Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I went all the way to Pike Place Market and all I got was this lousy pasta.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Yes, that is what my t-shirt would say, were I to craft one based on my recent trip to Washington. While the tourists around me, my own family members included, sought out cool souvenirs and trendy trinkets, what jumped out to me immediately was the dried pasta from Pappardelle's stall in the market. I purchased several varieties-it's not actually lousy!- as I mentioned here, and I've already used a couple of them in the past few weeks.

My first effort was halibut glazed with raspberry habanero jam (my other purchase from the market) atop a mound of green jalepeno fettuccine. I felt quite confident that there was NO way that the pasta could be too spicy, and my SH and I both have extremely heat-resistant palates. I knew the jam would definitely pack some heat, but I figured it would all balance out neatly. Halibut is a sturdy, firm fish that stands up well to intense flavors. Well, the final results couldn't have been more surprising-it was SUPER hot! The kind of hot where you're gulping cold water as fast as you can finish a bite, and your nose is streaming in a most unattractive way. Don't get me wrong, the dish was delicious-the glaze made a sweet, delectable crust on the pearly white halibut, and the jalepeno fettuccine tasted great. It might have just been a bit too much spice. It certainly looked pretty, though!

This week I decided to pair my rosemary garlic linguine with a pork tenderloin. I am a HUGE fan of pork tenderloin. With a very simple, low-maintenance preparation, it can be immensely flavorful. I prefer to roast it, mostly because it's easier than watching a pan, but also because I enjoy stabbing it with the meat thermometer. I don't advice stabbing repeatedly, of course! Don't want all that delicious juiciness to go away! For our dinner, I finely chopped a couple of garlic cloves and tossed them with the zest and juice from 1 lemon, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, and some olive oil. Though it's not a revelation, by any means, I did get a few of my hints from one of my Rachael Ray cookbooks. After sprinkling the tenderloin with salt and pepper, I rubbed the lemon-garlic-mustard mixture in, and roasted for about half an hour. After my lesson with the jalepeno fettuccine, I knew to expect great flavor, not necessarily subtle, from the pasta, and it did not disappoint. The lemony roasted pork was a perfect complement.

Unfortunately, Pappardelle's Pasta doesn't show up at any of my local farmer's markets, but I may have to make a mail-order. I was completely satisfied with my purchase. It was my Seattle souvenir, after all!

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