If I Make into Heaven, I Hope Le Creuset is Waiting There for Me

by Maile on April 13, 2011

Every Thursday I sit the kids down at our dining room table with about 6-12 cooking magazines or cookbooks and they begin their weekly search for their prized recipes. You have to understand, should someone sit me down in front of two Jamie Oliver cookbooks, a Nigella Lawson, and 3 months worth of Bon Appetit and say, “You must look through these and pick out at least 4 recipes so I can pay for all the groceries for each recipe and set aside time for you , and you alone, to cook them”, I would weep from the pure joy of it all. That is heaven to me. I imagine that one day, when I die, there will not be streets of gold or mansions of splendor waiting for me. No, it will be a kitchen, with an eternity of counter space, a Viking gas range, Le Creuset cookware, and a Whole Foods next door.

My kids, however, find the experience of searching for recipes a little less spectacular than me. For the first 30 seconds, they really dive into the cookbooks, turning the pages hastily, looking for pictures of dishes that catch their eye. About a minute into it, they call for another cookbook. Mind you, they have Nigella Express sitting in front of them, a 300+ page dictionary of culinary gems, but they’ve tired of it and want something new. No, I can’t relate, but I can toss them another book because I have lots and lots of them. And after about the 3rd or 4th book, they find what they are looking for: Sauteed Shrimp with a Fruit Platter, Camembert Pasta, Moraccan Lamb Chili, or Pea Soup.

Yeah, I said Pea Soup. That’s Lucy’s choice for later this week. I don’t usually do this, but I actually tried to intervene with the process on this one. “Luce, are you sure that’s what you want to pick? I mean, we could get another cookbook down if you want?” But she stuck to her guns.

For the most part, their choices have been at the very least, good, and some have been superb. Today’s recipe is one of my favorites so far. It happens to come from a cookbook No Cook Pasta Sauces that I reviewed last summer. We didn’t follow that recipe to the“T”, kind of made up our own, but the result was delicious.

Lucy’s Primavera Pasta

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. softened butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ c. freshly grated Romano cheese plus extra for serving
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (or if your kids don’t like chunks, whizz them in the food processor a couple of times)
½ c. frozen green peas, set at room temp for about 30 minutes
1 tbsp. basil paste or ¼ c. freshly chopped basil
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ lb. whole wheat egg noodles

Put all ingredients, minus the noodles, in a large metal or glass mixing bowl. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. While noodles are boiling, place mixing bowl with sauce ingredients over the pot. Leave it there long enough to melt the butter and cheese, making a thickish sauce. When noodles are finished, toss with sauce and serve with extra Romano.

Very easy. Super-kid friendly (most everything she did herself, including chopping the tomatoes). And ultra-quick (kitchen to table in less than 30).

And tune in tomorrow when I discuss inevitable weight gain and Lucy’s Easter M&M Cookies!

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