Well folks, another one bites the dust. The distinguished Gourmet magazine will cease publication after its November issue. My tastebuds are so sad/the environment is so happy. This isn’t entirely surprising, however, with websites like Epicurious, online versions of popular magazines and of course, food blogs that just keep popping up and popping up and… Even still, nothing will ever replace flipping through weathered Gourmet mags, crusted with sauces and delectable goo from made meals past, and discovering something so beautifully photographed, you can can actually taste it in the air. The aroma of garlic and olive oil wafting through your kitchen cabinets, awakening your pots and pans, oh yes… it can happen.
Now, I didn’t always subscribe to Gourmet, in fact, I think I first received it as a freebie with something I purchased that was food-related. Yet, no matter how our palatable relationship began, it continued on for years, and will do so until next month. (Sniff, sniff) That being said, I was inspired to dig into my tasty magazine stash over the last several days, and pull out some goodies to whip up this month. A culinary ‘Ode to Gourmet’, if you will. Last night I made Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper (recipe below), and it was so simply delicious. The texture of whole wheat angel hair paired with salty Pecorino and the bite and grit of toasted peppercorns, only softened with the green gold drizzle of olive oil… mmm, Tuesday night can taste so good.
One thing I loved about the publication is that along with its could-be costly, complex dishes, it also served up plenty of simple, inexpensive and flavorful meals that could be made on a weekday. This is the way my family eats most of the time due to work, kids, money… you know, life. But “life’ doesn’t mean you can’t make a delicious, beautiful and healthy meal that looks and tastes like you’re all fancy pants even in your pajamas.
I’ll share two pasta recipes that I’ve made and devoured. What drew me to them is the tiny list of ingredients that are readily available in my pantry or fridge, and the timeliness in which they can be prepared. Side note: I suppose I’ve spoken a lot about pasta lately, but when it gets cold outside, we tend to eat a lot of pasta. Heck, we eat a lot of pasta in the summertime too. We like pasta. Anyway, enjoy these simple meals during the week because the next recipe I pull and post from Gourmet will be a ‘weekender.’
Penne with Pea Pesto
*PoeticFoodie note: I added in a bit of fresh basil to this as well and finished with olive oil and more cheese. This is a good bet for kids!
- 1 (10-oz) package frozen peas
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (2 oz)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lb penne
and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.
Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.
Toss pasta with pea pesto and thin as desired with reserved cooking water. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Recipe by Melissa Roberts / Gourmet Magazine Jul. 07
Whole Wheat Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper
*PoeticFoodie note: You REALLY have to mix the pasta and cheese while the pasta is HOT, or you will get clumps. The peppercorns must be toasted to achieve the right flavor and texture. Delicious!
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 lb dried whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano (4 1/2 ounces), divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- Garnish: extra-virgin olive oil
Toast peppercorns in a dry small skillet over medium-high heat, shaking skillet, until fragrant and beginning to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or wrap in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and press with bottom of a heavy skillet.
Cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.
Meanwhile, fill a large ceramic bowl with hot water to warm it. Just before pasta is done cooking, drain bowl but do not dry.
Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then quickly drain pasta (do not shake off excess water) and add to warm bowl. Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups cheese and 1/2 cup cooking water evenly over pasta and toss quickly. Toss in parsley (if using) and 2 teaspoons crushed pepper. If pasta seems dry, toss with some additional cooking water. Serve pasta immediately, sprinkled with remaining pepper and cheese. Serve additional cheese on the side.
Recipe by Ian Knauer / Gourmet Magazine Oct. 07