Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tagliatelle Alla Mark

I was home alone with Little O last night and had a hankerin' for some pasta. I looked in the fridge and didn't see anything resembling a sauce, so I improvised. The fridge is pretty full, especially now that I made a big pot of butternut squash soup earlier in the afternoon, so there were a lot of ideas to work with.

I like playing the sort-of, kind-of Iron Chef situation like this. I look in the fridge and see what's there. I make whatever I see into something tasty, without the pressure and time restrictions. As my eyes waded through the contents, my brain was working like it has to in order to be creative. If you don't think on your feet, you'll die in the kitchen. As I came across various ingredients, different ideas went through my mind. I didn't want to get too complex or take up too much time because O had to eat as well, so I was really cooking for her at the same time. If she eats the pasta, it won't be very much, so as we usually do every night, I made her some oatmeal with ricotta and berries just in case. Good thing I did.

When grocery shopping, always make sure you but individual ingredients you like alone or with other things. What I mean by this is I always have a small container of olives, whatever kind I happen to get that day, Kalamata, Manzanillo, Mission, whichever. Olives are loaded with iron, vitamin E and fibre, so they should be used however and whenever you can fit them into a dish. As they are healthy and have many different uses, they don't last long in our fridge.

After looking through the fridge for about 5 minutes, this is what I created:

Ingredients

- 110 g (4 oz) Tagliatelle (I used 4 nests of dried pasta)
- 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 6 olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- pinch of dried chili peppers
- 4 or 5 good sized basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- EVOO
- Parmesan

Directions

1. Start cooking the pasta according to directions on package
2. Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add a little EVOO, and when hot enough add the anchovies. Let them heat up in the pan and they will start to melt into the oil. When this happens, turn down the heat to medium-low.
3. Add garlic, olives and dried chili's. Stir and let cook for one minute.


4. Add tomatoes and parsley. Stir again and let cook for another minute.


5. Add basil and stir. If you time this correctly, the pasta should be done about now, so add it when it's ready. Mix everything together and pout into a bowl. Grate a little Parmesan over top and serve.
Yield: Serves 1


This dish was made for me only, so increase your ingredients accordingly with the amount of people you are feeding.

Tips: If you cut your tomatoes in quarters, it will make your sauce seem bigger then if you cut them in half. It lengthens the sauce as there are more pieces.

Besides being loaded with flavor, this dish boasts a nice, healthy side as well. Along with the olives, the cherry tomatoes are full of lycopene, vitamin C and loads of other vitamins and minerals. The parsley, garlic chili peppers and even the basil all have tremendous health benefits. Even the pasta, if cooked correctly, is good for you. Look at this link from The Dr. Oz Show. As I have mentioned here earlier on this post, even the top health gurus agree, you don't need to eat whole wheat pasta to get the health benefits. Regular white pasta is fine, just cook it properly and you won't see the ill effects of what some people see (glycemic index spikes, bad stuff like that) when they over cook it.

This is a healthy, quick and tasty dish to whip up in a hurry. Just think, I had no idea what I was going to eat when I opened up the fridge. It goes to show you if you keep your fridge stocked up with the little things, this is what you can make.

We are still eating a lot of berries and this will continue. One of my favorite things dating back to my childhood, is eating berries with a little bit of sugar and some cream. I never add sugar to anything, so this is one of the exceptions. It brings back nice memories sitting at my grandparents ranch. We would all pick fresh raspberries and strawberries, and then eat them just like this. Nowadays, I eat a lot of berries, all kinds of them. As I said before, I stay away from adding any sugar as I don't like what refined sugar can do to you. But, I will make the exception for a little half & half cream and berries. I add about 1/4 a teaspoon of sugar and about 3 or 4 tablespoons of half & half cream. Mmm mmm, gotta love those berries....


As I am looking for wines to import now, I am off to a wine tasting today at Hotel Arts here in Calgary. It is to Discover BC VQA wines. The British Columbia area wines are getting better every year and there are some decent ones coming out of there every year. It should be interesting to see what they have to offer this year.

Little O's Menu

Last night, she tried a little of the Tagliatelle I made. I had to be careful with what I fed her as there were some chili's in there. That wouldn't be a good thing if she bit into one of those or any part of the pasta with anything hot on it. She had a little bit, but as I didn't expect her to eat a lot of it, she did good enough. It's nice to see she isn't very hesitant when it comes to trying new and different foods. She then ate most of her oatmeal, blueberries and ricotta mixture. Through out the past few weeks, she has gotten her appetite back after being sick for a couple of weeks previously. It's nice to see her eating yogurt, blackberries, blueberries and chia seeds again. Not only does this fill her up, but she gets a blast of vitamins and antioxidants too.

Quote Of The Day:

"Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner."

~ Sophia Loren (1934 -) Italian film actress


Until next time, good eating everyone.

Mark