Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dark Days: Ghitarra Pasta with Pesto

We had so much fun making pasta on the ghitarra at school that I decided to try it at home. Daughter was happy to help. We took turns rolling the dough through the pasta machine, then pressing it through the ghitarra.

We keep a big Ziploc bag of pesto cubes in the freezer that we don't use nearly enough. At the end of the summer season we harvest all of our basil (usually much more than we really need) and turn it into pesto sauce with plenty of garlic and pine nuts. Then we freeze the pesto in ice cube trays for storage.

My pasta recipe--half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat, and three eggs from our farmer friend Brett--makes at least twice as many noodles as we can possibly eat in one sitting. So when our friend Shelley called to check about Easter plans we immediately invited her and husband John for a casual, impromptu dinner.

The pasta pot was ready to boil when they arrived. As cocktails were winding down, I dropped the noodles in the salted water to cook for just a few minutes, then tossed them in a bowl with about four cubes of defrosted pesto and a little of the cooking water.

Our CSA box arrived on Thursday with a bag of salad mix. It was a perfect way to finish our simple meal, but I had to add something besides my own vinaigrette. The answer was shouting at me from the herb garden: rosemary blossoms.

One of our rosemary plants is in a riot of bloom at the moment. We've never seen anything quite like it--hundreds of tiny, bluish blossoms that on close inspection are quite intricate in their architecture. I gathered a few dozen and sprinkled them over our salad. They do have a faintly rosemary flavor, something to nudge us gently into the new season.

No comments: