Wheel pasta with tomato-basil sauce; bruschetta with cranberry beans; cold asparagus with aioli – 27 June 2011

Well, I really had to use up last week’s tomato sauce, and the basil I bought for the eggplant-sandwich pizza the other day had wilted into a sad little bunch of lifeless leaves in one day, so I combined the sauce and basil. I noted the bargain asparagus in the fridge, and realized we still had a bit of aioli, so that made a good veggie. What to do for some protein? Beans! We had some of the cranberry beans that we didn’t add to the pseudo-cassoulet two days ago, and I made those into a bruschetta.

The tomato-basil sauce needed salt, but I didn’t manage to taste it before serving. Bad me. Adding salt at the table worked fine, however. D cooked the pasta; he asked what I wanted to serve the sauce on, and my first reaction was spaghetti, but then I thought, why not use some of the nifty little Garofolo pastas we get in variety packs and Costco – the forms we never get around to using? Hence the wagon wheels. They were not ideal as the sauce didn’t seem to want to cling to them, but D pointed out that a topping with small things – capers, pine nuts, bite of lemon – would work very well with this pasta.

We had kept the onion that was cooked in the lamb stock along with the cranberry beans two days ago, and I chopped up a couple of the inside layers of that. I sliced two tiny cloves of garlic lengthwise, and placed them, salted rather generously, in a mortar to pound them into some version of a paste. I added some of the cranberry beans and pounded them in, too, then added some whole ones and mixed them in at the end. I spread this on half-slices of bread from the 25th, toasted moderately in our toaster oven. This was a most excellent taste!

Finally, I steamed the bargain asparagus quite early in the afternoon, putting the mammoth (like – double-wide!) stalks in first, then the normal ones 3 minutes later, and the tiny ones two minutes after (and then another 3 minutes steaming). I dumped them into ice water (which they promptly heated) and then dried them and their rinse container and put them in the fridge till time to serve. There was only about one serving of aioli left, so I added about 1 part mayonnaise, and a lot of olive oil to thin it to cast over the asparagus stalks.

We had a wine we really liked, which cost only $5.99 at Trader Joe’s: a 2009 Trentatre. I looked it up on the 2010 version of this blog and see we had the 2007 then, also with a pasta with tomato and basil, though in a different form. LOL! Liked it a lot then, too šŸ™‚ Note that this wine has braille on the label…

 

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