Did I mention it was my birthday yesterday? It was perfect. I got smiles and giggles from my newest angel and lots of time with both my daughters. With one in Halifax and the other in Chile for the last year and a half, I haven't spent time with the two of them together in a very long time. I got two great books - Why I Love Grandma and, from on of my favorite chefs -Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer. I blew out the candles on my favorite birthday cake of all time - white cake with white butter icing from Loblaws (it's a grocery chain of stores here). I was so into the whole - "Happy Birthday" song, making a wish and blowing out the candle - thing, that I forgot to take a picture of the whole cake with the red candy rose...which I got to eat because, after all, it was MY birthday.
And because it's that time again - Presto Pasta Night I thought a pasta dinner was appropriate. One of the nice things about going to Halifax (after playing with my delicious baby grandson and spending time with the rest of the family) is going through Joanna's cookbooks for inspiration. This time around the inspiration actually comes from two different cookbooks. Food & Wine Magazine's Quick from Scratch Herbs & Spices Cookbook had this beautiful plate of spaghetti with shitake mushrooms, parmesan cheese shavings and black pepper. The Reader's Digest How-to Book of Healthy Cooking had an awesome looking dish of giant pasta shells stuffed with sweet peppers, celery and mushrooms with a tomato, anchovy and black olive sauce.
Since necessity is the mother of invention (who said that anyway?) and we were too lazy to go shopping and didn't have shitake mushrooms or giant pasta shells or black olives for that matter, we came up with our own creation.... roasted mushrooms (we did have cremini) and asparagus spears tossed with lots of garlic, coarsely grated Parmesan cheese and a whack of chopped anchovies. I would have garnished the dish with fresh parsley, but we were out of that too. We ate it with a simple green salad - romaine lettuce, cucumber chunks and green onions in a lemon olive oil vinaigrette.
Lot let's see what everyone else comes up with for Presto Pasta Night tomorrow. You can still join in the fun. Here's how...