Wander Woman

Tag: pasta

Happy Summer… and Endless Tomatoes

by on Jul.09, 2012, under Food & Cocktails

In the summer, fresh garden veggies are my fave. It feels so classically summer: Stepping through a garden under a sweltering sun with a bag in hand, plucking bursting ripe, or almost ripe, fruits and greens.

I got these luscious tomatoes from my friend’s old-school-Italian dad’s farm. He likes to load us up with truckloads of his earth products, and we’re happy to take any and all of his intoxicating produce. This was my second batch of the week. (Yes, it’s been tomato dishes all week long!)

Seeing the tomatoes hold court in my kitchen gives me butterflies. I get so excited, I can barely stop myself from knifing up each and every one and making a planet’s worth of marinara sauce.

Ahh, I could eat tomatoes forever – nibbled on whole, like an apple; chopped and thrown into a saute pan with anything; sliced on salad and toast… The possibilities are endless.

So far, I’ve made a simple tomato and basil sauce, Ina’s scalloped tomatoes and tomato salad.

What do you think: Would a tomato shake be good?

I’ll find out soon enough.

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Spaghetti with Broccoli Puree

by on May.21, 2012, under Food & Cocktails


I’ve been in a funk for at least two weeks now.

Carving out a life in a new state, then getting married and buying a condo – all at the same time – wiped me out.

Now we have a new space to nest in, which is uber fun, but it’s also exhausting.

You know what I’m saying. Just all of the frantic running about and unpacking and reshuffling you do when you’re settling into new digs. It’s especially torturous for us type-A’ers who are obsessive and can’t function unless everything looks perfect and is in its place.

Gawd, what happened to me? I used to move back and forth across the country like a hitchhiker. It was apple pie! But now that I’m a grown-ass woman, it’s harder. I have to schlep all of these material accessories that are crucial to my existence, like a king-size bed, karaoke machine, a 2.6-gallon beverage dispenser, fake Christmas tree, and new chafing dish. You know, important stuff.

On top of all this, we don’t have a couch. I never realized how much I like to sit… on pillows, and not on the floor.

To cope with this unsettled feeling, I’ve been eating an insane amount of pasta.

This easy, cheap dish was a healthy pasta escapade, and a break from the usual olive-oil-and-beef-covered-noodle-mania that usually rules my life.

Pasta makes everything better. Even vegetarian pasta. Recipe stolen from here.

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Blue Cheese Fettucine

by on Dec.02, 2011, under Food & Cocktails

In my 30 years of eating, why did I never think to add blue cheese crumbles to warm cream sauce?

Such a foolish oversight.

I found this plate of brilliance at an Italian-meets-Tex-Mex restaurant in a town called Marble Falls, just outside of Austin.

We were motoring down the highway, returning from a trip to North Texas, and Yelp demanded that we drop anchor at a “Texitally” dining room.

I’m so happy we did.

Also swimming in the pasta were pecans, grapes, diced tomato and grilled chicken.

It was a rich, holiday-esque combo of flavors… nom nom nom.

So it’s official: Blue cheese should be stirred into any and every dish!

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Food for My Thighs: How to Make Pesto

by on Oct.05, 2011, under Food & Cocktails

Pesto is mushy, green, high-calorie, garlicky indulgence.

The sauce is simple to make, since it has only four ingredients: basil, whole garlic cloves, olive oil, and pine nuts.

“Those aren’t pine nuts!” you may have shrieked. Well, pine nuts are expensive – and I don’t feel like getting a second job just to afford them – so I used walnuts. It’s an acceptable substitute – Giada says so.

Back to the pesto. Here’s what I love most about it: Like a good jacket, it’s versatile. It can make love to any meat or starch. Chicken, beef, red potatoes, angel hair – heck, even brown rice. It’s good on anything ol’ edible you slap it on.

If you’re still not convinced you need to make this sauce, then just think of it as an opportunity to spend some alone time with basil, the sexiest, most hardworking herb on the planet.

My friend’s papa grows forests of basil in his backyard, and he likes to give me bushels of it when I pop in.

Ahhhhhh, basil.

Basil is the answer to everything: You can stuff it in chicken, pair it with cheese, stir-fry it with beef, or sprinkle it on soup, salad or even cocktails. The uses for it are endless.

Anyhoo, one afternoon I sprinted home with my bushels of basil, grabbed a few ingredients, whipped out my Macerator, and made pesto.

Here’s how you do it: (continue reading…)

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Summer Garden Pasta

by on Jul.14, 2011, under Food & Cocktails

I took time off from slaughtering pigs and biting the rumps off of cattle to cook something out of the ordinary: a vegetarian dish.

That’s right: a VEGETARIAN dish.

It’s completely out of character for me because I love animal meat – in fact, it’s a requirement for every meal I devour.

Vegtables are always an afterthought: If I happen to remember, I’ll throw in a few pieces of broccoli or mushroom into whatever meat slop-coction I’m making. But for the most part, my recipes are ruled by flesh.

It’s sad. My husband-in-training begs for veggies at every meal, and usually I don’t deliver. (Not counting the easy-make salad drizzled with dressing.)

But this time I did.

Oh, I delivered… MAJORLY.

I tossed up this summer garden pasta, only because I saw Giada do something similar just hours before on the Food Network. (I loves me some Giada!)

I boiled spinach pasta and tossed it with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, broccoli, toasted pecans and feta.

I really wanted to add chicken breast or chopped bacon, but I stopped myself. I thought I owed it to society to try this vegetarian thing at least once.

It was fresh, light and filling… and shockingly, I didn’t want to tear into a double burger afterward.

I have to admit: Veggie-packed meals can be pretty tasty… every blue moon.

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Pasta Therapy

by on Jul.13, 2010, under Food & Cocktails

(Whole Wheat) Spaghetti Carbonara

The best way to eat bacon ‘n’ eggs?

In a pile of pasta, of course!

The combo of slippery noodles, soul-kicking garlic and breakfast food is just – ahhhhh, mmm – Hea-Ven-Ly.

I stormed in the house last night, depressed, grouchy and starved.

So I boiled some spaghetti and threw a few ingredients into a skillet, and 15 minutes later, my world was right again. A moist hill of noodles was my salvation.

This dish is your classic carbonara: olive oil, garlic, bacon, eggs, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.

This is how carbonara has always been made, back in Roman toga-wearing times, and that’s how it should stay.

I hate it when restaurants slop any ol’ cream sauce over pasta and call it carbonara.

Garlic cream sauce with peas and bacon bits is not carbonara.

Alfredo sauce over angel hair does not a carbonara make.

Bacon and eggs are required, Mr. Restaurant Chef – not recommended!

Sheesh.

Blah, Blah, Blah
Do you like carbonara? What’s your fave pasta dish?

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