Monday, November 12, 2012

Capanelle Pasta with Carmelized Onions, Peas & Mint - serves 4 with leftovers

I just looked at my blog to see what everyone else is writing, i.e., Jaime Oliver, who posted a recipe starting with "Sticky Squid Balls with Grilled Prawns".  Just so you know, I will never post something like that on this site, let alone something with that kind of tag line.  Immediately sets the tone, don't you think?  Kind of like some of the acts of my husband.  It's been awhile since I've mentioned him and his time is due.  He's is in the landscaping business and, sometimes, in return for his services, some of his clients feel the need to give him odd items that they either don't want, or, don't really need. Reminds me of my old cat, AC, who brought an array of dead animals to show his love an affection even though I had no idea what to do with it. Take this past weekend for example.  He comes through the door with what appears to be a sack of grain stuffed in a pillow case hunched over his shoulder.  To my surprise, one of his clients, who happens to own a mattress company here in Dallas, gave him the new luxury item for anyone who cherishes a good night sleep and has the money to spend for it.  A pillow made entirely of buckwheat.  You heard me, buckwheat.  Now, I'm not sure about you but I only know of one thing to do with such a grain and that is to eat it, not sleep on it, unless you're a farmer or a monk who lives in the 1700's.  It weighed more that my son.  The fact that he carried it over his shoulder should tell you how heavy it was.  The kids and I used it to do sit-ups.  We all took turns laying on it and, we might as well had pulled up and rested our heads on a boulder.  Are you supposed to sleep with your chin to your belly?  Because that's about where mine landed.  Maybe this was Jaime's inspiration for his recipe.  It ended up being a door jamb for the closet door that my husband never closes.  I may use it to drop on my son when he refuses to wake up in the morning.  One thing we won't be using it for is sleeping, unless of course we have sticky squid balls for dinner.  It too, could be all the craze, if you're willing to pay for it.


4 large yellow onions
1/2 cup olive oil
16 oz dried campanelle or farfalle pasta
1 cup frozen peas
3 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Thai fish sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped mint
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for shaving


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook to package instructions.  Cut the onions in half and thinly slice lengthwise.  Heat the oil in a very large skillet.  Add the onions and cook over high heat, stirring, until dark brown, about 15 minutes. Add the peas to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Drain well, saving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Add the vinegar and fish sauce to the onions; cook 2 minutes.  Add the drained pasta, peas, reserved cooking water, mint and grated cheese.  Cook 2 minutes, until hot.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve in bowls; use a vegetable peeler to shave shards of cheese on top.

Inspired by Radically Simple

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