Tuesday, August 18, 2009

homey quinoa pasta with roasted tomatoes

with these early morning starts these days, i've tried to take advantage of the cool berkeley mornings to have things in the oven to assist in my preparations for lunch. today, i decided to roast some cherry tomatoes in the oven while i delt with the morning deluge of emails. i grabbed a couple of handfuls of the ever colorful and flavorful little nubs, washed them,

placed them in to a glass pie plate,

added some greek olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne. then, i put it all into a 450 degree oven and didn't come back until about 25 minutes or so later (i came back when i could smell it in my office).

lovely. absolutely lovely.

rather amazing how a bit of heat can completely transform this fruit. i felt my spirits lift a bit just looking at the roasted fruit. i love raw tomatoes....yet, i also love roasted tomatoes. last night, i had been thinking about how yummy roasted tomatoes and pasta would be for lunch. i also knew that i could use any leftover roasted tomatoes with some fried up paneer....which will likely be my dinner tonight.

i put the tomatoes aside, prepped some avocado

and garlic, then put those things aside while i went back into my office and conducted a few meetings.

once the meetings were done, i re-entered my kitchen to make myself some lunch. the first thing i did was to put a pot of well salted water on boil for the quinoa pasta.

once the water was boiling, i added the quinoa pasta and then grabbed a pan and added some butter and olive oil. once the butter and oil were heated and foaming a bit, i added red chili flakes and a few cloves of crushed and coarsely chopped garlic...

after swirling that around for a bit until the garlic was well browned, i added a bit more than half of the tomatoes into the pan.

i saved the other tomatoes for another meal.

then, after a couple of swirls of the pan, i turned the heat off until the pasta was ready.

i had forgotten that quinoa pasta takes a bit longer than regular wheat pasta. once the quinoa pasta as ready, i added the noodles into the pain and fired up the heat again. i didn't add the avocado until right before serving...

it was a rather decadent pasta dish. the silky fattiness of the avocado and the super rich sauce of butter, olive oil, and garlic were lovely complements to the roasted tomatoes. it was a comforting and homey lunch dish.

i love being back in my kitchen. i'm currently doing the hermit anti-social thing. it seems to be all about me and my kitchen since i've gotten back. my life is channeled into 4 major areas right now: working, processing, cooking, and eating.

the last three are often interlinked and melded together. it has been like this for me for as long as i can remember. even as a neophyte i stood on a chair so that i could see into pots and pans on the stove. there i was, such a determined serious 7 years old, dragging a chair around the kitchen in order to make my meals with what i could find in the cupboard and fridge. i suppose in some ways, i am still that neophyte trying to figure out how to make the best of a situation, taking stock of what is around me, and keeping faith that things will be different at some point. perhaps not at this moment, but they will be....because i'm too stubborn for it to be anything but different.

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