Monday, June 07, 2010
Springtime Pasta with Homemade Ricotta
I love cookbooks, I have a thing for it and always find one more that I "need" to have!
However, even though I have many cookbooks and love to read and reread the recipes on them or on my favorite cooking magazines, for most of the time I use recipes and pictures more for an inspiration rather than something to follow strictly. For the majority of the recipes I choose to make end up tweaking a bit here and there and adapting when needed with what I have on hand.
To be quite true, what I have in the fridge is usually what dictates what I am going to make for our meals. I look in the ice box, a peek in the pantry, and I am out for a search of inspiration on said cookbooks and magazines!
The pasta pictured above was a case of a "let's see what is in the fridge" day. Armed with a bunch of spring veggies and some delicious homemade ricotta (my favorite!) I created the dish you see, which turned out to be pretty good, if I do say so myself!
First I set the oven on high and put some of the veggies I had in the fridge to roast: broccoli, carrots, yellow squash and asparagus - all seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. Meanwhile I set a pot of water to boil and cooked some whole wheat penne.
Once the veggies were roasted and the pasta was cooked I tossed them together, added a few marinated artichoke hearts I had left in a jar and seasoned everything well with salt, pepper, and lots of delicious extra virgin olive oil. A few blobs of ricotta and grated fresh Parmesan cheese completed our one dish deliciousness of a meal! Could not have asked for more!
And this coming from someone who is not a big pasta fan. Seriously, pasta is something that I never crave or wish for, I actually never liked pasta until I tried the whole wheat variety, I find it a lot more flavorful and it has a bite to it which I grew to enjoy. (Regular pasta to me doesn't taste like anything... blech!) But I still don't eat pasta frequently, I need to be really in the mood to gobble it up.
To me this dish proved how the simplest foods end up being the most delicious and flavorful ones. Roasted veggies are just the best, and look at the bright colors! Plus there are few things that good cheese doesn't make it all the better, right?!