To whom it may concern,
Re: my tomahhhto post of Aug. 1, I do humbly and wholeheartedly apologize for any offensive statement contained therein about the temperature and/or humidity. As so amply demonstrated yesterday (and again this morning), it can always be worse, especially when your office’s air conditioning unit is not functioning.
Amy (aka Sweating, but Wisely Keeping My Mouth Shut)
* * * * * * *
So yeah, it’s pretty bad here, but on the bright side, our CEO finds conditions as intolerable as the rest of us and has set us free as soon as all scheduled meetings are over. Yesterday, I made it home to the land of air conditioned comfort by 3pm, which left me plenty of time to make dinner. A pasta salad featured in the new issue of Martha Stewart Living sounded great when I read it on the bus, so I hit the grocery for the few things I needed and got to work soon after. Maybe I should’ve made something a little more labor-intensive since I had the time, but after a long day of
perspiring glowing, I just couldn’t be bothered.
But I’ve learned my lesson — I’ll really, really try not to complain about the heat from now on. At least until the AC goes out in my building again and I’m stuck here all day.
recipe after the jump
I made a few changes to this recipe, as is my wont with Martha Stewart. To bump up the nutritional profile even more, I added some chopped spinach, and to increase the heat, roughly doubled (okay, tripled) the red pepper flakes. The dried mushrooms and their liquid made the dish much earthier than it otherwise would have been, so I kept them in. And the toasted walnuts? Well, there’s already gorgonzola in the recipe, right?
Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Radicchio, and Gorgonzola adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Sept. 2007
1/2 lb. orecchiette or conchiglie (I substituted what the package called capelletti)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 oz. dried mushrooms
4 oz. assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster, stemmed and cut in 1/4″-thick slices
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 handfuls baby spinach, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1/2 head radicchio, sliced crosswise into thin strips (about 2 cups)
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, then drizzle with just enough oil to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and refrigerate 10 minutes.
Wash dried mushrooms in lukewarm water, put in small bowl, and cover with hot water. After mushrooms have soaked for 15 minutes, drain and reserve soaking water. Cut mushrooms into 1/4″ slices and combine with fresh mushrooms.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and red pepper flakes, and cook until shallot has softened, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup of the soaking water, being careful not to add sediment to pan, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add wine, and cook until reduced by three-quarters, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add herbs, lemon zest and juice, spinach, and radicchio, and toss until radicchio has wilted. Add pasta, Gorgonzola, salt, and pepper; toss.
Toast walnuts in small skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle over pasta salad. Serve at room temperature.