Today we are having yesterday’s pasta that wasn’t. This is a simple but delicious dish. The prep and cooking time is about 20 minutes.
While you are bringing the water for the pasta up to a boil sauté a tablespoon or so of chopped shallot and two sliced garlic cloves in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Start cooking the pasta (we use three ounces per person) in the salted water. While that’s going, sauté the diagonally sliced asparagus stems. Drain the pasta when the penne is quite al dente reserving a cup of the pasta water. Put the asparagus tips in the pan and dump the hot penne in on top. Mix it over heat using some of the pasta water to create a thin sauce. When the penne texture is perfectly to your liking, serve.
Penne with asparagus
For a vegetarian dish include grated cheese over the top. For omnivores you might add a little ham.
Posted in Easy, Italian, Kitchen tips, Pasta, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Tagged asparagus, penne, pasta, Vegan, vegetarian
John goes into the office today which always means a larger lunch than usual. I go out to lunch with my daughter which also means a larger lunch than usual. These two events have an impact on dinner tonight.
My lunchtime spicy banh mi sandwich
After settling down with a glass of wine and some pretzels to talk about our days’ events, I make an herb and tomato salad which includes two types of peppers, scallions, and a toasted pita. It is really a fattoush.
Tomato herb salad with crisp pita
We are supposed to be making penne with asparagus for the main event. I say to John, “Are you still hungry?” “Not really,” he replies. So in an unusual hunger awareness situation (usually we would just eat dinner anyway), we cancel the pasta and decide that salad is enough for dinner. Good for us!!
Posted in Easy, Middle Eastern, rice, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Tagged bell pepper, cucumbers, fattoush, herbs, Pita, poblano chile, tomatoes
We run into a little trouble when our cast iron flat top catches fire on the grill. Our experiment with searing scallops on a ripping hot surface does not turn out well. Lesson, never add fat too an overly hot grill, flat top, frying pan, etc. I am really glad that this occurs outside instead of in the kitchen. Fortunately no one is hurt or anything else catches fire.
Blackened scallops (by mistake) with spinach and new potatoes
After the fire dies down, John continues to cook the scallops but the heat of the flat top is a little too much for the delicate scallops. Let’s just call these blackened scallops. In the meantime I cook some new potatoes, spinach, and make tartar sauce.
I suggest that we go back to fried scallops. It is not a happy-making remark.
Tonight’s dinner has two courses! How fancy of us! For out first course we have a the ingredients for a Caprese salad on a bed of spinach. Our daughter’s tomatoes are the stars with backup from basil that I grow in the backyard in a pot.
The chicken preparation sounds confusing but all it is really just a sous vide chicken breast that we season with some BBQ sauce and then slap on the grill briefly. Usually we cook chicken thighs on the grill for this dinner but we only had breasts in the freezer. They can get really dried out if you try to cook them on the grill the whole time. The side dish is a spicy bean salad. It is a mixture of black-eyed peas and black beans with a whole lot of other chopped up vegetables. I put harissa in it for a spicy punch.
BBQ chicken breast with spicy bean salad aka Texas caviar
Posted in American, Grilling, Kitchen tips, Legumes, Vegetables
Tagged basil, beans, caprese salad, chicken, mozzarella, spinach, tomatoes
We have been off celebrating John’s birthday so my well-planned menu has flown out the window. We ate out for dinner one night and then had no dinner the next due to a large lunch. After one more celebration with the family today things should get back to normal. Here’s a look at some of the dishes we’ve had.
We shared this delicious rabbit pate with pickled vegetables
I had herb and ricotta dumplings which John helped eat
He enjoyed duck confit
On a beautiful Friday we stopped at Stonestreet Winery in the Alexander Valley for some top notch Chardonnay tasting
I expect my menu will be filled with less caloric selections next week!