Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to reality.

Since we last spoke, I have survived two weeks in Thailand, two and a half weeks in the wilderness (with children), moving into an apartment (twice), leading worship, and starting class.
Being in Thailand—and at camp—was like living in an alternate universe. How is there no cheese in Thailand? Since when did I like oatmeal so much?

Just thinking about unpacking for good today made me realize: I have come back to reality. Reality, in the sense that I’m using it, has a wonderful connotation. Grocery shopping, making dinner every night, and having friends over for dessert is a really wonderful reality, a reality I missed and for which I am grateful.

Part of this new reality is my new roommate—Laura—who gives me full reign of the kitchen and likes just about everything I make. She invited our friends, Jess and Brian (who are recently married—gah! I have friends who are married), over for dinner. We had only been living in the apartment a few days, so there wasn’t much in our fridge just yet. Expected to deliver a meal worthy of my reputation in the kitchen, I began to scramble.

Then I remembered this story from bread&honey. When Italians wives had affairs, and therefore did not have enough time to slave over a hot stove making the perfect red sauce, they would make a sauce called "putan"(which literally means “whore”). Of course, I would have looked up the recipe, but we don't have internet yet, so I was forced to It’s dependent on fresh ingredients and requires very little stove time, thus it’s absolutely perfect for the end of summer (and if you're interested in tricking your husband into believing you slaved over a red sauce all day, when really you just tossed this together).

I grabbed some tomatoes and basil from my dad’s garden, and because we always have onions and garlic on hand, this sauce came together in a flash. We added a poached egg on top for a little protein, and because, well, a poached egg always brings a little class to a dish. The dish was well received, however, I forgot to snap a photo until midway through eating.

Pasta alla Puttanesca
Serves 4

4-5 big, ripe tomatoes, cubed
4 Tb. olive oil, divided
1 medium white onion or half a large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 lb. pasta (we used rigatoni)
4 eggs
Optional: olives, anchovies, torn prosciutto

1. Dice the onion and saute in 2 Tb olive oil until softened.
2. Add the rest of the oil, garlic and tomatoes and simmer over medium-low heat until warmed through (the tomatoes should only break down a little). Add the thyme (and other herbs, if you like, oregano or an "Italian seasoning" would work here) and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, boil water and cook the pasta.
4. About 5 minutes into cooking the pasta, bring a sauce pan, about half-way full with water, to a boil. Crack eggs into small cups first, and when the water reaches a boil, gently drop the eggs into the water. They will feather out a little, but do not be concerned. Take the water off the heat, cover, and wait 4-5 minutes (depending on how done you like the yoke). After 4-5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to fish out the eggs and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the water.
5. Combine the sauce and pasta in a large bowl. Plate the pasta on the bottom and the poached egg on top. Sprinkle with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

No comments: