Thursday, June 5, 2008

what's blooming in your garden?

Here's what's blooming in mine. Warning: these are NOT my own photos (why take your own when you can kyp them from nursery websites? Besides, I'm never outside with my camera when I have time to snap a pic).

Lollipop lilies, an asiatic variety.

Clematis "Niobe". This plant is having it's most prolific bloom since we planted it, probably a combination of the good wet spring we had and the extra sunshine on that particular flowerbed since our neighbor's tree lost several branches in last winter's ice storms.

This is a New Dawn rose, which isn't what I have but it's a very similar species. Beautiful, delicate shell pink color and a wonderful fragrance.

I cooked an absolutely fabulous pasta dish last night, a Rachael Ray recipe. I thought you all might enjoy it, so here it is:
Not-sagna Pasta Toss

1 pound curly, short-cut pasta, such as Barilla brand capanelle, fusilli or cavatappi
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound ground sirloin
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (eyeball it in your palm)
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice (eyeball it in your palm)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (several drops)
1/2 cup dry red wine (a couple of glugs)
1/2 cup beef stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, (a couple of handfuls), plus some to pass at the table
1 cup fresh basil (about 20 leaves)

Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Heads up: you will need a ladle of the starchy cooking water before draining to help make the sauce.
Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the meat and break it up into small bits as it caramelizes. Once the meat has good color to it, 4-5 minutes, add the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes and season with the salt, pepper, allspice and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes, deglaze the meat and onion with the red wine, cook off a minute, then combine about 1/2 cup of stock into the meat. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Place the ricotta cheese in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Add a ladleful of boiling, starchy pasta water to the ricotta and stir to combine. Add a couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano Reggiano to the ricotta and mix it in.
Drain the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the cheeses. Add half of the thick meat sauce to the pasta bowl and combine. Tear or shred the basil and add to the meat and pasta and toss again. Adjust the salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve bowlfuls of Not-sagna with extra sauce on top and more grated Parmigiano Reggiano to pass at the table.
I served this with crusty Italian bread and a salad made with the lettuce we're growing ourselves. Yummo.


Maureen said...

My mouth is watering reading your recipe, too much cheese for me though, I stick to the tomato based ones. Love your flowers

CG said...

My mouth was atering too. I must find some non-wheat pasta!

Maggie Grey said...

A big mistake to read this in the late afternoon - now I'm starving. Going to try this recipe tomorrow. We have the same plants in our garden - that makes us almost related!

melicia's fiber art and mixed media said...

Oh my that sounds yummy. My garden is all vegetables,no flowers - enjoy.