Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Ultimate Blog Swap is Going on!

Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at 12 Stone Dance about Cooking and Crafting with the Kids and I’m excited to welcome Amanda from Not Just Cute to Mostly Food and Crafts:

Farfalle Alle Erbe Panna Rosa AKA: "Butterfly Noodles"

I have three boys between the ages of 2 and 7.  It probably goes without saying that we have more than a few differing opinions about food in our home.  One likes most fruits, but when it comes to veggies, corn is out and so are carrots unless they're raw.  Another readily eats meats and most veggies, but has explicitly informed us he does not like fruit!  The youngest will literally drink salsa, but the oldest is left in tears if he even catches sight of pepper.  And that's just the kids.  I haven't even mentioned my husband's aversion to cheese and my own disdain for fish.  Surprisingly, there are a few meals that actually please everyone.  And this pasta dish in particular doesn't just pass all the requirements, but it actually gets everyone excited about dinner timeFarfalle Alle Erbe Panna Rosa is a delicious dish you can serve to guests at a dinner party and look like a gourmet, but it's also so easy you won't hesitate to serve it up for your own family on a week night.
This dish can be made from fresh ingredients in summer time, or dry and canned ingredients in the off-season.  Fresh is delicious, but to be honest, I usually make the winter version just because it's so much faster!
First off, your ingredients!  You'll need:
1 lb farfalle (bowtie) pasta,
4 Tbsp butter
 1 tsp dry basil
 1/2 tsp dry rosemary
1/2 tsp dry sage
1/2 tsp. beef bouillon
 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
 salt and pepper
  (*Notes: If you want to use fresh herbs, just double the amount as dry herbs are more concentrated.  You can also use 2 lbs fresh ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice in place of the canned tomatoes.)
You can cook your pasta at the same time as your sauce, as it takes about the same amount of time to heat the water and boil as it does to cook the sauce, or you can wait until the sauce is done if you're not so into that multi-tasking thing.

For the sauce:
Start by melting your butter in a large skillet.  Add the herbs and bouillon and stir for a minute or two.  Be very careful not to burn the butter! 
Add the tomatoes and about a teaspoon of salt.
Cook over medium-high heat for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  They'll cook down and become darker in color.  You'll know you're ready for the next step when it looks something like this:
Now it's time for the good stuff! 
CREAM!  (This is a healthy dinner if you stay focused on the lycopene.....not so much if you're going for low-fat.  OH, but it is TASTY!) 
Stir frequently and cook over that medium-high heat until it's well combined and has reduced a bit again.  Once your noodles are ready, toss the two together.  (And yes, I did scorch my wooden spoon.  Thanks for asking.)
Serve up with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese (unless your husband has an aversion to cheese).  It tastes great as-is or along with grilled chicken seasoned with the same herbs.
Butterfly noodles are always a hit when we're learning about bugs and insects.  Sometimes I even cook up half butterfly noodles and half spiral noodles and call it butterflies and caterpillars.  Slide on over here to check out a full unit of ideas for playful learning with a bugs and insects theme!

*A few sneaky time-saving tricks:
*Measure out your herbs into a plastic bag and store those along with your canned tomatoes and pasta in your pantry.  (I put it all in a bin with the recipe.)  Then grab your other ingredients from the fridge and you're ready to rock!
*You can follow the steps up until the tomatoes have reduced, then transfer to a crock pot to keep warm.  Once you're ready to "make" dinner, return it to the skillet, add the cream and you'll be ready in just a matter of minutes.
*If you want your pasta fresh but ready in a hurry, cook it until it's about half-way done.  Drain and rinse in cold water then toss with oil.  Keep in an air-tight container.  When you're ready, put your pasta in a steamer basket and dip into boiling water again and it will be ready - and fresh- in a snap!

Thank You Amanda - My kids would defiitely devour this dish!
Visit Life...Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!



3 comments:

  1. This looks fab! We are college pastors and I'm always looking for tasty recipes to feed a crowd!

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