Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finally, a recipe!

You thought I would never shut up about the panic attacks, did you? Well, more coverage of my pathetic mental state is no doubt upcoming, but I made a really good dinner tonight! It's alarmingly healthy and really, really delicious!

Christmas Leftover Pasta.

Set 2 pots of lightly salted water to boil, and heat a large cast-iron skillet.

When the frying pan is hot, pour in a glug of olive oil.
Slice one large onion into medium slices, and drop them into the pan.
Add a bit of salt and pepper.

You are carmelizing these onions. The classic way to do this is explained with beautiful simplicity here. I always cheat a little - throw a quarter-cup of water and cover at the start, which I think softens them a little faster with less chance of burning. But you have to uncover them for most of the cooking, or they never carmelize. Anyway, you're cooking those until they are soft, much smaller, dark brown, and sticky. It'll take a while.

When one pot of water boils, add about 10 brussel sprouts (cleaned, stemmed, halved or quartered), plus whatever leave have fallen off into the Tupperware, and several handfuls of fresh broccoli florets. Let these boil for a few minutes, until they are brilliant green but still pretty hard.

When the other pot boils, cook a little pasta - I used 1 cup of Barilla Plus multigrain rotini, which takes at least 10 minutes to cook.

When the onions are completely limp and brown, push them to the sides of the pan and pour a small amount of olive oil into the center. Drain the vegetable and drop them into that pool of olive oil for sauteeing.

When the pasta is done, drain that (save a little liquid) and add the drained pasta to the pan. Mix everything together and add a little more salt. Turn off the heat.

Let it mingle for a couple minutes, serve in bowls. Really good with a sprinkle of pine nuts.

This would be great with some mushrooms in it, and it would work great with fresh spinach or chard, I think. Even Ian ate it! Well, not the sprouts, but everything else. This makes 2 generous entree portions.

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