…are proof that Food Network is good for things other than who-would-eat-them cake challenges.
I actually like Giada de Laurentiis, even though she's not a food geek like Alton Brown. A lot of her recipes are simple, elegant, and they work in the kitchen. Like this one. Here's my version.
What you need (for three generous servings):
7 oz penne pasta (I love Ronzoni Healthy Harvest whole wheat blend)
5 oz fresh baby spinach
1 cup asparagus, chopped
2 oz goat cheese
1 tbsp capers in brine
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 tbsp grated parmeggiano reggiano
– In the food processor, pulse a big handful of spinach, goat cheese, garlic and capers until it turns into a thick creamy sauce. Throw the rest of the spinach in a large bowl.
– Bring plenty of salted water to boil. Add the asparagus to it for thirty seconds, remove and run it under cold water. (I do the whole thing in a metal mesh sieve.) Throw the asparagus in over the spinach.
– Add the pasta to the water and cook until..well, cooked. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta liquid.
– Add the pasta and the sauce to the veggies in the bowl. Pour in the pasta liquid, and stir everything around until the spinach wilts. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the parmeggiano on top and serve.
Yes, that simple. Simpler if you skip the asparagus. Delicious both ways.
Next came the bread. I was looking for a recipe which used sourdough starter, was eggless, and could be made in three hours or less. Voila! Sourdough sundried tomato rolls at Jugalbandi, which is basically my one-shop stop for all kinds of great recipes.
I halved the recipe and got 6 good sized rolls. The dough was very wet, but that had three advantages-
One, it was too sticky to knead, so I just stirred it around with a spoon half-heartedly.
Two, they were too soft to shape, so I threw them in muffin tins.
Three, more water = softer rolls.
These babies were so soft you couldn't have guessed they were made with a whole-wheat flour/sourdough starter/rye flour combo.
Even better, the recipe says you can make them even if you don't have a sourdough starter.
So, what are you waiting for? 🙂
These rolls are so going to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting. They deserve to be spotted.
And slathered with butter. And eaten.