I usually do not enjoy cooking for myself. When Patience is away, as she is now, I generally resort to simple meals – sandwiches, hotdogs, leftovers – eat out, or invite friends over for dinner. Tonight I decided to use us some of the small amounts of un-cooked pasta that has been accumulating in the pantry, along with whatever vegetables I could find in the fridge. I had nothing specific in mind when I started cutting the two large Portabello mushrooms into small cubes. I tossed them in the skillet with the olive oil and added some broccolini and shallots and began cooking them over high heat while the pasta was cooking. I added garlic, oregano, and basil, along with some tomato paste, stirring frequently until the mushrooms were browned. Next came a few splashes of sweet vermouth to “clean up” the skillet, I lowered the heat and covered things up waiting for the pasta. At the last minute I grabbed a fresh tomato, chopped it up and tossed it into the mix.
Before the pasta was ready I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes, and decided a few Kalamata olives were called for, and at the last minute tossed in just a bit of heavy whipping cream, thinking, if I’m going to screw things up I might as well do it with style. The end result was a rather earthy, nondescript looking “sauce” for the herbed pasta I was cooking.
Armed with a glass of wine and some aged Parmigiano cheese for grating I began my meal hoping that it would prove to be eatable. To my great surprise, and delight, it was more than eatable…it was delicious. As crazy as it sounds, the combination of the Kalamata olives and the cream produced a delightful flavor. This is definitely something to be repeated.