First, I have to show you this photo. These slow roasted tomatoes get an A+
Now....on to my ramblings.......
Some people dread birthdays…worry about getting older. Worry about wrinkles and inevitable gray hair.
I have never felt that way. Never have been one of those silly girls at work, running around clasping their flawlessly wrinkle-free foreheads, exclaiming they are old now that they hit 29…or 30. (OMG! They fake cry.)
Naaah…..Me,……I celebrate the fact that I am here to enjoy another milestone. My father-in-law called me and summed it up – You made it longer than you thought you would. That’s just about true. I have celebrated more birthdays than my mother, my sister or niece. I have great faith in modern medicine and early diagnosis. Due to that, I am very fortunate in so many aspects of my life. I celebrate my current state of health, a happy and fun marriage, a son I am proud of………what more could a girl ask for?!!
Cookbooks!….that’s my answer. (But I am indeed happy with all the aforementioned, without a doubt)
My very thoughtful husband bought me two cookbooks I had my eye on for a while. What was funny about the Gwyneth Paltrow book was him watching me write down recipes I wanted to try when he had this book all wrapped up for me. He also has powerful skills of observation. He watched me check out the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian Cooking book time after time from the library. So now, look out – I WILL be updating that Italian tab on this site!
To start off, let me share two dishes from My Father’s Daughter. The pasta dish, Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano. This was incredibly easy and is a breeze even for a budget restricted grocery list.
Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano
Here is the recipe. Truly, you will be amazed how quick and easy this is……..beautiful dish, lemony pasta at its best.
3/4 pound (3/4 box) spaghetti
1 1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3–5 tablespoons of pasta water, to thin
Handful fresh basil leaves (I shredded mine)
Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water, according to the package directions.
Grate the zest from the lemon into a large bowl. The bowl must be large enough to accommodate the pasta. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the bowl amnd strain or scoop out seeds. Add the 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and mix in the olive oil to form a wet paste.
When the spaghetti is cooked, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking water to the lemon and cheese mixture. Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss thoroughly, adding another tablespoon or 2 of pasta water if necessary so that the sauce coats each strand. Roughly tear in the basil leaves.
Serve gratings of extra Parmesan.
I added the slow cooked tomatoes on the side but ate a bit of both, pasta and tomato, together. Great combination.
My adaption of Gwyneth’s Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Springs of thyme, oregano and chopped basil
~Preheat the oven to 350°F.
~Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, rub with a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt, toss herbs on top and bake, seed side up, in a 350°F oven for 3 hours. I started them this way and then turned the oven off, went and watched a movie. Next time I will be baking longer to get the curled up sun-dried tomato result.
~These keep, well refrigerated in an airtight container with a bit of olive oil, for at least a week, so make a whole bunch at once.
Thank you to all who sent me birthday wishes!! Life is so good, especially now that the hangover is a faint memory :-)