 cup olive oil


In a blender, chop the garlic. Pour garbanzo beans into blender, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish. Put lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic, and salt in blender. Add salt gradually as the blending occurs. Blend until creamy and well mixed.

2.   To adjust the texture between creamy and more solid, vary the amount of liquid you drain from the can. The  more liquid the creamier. 

3.   Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl and store the rest in your freezer. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with a few garbanzo beans.

      Serve with baked pita chips or fresh vegetables...ENJOY!

        Middle Eastern appetizer tahini tahina dip pita sesame seeds food processor Hummus lemon cloves garlic cumin garbanzo beans garnish lemon juice garlic blend salt pepper olive oil

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