So. I have to tell you. This blogging thing — if you don’t make a schedule and stick to it, you tend to go a month in between posts without even noticing it.
Mea culpa. If you want excuses, I’ve got ’em. Work. Kids. The baby crawls and pulls up and cruises and is into everything now! A child-who-shall-not-be-named has done something with my camera’s memory card and I cannot for the life of me find it.* But, for the most part, it’s just that I only have 8 hours a week of nanny time, which means I work during every other free moment, including my former blogging time. Sigh.
* I suspect there is a black hole in our house somewhere. Don’t worry, I sucked it up and bought a new one, but I’m still holding out hope!
But I miss writing, and I miss you guys, and I find myself composing posts in my head that I never actually commit to paper (screen?). So here I am. And I’m going to try to do better — with a schedule and everything. In fact, it was around this time three years ago** that I really launched my blog by doing a 30-day post challenge. I am contemplating doing the same thing again to throw myself back into it, and get back into the habit of coming here and giving this blog the attention it deserves — especially now that we’ve joined a new CSA and I’m cooking regularly again.
** Damn, time flies, doesn’t it? Also, do you like how I used three big writing no-nos all in a row there — starting sentences consecutively with “but,” “so” and “and.” Win!
To the matter at hand, though — pasta! My kids love pasta. Love.
I have never seen a baby nosh as pleasurably (or as heartily!) as Amelia did the other night on spaghetti at an Italian restaurant. That was the stuff. Even my picky 3-year-old*** hardly every turns her nose up at pasta… though she may pick out any “green stuff” I put in it.
*** Remember how she used to eat everything I put in front of her? Me too.
I ran across a recipe somewhere for pasta with sun-dried tomato cream sauce a while back. I apparently didn’t save it anywhere, since I still haven’t been able to find it again, but I did remember that it called for non-oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes of good quality, and some happened to jump out of the shelf at me while I was at Whole Foods the very next day.
Those tomatoes languished in my pantry, since I hadn’t saved the recipe, and then we got a brown paper bag of locally cultivated mushrooms in our weekly Farmhouse Delivery box. In brainstorming ideas for the mushrooms, my mind wandered back to that sun-dried tomato pasta — and this delicious, umami-rich dinner was born.
I mean — sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, cream sauce, pasta — how can you go wrong? Even my mushroom-hating hubby loved it. Plus, it’s super-easy to prepare, and ready in minutes. Now that’s my idea of a great weeknight meal! Add a salad (which certain members of your family may or may not eat) and call it dinner.
- 8 oz casarecce or other short pasta (like rotini or shells)
- 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
- 6 oz mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup cream
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil, and cook the pasta until al dente.
- Meanwhile, chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly and put them in a small bowl with water to soak. Chop the mushrooms, slicing ¼ of them, and chopping the rest roughly.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes and saute them with the mushrooms until the mushrooms release their juices and begin to brown slightly.
- Sprinkle the flour over and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock and cream and lower the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly (enough to coat the back of a spoon).
- Drain the pasta when done, and add it to the skillet with the sauce, stirring to coat.
- Remove from the heat and add the parmesan, stirring until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional parmesan, if desired.