Tagged: Pasta

Four Seasons in Hawaii, or lack thereof.

Did I ever tell you that I love Fall? The cool, crisp air and the warm, rustling leaves. The gradually grayer skies, suddenly darker evenings, and colorful peacoats and wispy scarves. Did I also ever mention I live in.. Hawaii, where virtually none of this exists except for those who forsake their sanity in order to swagger in sweltering ugg boots? *sigh* Oh, how I miss having a full-fledged four season spectrum.“But, it’s Hawaii!” you exclaim.

Jealous? of me? Really?! I suppose the grass really is always greener on the other side.

At least I make do with what I have. Even though it’s not frightfully cold and I obviously don’t need to wear protective layers upon layers of clothing (since one thin layer seems to do just fine), I still feel the need to make heart-warming comfort foods according to the month or (physically absent) season. Better yet, I get to incorporate seasonal vegetables as well! Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. I just love the sound of that, don’t you? Slightly sweet, savory, lush, cheesey, soft, and crusty all at once. As if I didn’t emphasize how much I love pasta enough.

Ladies, let’s save the diets for post-New Year. Continue reading

Back to the Basics.

I think I may have mentioned this before , but among other things, I love pasta. I really do. There is no discrimination whatsoever between fresh and vibrant red sauces and rich and creamy white sauces, not to mention every other ethereal sauce inbetween. Once upon a time, however, this wasn’t so.

I was inexperienced, un-worldy, and young younger. Back then, I was somewhat deluded and convinced that The Old Spaghetti Factory was the paramount of all things or places quintessentially pasta. A conviction that has not, I admit, entirely eluded me due to sentimental memories. It was precisely here where my love affair with pasta first truly begun. Of course, nothing has really ever beat Adela’s spaghetti and meat sauce at home, but it was at this American spaghetti chain restaurant (can you believe it?) that I began to widen my horizons, sort of. What, you ask, could have possibly initiated and marked such a revolutionary moment? Spaghetti with butter and cheese. It’s emulsified butter and cheese in pasta water that elicits a smooth, nutty, and luscious flavor – a most simple, modest, and rustic staple in the realm of pasta. It’s the classic foundation for many other beloved creamy sauces which makes this impossible to dislike for amateurs and connoisseurs alike. Continue reading

Bella Mia Pizzaria.

What can I say? It’s the quintessential pizzeria, the vibrant and welcoming Italian-American dream house in the middle of a dull yet busy street. Even if you tried, you wouldn’t be able to avoid it. It’s neatly and oddly placed on the beginning of bustling Beretania street, almost directly across Anasia’s and Toma’s Karaoke, amidst all the faded buildings and inconspicuous establishments. You can’t miss it. Everything about this joint is enticing from its newly lit banners and evenly clean pavement to its bright red roof and white picket fence. Even if it may not be in the most romantic or scenic location, the arching entrance and open-air breeze are enough to set the mood alone. It’s truly like walking into an authentically classic pizzeria; one that is definitely not commonly found on this Asian-Pacific specializing Island. Picture a sophisticated cross between a full-fledged family reunion dinner at home and a cool summer night’s picnic in the backyard and this is what you get. It’s so perfectly captivating and nostalgically attractive that it’s impossible not to tug at some heartstrings.

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Good Things Come in Threes.

They really do, don’t they? Think about how many things, good things, tend to come in threes. Let’s see..there are three primary colors, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Twilight series (for all you crazed fans out there), the three Musketeers, the three wise men, the Chipmunks, the Jonas Brothers (not really, but I like to joke every now and then) and of course, presumably three meals a day, correct? I love the number three and with the  Holy Trinity of this dish being chicken, asparagus, and pasta – my unreasonable love for this inanimate number is only reaffirmed.  “Why?” You might wonder to yourself. Because three central things: chicken, asparagus, and pasta combined make one hell of a good thing.

Heck, that hell of a good thing brought forth three other good things. One, I got to cook something new. Two, I saved money by eating at home. And voilà! Three, I get to pass on the goodness to you! Don’t worry, you can thank me later and yeah, I’m sure that it’s a total coincidence that your favorite number magically happens to be three now too.

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Tons of Tomatoes.

I go through cooking phases. At times, I gravitate towards complex and elaborate recipes comprised of ingredients I can hardly pronounce. Then, at other times, I’m drawn to those easy and simple recipes that consist of maybe only a handful of ingredients that I already have, readily stored within the walls of my refrigerator or cupboards. As of right now, I’m definitely in that latter phase.

It isn’t as un-glamorous as it sounds though. In fact, such simple recipes bring out the true flavors of each ingredient ultimately creating a delicious sum of its parts. Besides, it’s obviously convenient and shamelessly cheaper. Plus, it makes a lighter meal that’s perfect for the sweltering hot summer. In which case, this recipe is fabulous. Even more so with a good glass of wine or frosty mug of beer.

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