Noodling around

We love our pasta, but it’s rare that we have it two nights in a row. However, my week turned pretty hectic, and as a result I’ve been feeling tired and uninspired. I still wanted to get a home-cooked meal on the table Wednesday and Thursday nights, and these pasta dinners were just the ticket.

We brought a package of Simmons Farm bacon and a big bag of pea tendrils home from the farmers’ market last weekend, and had some (non-local) fresh peas from Whole Foods, so I decided to combine them for Wednesday night’s meal. I chopped up six slices of the bacon, cooking them until crisp, draining the pieces on a paper towel, and using a tablespoon or so of the fat to sauté a cup or so of chopped shallot. I blanched the shelled peas in my boiling pasta water, and then removed them to an ice bath before dropping half a package of bucatini into the water.

While the pasta cooked, I beat four eggs in a warmed serving bowl and added copious amounts of grated Parmagiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, and cracked black pepper. I roughly chopped several handfuls of the pea tendrils and added them and the blanched peas to the pan with the shallots along with some fresh thyme leaves, cooking it all until the peas were warmed through and the pea tendrils slightly wilted. I added the pea mixture and bacon to the beaten eggs, and then added the bucatini a little at a time, tossing gently.

Dinner:  April 30, 2008

When everything was combined and the sauce slightly thickened, I plated the pasta in shallow bowls, adding additional grated cheese and cracked pepper on top. I used as many eggs as I normally would have for a full package of pasta so this was a bit eggy for my liking, but it was still good, with the sweet peas, smoky bacon and slightly peppery pea tendrils playing well off each other.

Dinner:  May 1, 2008

While Wednesday night’s pasta was at least spring-like, last night’s pasta dinner was not exactly what I’d have planned for the first of May. Since I didn’t have anything planned, Mike’s request for ragu Bolognese was a welcome suggestion, and it turned out to be just the thing to take the chill off on a damp, cold night. I put together a quick version of my standard sauce when I got home and tossed it with chunky rigatoni, topping each serving with a dollop of Narragansett‘s creamy Renaissance ricotta (one of my favorite ways to finish a serving of meat-sauced pasta since my lunch with Claudia at A Voce). This may not have been the most exciting dinner around, but it hit the spot, and I’m always happy to be able to whip out a meal without too much thought or effort.

We’re meeting good friends for dinner and a movie tonight, which should be just the boost I need. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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8 thoughts on “Noodling around

  1. That ricotta looks delish. we’re having our usual Friday Bolognese tonight; maybe I’ll pop over to Cowgirl Creamery at lunch and pick up a little container of their sheep ricotta. Mmm..

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    Anita – if you try it, let me know how you like it!

    melissa – Thanks!

    Marie – Thank you! I’ve been loving your photos of your garden as things begin to bud and bloom. And please give my regards to Don Estorbo. 😀

  3. that knotty yarn woman is cool – i want to join you all for dinner…
    plus to make matters worse, no fresh sheeps ricotta for me – not here – no way

    bummer

    fresh goat ricotta only – good but well, as they say – whole different animal…

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Claudia – Danielle is amazing. One of my most cherished friends. I should drag her down to NYC next time you’re there so we can all have lunch or dinner together. 😉

  5. Wow, Jen!

    This looks like a wonderful creation. We, here, love peas in all forms especially on a fork in motion to some mashed potatoes.

    I think we’ve found a new form.

  6. That rigatoni dish is droolworthy…it reminds me of a FANTASTIC dish I had at my new favorite Italian restaurant. It was rigatoni with an eggplant sauce, tons of delicious veggies and the freshest mozzarella I’ve ever had. YUMMM.

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