Top of the morning to ya!
Thank you to everyone who left such nice comments for me and for Marc on Friday’s post. I really enjoyed writing it, and I’m so grateful to have a platform to share the things I eat, see, do and find with y’all. Days like Friday make me so glad I started writing this blog way back in January! :) I hope everyone who orders a cutting board from him absolutely loves it! (I know you will.)
Today I’m flashing back to last Monday and the meatless Monday meal that Wheat (at first begrudgingly) admitted was pretty dern delicious, even without any meat.
This meal started out with a kitchen, garden, and pantry evaluation.
What do I have? And how in the world can I make a meal of it?
Last weekend I had made an experimental batch of creme fraiche, which I was dying to use somehow. We had a box of pasta, lemons, and fresh parsley growing in the herb garden. Put it together, and it made a really tasty pasta dish!
As for the creme fraiche, you can either make it yourself like I did, buy it, or substitute sour cream, or even plain greek yogurt. But it’s pretty cool making it yourself!
Homemade Creme Fraiche Recipe
Mix two parts heavy cream with a little less than one part buttermilk in a jar. Leave at room temperature partially covered for 24 or more hours. I use a coffee filter and a jar band to keep the critters out.
After a day or two, give it a stir and refrigerate. It will be thick and resemble sour cream, but it has a nutty flavor that is delicious!
Use it as a sauce for pasta or meats, add a dollop to fresh fruit, soups, or anything else. Sweeten it a bit and use it to layer between and/or ice cakes, top pies… the possibilities are endless!
Spicy Creme Fraiche Pasta Recipe
for the gremolata
– 1 small bunch parsley (about 1/2 cup chopped)
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– zest of one small lemon
for the pasta
– 1/2 pound (1/2 a box) of rotini pasta
– 1/2 cup creme fraiche
– 2 tablespoons-ish olive oil
– 1/2 cup or so grated parmesan reggiano
– a heaping half-teaspoon red pepper flakes
– juice of one lemon
– salt & pepper to taste
make the gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest with a spoon or spatula.
cook’s note: gremolata is an Italian condiment, usually served with ossobucco. However, it’s delicious on lots of things (including this pasta), especially rich dishes.
Cook your pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the creme fraiche with the olive oil and lemon juice until combined, then add the parmesan, red pepper, and gremolata and mix until combined. When the spaghetti is cooked, use a pasta grabber to transfer the pasta directly into the bowl of sauce. Toss until the pasta is coated evenly, divide into serving portions and serve immediately. Season to taste with salt and pepper. optional: garnish with extra parmesan, a drizzle of EVOO, and/or a lemon wedge.
I was going to post this last week, but didn’t want to give away too many hints about my new cutting board before that post went live on Friday. However, homegrown parsley on my tobacco slat cutting board is awfully pretty, I have to say.
Gremolata is really pretty, too. Gremolata whipped into butter on a steak would be divine!
But it pairs perfectly with rich creme fraiche. If you’re averse to spicy, you may want to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes, but we liked the kick.
You can use whatever type pasta you prefer as well. We just had rotini on hand, but I like rotini for this because the sauce per noodle ratio ends up a lot higher than your average spaghetti.
This pasta would be awesome with a grilled chicken breast, seared scallops, or fish on top. Ya know, if it isn’t meatless Monday.
The plates weren’t garnished, but the table was, with some fall wildflowers and beauty berries from the farm. Fall wildflowers are one of the many, many reasons this is my favorite time of year!
In other unsurprising news, Harold rolled in something YET AGAIN and had to get a bath YET AGAIN… and he hated it YET AGAIN.
What a cruel, unjust world it is, huh Harold?