Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pasta with Almond Pea Pesto

Pasta With Almond Pea Pesto
Shorter days....Longer nights...Chilly winds...Bulky clothing...Hibernating animals..Dying plants...Early sunset...Late sunrise....All these signs herald the arrival of Father Winter and set the stage for warm, comfort food to drive away the moody blues.

Creamy soups, piping hot chocolate, perfectly roasted nuts and al dente pasta are all my soothing, comforting companions in the food section, during these cold months and on those lines, I have been making this recipe quite often in the past month. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website and I have tweaked it a wee bit to suit my taste.

Though pasta comes in various shapes, my husband and I have a soft spot for tubular varieties like penne and elbows, though occasionally rigotini, spaghetti, farfalle, fusili,conchiglie do find their way into my kitchen...

Each pasta shape works best with a particular type of sauce. According to 'http://www.ilovepasta.org, "When making delicious pasta dishes, be sure to choose a pasta shape and sauce that complement each other. Thin, delicate pastas like angel hair or thin spaghetti, should be served with light, thin sauces. Thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine, work well with heavier sauces. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces."

This particular recipe which I have highlighted today called Pasta with Almond Pea Pesto is a non-diary based dish deriving its smooth, creamy consistency from almonds. It has just a hint of sweetness from peas, which gets delightfully complimented by the tartness of lemon juice. Added to all this, lemon zest embraces the dish with a fresh burst of flavor and black pepper provides the much needed spicyness. We simply loved this dish and I hope you would enjoy it too!

The original recipe can be found at here. Instead of penne, I used elbows and I boiled the peas before grinding with almonds. I also used a little pasta water while grinding.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pittsburgh Trip











I had wanted to write this post for long, but somehow got postponed. Along with two other families, we went on a trip to Pittsburgh a month back. It was not the very best time to go on a long trip, taking into account that it was good 8 hrs drive and that it was raining cats and dogs, but we were bent on having a glimpse of Lord Venkateshwara!

The drive was uneventful with plenty of laughter and fun, dotted with intermittent stops at service areas for a hot drink to ward off the chill creeping into our bones. We reached the hotel early evening and after a quick freshening up session, our first stop was the temple.

Whatever the fact might be, the idol in Pittsburgh temple does have an aura and the positive vibes in the temple are pretty evident. It could be due to my belief or due to the magnetic forces.

The next day was a trip through downtown and to the New Vrindavan temple at Wheeling, West Virginia. The temple set in a serene setting calms the mind and provides one with a heightened awareness of the supreme being. But as luck would have it, the temple's lights were out due to a storm the previous day and we had to satisfy ourselves with the daylight peeping in through the massive doors. The temple canteen provided us with warm food to fill our hungry stomachs and we were off to visit the Palace of Gold.

We were awestruck and touched by the monument which stands testimony to the devotion and dedication of Swami Prabhupada's devotees, in a land far away from our own. The beautiful mansion adorned with intricately designed windows, each a masterpiece in its own right, pristine floors, gold leaf clad walls, carefully decorated interiors and a life size wax figurine of the Swami himself, which could easily be mistaken for a real person, highlights the fruitful labour of love and devotion.

In total, it was a rejuvenating experience and I would strongly recommend it to any friend living in US!