Friday, September 12, 2008

got tomatoes?

does everyone remember Julia's dear friend Jacques? my husband has been reading his biography and found this wonderfully simple recipe for primavera pasta. now you are probably conjuring up the same images i did when i heard that dish's name.....a sloppy mix of broccoli, squash, carrots and whatever else was left in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator with a heavy tomato sauce. well my friends this recipe couldn't be farther from the plate. with all of the heirlooms coming from the farm you'll definitely want to try this one out. and the best thing is, its super quick and light.....

Giobbi's primavera pasta (from Jacques Pepin)
tomato sauce:
1 lb ripe tomatoes (2-3)
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 c olive oil
1 c shredded basil leaves
salt to taste

8 cups of water
penne or bow tie pasta (we actually made our own fettuccine and it was great)
1/3 c finely grated Parmesan cheese

for sauce:
cut the tomatoes in half crosswise, parallel to the stems, and gently press out the seeds. cut into 1/2 inch pieces and put in a bowl large enough to hold the finished dish. add the remaining sauce ingredients and toss.

for pasta:
salt the water and bring to a boil. add the pasta and bring back to a boil. boil uncovered until al dente. add a 6 oz ladle of the hot pasta water to the tomato mixture. drain the pasta and add to the tomato mixture. toss thoroughly. divide into plates and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese!

you will definitely want some crusty bread to sop up the delicious sauce that is left behind!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Raspberry Blueberry Cheesecakes Lab

What a beautiful surprise! Raspberries in September! We made cheesecakes with the raspberries we got from the CSA supplemented by wild blueberries we picked last weekend in Ricketts Glen, PA. This a beautiful state park along Lake Rose, with great hikes along two streams that flow over spectacular waterfalls. One can swim in one of the pools (surprisingly deep!) and go sit under the waterfall and get a full body massage wile in the middle of a rainbow. It's magic.

Tim and I each made one, expecting to bring one to the family brunch on Sunday (got postponed), so we got to eat both (share some with friends too). We experimented with different crusts (Tim used a whole grain crust we bought at Mom's - great, not so fatty as the Pillsbury type crusts, but a bit salty for my taste; I used graham cracker crust made following the recipe that is on the box, with less sugar, but a touch a maple syrup, a bit a vanilla. I also put just a a bit of butter, supplemented with vegetable oil and apple sauce instead of all the melted butter that the recipe asks for. It really does not change the flavor or the texture,and it's so much healthier. We also experimented with the filling, the cheesecake part. We did not follow the traditional recipe for cheesecake (too much cream cheese and eggs for us). Tim played with whipped cream and cream cheese, and egg, baked for just a bit. He got a nice fluffy souffle-like filling, much better than mine which was heavier and closer to a real cheesecake filling (I added cream, but not whipped fluffy, cream cheese, egg, corn starch and a bit of flour). The toppings were different too: Tim's was the fruits coated in melted berry jam, mine was just the fruits. Mine looks better, but Tim's tastes better. All in all, both pies were great. We need to work out a lot to keep in shape with all these goodies. Plus, the apple pie season is coming up. Imagine the pies, the strudels, the jams! I can't wait. Happy eating!