Try as I may, I can't stay away from the clay. A few months ago, after several years of abandonment, the clay began calling me. At first just a few whispers in my ear, but quickly becoming a noise I could not silence. I called John at the Paducah School of Art & Design to purchase a bag of kaolin, and quickly began the process of restoring the dry, cracked slab of clay. Yesterday I pulled the first of a series of small abstract floral prints for the upcoming "In the Garden" show at Gallery 5. (Opening reception June 16, from 4 to 8 P.M.)
I wanted the lovely spring day to end with an appropriate
pasta dinner, hoping to create an elegant homage to the wonderful month of
May.The goal was a dish that was
light, fresh, and simple.
My original plan was for the sauce to be a combination of
Asparagus and caramelized Shallots.Unfortunately I burned the Shallots, but being the tiger that I am, I
quickly recovered and move on to chopped onions.
1.Angel hair pasta
4.Onion – ½ medium onion chopped
5.Garlic 1 clove pressed
6.Fresh lemon juice
7.Mozzarella – cut into ½ inch cubes
8.Grape tomatoes – halved
9.Fresh basil, dill, and arugula from Patience’s
garden – finely chopped
Cook the onion in olive oil until translucent, and then add
the garlic.Coat the Asparagus
with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill on a gas or electric
grill.Then cut into 1” pieces and
add to the pan with the onions. Cook over low heat and add the juice from ½
When the pasta is ready, place in a serving dish and mix in
the onion-asparagus sauce.Drizzle
with olive oil and add about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.Add the cheese, tomatoes, and fresh
herbs and serve.
Patience’s fresh herbs made this dish an unequivocal success.It was the perfect way to end the
Chicken, Broccoli Rabe, Sundried tomatoes – ingredients I
have often used with my pasta, but never together…at least until tonight.
4.Sundried Tomatoes in oilfinely chopped
5.Garlic and onion
9.Fresh lemon juice
Brown the chicken in olive oil, remove and cut into bite
size pieces, and return to pan to saute with the garlic, onion, and sundried
tomatoes and fresh basil.After
4-5 minutes add the wine and allow it to cook down.Then add the lemon juice.
In the mean time bring a pot of water to boil, add the
broccoli rabe and blanch for about 3 minutes.Remove and add to the chicken.
Cook the pasta in the same water, and when finished, mix
with the chicken and broccoli rabe.Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Save some pasta water if the dish is too dry.This was an interesting and delightful
new way to use Broccoli Rabe with pasta.We will definitely have this again.
Tuesday is pasta night, as is Thursdays, Sundays, and
occasionally Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.- and on other occasions,
Saturday.I decided yesterday that
I have been in somewhat of a pasta rut, serving the same sauces over and over
again, and wanted to try something different tonight.After considerable thought (I like using the word
“considerable”, it has an important ring to it.) I decided I would create a
variation of Aglio Olio Crudo with a bit of an early Spring flare.
1.Angel hair pasta
3.Grape or Cherry tomatoes halved
4.Mozzarella cheese cut into bite size pieces
5.Garlic, finely chopped
6.Italian parsley finely chopped
9.Salt & pepper to taste
I seared the asparagus on our electric grill, and cut them
into bite size pieces and set them aside.When the pasta was ready I placed it in the serving dish and mixed in
all of the ingredients, plus about 1/3 cup of the pasta water and drizzled in
the olive oil. To my dismay the parsley I bought this morning was nowhere to be
found.I even checked the trash to
see if I could have inadvertently thrown it out.It was only after noticing the bananas I purchased were also
missing that I realized I left one of the grocery bags at the store.I could do without the parsley and
bananas, but the bag also contained a package of Broccoli Rabe!
However, even without the parsley, this dish was good, and
it will definitely be seen on our table again.