As you may have noticed, I haven't written nearly as much over the past few months, and the recipes I've published are quite spartan. This is because we had our second child, a boy, in October, and it's hard enough to cook something healthy, much less write about it. However, I am learning a lot about (and practicing) fast, wholesome, winter meals, such as the broiled eggs I wrote about earlier this month. Some people fall to convenience foods during such times, but I choose to strip down my cooking even more.
Yesterday I think I perfected what may be the perfect two-young-children-cold-winter-weeknight-that-you-could-still-serve-company meal: pasta with an herbless pesto sauce. One of the many challenges of cooking with small children is a sudden decrease in trips to the co-op. Combine that with a lack of fresh local produce, and one begins to find new romance in the pantry. After you make this one time you'll be able to make it blindfolded, without a recipe or planning.
- 1 pound dried pasta (whole wheat spaghetti or penne taste great with this)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/4 lb parmesan or other hard cheese, plus more for grating
- 1 heaping cup of walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- pinch of sea salt
- In the small bowl of a food processor, fitted w/ a blade attachment, combine garlic, cheese, walnuts, oregano, pepper, and salt. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Turn the food processor on and add olive oil until mixture resemles an oily paste (much like basil pesto).
- Cook pasta, drain, and toss briefly with the pesto sauce. Top individual plates with grated cheese.