Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Skinny Italian: Teresa's Favorite (Magic) Tagliatelle

When you get married/are in a relationship/have other people to cook for, you generally figure out pretty quickly the things your cook-ee likes and doesn't like.  Generally.

As for me, I've been married almost 4 years and there are still things I forget that Dennis doesn't like.  He's not picky by any stretch, but it's just that it's random stuff and it doesn't necessarily occur to me.  (I'm also not the most observant person in the world, so that probably plays into it.)

Dennis, for example, doesn't much like cooked beets, cucumber, or cherry tomatoes.  But then there are peas.

Peas, to Dennis, are apparently a sign of the apocalypse (apeacalypse?), something to be feared, loathed, and and avoided at all costs.  While I'll happily sit down and eat a big bowl of peas (salted), I'm pretty sure Dennis would rather just sit down and eat a spoonful of the salt.  Not a fan of the peas, clearly.

All that to say, I saw this recipe in Skinny Italian and wanted to try it, but I knew it would need to happen on a night when Dennis wouldn't be home for dinner.  Such a night presented itself recently, and I took the opportunity to make my pea-packed dinner.  (Does that make me a pea-loader?  Sorry.  I'll stop.)

Imagine my surprise when I settled down on the couch with my dinner (to watch, no lie, Real Housewives of New Jersey), and Dennis comes wandering through the front door, his meeting rescheduled.

"Something smells good," he said.

"Uh, yeah," I said.  "I made pasta.  The pea pasta."

He went to the stove, got a bowl, and sat down to eat and question my television choices.

I watched him eat for a second and ventured, "There are...peas in that."

He nodded.  "It's good!" he said.  "Really good."  He finished that bowl and then got more.

This is basically a magic recipe is what I'm saying.  It will appease anyone.  (I'm done.  I swear.)

Additionally, I told Dennis I was writing about this recipe, and I mentioned the peas, and his exact words re: peas were, "Yuck. Ew. Ew ew ew.  Bleeeeh."  My magic theory remains.

So what about you guys?  What foods do you hate?  What's your personal Achilles' Peal?  (I'll show myself out.)

Teresa's Favorite (Magic) Tagliatelle
Serves 4 to 6
From Skinny Italian:  Eat It and Enjoy It


1 lb. linguine or tagliatelle pasta
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
6 oz. thick-sliced ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fresh cooked or thawed frozen peas
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Parsley for garnish (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  (Try to time it so your pasta and sauce are done at the same time.)  Make sure to set aside 1 cup of the cooking water.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet.  Add onion and garlic and cook 3-5 minutes until soft.  Add the butter and melt it down.  Add the peas and the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot.  Add the sauce, salt, and pepper.  Toss the pasta and add enough of the cooking water to make a light sauce.

Top with parsley.

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