Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 2: Pasta Puttanesca

Ok. For starters, I realized as I pulled out my cookbook today, I've been spelling Ms. Ray's name wrong. Her proper name is Rachael Ray. Sorry.

Alright. So my pasta puttanesca was, I dunno, kinda blah. Forgive me if I maybe expect too much. They are, afterall, meals you can make in only 30 minutes, but I want something tasty! I thought as I was consuming my meal that the blandness may possibly be due to the fact that I usually (when making pasta) boil my chosen pasta in butter and a little Tony Chachere's. (Side note, Tony's is a great allspice mixture from Louisiana pronounced shash-er-ees.) So I think, even though Rachael's recipe doesn't call for it, in the pasta I make from here on out I'm gonna go ahead and use butter at least.

So aside from all that, it was much more flavorful than last night's Aglio Olio. Also I ran into some snags while shopping for ingredients. The recipe called for an 8 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. I could only find the big 28 oz. cans and of course my measuring cup was nowhere to be found. I ended up eyeballing it with a paper cup I had that looked to be about the size of an 8 oz. can. My second shopping issue was that the recipe called for capers. I am not a super chef. I have heard the word used on the Food Network shows, but I really had no clue what it was. The only capers I could find were with the pickles. Meaning they were, of course, pickled. I didn't really notice that they gave the dish much of a bad flavor so I don't think it really mattered. Of course the best part of the dish was one of the smallest. It called for a palmful of pitted olives cured in oil. I decided to grab some of those mediterranean olives and it turned out great.

I think that going forward with this cookbook I will be using my brain. As in modifying as I go. Well, I say that now but in a few days the recipes go from easy pastas to restaurant pasta dishes. So I guess we'll see!


1 comment:

  1. A few things... Awesome that you are learning to cook. And as much as I dislike Ms. Ray's personality, she is really a decent cook and her 30 minute meals are the best way to start.
    Second, all capers come pickled. So next time, no need to worry. Just make sure you drain them, unless the recipe calls for the use of the juice.
    Finally, and I think most importantly, cooking is best when personalized. Following a recipe is the easy part. Modifying, adjusting and making allowances for things is really my favorite part about preparing a meal. It also, makes you a much better cook in the long run.

    The best tip I can give you, is after each step, taste your food and adjust accordingly. Just because the recipe says boil pasta in plain water, doesn't mean that's what you want. If you wanna use butter and Tony Chachere's, by all means, do so. Just remember, it's easier to add more, than take it away.

    --Stacey :-)