Monday, April 28, 2008

A first!

Woo hoo, an introduction! Summer and I started this food blog. Look forward to daily (actually, between the two of us, it'll probably end up being a few times a day) posts with recipes, photographs, links to stuff we like, and more. But hey, on to the good stuff!

Let me preface this by saying that my husband Jason does most of the cooking in our house. He has a culinary degree, and most of the fancy food stuff I know, I learned from him. He's always offering me helpful advice, like my favorite answer to the often-asked question, "How long should I cook ____?" "'Til it's done!" Thanks, dude.

Anyway, tonight for dinner we had what he called "Junk Pasta," a collection of tasty ingredients, somewhat dumped together to create a fairly delicious end result. I have to admit, my husband and I have slightly different ideas about Italian food. With all his restaurant experience, he doesn't have much of an Italian background, whereas the only "real" restaurant I've ever worked in was an Italian place. Sure, I washed dishes, but they let me toss some crap together on the line a few times! Anyway, I like my garlic in massive portions, and lightly browned in oil- he prefers a lighter touch. I like lots of cracked black pepper and chili flakes, he likes to taste the sweetness of the tomatoes. So, with that in mind, I will post the recipe as he made it, and then add my own 'corrections' at the end.





Junk Pasta!

You'll need:

A big handful of chopped garlic (5 cloves? whatever you like. i like a LOT of garlic.)
Half a large red onion, diced
About a cereal bowl full of plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 can artichoke hearts
A couple of italian sausages (get spicy ones!)
A big handful of chopped fresh basil
Splash of white wine
Some fresh mozzarella

Okay, it's pretty straightforward after that! Fry up those sausages with some olive oil in a good-sized saute pan until golden brown, then take them out and let them hang out on a cutting board for a minute while you get the rest of the stuff going. Throw in some more oil, your garlic and onions, let them get nice and glassy, then a splash of white wine. Toss in your lemon zest, your artichokes, tomatoes, basil. Throw the sausage back in. Let it hang out and get saucy for awhile. Salt & pepper to taste.

For plating, put a handful of fresh spinach on the plate (if you want) for texture. Top with noodles of your choice, sauce, some more fresh basil, and maybe a squeeze of lemon. We topped it with itty bitty mozzarella balls, too.

That's pretty much it. I know, a pasta recipe is kind of a no-brainer, right? Now- for the minor corrections. My husband likes to pop whole cherry tomatoes into his mouth, and I really only like tomatoes IN stuff- you know? So, for this dish, I'd chop the tomatoes. I'd also dice up the artichoke hearts a little finer, just so everything was the same size. Also, we both agreed that it would have been extra delicious if we'd remembered to squeeze some lemon juice onto the fresh spinach before we topped it with the pasta. And you know, some butter and parmesan probably would have helped, too- haha! (But we are trying to be healthier.) Also, some olives! Why not?

Overall, I wouldn't call this my FAVORITE PASTA DISH OF ALL TIME, but it was light, filling, and did the trick on a warm spring evening.


standing said...


The blog looks great. Food-romance.

With how approachable you both make it, I might just learn to bake / cook after all.


hello_destroyer said...

Woot woot! Food romance would have been a better name!

keepportlandweird said...

Hey Alicia! Great-looking blog. Are those Polaroids? ;-) I think you should take a closer look at the food label on parmesan cheese. It's not as evil as you might think. I have to avoid clogging my arteries, and parmesan is the heart-healthiest cheese out there. Unfortunately, butter is a completely different story...

Steve from The Oregonian

hello_destroyer said...

hey steve, yeah i was talking about the butter mostly :)

thanks for stopping by!

toni said...

Alice, can I take you home with me? Michael and I are always taking photos of our food on the Iphone. Doesn't quite compare to your beautiful photos. You are amazing!

megaul said...

the steam in photo 3 is amazing. what an awesome journal!