Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

I'm going to call my version, "Spagheccine Alfredo". As you might have guessed, I didn't have any fettuccine pasta on hand so I used spaghetti instead. I used the "smart" kind which looks like white pasta but has more fibre like whole wheat pasta. As is often the case, I didn't measure it. Instead, I cooked what was in the box and threw in a bunch when the recipe called for the pasta to be added to the sauce. I reserved the rest as cooked pasta for red sauce sometime later in the week.

I ended up using about 2.5 cloves of garlic because they were stuck together. I didn't add any salt and I ground a bunch of pepper into the sauce randomly. If it matters, my butter was salted because that's all I had, and the parsley was of the squeeze tube variety (my version of fresh). I didn't end up measuring the lemon zest, but it amounted to grating the heck out of one lemon and hoping for the best. *See note later on whether that was a good idea or not* I also did not add any of the reserved pasta water to my sauce because I found it to be the right consistancy without.

This recipe took a little longer than anticipated to complete, primarily because I managed to knock a favourite red glass off the counter and it smashed all over the floor. The clean-up took a while... Aside from that incident, the rest went fairly smoothly. Speaking of which, I found that using puree on the blender for a while was the secret to getting the cauliflower sauce to smooth out nicely. You can use a similar blade on your food processor if you don't keep forgetting to use it because it sits right in front of you on the counter...

The Meatatarian and I both noticed this recipe to be rather lemon-y in flavour. Perhaps I added too much? Or perhaps one does not need as much as is called for? Aside from that, it was pretty good. Cauliflower is a good source of fibre along with the whole wheat/"smart" pasta so I'm still full a few hours later. This recipe is a good way to sneak some vegetable(s) in for those who aren't terribly fond of them. Now I just need a recipe to use up the remaining evaporated milk...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup

Recipe #79:

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving! If you're looking to escape the turkey grind at this time of year, then here's the perfect recipe for you. I was inspired to try a roasted tomato soup recipe after eating a delicious version in a restaurant recently. Theirs had more kick to it than mine, but both were tasty.

Aside from trying to figure out what exactly a "non-reactive" baking sheet was (I came to the conclusion that it was one which wouldn't be affected by the acid in the tomatoes and vinegar), and attempting to make uninformed decisions about garlic, this recipe was pretty straightforward and simple. I didn't happen to make the crouton part of the recipe, but it seems easy enough for another time.

I ended up using about 8 "regular" tomatoes and 4 roma ones, if that matters to you. I don't think I had quite enough basil although I didn't formally measure it. I was looking for the squeeze-tube basil, but the store only had small packages of fresh so I bought a couple of them. I also added some basil from my half-dead plant in the backyard. I didn't measure the onion either - I just used an entire medium-sized yellow onion.

The only part where I got confused was with regards to the garlic. Yes, I added it to the bowl with the tomatoes, vinegar, etc. at the beginning, but then I didn't know whether the garlic got roasted with the tomatoes or not? I roasted them both. Then I wondered, "Do I add the garlic to the pot with the tomatoes?" Nope, I chucked the garlic at that point. I'm still not sure if it was the right thing to do since the recipe failed to make mention of garlic after the beginning.

In the end, my soup is very tomato-y. I guess that's a good thing since it's a tomato soup. It definitely doesn't have any spice kick to it so you can modify that part on your own if you want. But it's a nice, thicker soup for fall, and a perfect way to boost your vitamin C and lycopene intake. I ate mine with a fresh slice of the Meatatarian's homemade sourdough bread, mmmmm......