Hellooo Work Week. Back to the office after a fun weekend. Lots of baking, cooking, drinking, shopping, hanging out with friends, and movie watching. Do you ever watch a film and feel thoroughly inspired? For me, it was Julie & Julia. It was on yesterday afternoon, and I fell back in love with the film. Not that I ever fell out of love...I just forgot how much I loved the story.
I read the book as well (which is much better by the way), but Meryl Streep is simply amazing as Julia Child. And who doesn't love Stanley Tucci? What a pair :) I can only hope that I, one day, have the drive and determination that Julia had to chase her dream of becoming a brilliant cook. I don't even know what my dream is anymore, let alone how to have the motivation and determination to chase it. I told my dad that I was going to choose a cookbook and cook my way through it, and he told me that I needed to have a social life. I said that Julie was able to do it and still find time for friends, but then he reminded me that she was already married and I'm not. So, that's that. A cookbook challenge doesn't seem like it should happen for this single chick any time soon. Welp...nonetheless I was still motivated to cook and/or bake something delicious after watching the film...and Paula's Home Cooking...and Home for Dinner with Jamie Dean (yeah I love the Dean Family, crazy butter laden dishes and all).
I baked Sweet Potato Cookies from the Joy the Baker cookbook (which I will post tomorrow) and created my own recipe for an Italian dinner...name TBD.
Start by dicing up about half of a medium sized tomato.
Heat up a large sauce pan at medium-high heat. Once the pan is heated through, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Then throw in your diced tomatoes. Sprinkle on a few pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper.
When I was looking through my cupboards for something exciting to throw in the dish, I found this! Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread with Eggpland and Garlic. I threw about 3 heaping tablespoons of the spread into my pan.
I also added in a pinch of garlic powder.
Meanwhile, I boiled about two cups of whole wheat rotini. I added about 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water to my sauce pan to add some extra body to the sauce.
Let that all simmer together to thicken up to a garlicky, tomato-ey, goodness.
Throw in the pasta, which has been cooked to al dente.
Mix it alllllll up.
I then decided to do something a little bit crazy. I have been to many Italian restaurants where chefs added breadcrumbs atop of pasta dishes to add a little crunch to the dish. If they can do it, why can't I? I was trying to be like Julia Child and forge my own frontier, wasn't I? So in the breadcrumbs went, with about 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
The end result was a thick, creamy, and cheesy pasta dish. The breadcrumbs didn't add the crunch that I was hoping for, but they did thicken up the sauce significantly. I want to make this again and add fresh spinach into the mix. I think that it would really add a little summin summin to the dish ;)