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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

pasta with cabbage and pancetta

Pasta with cabbage and pancetta

It was over dinner Saturday night that Franny’s restaurant cookbook came up in conversation. A woman seated next to me asked if the book was any good.

“It’s very good,” I replied.

Then I added, “Full disclosure: I worked on it, but it’s very good independent of that.”

The conversation veered in many directions through the evening – fig trees, writing, what we were eating – but my thoughts stayed with Franny’s cookbook through the night and into Sunday morning. It had been too long since I cooked from it.

I had a head of Savoy cabbage in the crisper that was patiently awaiting its fate. Time had turned its leaves more wilted than its normal veining makes it appear – and more limp, too. But cabbage is a resilient vegetable – a few days past its prime and it’s still in fighting spirit. Soups, stews, roasted wedges, cabbage is a marathon vegetable. I can’t think of a single occasion when a head of cabbage went beyond the ability to be salvaged in my house. On the other hand, I can think of countless bags of spinach I’ve forgotten about and found weeks later, way in the back of the refrigerator, the bag’s contents having liquefied itself to a foul-smelling brown liquid. On some unlucky occasions, the bags leaked and instead just removing the offensive produce, I’d spend the next hour scrubbing the refrigerator shelves.

Continue reading pasta with cabbage and pancetta.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

pasta with sun gold tomatoes and onion

pasta with sun gold tomatoes and onion

I’ve started this post. And then started it again. And then started it again. And again. And here I am, still struggling. I kind of just want to delete everything below, and just write, Make this pasta. Tonight. The end.

What I don’t want to do is to write a twee post on how amazing this dish will be. I want to be all, Ok, so we’ve known one another for awhile and you just have to trust me on this, m’kay? Is it delicious and will you want to eat it on a weekly (if not a more frequent) basis? I’m pretty sure once you’ll try it, you’ll answer yes. But do I want to rhapsodise about it and use hyperboles? I’m just not in the mood. Lately, I’ve been feeling very small-d democratic about food, very pedestrian.

In a busy household such as ours, and we’re not even busy-with-kids kind of busy, what I appreciate so much more than having time to test a recipe, is having a homemade dinner with Andrew as often as we can make it happen. Most of the time, we can do it about five days a week. That’s not bad, right? And while I’d prefer to be in the kitchen day in and out cooking for you, I’ve this pesky thing called rent and work has been piling up mountain high. What’s up, summer – aren’t you supposed to be all low and slow?

Continue reading pasta with sun gold tomatoes and onion.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

fregola sarda with peas, zucchini, feta, and almonds

fregola sarda with peas, zucchini, feta, and almonds

Funny how the first thing I write about post honeymoon isn’t some tropical drink or dish (though those are coming some time soon), but about pasta with a somewhat obscure name – fregola sarda. From Jamaica to Sardinia in one fell swoop. How’s that for globetrotting?

Fregola sarda’s name hints at its origins, the island of Sardinia (hence “sarda”). It’s sometimes spelled as fregula and even though it’s a little tricky to find, I can’t recommend it enough. Visually, it looks just like Israeli couscous, which you can certainly swap in its place, should its Sardinian cousin be difficult to find. The only difference that I can think of (and please correct me if I’m wrong) is that fregola sarda is toasted, which gives the pasta a lovely, nutty flavor, while Israeli couscous is not. Curious, I’ve tried toasting Israeli couscous and it makes for a decent close substitute.

Continue reading fregola sarda with peas, zucchini, feta, and almonds.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

pasta con le sarde – pasta with sardines

pasta con le sarde

Last winter, while Andrew was away for work, his cousin Mike happened to be in town. Mike is an entrepreneur who lives in Boston, and if I had to catergorize the kind of person Mike is, well, he’s a bringer-of-people-together. Thus, Mike, being Mike, gathered a bunch of folks: cousins, significant others of cousins who couldn’t make it (that’s me!), and friends – for a brunch at Morandi. It turned into a swell afternoon.

Morandi, for those who don’t live in New York and might be contemplating a visit, is a great place for eating. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – they are all fantastic. But my favorite time to go there is for brunch. It’s boisterous, almost too-loud, but in a gregarious, fun-filled way, as if to remind you that hey, it’s the weekend, live a little. And so we ordered food: eggs, toast, pancakes, bloody mary’s and mimosas. There were at least two orders of Morandi’s famous ricotta fritters. When we got to the last fritter, everyone feigned a polite, No, you go ahead and take it, all the while hoping to be the lucky one on the end. While looking over the menu, out of the corner of my eye I spied pasta with sardines in tomato sauce with raisins, pine nuts, and fennel. I ordered it, and it’s been about a year now that I’ve been meaning to tell you about this dish.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

ramp pesto

Dinner!

Hi from the depths of work and wedding planning. It’s very blurry here. I feel a little bit like I got stuck in the spin cycle of the wash, and things are swirling around me very quickly. Or I’m swirling around them. I haven’t figured out that part yet. Like I said – it’s very blurry.

I will first and foremost apologize that I’m presenting before you these Instagram photos and basically saying, “Have a nice day!” But it’s been a bit rough trying to get real work done, chase down remaining wedding items, and recipe-test-style-shoot-edit-publish for the blog. Sometimes, you just gotta let one thing go, you know? This is one of those times. So I’m sorry to give you these pictures and then expect you to get hungry.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

pasta with meyer lemon zest, ricotta, arugula, and bottarga

pasta with meyer lemon, ricotta, arugula, and bottarga

Hi from 20,000 feet.

Somehow my friends and I wound up sitting in a row with loads of extra legroom. It feels a little bit like we’re flying first class, only better – because we paid coach prices. This extra legroom is nice; I don’t feel quite like a sardine. But I’m ready to land and to get my pj’s on. Being a bachelorette is nice, but coming home to your fiancé and cat is the bees’ knees.

At the moment when I write this, New York is a little over an hour away. Seattle, where I decided to spend my bachelorette weekend, treated us well. Must now wear pants with an elastic waist kind of well.

Continue reading pasta with meyer lemon zest, ricotta, arugula, and bottarga.