Monday, March 29, 2010

Passover and Pasta - Carb-o-rific week!

Passover started on Monday. I wasn't invited to any sedars, but I did make a celebration in my own small way. I made a nice, traditional, matzah ball soup. I just love matzah (matza? matzoh? matzo?) ball soup. Great stuff.

I used a recipe I came up with a couple of years ago. No, I'll never be a Bubbe, but I can at least attempt to make some Passover recipes that won't make my husband's grandmother spin in her grave.

This year I was much smarter than I have been in the past. The first time I made these I took the attitude that there are fewer dishes to wash if I don't simmer the matzah balls separately.

"You idiot!" I tell myself now. One should never cook the starches in the soup. Starches will soak up the broth that I so carefully worked on simmering for hours. That leaves me with msuhy starches and no actual soup. Yuck!

I simmered the balls in water and then put them in a bowl and poured the soup over it. In other words, I did it properly and my matzah balls didn't soak up so much broth that they got too mushy and fell apart. There was also still plenty of my delicious homemade broth in the bowl.

Tradition went out the window as the week progressed. I wanted a nice, casual meal for a weeknight and pasta seemed an easy choice. The late Dr. Atkins would definitely not approve of my food choices this week with the soup and the pasta.

I wasn't in the mood for traditional marinara sauce. I wanted something even simpler. My husband loves his spaghetti and meatballs, but he is also quite fond of plainer pastas. He enjoys his pasta just dressed with garlic and oil - or even just butter. I had some onions that I had purchased at ther farmer's market over the weekend and decided to put them to use.

My recipe was like a very light alfredo, with caramelized onions thrown in the mix.

I started with 3 thinly-sliced onions that I cooked in olive oil at a low temperature for a good 45 minutes. They were nice and soft and brown.

I added 4 cloves of minced garlic and just let it become fragrant. Then in went 3 tablespoons of butter. Then finally, a dash of cream (no real measurements - just a dash).


Meanwhile I had a pound of spaghetti cooking up. I tossed it around in the pan.

Finally I served it up and covered it with pine nuts I had toasted previously and plenty of freshly-grated parmesan. Hubby got it without the cheese and as few onions as possible.

Even though these photos are rather disturbingly beige, this dish was quite good.

My recipes have been a bit easy this week, but I have lots of good stuff in store. There will be restaurants and there will be Easter posts. Brace yourself for some pie my friends!


Bellini Valli said...

I have never made a matzah ball soup so thanks for the tips. The same goes for when you make won ton soup and you want a clear broth.

The Blonde Duck said...

Screw Atkins. It looks delicious.

Annie said...

The pasta looks yum. Never thought of just onions. I would have to add some sun dried tomatoes to that for a bit of color.

Matzo ball soup the way we make it - we simmer the matzo balls in the broth. Actually my husband is a vegetarian so we make kind of a light vegetable soup and toss in the matzo balls when the broth comes back to a boil. Then cover and cook about 35-45 minutes on simmer.