Wednesday, October 03, 2007

With the Best of Intentions

. . . so of course I meant to post while I was out visiting, but you know how those things work. So many people to see, so many things to do! I had a delightful little break from my normal life (the hausfrau life, if you will), and got to visit with people I love dearly.

I began my trip visiting the town we just moved from, and got to see the friends we most recently took for granted. Fun to eat all the various foods for which that town is famous, especially my very favorite lentil wraps at the local lesbian-anarchist diner.

From there, off to Indiana to visit with the BFF Forever (har), where I taught her that PIZZA DOESN'T HAVE TO HAVE MARINARA SAUCE. We enjoyed a very civilized leek-and-goat cheese "tart" and the banter that we somehow slip into every time we get together.

I then settled in for a long visit to my hometown and my parents, which was lovely and relaxing. Visited with friends, enjoyed the most amazing appetizer with Robu (Steak, gorgonzola, red onion, and tomato crostini). Delicious. My folks drove me back to SmallMountainTown, and we had a perfect long weekend together--hiking, food, drinks, a bit of shopping . . . very low-key, which is what we like.

We did take a day trip to the historically preserved miner's village where some of my ancestors emigrated to from Ireland and worked. It was haunting to walk those streets, imagining a thick coat of coal dust covering everything, and contemplating the nearly unthinkable poverty in which they lived. Really a day to remember.

After such a long stretch of traveling and company, I barely mustered the strength to cook dinner last night (especially after doing four loads of laundry). I have a ton of pasta recipes on here, but I strongly believe that a handful of infinitely variable pasta recipes can get anyone through the busiest (and budget-limited) of times.

My Mother-In-Law sent me a recipe for pasta with dried plums and pecans a while ago and I'd had it in the back of my mind. I substituted walnuts for the pecans (though pecans would have been lovely) and added sauteed kale for nutrition's sake and for its very complimentary bitterness.

Pasta with Dried Plums, Kale, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola
1 lb. whole-wheat pasta (short is good)
2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. kale, torn into bite-sized pieces, washed
1/2 cup dried plums (prunes), chopped
4 T. walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, scooping out some of the pasta cooking water just before draining. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add kale, cover and steam, tossing occasionally until bright green and partially wilted. Season with salt and pepper, saute without lid to evaporate most of the excess liquid. Add the other ingredients and toss well, using pasta cooking water to moisten if necessary.


Anonymous said...

Please avoid the word 'moisten' in the future. Otherwise, lovely. Yours, MF

ohnnajillb said...

As two of the folks you visited in your most recent hometown I can say quite easily that we had a great time with you and your hero. Hopefully, next time things won't be quite as hectic and we can spend more time together - funny how you can spend a few days under the same roof and still feel like you hardly saw someone. I guess thats the way it is with friends - never enough.

Pat said...

Glad you had a lovely time!!! Have missed you again. The recipe sounds gorgeous and we must be thinking alike.... Just posted a recipe on my blog using figs gorganzola and walnuts and pasta.
Glad to have you back!!!

kickpleat said...

wow, pasta and prunes...a combo i've never even heard of. looks very yummy, tho.

Anonymous said...

um, this is getting ridick. post already!

Great Big veg challenge said...

Missing your resume!
Your friends at the Great Big Veg Challenge

Leigh said...

Leek and goat cheese pizza? Sounds delicious.
The other night I made pizza with roasted golden beets, shallots, and feta and a little bit of honey. So good (it was from Cooking Light).

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