Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Food Wednesday - Smash up!

So - yesterday night when I got home I wanted to cook. I also wanted to use what was in the house. And think about spring. It's here! It's 40 freakin' degrees.

To celebrate - I kidnapped the Good Doctor's Miata and drove it home at high rates of speed with the top down and music blaring. (Yes, it's good to have super short hair!)

What did I cook? Yummy. Carrots are an interesting vegetable. They are considered both a winder root veggie - and also a "first sign of spring" veggie.

I looked for pasta recipes. And came up with two. One from Mark Bittman (hee! I just spelled his last name Bitt(er)man!) from Saveur which toasts the pasta and adds liquid in a risotto type preparation - and another from Lucullian Delights - one of my favorite food and photography blogs. I liked her recipe because it had pine nuts and fresh thyme in it.

So I smashed them together and came out with an equally delicious taste of spring.

Toasted Gemelli & Thyme Carrots

8 cups Chicken Stock
5 tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb. gemelli (uncooked)
8 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 sprigs of thyme (still on the stem, the leaves will fall off as you stir)
1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low to keep stock hot.

2. Melt 4 tbsp. of the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add uncooked pasta, pine nuts, thyme, and carrots and cook, stirring often, until pasta is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

3. Add 1 cup of the hot stock at a time to the pasta, stirring constantly; wait until almost all the stock has been absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking and adding stock (you may have some stock left over) until pasta is tender but firm to the bite, 10–15 minutes.

4. Remove pot from heat, pick out thyme stems, and stir in the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and the parmigiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warm serving dish. Serve with more freshly grated parmigiano, if you like.

SERVES 4 – 8

In other food news - The UMC (United Methodist Church) is sending out a writer and video photographer next week to interview me (and members of the congregation) about the links between sustainable agriculture/cooking and faith. I'm pretty excited - especially because they know I am no longer cooking the Wednesday night meal. 

Also exciting is that Chris will be here this weekend to photo/interview me about "The New Southern Church Kitchen" as I cook the Palm Sunday Brunch. He'll be able to share his photos/content with the m.UMC people.

And ... that brings me to Chris! Yay! I can hardly wait to see him. Most interesting is that he'll be here EXACTLY during the two-year anniversary of our trip to London/Amsterdam. I cannot wait to spend time with him.

Happy Food Wednesday everyone - go celebrate spring! (Which means "affordable asparagus" and "sweet strawberries"!!!)

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