Nov 14 2010

pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts

Ok, so clearly we’re really into fall foods.  We just can’t stop buying butternut squash.  One Monday night when we had a butternut squash lying around waiting to be eaten, I saw this recipe on the kitchn and thought, perfect!  A quick Monday night dinner and we have all the ingredients!  The problem was that I was only right on the latter.  You see, once you have to roast something, your time is just going to go up and we just didn’t factor that into our timing.  So it ended up being a late night dinner, but it was totally worth it for this delicious autumnal pasta.

One of the things that really made this dish shine was the truffle salt that we put on just before serving.  Now, this is totally optional, but trust me, it’s totally, totally worth the money.  This last Valentine’s Day I got Joseph Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home and a jar of truffle salt from Williams Sonoma. Now, this may be a teeny, tiny far of salt that costs nearly 30, yes 30, dollars.  But trust me!!!  It’s so worth every penny!  We use it all the time and yet  you can barely tell that we’ve made a dent in it even though we’ve been using it since mid-February!  If you don’t believe me, just check out all 30 reviews with the average of 5 stars.  If you’ve never had the extreme pleasure of getting to try truffles, do yourself a favor and get this salt.  If you have had truffles and you know how extraordinary the flavor is, I shouldn’t even have to tell you to get this salt.  It imparts a lovely, earthy truffle flavor to everything you add it to from scrambled eggs to your pizza to your pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts.  Put the salt on your Christmas/Hanuka/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Whatever list and you’ll thank me the second you open the jar and get a whiff of what lies inside. Continue reading

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Oct 23 2010

baked chicken meatballs and spaghetti

It’s amazing to me how quickly fall came.  It’s like it was 90 degrees one day, and 50 the next.  I like fall a lot, but I hate how short it is.  But when it cooled off, I was thinking about food (as I very often do, especially when I’m consoling myself over the weather) and about how I can now make pasta (thanks to our wonderful new pasta roller), and I suddenly had this craving for a warm, cozy dish that I haven’t had in years.

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Sep 19 2010

fresh arugula and tomato fettuccine

I am so excited to tell you about this dish.  My sister and brother-in-law gave us a pasta roller attachment for our KitchenAid mixer and I’ve been itching to try it.  But we’ve been going out of town nearly every weekend and it didn’t seem wise to try to tackle it for the first time on a work night.  So we decided today was finally the day and in preparation we went to one of my favorite places in the Boston area, Hutchins Farm.

Hutchins, in beautiful Concord, MA, is an organic farm that Joseph and I found on a bike ride shortly after we had moved north.  It was my favorite place to pick up produce when I worked in Concord a couple years ago.  It’s still my favorite place to get fresh produce, but it’s harder now that I’m not working in the area.  But it’s well worth the trip for their amazing fruits and veggies, especially when you have something special in mind.  Something like my making your own pasta for the first time! Continue reading

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Sep 6 2010

zucchini pasta with almonds

I mentioned before that my sister had sent me a zucchini pasta recipe super similar to a Smitten Kitchen recipe that I was already planning on making.  My sister raved about this recipe from Cooking Light, so I had to try it and see how it compared.  The recipes both share all the same key ingredients: whole wheat pasta, zucchini (of course), lemon, olive oil, almonds, and pecorino romano.  The two main differences between the two dishes are the cut of the zucchini (simple dice vs. painstakingly cut little slivers), addition of tomatoes, and number of ingredients.

The Cooking Light pasta adds both mint and thyme.  As much as I love mint in certain situations (like mint and chocolate, which I love), I’m wary of it in certain food combos such as pasta.  I just feel like it has a strong flavor and can overwhelm the dish.  I might have been a bit light-handed when I added it, but I thought it was fine, adding just a subtle mint flavor. Continue reading

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