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Posts Tagged ‘easy pasta’

A Safety Net of Noodles

February 1, 2011 1 comment

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Yesterday I did not have a very good day. In the grand scheme of life, it was just a bitty blip on the bad day radar. But still I was stressed and found a way to relieve some of that ickyness. So what did I do? Some yoga? Hit the bottle? No, I busted out my pasta maker. For Christmas my husband got me a pasta maker attachment for my KitchenAid and the downward spiral has officially started. For those that know me well, many of them have been surprised I have not entered the experience of homemade pasta. I had a fear. I knew that once I made fresh pasta, anything out of a box would be inferior in taste and I would be destined to make fresh all the time. I was not ready to take that path, until yesterday.

Within a blech kind of day I found solace and comfort in cooking and here’s why. What I realized while boiling the pasta water was that I appreciated the consistency of cooking. My pasta water would always boil at 212 degrees. My blueberry coffee cake would always take 45 minutes to bake. Cooking makes no judgment on you and best of all, cooking will always be there for you. I will always have to cook and I appreciate that stability in life’s ups and downs.

So how did I use my fresh fettuccine? I made Fettuccine with Peas and Asparagus – a nice light and appealing dish where using fresh pasta really makes the dish.  I did not use pancetta (I just used a little olive oil to serve as the fat) or fresh basil.  Sorry…I missed taking a photo since we gobbled it up so fast (if you click on the recipe link there is a great picture there).

Today has been a better day and perspective has kicked in as well…but after last night’s dinner therapy, I may have to attend another type of meeting…those addicted to making fresh pasta.  Crap, I knew this would happen.

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Broccoli Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce

September 30, 2010 2 comments

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If I could pick a dream job, being the host of a TV cooking show would rank pretty honkin’ high.  When I was a kid, I would pretend the window that was above the kitchen sink really was a camera and I would talk to the window like I was hosting my own cooking show.  I even did my own commercials ( I still remember the one I did for Vlasic pickles…so any ad agencies out there, gimme a call).  This was waaaay before Food Network so my idols were few, but the uber-talented chefs like Julia Child and the sort really made cooking on TV fun for me.

I would say 88.7% of the recipes I make are those of other people, they are not my own creations.  I wish that number was lower, but the more I cook the more comfortable I get with combinations and techniques.  Last night I had some broccoli from the garden that needed to get used up, so I totally improvised (Augggh!) and to my and my family’s surprise, it turned out pretty good!

I know I will never be the Next Food  Network star (even though my last name just screams out numerous options for a snappy title).  But that’s fine with me, as the house I live in now has a window over a sink and I have an in-house studio audience of four who give me applause and won’t cancel me due to poor ratings.

Broccoli Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce

Serves 5 (2 adults, 3 kids)

1 lb penne pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb or more fresh broccoli ( I would not use frozen due to extra water it has)
3 Tbs. jarred roasted red pepper
3 Tbs pesto
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tbs flour
3/4 cup cream**
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
Optional: grated Parmesan cheese

** To make this a vegan recipe, you could sub in some cashew cream use non-egg pasta and cheese free pesto -> -> I used that for this recipe

In a large pot, boil water.  When water is boiling, add pasta and cook per directions on the box.

Meanwhile in a large skillet,  heat olive oil and cook onions until soft about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir and add white wine first then the broccoli.  Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add red pepper and stir.  Then sprinkle flour over and stir and then cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add cream and stir, cook for 2 minutes and then add pesto.  Season with salt (about 1 tsp) and pepper. You want the broccoli to be cooked but not super limp and overcooked.

Drain pasta and return to the same pot.  Add the broccoli mixture to the pasta and combine well.  Top with cheese if desired.

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