Monday, June 23, 2008

Please pass the Catch Up

What an incredibly lame attempt at a pun. And you know what? I prefer mustard.

So I HAVE been cooking, although I went to Maine for the weekend. Back in the day I was a member of the Windham Chamber Singers and this weekend was the 20th anniversary concert for the group. About 85 singers came back to the new (well, new to me) auditorium and we sang all day and put on a concert on Saturday night. The music was great (many songs were great in that cheesy choral music way) and it was a fun day.... kind of like a reunion but not of the kids I graduated with, just the kids I used to hang out with. Also, I ended up running into a WCS alumna on the bus who couldn't come to the show because she's getting married! So Ellen, if you did come visit, hi! And congratulations. Have fun in Belize!

I made that yogurt cake again. This time, I chopped up some pineapple I had in the fridge and layered it (half the batter, then about 1.5 cups of chopped pineapple, then the other half of the batter) into the cake. It turned out better than the last time, I think, despite Christy accidentally shutting off the oven part way through. I think I might add a little less baking powder next time, or maybe some honey. It tastes a little powdery once it cools. Or maybe I'll up the yogurt and add less oil... the possibilities are endless.

I also made some delicious penne:

1/2 lb dried penne
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
olive oil
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 chicken sausages, I used sun-dried tomato & basil flavored, cut into small pieces
12 oz ricotta cheese
parmiggiano reggiano cheese
salt & pepper

Put a big ol' pot of salted water on to boil.

Once it boils, add the penne. My pasta box said 'al dente perfection in 11-12 minutes!' So take note of the time.

Meanwhile, heat some olive oil (couple of tablespoons) in a large skillet and add the cut up sausage. I let the chicken sausage cook till it gets a little color on it, so don't stir too much - if it's moving all the time it can't get brown. I may have also added a clove of chopped garlic, so by all means do, if you like garlic. I like garlic. When the chicken is cooked to your liking, set it aside off the heat.

When the pasta is 4 minutes from done (7-8 minutes in) add the asparagus.

Reserve a cup of the pasta/asparagus cooking water. Drain the pasta and asparagus. While it sits in the colander, add 1/4 cup of the cooking water, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the ricotta cheese to the warm pot. Stir it around a bit so it melts into a sauce. Add the penne, asparagus and sausage, season with salt and pepper. You could add a little grated parmiggiano here if you want. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more of the reserved cooking water to thin it out.

I put the pasta in a bowl and sprinkled the top with the sliced cherry tomatoes, but you could mix them in if you like. Sprinkle with grated parm and serve.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough for 2 lunches leftover.... so four. Serves 4.


I made a makeshift soup tonight and also stuffed some dates with and wrapped them in turkey bacon. The soup was just ok, because I overdid the oregano, so I'll tell you more about it when it tastes better.

Here is what the dates looked like with cheese inside, before I cooked them:

And again, after I wrapped a basil leaf and 1/3 of a piece of turkey bacon around them, stabbed them with a toothpick and baked in my toaster oven at 45o degrees for about 12 minutes:

And here is what they looked like approximately four seconds later:

I suggest you try it.


  1. Oh my! You have some fabulous food on this blog, so glad I found it.

  2. That pasta sounds simple and looks really good.