A forkful of pasta helps combat rainy day blahs

It's icky weather here in the capital city today and I am to blame:  I washed my truck yesterday for the first time in like a year.  I spent three hours cleaning the inside and outside of my dog taxi, only to wake up to cloudy skies this morning.  Sorry, Sacramentans, it is all my fault.  Knock on wood, it has only barely sprinkled so far...

Luckily, I had some inspiration logged away in my short-term memory, thanks to Kristina, and whipped up a zesty, vibrant, and very satisfying dish for lunch on my [short] lunch break.  I don't have a name for it, as I am simply filing it under what I call "Pantry Pasta", which is ever-changing.  I also often make "Pantry Cous Cous" and "Pantry Quinoa."  As you have probably guessed, these dishes consist of whatever I have on hand and am craving.  "Cluelessness is the mother of invention" - Lorelai Gilmore. 

I was too hungry to list all the ingredients and preparations neatly, so as you can see in the photo, I messily jotted down what I threw in this batch, just in case I inhaled the whole thing before getting it down on paper. 
If anyone is interested in making this dish, here's how I did it this time.  Oh yeah, I apologize to the Virgos looking for exact measurements...I only measure when I'm baking, not cooking.

carrots (these carrot 'chips' were on sale the other day, bonus: no peeling or slicing)
fresh ginger root
olive oil
penne pasta
fresh Italian parsley
fresh cilantro
fresh squeezed lime juice
capers (no surprise there!)
toasted fennel seeds
sun-dried tomatoes, julienne (must get Cal Sun∙Dry, seriously. why? well, that's another post)
ks & p to taste (we always always always use kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorns)

1. Roast carrots in baking dish with thinly sliced shallots, diced peeled fresh ginger, olive oil, and ks & p, turning occasionally.  I adjusted the temp a few times, but kept in the range of 375°-425°
2. Boil water and cook pasta until al dente w/ a healthy sprinkle of ks
3. In a bowl, squeeze in lime juice then add all ingredients, except toasted fennel seeds.  Stir to combine.
4. When roasted veggies are brown and at desired consistency and color, remove from pan and dump in the bowl of premixed ingredients.
5. Using a slotted spoon, scoop a spoonful of pasta, drain, then add to bowl.  Repeat until all pasta is removed from pasta water.
6. Sprinkle desired amount of fennel seeds into pan used to roast veggies and return to oven to toast.  Meanwhile, mix everything in the bowl.  NOTE:  toasting only takes a quick minute or two, so don't forget about your seeds.
7. Top your dish with hot toasted fennel seeds and ENJOY.
Another NOTE: if the dish is a bit dry for your taste, just add some reserved pasta water and stir.

The hubs is at home today, so he had better not eat the rest that I left in the fridge.  I can't wait to eat the leftovers cold tomorrow, once they've sat in the fridge overnight...mmmm...

1 comment:

vickifab said...

recipe saved! now post the couscous!!! j/k I know its not the same if I dont use my own on-hand pantry lovin'.

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