Rushing through a recipe…or “Flirtin’ with Disaster”

I subscribe to the Splendid Table’s Weeknight Kitchen emails.   They are great and I always get some sort of fresh idea for a “Weeknight Supper.”    If you don’t subscribe,  do so immediately!  (Click here.)

Last week’s email featured “Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Basil.”  As we had cherry tomatoes from the farmers’  market to use,  I printed it off and planned on making it last Tuesday after yoga.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper describes the recipe this way:

Rustic in flavor and presentation, this adaptation of a recipe from food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins is definitively delicious. I have increased the tomatoes because, frankly in my world, you can never have enough caramelized tomato flavor on plain pasta. Many varieties of small tomatoes are available year-round. I like to use red cherry tomatoes or the smaller grape tomatoes. The toughest part of this entire recipe is halving the tomatoes.

MMMMM—sounds delicious!

I am the world’s worst about reading directions and instructions.  (“Instructions, we don’t need no stinkin’  instructions!”)  🙂  I am no different with recipes!  So, the toughest part for me was not halving the tomatoes; it was taking the time to slow down and read the directions!

Earlier that day, I had sent my husband the link to Kate’s Kitchen and a recent post on smoked goat cheese.  He was determined to come home and try it on our retro grill.  Since he was going to fire up that puppy, I decided he could roast the tomatoes and I could throw the pasta together when I got home from yoga.

Tomatoes from the weekend's farmers' market, ready to roast.

After doing umpteen upavesasanas (yoga squat poses), I was famished.  I walked in the door and  could smell the smoky, luscious goat cheese.  I will forever be thankful for Kate for this idea.  (And we were so pleased with ourselves that the finished product looked just like her pictures!)  As I was munching on crackers and smoked goat cheese, I started the water to boil.  I was anxious to use the pasta we had bought at City Market in KC a couple of weeks ago.

I love Pappardelle's pasta.

Then, I ran out and picked the first crop of basil from the herb garden.

The basil is finally big enough to pick!

Finally, I sat down and read the recipe while I waited for the water to boil.  Panic!  Apparently, you are suppose to take the tomatoes and roast them further (another 30-40 minutes) sprinkled with bread crumbs and Parmesan THEN toss them with the pasta.

Oops!  It is 8:00 and although I am thankful for the smoky hors d’oeuvres, I WANT DINNER!

So I decided to just use the rest of the recipe as a guide launching point and throw everything together.  I call this my “Pasta Mess with Apologies to Lynne and The Splendid Table.”

1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole wheat fettuccine
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat grill (we used our retro “Big Green Egg”) to 325 degrees.  Place tomatoes and garlic in foil, drizzle with olive oil and make a pouch.  Add soaked wood chips to grill and smoke.  After 30 minutes, open top of pouch.   Grill for another 15 minutes.   (I highly recommend smoking goat cheese during this time as well!)

Remove tomatoes and garlic and set aside.  Cook pasta according to directions.  In a separate pan, place tomatoes (with juices),  bread crumbs,  and Parmesan cheese.  Stir to incorporate over low heat.

Drain pasta (reserving 1 cup of pasta water) and return to cooking pot.  Add pasta water to the tomato mixture 1/3 cup at a time (as needed) to make a sauce.

Add tomato mixture and basil to pasta and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta Mess

It was edible, colorful, aromatic, and served its purpose for sustenance, but I would rather make The Splendid Table’s suggestion for a weeknight meal the correct way!   ( I did notice that my husband kept conveniently forgetting to take the leftovers for lunch!  I, however, finished it off.)

Sometimes new recipes come from shortcuts, substitutions, and additions AND sometimes pasta messes occur from NOT reading the directions before hand.   The best laid plans….

2 comments to Rushing through a recipe…or “Flirtin’ with Disaster”

  • Liz

    LOL, you sound SO much like me. I hate to read instruction manuals, so no wonder I mess up recipes…I never saw the connection before. It sounds like a lovely pasta recipe…and I’ll give it a shot, being careful to follow Lynne’s instructions 🙂

  • Eliot

    Yeah, I am sure I have not learned my lesson here. I can’t wait to try the “real” recipe!