Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Celebrating, Plus Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano and Slow Roasted Tomatoes

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
Coarse salt
1 lemon
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

Vine-ripened tomatoes
Olive oil
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 :-)



  1. I didn't know it was your birthday...sorry that I missed it. Sounds like it was a good one - and HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! I love that Gwyneth book.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday to you! So glad you had a great birthday. You certainly did get two wonderful presents. Love the spaghetti. I made that one awhile back and loved it. Enjoy!

  3. happy birthday and love your outlook great recipe

  4. Happy Birthday to you! I am singing for you now. Gwyneth Paltrow was promoting her book the other day; I think I need this one; your food look really good; my kind of cooking.
    As you can see I'm still kicking and it's kind of fun to come and visit some special friends I made with my Sage Cuisine and not worry about the blog anymore. I feel liberated!

  5. aw what an adorable pup!! so cute! and that pasta looks goooood! creamy, fresh, and delicious! thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks Heather. We had a blast.

    Kim, Thank you. It's a great book, isn't it? I am loving going through it.

    Rebecca, thank you, always stay positive...if you can :-)

    Rita - I am so very pleased you are still kicking and look forward to exchanging emails, staying in touch. Let me know what you think of that cookbook.

    GluttonFreHappyTummy, thanks very much. Aja rules the house to be sure.

  7. Sorry I missed your birthday! Hope you had a happy, happy one with lots of good food to go along with the cookbooks.

  8. Thank you, Janel. We had fun :-)
    By the way, I like the link you put up with your book being reviewed. I had not heard of that site before so I am glad you shared it.

  9. Roasted tomatoes are always great (especially with fresh herbs) and this looks like such a delicious and simple dish! Happy, happy birthday, friend. I love your outlook!

  10. Okay, so I was visiting your latest post for Slow Roasted Tomato Soup and when I went to leave a comment, I wound up on this post, which by the way looks just as delicious!!!

    However, now I am very upset, I mean VERY! I missed your Birthday. What??? When? I'm gonna beat you with a wet noodle for not letting me know sooner. Happy Birthday! (albeit a bit late:) Oh okay, maybe it's my fault a little. Oh why, oh why did it take me forever to get here:(

    Anyway, both adaptions look delicious, and that special hubby of yours deserves lots of hugs and food:)

    Thanks for sharing, Tina...

    P.S. Are you going to make the Picnic Game this year, I hope, I hope:) We're choosing letters "as we speak."

  11. Thank you, Louise! I only have my phone right now, hard to type, but yes...I want to participate in the picnic!


Welcome and thank you so much for visiting! I appreciate all your comments and feedback. If I don't respond to you here, I will via email or on your blog. If you want to reach me right away please email me at tmculbertson AT gmail DOT com. Cheers!!

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