Tag Archives: Pasta

When You Need to Be Delighted

Yesterday was not a very easy day for me due to health issues in the family. To express my gratitude that everything went as well as one could hope, and honestly because I needed to be delighted, I decided to make a nice pasta dinner. There is something hearty, mood-lifting and comforting about pasta. So there I was throwing together ingredients again. If you do the same moves, I promise the end result will be a real feast for pasta lovers.

This is what I had:

1 small pork tenderloin

4 large tomatoes (boil quickly, peel and mash – or you can use a small can of crushed tomatoes)

1/2 pint (little more than 2 dl) whipping cream

1 oz (28g) dried chanterelles, or fresh if you can pick them in your forest 🙂 or buy them (rinse quickly and swell the dried ones in cold water for about 2 hours before you need them, save the water)

4-5 large tbsp of wheat flour

2 garlic gloves

1 beef cube (optional, but I like it)

1 red bell pepper (optional, sliced or cubed)

olive oil

salt, pepper and herb spices to taste.

I browned the pork tenderloin slightly in olive oil before putting it in the oven (350F/180C) for about an hour. In the meantime, I prepared a light pasta sauce by first slightly browning the chanterelles, (bell pepper) and garlic slices in olive oil, adding the flower to brown just a little bit, then adding the cream, mashed tomatoes, (a beef cube) and most of the “chanterelle water” – to achieve the desired consistency. I let it all simmer together for about 15 minutes on low heat.

After the fillet was ready, I sliced it in thin (like 1/3 of an inch/1 cm) slices and mixed them into the pasta sauce. And to be honest, I also took a little bit of the juice from the pan and mixed it into the sauce. While the low carb penne rigate was cooking, I let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes more.

Another way to do this is to prepare the sauce and put it into the oven pan over the meat for about 20 minutes at the end of the cooking time. And then slice the meat after it’s all done. If you do it this way, you can serve it nicely and even cut bigger pieces directly onto the plates. A little bit messy though, but equally good.

The result is an easy to love pasta dinner for 2-4 depending on the appetite and the size of the fillet! Enjoy with a side salad and a glass of smooth red. If you love pasta and need to be delighted, here it is, simple but delicious. Bon appetite!

What’s Cooking?

I’m a fairly good cook, not entirely self-proclaimed. Being a decent cook has its plusses. Friends will happily accept dinner invitations, and nobody orders pizza just before meal time. But it’s also a curse of sorts. Everyone always wants to eat at home. Like my hubby would say it’s your birthday, let’s go out. Or maybe it’s Mother’s Day. He doesn’t use Hon, it’s your whatever day… but often volunteers to peel and chop the ingredients if I put them on the kitchen counter. So I just need to throw them together, easy.

But I like eating out.  So I’ve come up with some creative solutions to that problem. First, the freezer is a helpful invention. Second, I can try to have most of my work meetings at restaurants. Oh, I’m sooo booked, back to back, can we meet for lunch? Hmm, but it usually works.

drink

To tell the truth, deep inside I love cooking. The issue is that I’m not into following recipes. I find it booring. Just following a recipe leaves nothing to the imagination, not much room for creativity. It also requires all kinds of measuring devices and mathematical skills. So that’s not for me. I like to shop groceries about once a week, but I don’t plan the meals in advance. No grocery lists based on recipes. And it’s not possible to buy .275 oz, 1/2 dl or 2 teaspoons of anything anyway. So my shopping lists tend to have only a few things on them, items that we don’t buy that often, like batteries or light bulbs. Who remembers to buy light bulbs when they now (finally) last for 2-5 years, if they are not on the list? I know what we like to eat, mostly healthy stuff, so I simply wander around the store and browse what I see.  Then I make meals of what we have. That’s simple, and so much more fun. A bit of an artistic challenge, rather than just mechanical work.

Incredients

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading recipes. I look at them to get ideas, for inspiration. I can sit and browse recipes from the whole world for hours! I particularly like to learn about spices and herbs. If I can’t grow them, and they are not available in the local stores, I can always get them online. So recipes are good, I just can’t follow them.

Last night I had some chicken breasts and made a pasta sauce.  In addition to the chicken, I threw together onions, red bell peppers, lemon and then added a little bit of this, a dash of that and a pinch of the other. And a tiny “pour” of cream. It was really tasty with low carb pasta and a fresh salad. But it’s close to impossible for me to remember how I did it…so next time will be a different culinary adventure. I kind of like that.

Chicken pasta sauce

Today, or maybe tomorrow, I think it might be time to make some pizza. To use some good leftovers. We don’t have pizza very often, maybe three or four times a year, but I like making them. Artistic and tasty toppings on a super thin crust. Like the Kilimanjaro. It has a yellowish alfredo-type mustard sauce and extra cheese to remind us of the surrounding savannah, then small heaps of really thinly sliced beef fillet for mini-mountains, topped with feta cheese for the snow. And a few green bell peppers for bushes and yellow ones for lions lurking around. And some mushroom pieces for other animals. Maybe.

Or it might be time for a completely new one. I’m thinking something like the Red Earth. With a barbeque-tomato sauce and small villages of …say, asparagus-topped chicken and zucchini? Or the Western Farm, with a light tomato-based sauce, just lightly sprinkled with cheese and lots of ongoing activity represented by different veggies? And black olives for tractors in the field?

So that’s what’s cooking.