Soba Noodles with Mango and Herbs

A fun, light, and quick dinner. We made it last week, and even had some leftovers that my son took to school the following day. This recipe is based on a recipe I saw online in an Israeli website, with some mild changes.

1 lb soba noodles (I used the wheat free ones)
1 mango, cut into pieces
2 scallions, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds
2 tbs sweet chili sauce
2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Cook the soba noodles in boiling water, as instructed on the packaging. Drain the noodles.

In a large bowl, place the drained noodles, mango, scallions, cilantro, mint, and both sesames.

In a smaller bowl, combine the sweet chili, vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well and add to the larger bowl. Mix all the ingredients well to let the flavors combine and serve immediately.


Homemade Tomato Sauce

Most people I know in the U.S. do not make their own tomato sauce at home. They rather buy it ready-made in a jar, heat it up, and duct their pasta. Maybe this is a habit they developed since going to college, or maybe they think that making tomato sauce from scratch is involved and takes a lot of work. Whatever the reason, if you like to cook, this should be one of the easiest things you can make, and the result is so much better than the store-bought version.

I like to make large quantities of the sauce (double or triple the recipe below), especially when fresh tomatoes are cheap, and divide into portions. I keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest. This way, we always have the sauce available, and we use it not only as pasta sauce but also as a base (if there is no oregano in it) for other dishes.

If you can’t get your hands-on fresh tomatoes, you may substitute with a large can of pureed tomatoes, and reduce the amount of tomato paste to 1 tbs.

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped thinly
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
6-7 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
2 tablespoon tomato paste
½ tsp sugar (optional)
½ tsp dried oregano (optional)
Salt and black pepper

In a medium size pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until golden.

Place the tomatoes in a food processor and puree them. Add them to the pot and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomato paste, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered for another 20 minutes. If your tomatoes have a lot of liquid in them, leave the pot uncovered and cook until the contents of the pot are reduced to half. You want to end up with a relatively thick sauce, not soup.

Zucchini in Tomato Sauce

This dish is very unpretentious and is one of the easiest dishes to make. Yet, it always satisfies my cravings for old world kind of food – grandma’s rich, slow cooking dishes.

My youngest son can’t have enough of this vegetable dish. He will eat it with each meal and also in between meals, as a snack. What else can a mother ask for?

Amitai zucchini

3 tbs olive oil
6 medium zucchini cut into ½” cubes
3 medium tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat the oil in a medium pot.

Add the zucchini and sauté on high heat, stirring the zucchini occasionally, until some of the zucchini browns a bit, like in the picture below.

zucchini sauteed

In the meantime, cut the tomatoes in quarters and place in a food processor. Using the pulse button, crush the tomatoes.

Once the zucchini is golden, add the crushed tomatoes, the garlic, and the salt. Stir well, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 10 – 15 minutes covered.

zucchini in sauce

If there is too much liquid in the pot, cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered, on high heat.

You may enjoy this dish as a side dish, as a pasta sauce, or mix it with some eggs in a pan for a hearty breakfast.

Angel Hair Pasta in Lemon Sauce

Angel hair in lemon sauce

This recipe was texted to me by my sister who lives in Israel, after I complained about not having enough ideas for quick and yummy dishes.

I love this recipe, for and foremost because I find it really simple, and yet super delicious. And it gets even better, since prep time is only 10 minutes.

It is a great recipe for busy people who want to eat well, but don’t have time to cook.


1 package angel hair pasta
4 tablespoons salt
1 small bunch green asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces(optional)
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 2 lemons
4 oz butter
salt and pepper


Fill a large pot with water up to ¾ of its height. Bring to a boil.

Prepare a bowl with ice and water to create an ice bath for the asparagus.

Once the water in the pasta pot is boiling add the salt and throw the asparagus in. Boil it for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking and keep the vibrant green color.

Add the pasta to the salted water and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from clumping.

While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. When melted, add the lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.

When the sauce is ready and the pasta is cooked, remove the asparagus from the ice bath and add to the pan with the lemon sauce. Add the pasta to the pan as well and mix it all to coat with the sauce.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately. You could grate some Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta, but I find it just perfect the way it is.