Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Penne alla Vodka
The sauce is rich with meat and cream, and takes on a slightly spicy flavor from the vodka and (my) secret touch. This is a classic pasta dish that fills the neighborhood with savory smells of sauteing fresh-chopped garlic and fresh-chopped white onion.
Prep Time: :10
Cook Time: :40
- 1/4 pound prosciutto
- can use bacon or pancetta...but I recommend PROSCIUTTO!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved (I use at least 12 cloves, and I chop it up in the food processor.)
- 1 medium onion, diced (I use about half of an onion, but if you're an onion-lover...go for it!!)
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, with their juice, pureed in a blender
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- SECRET! I use 1 tsp of red cayenne pepper...so flavorful and not too spicy
- Salt, to taste
- Sometimes I use garlic salt, otherwise I use about 1tsp Kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- I like to use 1 cup heavy whipping cream, plus a little extra ;)
- 2 (16-ounce) boxes penne pasta
- 24 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
Place a large pot of cold, salted water (plus a drizzle of olive oil) over high heat to come to a boil.
If you are using bacon: in a large saute pan on medium heat, cook and render fat from the bacon. (If you are using pancetta or prosciutto, skip this step and just saute it with the garlic.) Once the bacon is almost crisp, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Do not clean the pan.
Add the olive oil and, when it is hot, add the fresh-chopped garlic (if you're using bacon, add the bacon back in with the garlic). Saute until the garlic turns light golden brown, then add the onion and saute until it becomes translucent, for about 5 minutes. Add the vodka and let it reduce by half, then add the pureed tomatoes, red pepper (red cayenne pepper), and salt. Simmer the sauce uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the heavy cream and simmer another 10 minutes.
Once you've added the cream, put the penne pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente according to package directions. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the fresh-chopped basil and the freshly-grated Romano cheese, and stir well. Drain the pasta (AL DENTE!), shock it with a little cold water, and return it to the pot it was cooked in. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix gently until the pasta is coated completely. Serve immediately...well, maybe wait 5-10 minutes so sauce can thicken in the pasta...but then, serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (Just make it all at once...the leftovers are de-lish)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
"the will to be against really needs a body that is completely incapable of submitting to command. it needs a body that in incapable of adapting to family life, to factory discipline, to the regulations of a traditional sex life, and so forth. (if you find your body refusing these "normal" modes of life, don't despair--realize your gift!)"
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
"how's your semester going so far?" one student says to my professor.
"you know, not well," she responds. "i feel like i have been playing catch-up since the semester started. and i was very sick for over week just after the semester began."
was she taking the words right out of my mouth?
myself and the two other grad students agreed that their semester had been going the same way. for me, it has definitely been a rocky start so far. returning from new zealand left me all too melancholy. it took my awhile to get excited about graduate school again. i was in the hospital vomiting violently for hours into the night the third week of january. the first week of february i discovered (to my utter surprise and dismay) that my financial aid did not, and will not come through. i have been feeling like there's not enough time in the day to study.
"there's something strange about the start of 2010," i said.
"yeah, you know, i think i am going to restart 2010 this weekend, with the chinese new year." my professor continued, "it's the year of the tiger, and my birth year is also the year of the tiger. i think that has some significance."
"i am the year of the tiger, too!" i shouted, feeling a little childish and silly about my excitement towards my professor's observation.
"so, i have decided that i am going to mentally restart my new year this weekend, because, well, because i can." my professor laughed defiantly.
well, i can too. to remedy my mental and physical health i have started acupuncture treatments. i am trying to get enough sleep and eat better. i am now making an earnest attempt at not drinking so much. i am only working one day/week now at TUSD so i can devote myself to my studies. i sat down and figured out my budgeting plan so that i can still go to school and only work one day/week...and somehow not get behind on my bills (fingers crossed). all in all i am trying to make a shift in my psyche so that i no longer feel afraid/intimidated to really "go for it" in grad school. the past two semesters it has seemed like some unreachable thing... like i can somehow do grad school "on the side." grad school will not be a hobby anymore.
so, "yay!" for the chinese year of the tiger. things are finally lookin' up.