24 October 2010
Herbs and Pasta ...
I will admit that I am a junkie when it comes to pasta ... I love a good macaroni and cheese recipe. I love linguine with a white clam sauce. I love fideos and seafood. I love pot-browned noodles and four spice pork. I love lasagna a kazillion different ways. I love tuna noodle casserole. I love spaghetti and meatballs. I love pastitsio. I love pasta e fagioli. I love penne and spinach. I love a minestrone soup with little shells floating here and there. Get it? I LOVE pasta!
When I came home from a visit to Spain, I brought a cookbook from Barcelona. It has many excellent dishes, but this one has turned out to be so unexpectedly tasty. It's simple, fast, green, and the answer to this pasta-lover's dream. It substitutes the butter one would slather on the pasta with good olive oil. It has a mix of herbs that one would not normally think of combining. It is green tasting. It is delicious! I often think that it would be a wonderful bed for a grilled lamb chop or a pan-seared pork chop, but I have tended to prepare it as if it were an offering from a noodle monger on the street.
I boil the noodles, drain them and return them to the deep pasta pot, drizzle the herb sautè over the pasta, correct the salt and pepper seasonings and add just a dollop of butter. Then, I scoop a mound into a deep bowl, grab a fork to twirl those long noodles, and I gobble it down with a glass of cold white wine .... my preferred is a good Sauvignon blanc, but hey, when I need a pasta fix and there's only Pinot Grigio ...
This is a fast food fix for an evening when I don't want to cook, don't want to think about menu combinations, and don't care about nutrition. Often, it 's a fix after a long day of housecleaning or doing a long stint in the garden, or coming in from a long drive. Whatever .... it's yummy and easy to fix, eat, and clean up after ... and every kitchen needs a few of those types of dishes.
So ... take it as you will.
I guarded this pasta fix from Silent Bob for a good while. It was my little secret. This evening, I handed him a pasta bowl and left him in front of the computer. Poor boy. He's been stymied in some genealogical research that he's been plugging away at and was in need of some sustenance. I handed him the bowl and said, "Just eat this and tell me what you think of it later ... when you feel like coming up for air."
About an hour later, he brought me the empty bowl and asked where I'd ever found that recipe. I winked and smiled.
"Did you like it?"
"Yeah, but it was so green."
"Yup, no cheese. Weird, huh? What herbs did you taste?"
"... and ... ? "
" Thyme ?"
" Mint ... rosemary ... "
" No way!"
"Way! Plus parsley and basil! "
"Really ?!? "
" Yup! Want it again some time? "
And that was that. Silent Bob has added a new pasta fix to his repertoire ... but I knew he'd like it all along. I was only holding out.