Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pasta A Casa!

The quality of our lives changed dramatically in the fall of 2008, when JustAwesome took a pizza-making class with pizza guru, Mark Bello from PizzaACasa. Well, yesterday we took his pasta class. It was soooooo much fun. I can only imagine what our lives’ll be like now...

Here are some of the things we made:

Plucking the pasta chitarra (guitar)

Cacio e pepe ala chitarra


Pumpkin Pappardelle
with brown butter and crispy sage leaves

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Holy Smokin’ Easy Soup!

JustAwesome asked me to make a pea soup today. From frozen peas. She said it was super easy and really good. I don’t love peas, honestly. I find them too sweet. But I trust her judgement—if she said it is really good, then it is really good.

It is sooooooooo freakin’ good.

Not pretty, but smokin’!

The most challenging part is reading the recipe, which is, oddly, in paragraph form. I don’t usually type recipes, but I can’t resist here.

The quickest and best soup you can make is to cook 3 cups of frozen peas in 2 cups of vegetable stock made with a good-quality bouillon cube. When the peas are tender, purée in the food processor or blender. Add some olive oil (preferably basil-infused) and season to taste. Serve Parmesan to sprinkle over.

And that’s it. She does go on to say that you can add ham or this or that but that is basically it.

I used Whole Foods’ 365 organic petite frozen peas and Pacific veggie broth. Immersion blender. Salt. Pepper. Then, instead of basil-infused olive oil, I used a Smoked Extra Virgin Olive Oil that we just picked up this weekend. Clearly the pièce de résistance. Holy smokes!

Great with the leftover gougères that we froze!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mango Madness!

On our weekly shopping list it usually says, “fun fruit” in JustAwesome’s tight scribble. She writes this, I believe, because she loves me. I will never eat an apple or an orange for dessert, but I am usually super excited to have a pineapple, mango, pomegranate or even some grapes. (Especially frozen seedless champagne grapes. The best!) Sometimes they’re organic, sometimes they’re not. And, of course, they’re not local. I feel bad about that, I do, but I feel good about my shrinking waistline.

If there was a fire I’d grab: my pants, my girl, my dog and my mango slicer. I know that real cooks pooh-pooh unitask tools, but I am not a real cook and honestly, I doubt your mangos are as easy-to-prepare as mine. I’d go so far to say that you probably barely ever eat them. Because they’re such a drag to cut. Pooh-pooh on you, naysayers.

Easy to cut. Easy to clean. Fun fruit.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mac & (cauliflower) Cheese

Macaroni and Cheesiflower? Yes, please.

JustAwesome found this Bittman recipe in the March issue of Runner’s World. I don’t like to eat low-fat this and spray-on that but I am still trying lose my freshman 15*. This macaroni and cheese with cauliflower is a great solution. The pureed cauliflower adds the creaminess—much less cheese is necessary—and really bulks it up. And bread crumbs, yum. It was warm and lovely. I felt warm and lovely.

Does it replace macaroni and cheese altogether? No, I don’t think so, but it was really good. I’m sure we’ll be making this one again and again. Thanks, Mark Bittman.

Pass the Bittman Macaroni and Cheesiflower, please!

*I’ve lose 16.5 pounds to date. Thanks, Weight Watchers!