Happiness

February 7, 2012 § 4 Comments

Is it February already?  Boy, what a hectic start of the year.  It’s performance review again at work and I’m in the middle of moving with last-minute touches and changes here and there.  So you can imagine what’s been keeping me busy lately.  Except for the one weekend I was in Laos, I haven’t had much of a weekend since 2012 set in but my new flat is getting to look livable by the day. Not without glitches, I’m afraid.  I hope I am still friends with my contractor-friend when we’re done.  I wanted to move in 2 months ago but… well it didn’t happen.

Another problem came up today.  I could sulk and brood about it but I chose to look at the brighter side.  Today, I purchased the most beautiful and perhaps the most valuable piece of furniture I so far own.  That makes me happy.  And when I’m happy I make Tuna Mushroom Pasta.

Canned tuna never tasted so good.  I passed by the deli before heading home and was even happier to find fresh dill.

This must be God’s way of telling me that everything is not all that bad.  The problem will be solved (hopefully tomorrow) but tonight, we will celebrate.

Tuna Mushroom Pasta

You will need:

  • 1 can tuna in Olive Oil
  • 3-4 shiitake or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ a tablespoon capers, slightly mashed
  • Baby Arugula
  • A dash chili flakes (optional)
  • A few strands fresh dill, (I snip it with a scissor)
  • 200-250 gram pasta of your choice

What you do:

Cook the pasta as the pack directs.  Meanwhile, sauté the capers with a bit of oil from the can, add the mushrooms and sauté for another minute or until the capers starts to crisp.  Stir in the tuna with half of the oil from the can, adding more depending on your preference (I like mine drier).  Add the dill and a bunch of arugula.  Let it simmer until the arugula starts to wilt. Season with chili flakes, salt and freshly cracked pepper.  I chose to have it with pasta, but this dish goes well with pasta, rice, and oatmeal or even on top of sliced baguette.

Everyone knows that the saltiness of the caper and the citrusy burst of fresh dill is perfect complement to tuna.  We added a new dimension as the mushroom lends an earthy flavor, the arugula some tangy zest while the chili boosts all these up.  Go ahead, give it a try and let this simple dish give a bit of happiness today.

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Carbonara…

July 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’m not a fan of unless it’s this Carbonara.

The Carbonara I have known since I was a kid has cream on it and I don’t particularly like cream sauce on my pasta.  So I grew up not really caring for Carbonara.  Not even once did I attempt to order it when I visited Italy some years back.  During one regular potluck dinner, my friend talked about the Carbonara cooked for him by an Italian host on a recent trip to Italy (nope it was not even what he cooked that evening).  What got my attention was the simplicity of the dish that seemed extremely appetizing and best of all it didn’t require cream on it.  So one night I came home pretty tired but awfully hungry, I remembered that Carbonara.  I researched a bit to make sure I made it correctly and this was what I came up with.  It was simple, speedy and so satisfying I made it again the following evening.  It has since become a go to for quick and easy dishes.

What you need:

  • Pasta of your choice
  • Bacon (I used Tyrolean bacon, cut into small pieces but pancetta or regular bacon will suffice)
  • Egg
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • A few cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Drop the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water.  Cook according to package direction.
  2. Fry the bacon in a little olive oil.
  3. Add the minced garlic, taking care not to burn it.
  4. Using pasta scooper, scoop the pasta straight from the pot without totally draining.  This way a bit of pasta water gets incorporated into the pan.
  5. Cook a bit until bacon and the oil coats the pasta.  Take off from heat.*
  6. In a small bowl, combine the slightly beaten egg with the cheese.  Toss and thoroughly mix this with the pasta.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with more cheese, if desired.

*Make sure when you add the egg mixture, it is away from the heat or the eggs will coagulate.  I suggest waiting a bit before tossing in the egg mixture.  Once I immediately tossed in the eggs, even if there was no direct heat, the eggs still coagulated because the pan was still very hot.  You can also transfer the pasta in a bowl and toss the eggs there.

This can be quite addicting and above all, it takes less than 30 mins to prepare.  Enjoy!

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