Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bikram Cooking

Trying to up my "crunchiness" factor, I quickly joined in when my friend suggested we split a whole share with an organic local farm co-op this year. Every Wednesday, we (she) pick(s) up a bunch of fresh organic veggies/berries/herbs that we split. Side note: Looking forward to something in the fall? Hate the heat? Want to, for any reason, make the summer fly by? Join a farmshare. Wednesdays come fast! Anywho, so Wednesdays, yes. They come every 7 days or so and I feel this need to beat the clock to use up everything we got with the last bunch (those beets still hanging in my crisper? Don't you worry about those.). This is also super fresh, locally grown produce and it seems like a disservice to let it go past its prime before we eat it. Sometimes though, its impossible. We get busy/Bubbles craves non-organic-locally-grown-fake-cheese-smothered-pasta/I just can't eat 1 1/2 heads of lettuce myself in 1 week (ahem, hubby, a little help here please?)/or in this case, I bought a bunch of asparagus at the store (for conventionally-grown food non-snobs) forgetting that Wednesday was once again visiting us soon. So I said to myself last Tuesday, "Self, what should we do with this almost-beyond-its-prime-asparagus tonight, the hotest day of the year so far? Oh! We'll roast it in a 425 degree oven, of course!"

So we did pecisely that, on our way to Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter. I've made this before, apparently for hubby, although I don't remember making it for him. I've learned that a whole stick of butter is unneccesary (truth hurts, Paula), but other than that and subbing a skinny noodle for a fat noodle, made the recipe as written. I've even become a little more brave/patient in my reduction skills and think this was my best balsamic reduction yet!

must. take. better. photos. oh, and clean stove.
You know it's done when it coats the spoon like that. It certainly doesn't look like enough for a pound of penne (or in my cupboard's case, rigatoni) but I promise, it is!

While that was reducing, I was "waking up" the asparagus in the oven. That is old. At 425F. And not sealed well.

roasted, with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Because a hot oven and 1 sauce pan wasn't enough, I boiled a gallon and a 1/2 of water to make the pasta. If I wasn't sweating bullets, this would have been a simple, delicious, quick meal. It was only 2 of those. Although it was easy in and of itself, it's not easy when you have to dump a pasta pot into the colander with one hand because the other hand is attached to the Gatorade bottle you're chugging from to stave off dehydration.

But once all the pieces are done, simply combine with 1/2 a stick-ish of butter and some fresh grated parmesan, wipe the sweat from your brow (and cheeks, and arms, and ok, getting gross here) and dig in.

And if you're lucky, you'll get a bite of rigatoni with a piece of asparagus stuck in the middle! Those silly kids!

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