August 30, 2004
the longer the better?
Monday, August 30
I had found this superlong spaghetti called "SLIM-ETTI" ages ago at one of my local natural food stores, and had since wondered if I should get a bag every time I went to that store. As I kept stopping at the same spot and pick up one bag and then put it back, he suggested I should get one - yes, it was very simple advice, but the thing was, we don't have a big deep pot large enough to cook regular spaghetti, let alone the extra-long ones. I would sometime simply break noodles into half so that they would safely fit in our small pot, but then, what is the whole point to have longer-than-regular noodles?? Other than being extraordinarily long, the SLIM-ETTI were nothing but plain spaghetti.
After about five times of going back to the same spot, I finally made up my mind to purchase one of them. Yay.
Then I was idly wondering what kind of sauce to pair with this pasta. After all, other than it was ridiculously long it was regular spaghetti, so anything should go with it - like our all-time favorite pesto genovese.
The picture on the front cover of the latest issue of Williams-Sonoma catalogue that regularly comes in the mailbox happened to be of penne with Basil-Lemon Pesto that I had seen on their website and meant to make one of these day, so for a moment this one seemed to be the winner of today. I figured, however, we were running out of pine nuts at this moment - okay, next please.
As I was browsing on their website I came across with another pesto recipe, one using arugula. Luckily we had a bag of fresh local arugula from the farmers' market in the fridge. Now I knew what we were having for dinner today.
I had seen commercially available jars of arugula pesto, but this was my first time actually eating (and making) one myself. The process was as easy as making regular basil pesto and in a matter of ten or fifteen minutes the pesto was ready.
Now it was the fun part: cooking the ultra-long spaghetti in the small pan. Actually it wasn't a big problem at all; once I put one end of a bunch of noodles, they got tender immediately (quicker than regular spaghetti, I'd say) and let the rest of pasta smoothly sink in the boiling water. I shouldn't have even worried about it, really.
Arugula appeared to fade its color to a far lesser degree than basil leaves, as my pesto stayed bright green all the way with the hot noodle on a plate. It reserved the distinct, nutty flavor of fresh arugula. This was such a simple and tasty dish that I would definitely make again.
And by the way, the insanely long spaghetti tasted just as fine as any regular spaghetti; but I am glad I did buy it, or I would have dreamed of it for the rest of my life.
Accompanying the simple pesto dish was a bottle of French apple cider I got in Kona the other day. The bottle caught my eyes with its vivid contrast of yellow and green, and then with its name: bon apple tite. Obviously a pun on French phrase bon apetit with apple, it made me chuckle and this was enough reason to get a bottle for home.
This was non-alcoholic cider and although it tasted good itself, I couldn't help wishing that I could get a real French cidre - I mean, hard cider in my neighborhood.
posted by chika at: 8/30/2004 11:14:00 PM