I have a glut of basil this ear. Seriously, I am overrun. The plants come up to my waist and they are thick with delicious basil leaves. There are a number of different sorts, but mostly it is your standard Italian sweet basil. And lots of it.
So what does one do with a glut of basil? Make pesto of course. I have made lots and lots of Pesto alla Genovese (the standard green stuff that one thinks of first when one hears ‘pesto’). It freezes very well so my I am well stocked for a while. So I thought that I would make this Pesto di Noce (Walnut Pesto). It’s not as pretty as it’s Genovese cousin (for starters, it’s brownish, despite 2 cups of basil leaves in it), but it of so amazingly yummy. Pair it with giant ravioli and a few more walnuts and you have an amazing dinner (or lunch, in my case).
So since the earthquake in the Amatricia region of Italy last week, I’ve had Italy on the brain. And while it is somewhat absurd in the middle of a natural disaster, one of the first things that I thought of was Bucatini all’Amatriciana… somehow planted in my brain was this is the signature dish from that area of Italy. It’s very popular, very easy to make and taste amazing.
Need to get some comfort food on the table in under 45 minutes? This might be the thing to try. I was really in the mood for Mac & Cheese, but had all the ingredients for Chili in the house, so ended up combining the two recipes. Turns out, it was much faster to make than one would think, and it’s a decadent (in a low-brow kind of way) and rich “sure to fill you up” kind of meal. It’s fairly mild, in terms of spice, but feel free to amp up the chili powder or add a dash of cayenne. Recipes serves 4 people, more if you make a nice salad to accompany it.
Cold and Snowy outside? Comfort food inside! Spinach Mushroom Lasagna to the rescue!
Note: as often is the case, the recipe is for a “full lasagna” (like about a 9 x 13 casserole dish), but pictured is a somewhat smaller version… you know, being single and all, and while I love lasagna, I don’t want to eat it for a week!
Note Two: Greater Boston got virtually no snow that hit the Mid-Atlantic. I was just looking for another excuse to make lasagna. [grin]
Things to do with Ramps, Part 2: Make pasta. Yes, I’ve been on a bit of a pasta making kick these days anyway, but I figured that this wouold be a good experiment to see if the rampiness-flavor would shine though, even if you make pasta out of it. And I am happy to report that it does, almost to the point where it didn’t need any more dressing up, so I just rendered some panchetta and added some parm, and voila.
As always, my home made pasta directions are designed to use an old-fashioned hand-crank pasta machine. I don’t use my KitchenAid for this, but I am sure that you could. Just follow those directions staring with paragraph three.