Saturday, August 13, 2011


Have you ever tasted something so delicious that the moment it touches your tongue you know it has forever become an emotional affair. You want to laugh, you want to cry. The joy is fleeting, of course - but is it? Like all beautiful moments in life, it sticks with you [and I don't mean to your hips]. Every bite solidifies a feeling, a memory - a time when life was innocently enjoyed, void of all ambition, selfishness, and vanity. This is what food can do. It has a way of taking an ordinary moment and making it extraordinary. It has the power to anchor you in the present. It sits you down and begs you to stay. Like a child, it desperately wants you to witness the abounding gifts it has to offer. And, in both cases, most of the time we miss it.

Have you ever had the privilege of making a meal wholly from scratch - taking care with each ingredient to ensure that every flavor is completely and fantastically represented? If you have, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

So, the next time a cool summer Saturday brings that sweet breeze through the window, breathe it in. Pull out your favorite apron, grab a glass of smooth red wine, put on some Italian music, and dance with your garden. It turns out it's a pretty good partner. And then, take someone you love on a date - compliments of la propria cucina [your own kitchen].

Oh, and please don't let this dissuade you but I have a small disclaimer: this recipe is a bit more time consuming than the average pasta dinner from a box so I recommend making it on a day that you have an hour or two to indulge in dinner. I promise you your efforts will be rewarded, and not in the form of edible cardboard. Make a double or triple batch and you have more than made up for your time [freeze the pasta uncooked].


1/3 c. tapioca flour
1/3 c. millet flour [or brown rice flour]
2 tbsp. potato starch or arrowroot
1/2 tsp. Real Salt sea salt
1 tbsp. xanthan gum
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds combined with 6 tbsp. of water [soak 5 minutes to form gel]
1 egg [or an additional 1 tbsp. of flax + 3 tbsp. water]
2 tbsp. olive oil

Combine all in glass mixing bowl. Using hands, kneed until a firm dough is formed. If dough is sticky, add a bit of flour. If dough is dry, add a little oil. On floured surface, roll out dough. If using a pasta attachment [KitchenAid], cut pasta into small rectangles and run through attachment per manufacture's instructions for ravioli. If you don't have a pasta attachment, simply roll out dough to 1/8" or thinner if possible. Cut into rectangles.

Place small teaspoons of filling [see recipe below] on the end of each rectangle. Fold dough over and press sides firmly together using a fork [being careful not to poke the "pouches"]. Let stand
for 5 - 10 minutes to dry slightly. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Gently place each pouch into the water and let boil [gentle boil] for 10 minutes. Pour into colander and, once all of the water has drained, pour onto plates. Top with roasted tomatoes [see recipe below], fresh thyme leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.


2 cloves of garlic,
1/3 c. of extra virgin olive oil
2 - 3 dashes of red pepper flakes
1 - 2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. Real Salt sea salt
1/3 c. toasted walnuts
3 large handfuls of fresh basil
1/8 c. goat cheese [I like chevre goat cheese]

Toast walnuts at 350 degrees for 5 - 8 minutes, checking often. In food processor, place all ingredients. Run processor until pesto in creamy.
[This pesto recipe is inspired by Heidi's recipe on]


appx. 20 cherry tomatoes [I love using a variety of colored ones]
extra virgin olive oil
Real Salt sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and halve each tomato. Place in small glass mixing bowl, drizzle with oil and toss with a dash of salt, using hands. Place tomatoes on parchment lined cookie sheet with cut side facing up. Bake for 45 minutes or until tomatoes are wrinkly but not browned.

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