Slight Interruption


Well, I’m running a little late with my posting, due to surgery last week.  I am on the mend, but still need to take it slow.  Which means I can’t go down to my studio to work on my jewelry, as my doctor has forbidden stairs for several weeks.  I am recovered enough to be bored out of my mind, but not enough to be able to do anything substantial.

So here is a recipe I cooked for my Cooking Italy group, but never had time to post before I went in for surgery.  As you may recall, Cooking Italy is a group dedicated to creating the recipes in Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  If you are a fan of Italian food, I highly recommend buying this book and joining our group!  Angela, over at Spinach Tiger is our Cooking Italy host and leader and she has a blogroll of everyone participating in this endeavor.

This dish is a pasta, potato, green bean dish with a pesto dressing.  You can find the recipe on Angela’s blog.  This was a simple recipe to put together.  I couldn’t find new potatoes, so I used Yukon Gold potatoes which added a sweetness to the dish.  New potatoes tend to have less starch and hold their shape better, but the Yukons, a medium starch potato, performed admirably, with slices that remained intact.

My big problem was with the pesto.  Due to our very wet June/July, my potted basil plants still look very small and sad.  I could barely get a cup of leaves, for this recipe that requires two packed cups.  I halved the pesto recipe and worked with what I had.  I actually liked the dish with less pesto, as the flavor of the green beans had a chance to shine through and I felt the pasta and potatoes absorbed enough pesto for a really fresh taste.  However my husband, a big fan of pesto, would have preferred that second cup and found the pesto flavor too mild.  My family’s final verdict –  everyone loved the Pasta and Pesto with Potatoes and Green Beans.  As my husband said – “Carbs and carbs – what’s not to like?”


As an aside, today I read a very interesting article in the NY Times, Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch.  Seems people nowadays are more interested in watching food shows on TV, than in cooking for themselves.  A very thoughtful article on where this is taking us, as a country.

6 Responses to Slight Interruption

  1. Dee July 31, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Hey Maria,
    Glad your healing along and hope you’re better soon and able to get back to your studio. The final dish looks wonderful. I can only imagine it with the fresh pesto…would you like to come cook dinner at my house? I”m probably one of those folks who nowadays prefer looking than actually cooking…too much to do, to little times. with so many single households, two parent working families and single folks period, there is no time anymore. Even the dynamics of grocery shopping has changed in the families. In my day job, we are seeing the shift from people shopping on Shopping on Saturday to Sunday, and we believe it has to do with the change in family dynamics…so much to do. Sunday used to be a day of relaxing, we barely have that day anymore sadly enough.

  2. Melissa Clifford August 2, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Gorgeous pasta, bean, potato, pesto dish. Love that platter! We really liked it too. In fact I had leftover green beans, made more pesto and just had beans and pesto for a lunch one day. It was great.

  3. Kayte August 2, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    Maria, this is just beautiful! Makes me want to make it all over again today, but going to try the fried zucchini pasta dish today. The platter you have it on is just beautiful also…it makes such a great presentation. Hope you are feeling better and ready to cook more of these dishes as it is so fun to come and visit and see what you make!

  4. Maria August 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    Thanks for visiting, ladies!

    Dee, single mom, F/T job, successful second business with jewelry – I don’t know how you find the time! You’re right about the Sunday shopping – my DH is out shopping for groceries, as I type, LOL. Fresh pesto is easy, if you have any kind of food processor. Actually this whole dish is really simple, especially if you can cook the potatoes and beans a little ahead of time. I can walk you through it 🙂

    Melissa and Kayte, Angela selected a great Cooking Italy dish for us 🙂 You’ll be seeing this platter a lot – I have it in FOUR different colors, LOL.

  5. Glennis August 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Your dish is lovely Maria! I wish mine were as pretty! Your platter is lovely too! 4 colors? I’m so jealous! LOL! I’m enjoying our group and having fun cooking with you!

  6. Maria August 3, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Hi Glennis! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Yes – dishes were a gift – lucky me!