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In my quest to try new things in the kitchen this year, I have to include variations on my standbys. Think, it’s not a totally new date every night, just the usual main squeeze with a different hairstyle. Still kind of exciting, right? Here’s hoping.
A meatless dinner party, you say? In a panic, I start emptying my crisper. And I don’t know how it happened but the results exceeded expectations, pleasing, nay tricking, even my meatiest diners. I stayed in my comfort zone–pasta–and fresh fettuccine at that, so it would have been good with butter and cheese, but I wanted something surprising: A dried tomato and broccoli sauce.
Do you ever wonder about whole wheat pasta? Feel the urge to be a little healthier, but wonder if it’s worth it? Have you ever accidentally about a box of brown fusilli? Well, I’ve tried it out with several different types of pasta sauce, and there’s no reason for the “healthy” stuff to go straight to your latest art project.
My fridge went on the fritz last week, so I was forced into clearinghouse cooking mode. This approach can occasionally yield some misses like a lentil dish with all kinds of crazy things hidden in it. But this time, there was an audible sigh of relief when the ingredients that needed to get used immediately were the following: homemade pasta; bacon from Truck Patch Farms; some cream; and a bunch of oyster mushrooms grown right in Takoma Park. And so another super rich, super decadent pasta sauce was born.
I’ve found my new summer pasta dish to obsess over. Winter’s carbonara gave way to sausage and spinach, which turned to spring’s asparagus and ham and cream, which has now ceded supremacy to tomatoes, ricotta, and guanciale (pig’s jowl). I mentioned this combo in my post about the Oyster Club in Mystic, Connecticut and now I’ve recreated it at home. I suspect that the chef who came up with this didn’t actually cook the guanciale, but I did.
The danger of following a recipe over my gut became clear to me this week. I clipped this Bill Telepan recipe for Baked Broccoli Ravioli from the February issue of Food & Wine. It struck me as beautifully simple aside …
This is the tale of two dishes, part one. Last week I cooked a pistou–a French vegetable soup with garlic, basil, and olive oil–for the Washington Post. They have a piece coming up on summer soups. The recipe called for a small dice of many different vegetables and since I wanted to make it pretty–perfect little cubes–this meant there would be tons of usable scraps. Thus, a second dish was born.
Starting to feel a little asparagus fatigue but unable to pass it by at the farmers market? Yes, it’s probably best grilled just after the T-bone gets pulled off the heat, but at this point you’ve likely also had it roasted with parmesan, steamed with a vinaigrette, and pureed in a soup or two. Here’s another turn–in a pasta sauce–one I made this weekend for a lunch. There are no leftovers, which is sad, but there will probably be a couple more bunches of asparagus this season.
I’ve been revisiting some of my classics lately–a nostalgia tour. Today, the chicken enchiladas, and earlier in the week I made my go-to pasta sauce. If I had to eat just one dish the rest of my days, this would be it, and yet, I don’t think I’ve written about it. An oversight I will now remedy.
I have to hand it to the food editors at Martha Stewart Living: They still manage to out-recipe the magazines whose primary focus is food. The March issue has a series of recipes using early spring onions. The one that caught my attention is a play on my fave blini and caviar. Boil pasta and then toss with butter, creme fraiche, and some of the cooking water. Salt and pepper and serve with more creme fraiche, chive blossoms, chopped chives, diced hard-boiled egg, and caviar. Enjoy with–you know it–champagne.