Tuesday, August 5, 2008

comfort food

I felt the need for some comfort food last night. I was crampy, cranky and all worned out. And, I'm in the middle of a YA vampire book that I'm currently obsessed with* so I don't really have time for time-consuming cooking.

I have the book How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman out of the library. (And, have How To Cook Everything Vegetarian on request). This is one of those books that I'm going to hate to return to the library, and probably going to convince myself before long that I need to actually own. I will justify it by stating indignantly to myself (and maybe to Barbara), "I mean, what well-stocked kitchen doesn't have a Bittman cookbook on the shelf? I mean, really!". Nevermind that the answer is, I'm sure: plenty. But, still. Baby gets what baby wants, right? Uh...

Anyhow, last night I needed to comfort food, and I remembered this recipe I'd paged past in the book where Bittman argued that there was no reason to EVER make mac-n-cheese from a box (or any "convenience food") when you could make this recipe in the same amount of time, and have the result be so much more satisfying and delicious. So, I did, and it was. Apart from the time it took to boil the water, it was about ten minutes start to finish. You just boil some salted water for your pasta, and in the meantime, melt 6 T. of butter (I used half unsalted, half salted) in a saucepan, and add 20-30 fresh sage leaves (or the equivalent of dried--I don't remember what that was) and some freshly ground pepper. Cook that over low heat until the butter is lightly browned, and the sage leaves are crispy and fragrant. Grate about 1 c. of parmesan cheese. When the pasta is done, drain (I used penne), reserving 2-3 T. of cooking water, and add it to your warmed serving bowl. Toss the pasta with the butter, sage and half the parmesan. Pass the rest of the cheese for serving. Enjoy!

It was SO good, so simple, and so perfectly what I wanted.
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*Seriously. I went with some coworkers (who led me into this obsession) to Barnes and Noble at the Waterfront at 11pm on Friday night for the book release party. It was us, a few other adult nerdladies, and about three hundred tween/teen girls (and about five boys). We made t-shirts. We got tweens to help us with the trivia contests. We raced home with our books and read them into the night. I'm on page 607 (of 753) now. I can't wait to read the rest. And actually, the writing's not even that great. It's often painfully cheesy. But, I still can't stop reading. One of my co-workers (and the genesis of the workplace frenzy over these books) pointed out that the writing isn't really good, but the storytelling is. I think that's the key. Plus, I just like fantastical books. Especially about vampires. Because I'm a nerd. So?

5 comments:

ellen said...

Sage leaves in mac n'cheese, that sounds tasty, I'm going to have to try that.

Ashley said...

I finished Breaking Dawn Wednesday afternoon. Loved it. And you're so right . . . the writing is not that spectacular. But *swoon* I'm willing to overlook that.

Ashley said...

And by "Wednesday afternoon" I meant Monday afternoon. Wow.

pleasantlyfurious said...

Oh, the twilight series. I stopped myself from going to the midnight release party thinking it would be too embarassing to be waiting in line with a group of preteens...but then kicked myself when they were sold out the next day!

a hurd said...

that sounds delicious about right now. i'm really hungry but don't have time to eat before going out to meet some friends for an art thingy. i wish you were here to feed me, mama.