July 13th, 2011

The Last Rabbit.  Ryden.

adzuki beans!

I am trying to mix up the beans in my life, and I currently have some adzuki beans soaking. Exciting! However, I am trying to decide how to ultimately serve them. I've only ever had them in mochi [mmmm, mochi] and soups at restaurants.

I am very simple when it comes to cooking [turtle beans, for instance, usually equals beans + kale sauteed in veg broth, olive oil, and bragg's over brown rice with a bit of tahini mixed in]. As such, as delicious as I am sure they would be, I can't really make red bean icecream or soups or anything more complicated like that right now, due to time-intensiveness and cost of ingredients. My question is these: what simple vegetables etc do you like to pair with your adzukis? Due to my unfamiliarity with them and their particular taste, I hesitate to jump to any conclusions myself. Many thanks!

New favorite pasta recipe!

So my parents recently handed me a large stack of their old Bon Appetit! magazines (and by old I mean about the past 3 years).  They had one from earlier this year about Italy and making the perfect pasta using the leftover pasta water to make a sumptuous sauce.  Well, after experimenting I figured out a slight twist that actually involves cooking the pasta in the pan with everything else (effectively making this a one pot meal).  You can do it with or without extra sauce, depending on what type of flavor you like.  My personal preference is without, and involves a fair amount of pepper, a la arrabiata style.

One pot pasta (for two)

Two servings of dry small pasta (conchiglie, rotini, farfalle, etc)2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2-4 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp fennel seed
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
1 tsp pepper flakes
2 cups spinach
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
In a large saucepan (10 inch are larger) heat the oil on a medium heat.
Slice the onion thinly and fry the onion for about 5 minutes.
Add the fennel seed and the garlic, fry for 2-3 minutes more or until the garlic starts to brown.
Add 1/2 the basil, pepper flakes, pasta, and enough water to cover the pasta (if you opt to use sauce besides the one created in this recipe add it here).
Turn the heat to high until the water starts to boil, cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stir 2-3 times.
At this point the water should be mostly gone, add the nutritional yeast and spinach and cook for a few more minutes until the spinach wilts and the water is almost completely gone, you should have a slightly liquidy sauce still in the pan.
Remove from heat and stir in 1-2 tbsp of margarine until completely melted and the rest of the basil.  Plate and serve.