Last Monday was another Girls Night In dinner. I had originally planned to
Other than the asparagus (which Iris had simply purchased too many at the store) this is all from Iris's garden. And YES - I totally went over there with my little basket because really, that is the sort of thing that one does when one lives in Smalltown USA. One goes to visit one's neighbor with a basket and one stocks up on produce straight from the garden.
Anyways, it was very clear upon returning home that plans for sliced steak with tomato/cuke salad were chucked and that I would be making Pasta Primavera. I mean, really - HOW COULD I NOT?
So what sucks for you dear readers is that when I am in the kitchen and cooking, I am cooking i.e. I am not writing flipping recipes. There's a big difference. And what this means is that I can kinda sorta maybe tell you what I threw in the pot - and you can kinda sorta maybe replicate it. Or not.
Anyways, for last Monday's GNI (that'd be Girls Night In for those of you who don't do acronyms), I started us off with some crostini of sorts. I had some leftover roasted garlic sun-dried tomato pesto so I took a loaf of sourdough bread, cut up some cubes, spread with the pesto, and topped with chunks of really amazing goat cheese from Trader Joe's (and yes - you can totally taste the difference between amazing goat cheese and craptastic goat cheese.) I plunked in the oven at 350 (I think) for about 15 minutes until the bread was toasty and everything was warmed through. The cheese didn't get as melty as I wanted but OMG....SOOOO good. PS - I totally took a before shot:
But totally didn't take any after shot because as soon as those bad boys came out of the oven, we DEVOURED them. Yes. Tastalicious. Mmmhhhmmmm. (*licks lips* *salivates*)
As for the Pasta Primavera, here's a rough idea of what I did:
I sauteed a few small green bell peppers from Iris's garden along with some chopped garlic and sliced red onion, one chopped jalapeno (no seeds) and some sliced yellow squash (also from the garden). Once cooked, I added some chopped artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and chopped fresh tomatoes.
Then I cooked a box of whole wheat fusilli according to package instructions.
I tossed the pasta with the above mentioned veggie mixture and some homemade red sauce. And please don't ask me how I made the sauce because I made it 100 years ago when I went on my muffin baking spree and I was clearly insane. I think I peeled a bunch of fresh tomatoes from Iris's garden, ran them through my awesome-yet-underused tomato press, threw the resulting pap into a pot with some smashed garlic cloves and herbs, and called it a day.
As for the Primavera, I also threw in some leftover grilled chicken, the rest of the awesomtastic goat cheese, some roasted asparagus tips (only 'cuz my oven is insane and they got completely overcooked), some sauteed chard (also from Iris and OMG - chard is like the most insane vegetable ever and quite difficult to cook!), a sprinkle of fresh basil and a handful of grated Parmesan.
I think the nice thing about Pasta Primavera is you almost don't need a recipe. Just use whatever you have on hand and whatever you like. It'll be different every time but it will always be yums!
That said, do you want to know the most RANDOM THING EVER? One of the first recipes I ever actually created and wrote down (probably close to 15 years ago) was for Buckwheat Pasta Primavera. It was pretty inspired given that 1) I was visiting my friend L-Belle @ UC-Boulder, 2) it was 4am and 3) I was
Even better then the fresh garden goodness?
Dessert was strawberries and fresh whipped cream made in my awesome whipped cream maker.
Of course, after the whole "setting myself on fire incident" the other week, I was more than a wee bit nervous attaching the nitrogen can to the whipped cream maker because I was fairly certain that I was going to take out one or possibly both of my eyes and/or decapitate someone. And I pretty much wondered why I didn't just put the cream in the Kitchen-Aid and let that do all of the work, but apparently this meal was all about random kitchen appliances. And lucky for us all, after wasting one little canister of nitrogen, we wound up with this:
And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...