Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dish | Pear & Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Rosemary + 'Love' Pasta

These dishes are coming from a small impromptu dinner party I had last night. It was the perfect storm of friends and food and a few bottles of wine! Like I mentioned in my last post about pasta, I make it a few times a week and always make an effort to buy seasonally. The bruschetta was a random last minute decision but it all came together so perfectly!

I had gone to the store with my best friend Henry to buy wine and the ingredients for making pasta, but we completely spaced on appetizers until we got home and realized we wanted something to snack on while we cooked. Drinking and eating while I (or you) cook is a must! We decided to make bruschetta after reading Bon Appetit's The Toast with the Most: a beautifully photographed feature on bruschetta. Your options are relatively open so I decided on a whole wheat baguette with pears, black pepper goat cheese and fresh rosemary.


1 whole wheat baguette, sliced
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/4 cup goat cheese of your choice
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for drizzling

1  |  Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch sections. Brush baguette slices with olive oil. Top baguette with pear, goat cheese and a sprig of rosemary.

2  |  Bake until baguette is golden and goat cheese is perfectly browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serves 4.

Now for the pasta! I've been making 'Love' Pasta for the past year or so. The first time I made it for Ryan he declared it would forever be known as Love Pasta. I guess that means he liked it? Since then I have made it for a handful of dinners and I have to admit, it has never disappointed. I put love into making it and have felt the love back from happy friends with full bellies. Enjoy!

'LOVE' PASTA aka PASTA WITH PEAS, ASPARAGUS, BUTTER LETTUCE & PROSCIUTTO  |  Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit April 2009

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1/2 pound spring onions or green onions (dark green parts discarded); white parts cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, pale green parts cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 2 pounds peas in pods)
1 pound medium shell pasta
1 head of butter lettuce, cored, leaves cut into 3/4-inch-wide slices
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1  |  Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and shallot. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; set aside.

2  |  Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 5-6 minutes. Add asparagus to pot of boiling water with pasta until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. Add peas and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain everything, being sure to save 1 cup of the pasta water.

3  |  Reheat onion mixture. Add lettuce and stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Add drained pasta, asparagus and peas; stir until heated through. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese to skillet with vegetables; toss, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle prosciutto over; drizzle with olive oil. Serve, passing more cheese alongside.

I'm eating leftovers as I write this! 

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