Monday, March 15, 2010

Cookish: What's for dinner?

The grocery store had a sale on pasta this week. So, I bought myself some wagon wheel pasta. Yes, wagon wheels. I wanted to feel like I was 5.

But then I decided to grow up. So, I stopped eating them covered in nothing but grated cheese and made myself some tomato sauce.

It was a little healthier, but still fun, thanks to the wagon wheels.

2-3 small shallots
2-3 cloves of garlic
4-5 mushrooms (more or less based on your preference)
olive oil
red pepper flakes
one large can crushed tomatoes
one large can diced tomatoes
chicken stock
Heavy cream

Mince the shallots and saute in olive oil. Chop the mushrooms and add to the pot. Saute for a few minutes; add grated/minced garlic. Add black pepper, salt, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Add the crushed tomatoes. Drain the diced tomatoes slightly and add to the pan. Use a small amount of chicken stock (or water) to swish out the crushed tomato can and add to the sauce, so you get every last drop! Simmer for 15-20 minutes (or longer, if you have more time). Taste for seasoning. Remove from the heat and add some cream (start with 1/4 cup and add more to taste). Creamy and delicious! Serve over wagon wheels (or pasta of your choice) with some Parmesan on top. (You could also add some mozzarella or ricotta, if you want extra creamy yumminess. Or use cream cheese in place of heavy cream. Ooh!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bookish Review: In the Woods

In the Woods by Tana French is a mystery set in Ireland. Detectives are assigned to a murder case in which a child has been murdered and placed in an archaelogical dig site near a wood. Complicating matters is the fact that one of the detectives assigned to the case grew up in the neighborhood near the woods and when he was young, two of his friends disappeared in the woods and he was left, bloody and scratched, and with no memory of what happened. Could the cases be related?

The book is well-written, with Detective Rob Ryan looking back at the case and recounting what happened. He is not always a reliable narrator, but gives an interesting view of the case and how he tried to figure out what happened to the murdered girl and to remember what happened to his friends.

My complaint with the book is that I don't like loose ends and not all of the mysteries are solved. But I suppose that is more true to life, no?