Food for Thought

We may live without poetry, music and art;
We may live without conscience,
and live without heart;
We may live without friends,
we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
-Owen Meredith
(Edward R. Bulwer-Lytton)

Can you believe this weather we're having in the Ohio Valley?! I'm loving it so much that I dug out this recipe for Tagliarini with Lemon Sauce. Plan ahead and have a bouquet of spring flowers, a chilled bottle of white wine and taste your way into a preview of spring.

Tagliarini al Limone

Tagliarini al Limone is a golden dish with flecks of green. It's an uplifting lunch or dinner, especially on a grey winter's day when it seems that one will never again see spring. The addition of parsley is essential, while cheese is optional. This is one pasta dish that demands good fresh noodles. It makes a delicious and elegant dish to serve family and friends.

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 lb. tagliarini
  • Sea salt
  • Grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 3 tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, snipped
  • Freshly grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, served at the table

In a frying pan, large enough to hold the pasta later, combine the butter, cream and lemon juice over low heat. As soon as he butter is melted, remove the pan from heat, cover and sest aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 10 1/2 pints of water to rolling boil. Add 3 tbsp. salt and pasta, stirrig to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook until tender. Drain, leaving a few drops of water clinging to the pasta so that the sauce will adhere.

Transfer the pasta to the pan, off the heat and toss to blend. Add the lemon zest and toss once more. Cover and let rest for 1 - 2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce thoroughly. Transfer to warmed shallow soup bowls and serve immediately, topped with parsley leaves.

This dish is delicious with a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. However, a red wine would be fine as well. Go with what you like.

Rosemary Apple Strudel

There are so many different types of apples in the store right now. I love apples and they're good for you. I usually buy Granny Smith apples to bake with and a variety to eat fresh.

I have a rosemary plant that we've had for a few years now. They are easy to care for, do well in the house during winter and it's simply wonderful to have fresh rosemary on hand whenever I need it. If you don't have a plant, I highly recommend you buy one.

Rosemary Apple Strudel

  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3 medium baking apples, peeled, cut into 1/4" chunks
  • 3/4 c. plus 5 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced rosemary leaves
  • 6 sheets phyllo, thawed if frozen

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 7 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Mix apples and toasted walnuts, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. melted butter and rosemary leaves.

Unroll phyllo and place 1 sheet on a work surface. Make sure to keep remaining sheets of phyllo covered with a damp towel. Brush sheet lightly with some of the butter and sprinkle with about 2 tsp. sugar. Cover with another sheet of shyllo and repeat the brushing and sprinkling. Continue until you use all phyllo sheets.

With one of the long sides facing you, spread the apple mixture lengthwise over the bottom third of the phyllo, leaving 1/2 inch bare at the short edges. Fofld in the short edges, then rolll up fro the long side, like you would a jelly roll. Place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Bursh to lightly with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve warm.

To recrisp leftovers, bake on 350 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes.

For more holiday recipes, click here.

Next week get another delicious pasta dish and another sweet treat.

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