Sunday, March 29, 2009

Visitors! and gardening

Rachael and Ben are here!I've known Rachael since undergrad - and I did the math - that's 15 years now. How did that happen?
Here she is with her wonderful fiancé.
Beet, beet greens, pine nuts and pasta. The recipe calls for golden beats but I didn't have them last time so I just used the red that I did. The result is a very Christmas looking dish - but it tastes just as good. This is a super yummy dish - I highly recommend it. I also recommend more garlic - but that's just me.

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled, each cut into 8 wedges, greens cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 12 ounces farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Scatter beet greens over onions. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl. Return water to boil. Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta. Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide pasta among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese.

* * *

Yesterday I finally set all my responsibilities aside and went out into the yard. It felt so good to be out there in the dirt. It was relatively warm - 60° - and the rain had stopped. I yanked out all of the old crud underneath my porch and turned the soil a bit. There are tons of earthworms in there! I planted four raspberry bushes next to the porch. They will get full sun there and climb on the porch. And well, if I have to get rid of them when the porch gets redone - I guess that will be that. In the mean time they've already started sprouting and so I'm hoping for something yummy this summer!
I yanked a lot more grass out of the bed as well and put nasturtium seeds in and some wildflower seeds. If they don't take I can always plant petunias like last year. I'm also going to start some Sunflowers and plant them later.
Jacques was very helpful. He sat behind the trellis that block off the area beneath the porch and the rest of the world. When I would yank out a particularly wispy plant he would stick his paw through and take a few whacks at it. And when I would pull out a deep clump of earth, he would make it deep by furiously digging in it. I also spied my cardinals again. Such beautiful birds.

No comments: