Category Archives: Recipe

Thursday Night Pasta Improvisations

I’ve created something tonight. Something rather incredible, I thought. Earlier today I decided I wanted comfort food tonight, but I didn’t want the same mac&cheese I make every time. But I didn’t know what exactly I wanted (and I forgot to look up a recipe), so, I did something I rarely do – just picked up some random products at the store hoping that something good will turn out of them. And it did. Isn’t that amazing? Oh, but I have to give credit for my inspiration – this recipe (which I only found after I came home). Come to think of it, my recipe is a sort of variation of that one.

So, here’s the stuff I got at the store:

Penne (or any other pasta wouldn’t have done, but I like penne best)

Baby spinach

Mushrooms

Heavy cream

Sun-dried tomatoes

Olive oil (well, I had that at home)

A few cloves of garlic (I did have that at home too)

Cheese

And here’s what I did:

Cook the pasta.

Wash and slice the mushrooms. Put a little olive oil into a pan or skillet and cook the mushrooms. Be sure to put them side-by-side, so they don’t cover each other and brown them on both sides on almost high heat (I guess you call that medium high?). Then take them out of the pan and set aside.

Chop the garlic and cook it in the same skillet (I didn’t even add any extra oil).

Chop some sun-dried tomatoes.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it, put the mushrooms back into the skillet with the garlic, add the pasta, tomatoes and splash in some cream and add a little grated cheese (just to thicken cream a bit). Stir around. Then add the washed baby spinach and stir around until it’s all wilted and nice. Don’t skimp on the spinach – it wilts into pretty much nothing – tasty bits of nothingness.

Oh, and I was so hungry that I completely forgot spices, but turns out that the olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese carry enough spiciness by themselves.

Writing about this makes me want to cook it again.

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Soup Season Kick-Off

It’s September and school year’s started, which means I have neither time nor energy to cook every day. When I get home, all I want is to put something warm into my mouth as quickly as possible. This means it’s time for soup season! And since some pumpkin fell into my hands on Saturday, I decided to kick it off with pumpkin soup. And it was so beautiful that I just had to take some pictures and share it. I use the recipe from the one cook book I own (with a few modifications).

Here’s what you need for 4 servings (well, the book says 4 servings, but I think it turns out more):

1 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into small-ish pieces

300 g carrots, cut into thin slices

300 g leek, sliced (since I didn’t have that much leek, I also added one onion, cut up into small pieces)

3 celery stalks, sliced

2 cloves garlic (I used at least twice that, ’cause 2 cloves just seemed too little)

4 cups boiling beef stock (I used boiling water instead, since I didn’t have any home-made beef stock on hand and I stopped using stock cubes a while back; I spiced it up with whatever herbs I had on hand – thyme, rosemary, basil, and something else I can’t remember)

salt, pepper (I always skip the salt)

some Parmesan, grated (I didn’t have that on hand either, so I just used whatever cheese I had in my fridge)

sour cream

toast

Love all the gorgeous colours, even though the lighting and my camera suck.

And here’s what you do:

Though the recipe says to dump pumpkin, carrots, celery, leek, garlic into a pot, pour the stock and cook for 25 minutes, I do it a bit differently. First, pour a little olive oil into the pot, and put in leek, garlic and onion and sauté for several minutes on medium heat:

(be careful with the steam, it made my eyes water real proper, cleared up the sinuses too, though)

Then put in celery, carrots, pumpkin and stir, wait a minute, admiring the beautiful colours:

(Beautiful! Sadly, after I took that picture storm clouds finished ruining the lighting that already sucked, so no subsequent pictures turned out even half-decent)

Pour the water and put in the spices and cook, stirring occasionally, breathing in the cosy smell, until you think it’s done. Finally, blend it using whatever blender or food-processor type thing you have. Then the recipe tells you to heat it for a couple of minutes, stir in sour cream, put in salt and pepper, wait a minute, sprinkle with  Parmesan and toast cubes and serve. But, seeing as I’m keeping it in the fridge for a few days and I fear that sour cream might make the soup go bad quicker (no rational reason for it whatsoever), I just serve it right after blending and just sprinkle with cheese or stir in some sour cream when the soups already in a bowl. And leave the rest of it for tomorrow and the day after, and the next day…

Waiting for some more pumpkin to fall into my hands, so I can make pumpkin pancakes this weekend,

Noodle.

P.S. In case you can’t read metric, here is an imperial<->metric converter I use.