Things have been moving very quickly here. I’ve been immersed in many photo projects, much writing, and keeping tabs on the home-purchasing which has hit a small snag with the appraisal, (but that should be resolved soon). Sometimes when the world seems to be whirling at an increasing speed around you, you just need to sit down and enjoy a good seasonal meal to ground yourself with the moment. It being spring, and myself being in dire need of comfort food, I prepared some asparagus pasta and tossed in a bit of parmesan and mushrooms for that extra warm and earthy kick.
It also provided me with the perfect opportunity to use my new favorite kitchen item and current visual obsession, my set of copper cookware from Falk. Being able to cook with a set of copper pans has been a revelation for me. Things cook faster and more evenly, no matter what I toss in the pot seems to automatically appear photo-ready due to its lovely copper surroundings, and the gorgeous rustic iron handles not only give them a beautiful hand-forged touch, but they are sturdy as hell. I don’t think I could bend the handles even if I took a hammer to them. The even heat that’s distributed throughout the pan is a dream, it didn’t even occur to me that a pan might exist where the very center of it isn’t always cooking much too quickly because that’s where the flame circle is. Despite their sturdy stainless steel interior, I’ve been keeping these guys in their own special drawer in the hall closet to keep them safe from the craziness of the packing going on in the rest of the house, peeking in at them every so often and sighing. I can’t wait to move into the new house and find a place in the kitchen to display their loveliness, and that way they’ll always be within arm’s reach so I won’t have to shuffle out into the hallway every time I want to cook with them (which, with my schedule, is pretty much all the time).
I’m also being especially careful to keep everything out of the pup’s reach while we’re packing, since she’s been especially troublesome as of late. This past weekend she got into the garbage and ate 2 small pork rib bones, which I had to figure out by sorting through the trash to see how many were left and counting the bones in the photos of the ribs I shot. I immediately went down the google black hole where pork bones -> splintering -> imminent dog death and promptly freaked the hell out. Luckily, she was completely fine, and this probably wouldn’t have startled me as much if it weren’t for the experience we had with her right before we went out of town to look at houses, which I’ll post about next time because it’s a realllllly long story. Until then, I wish you a lovely spring full of tasty seasonal foods. Apricot season is right around the corner!
Oh! And just a reminder that registration for my Summer 2013 Online Food Styling & Photography Course is open until May 31st, and since it’s all online anyone can participate regardless of location. Hope to virtually see some of you there!
Creamy Bow-Tie Pasta with Mushrooms and Asparagus
- 1 lb bow tie pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 lb trimmed asparagus cut into 1-inch long pieces
- 6 ounces baby bella or brown button mushrooms cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/3 cup white wine room temperature
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated swiss cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried savory leaves whole or crushed
- Prepare the bow tie pasta according to the package directions. Drizzle it with a tablespoon of olive oil and toss, then set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for three minutes. Add the asparagus and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Add the mushrooms and cook until they have darkened and begin to wrinkle slightly, about another 5 minutes. Taste one of the asparagus pieces. If it is too hard and stringy inside, cook it a few minutes more. Remove the pan from heat and set it aside.
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk and cream over medium-low heat until hot but no boiling. Whisk in the flour until the sauce thickens, making sure the whisk continually until the sauce is smooth and the flour is completely incorporated. Add the wine, grated cheeses, and seasonings and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
- Add the pasta and sauce to the sauté pan with the asparagus and mushrooms and toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed and everything is lightly coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.