Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pasta With Leftovers

Fig.1. Pasta and leftovers can be friends.

Sometimes it's not a question of using leftovers, it's about using all those edible odds and ends lingering in the recesses of your fridge and pantry. I hate wasting food and find it utterly sinful to throw away anything edible.
I've said it before: you can make pasta with anything.  The basic premise of a starch mixed with other ingredients holds true in many different forms, just because it's pasta doesn't mean it has to fit within a framework in our minds forged by years of people telling us what should be.  You might not think of combining pasta with avocado, but avocado with rice or tortillas (two starches of a different kind) are an acceptable match in many parts of the world. I've added pasta to just about everything at one time or another: shepard's pie, (not bad, had to add chicken stock if I recall) beef stew, (really good) chili, (awesome!) hamburger steak, (flippin' awesome!) you get the picture.

Here's something I whipped up last night with edibles just screaming to be made into pasta.

 Pasta With Chimichurri, Marinated Vegetables And Other Odds And Ends
 Serves 3 to 4

What you see in the photo below was hanging around my fridge and pantry. From the top: Italian parsley, orrecchiette pasta, half a jar of chimichurri, (which I made, it's basically garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, and parsley.) green onions, some saucisson (a Mondo Salami brand which I thourally enjoyed) a sweet red pepper, and some leftover marinated artichokes, mushrooms and olives purchased at Milano and tasted like plastic.

Ingredients: (See above)
Use whatever you have in your fridge. In this case, the jar of chimichurri added the wetness I needed. If you only have dry ingredients in your fridge, just add some extra olive oil to your pasta, some of the pasta water, or a combination of both.  And another thing, it's perfectly acceptable to have a greater ratio of other ingredients besides pasta in your dish.

Set a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add some good olive oil to a large pan set over medium heat. Start by adding your raw ingredients, in this case, add the chopped green onions and chopped red pepper, saute until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the rest of your ingredients including the pasta, stir well. If your pasta is dry, simply add some more olive oil or pasta water, or a combination of both. Use what's in your fridge and don't be scared. You don't need always need a recipe!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Camera Eye

My son took what I think are some pretty amazing pictures on our trip to Italy this past August.  Lured by all things food such as I am, I feel I should tell you that I've literally been dragging this kid to countless farmer's markets, restaurants, and food shops to the point where I'm pretty sure food will be part of his future in one form or another. (I just hope it's in a positive way)
Italy was no different. If there was a market somewhere in some small nearby town, I was there. And so was my son, armed with his very own camera. These are some of the images he captured, which I think, are pretty good.

Fig.1. Holy mackerel

Fig.2. Zucchini envy

Fig.3. Vine tomatoes from Sicily

Fig.4. Lupini: Warning, beware of knuckle hair!

Fig.5. Prosciutto, notice how they're all different sizes.

Fig.6. For as log as I've been going to Italy, this lady and her vegetables have always been there.

Fig.7. Puppies taste better eaten while still very young. In central Italy they're usually stewed in tomato sauce.

Fig.8. Smelts. Toss em in flour and fry em.

Fig.9. Scampi

Fig.10. Merluzzo (cod)

Fig.11. Sfogliatelle in Napoli

Fig.12. Una Margarita a Napoli

Fig.13. Strozzapretti con tonno e pommodorini, made by moi

Fig.14. Focacci lungi con pommodoro e zuchini

Fig.15. "oh, atsa matta you, you no lika da frutta?"

Fig.16. Prosciutto and sausage

Fig.17. You Baccala!

Fig.18. The best gelato in Italy eys closed, Meringo Gelateria in Ripi