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What is it about the hidden things that make them so appealing?
Something that's forbidden must be better than something that isn't.
And something that is both hidden and forbidden, well, that is simply an invitation!
My mother, so practical about many things, couldn't grasp this.
Every Christmas she baked 6 or 7 different kinds of Christmas cookies, some, in the opinion of her children, were better than others.
She made popcorn balls, her personal favorite holiday treat.
And she made candy: hard Anise Candy, fluffy Divinity and gooey, chocolaty Fudge.
She left the least favorite cookies in plain sight, filled candy jars with the anise candy and placed wooden bowls full of popcorn balls on the side board.
We could, with permission, eat any and all of these.
Within reason, permission was always granted.
She hid the Fudge.
There was never any fudge on Christmas.
My older brother had a nose for Fudge that was truly amazing. Regardless of where she hid it he found it within a day. He never got caught.
I watched him to see where it was, then I would move in for a piece. I always got caught.
Then my mother would re-hide the fudge.
And we'd start all over again.
She should have left the fudge out and hidden those awful, sweet, sugary Spritz cookies.
But they'd probably still be there…the allure of the forbidden can only do so much!
There usually weren't many Double Chocolate Snowdrops left for Christmas either…but, for some obscure reason, I never got caught pilfering those!
Then there are the foods that lure us in because they are pretty, beautiful, visually appealing…
This isn't one of those.
I have wanted to post this recipe for awhile. It's one of our favorite pastas!
It's easy to make, can expand to feed a crowd and is full of healthy stuff.
The flavor is fantastic, leftovers keep well and can be reheated in the micro.
It's just, well, not very attractive.
I fiddled and fussed and this was the best I could do.
My submission for this week's Presto Pasta Nights, founded and hosted by the lovely Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast is Farmhouse Pasta. Visit her blog on Friday for the recap of pasta from around the world.
The recipe is based on one I found ages ago in 'The Book of Sauces'. The original recipe said to thaw the spinach and squeeze dry…then add water. That didn't seem very logical to me so I put the spinach in frozen. The sauce is meant to be very thick – add more water as desired.
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
4 oz mushrooms (125 gr)
1 tbs olive oil
1 package frozen spinach 9 oz (250 gr)
4 – 6 slices (4oz, 125gr) Prosciutto, Serrano or other dry-cured ham or beef
4 tbs tomato paste, 1 small can
1 – 3 tbs water
1 little box chevre (goat cheese) – the little cartons of creamy goat cheese, 5 oz (150 gr) (Chavrie in U.S. Chevraux in France)
spaghetti or fettuccine, preferably fresh, 9 oz, (250 gr)
Cook pasta according to package instructions. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare sauce:
Clean mushrooms. Chop onions, mushrooms and ham. Mince garlic. Heat oil in medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and ham. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and spinach and 1 tbs water, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Mind the spinach so that it thaws. If sauce start to dry out add more water. Add goat cheese and stir until it melts. Toss with pasta and serve immediately.
I plan on doing an interim post of the Skeletons received so far next weekend….along with one or two of my own secrets laid bare… The final, total round-up will be right after Christmas. Soooo….
Don't forget to search your closet/pantry for skeletons. Remember, confession is good for the soul. It can, but doesn't have to, be an actual recipe. It could just be the description of the, um, food or a story of the, um, event; holiday related or not….
Really, any dirty little secret you feel like sharing! You have until Christmas to post – the round-up will be just before Dec. 31. The usual rules: post, link to me, send me an e-mail with permalink. Click for details!
Come on, tell! Share the pain…you'll feel better! And so will we!