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Tag: pasta (page 2 of 2)

When Art Worlds Combine

Pasta in the Studio

So, I totally had an Ina Garten moment yesterday when I transported a meal to a friend’s art studio a block away from my home.  His show is opening this Saturday and he’s been working rather long hours.  I thought a simple, hot meal would be a nice gesture.  How bad can that be?

I’m not an artist though my friend refers to my interest in cooking and this blog in general as a form of art. O.K., I’ll bite but it’s difficult for me to completely digest this point as I often hew fairly close to recipes I find that intrigue me. That’s art?

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Frolicking Further into Fall: Pasta with Squash & Kale

Miracle of miracles. We went out to the country for the weekend and, are you ready for this, IT DID NOT RAIN. Holy Amazing. This is a fairly spectacular occurrence as I bring rain with such reliability that it’s been suggested that I could save drought-plagued areas by my presence alone. It was, however, gloriously sunny and warm in Lost River. There was hiking of hikes, playing of games, drinking of drinks, and inspecting of goats. It was good.


There was also much cooking. In addition to Japanese Street Food Night, we also cranked out a nice little Italian-inspired meal Friday evening. A warming, savory-sweet fall pasta followed by simply broiled buffalo steaks and broccolini was just the thing after a long drive and a longer week. Though half of the group FOOLISHLY stopped at Denny’s on the way to the cabin, everyone else was plenty hungry when this tasty pasta, tossed with roasted squash, sauteed kale, pine nuts, and raisins hit the table. That it then got eaten again for breakfast on Sunday says more about how tasty it was… and less about how I didn’t have time to make the coffee cake I usually would have.

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Pasta alla Norma ‘Desmond’

Pasta alla Norma

I admit, I’m not very adventerous in the kitchen when it comes to meatless Mondays. Or Tuesdays. Or Wednesdays.

I love tempeh, tofu and seitan but cooking with these ingredients is just not my thing. My vegi-default for the vegetarians in my life happens to be pasta dishes.  Nothing is quite like it on a Tuesday evening. It’s fast, easy and cheap. Like my commute to work. Or my…haircut. Yes, yes. My haircut.

So, curtain up on Pasta alla Norma (‘Norma Pasta’) named after Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini’s opera, ‘Norma’. Another theory on the origins of this dish stipulates that the Bellini opera was so excellent, “Norma,” became a superlative.

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This Lamb is Silenced, Agent Jim

Lamb Ragu's Close UpYeah, I can’t talk about lamb without engaging in some cheap Buffalo Bill impressions while dancing in front of a mirror as Joy Division plays in the background. It’s too easy. Like me.

Hell, even when I’m prepping and seasoning a lamb shoulder, leg, shanks, etc. I often find myself singing along to this little ditty from “Silence of the Lambs: The Musical.”

Yes, I’m ill. These are facts, dear readers.

I serve quite a bit of lamb in my house.  My friend Jim (not a fan of this habit!) argues I have a lamb fetish and would often groan upon learning that I’d be serving a lamb dish on the nights he would come over for dinner.  He’s now living in Fiji. If I close my eyes and hold a seashell to my ear, I can almost hear him screaming.

So, in honor of Jim and the great Patricia Wells who published this recipe in “The Provence Cookbook,” I present the following pasta;  a light lamb ragù sauce tossed with rigatoni and topped with a fresh cherry tomato and mint salad.

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