Friday, March 18, 2011

a birthday dinner

Last week was my husband's birthday and when I asked him what he would like for dinner, he replied "I don't suppose you could do that pasta with capers and olives and sundried tomatoes that you made for me the first time you made me dinner?" That sounded great except as I've noted before the first meal I ever made him was chicken and veggies in peanut sauce with wild and brown rice. So, wondering a bit where he'd eaten this caper olive pasta (and I have made them during our time together) I thought I would give it a try for dinner, using whatever ingredients I had in my kitchen. I found capers and some home oven dried tomatoes, some asparagus and mushrooms and some goat cheese. So I made a pasta dish. When my birthday husband ate it, he announced it was "fine". Not the ringing endorsement I had hoped for. But I thought it was good. But my man did eat his weight in the pasta that night so either he was very, very hungry or he did enjoy it more than he let on (and he wasn't in the best of moods that evening, having had some technology challenges earlier in the day which frustrated him no end).

Caper Oven-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta with Asparagus

3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, sliced
6 large button mushrooms
1 tbsp capers
1 small bunch asparagus (broken into ~ 3 pcs per stalk)
~ 1/2 c oven dried tomatoes, crushed or ground in a spice mill
8 oz goat cheese
basil, garlic, pepper
1 lb of whole wheat pasta - I used spagetti

In a large pot, cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside the pasta water.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the butter is a bit browned. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for about 5-8 minutes until the mushrooms start to take on a bit of colour. Add the capers, asparagus and tomatoes and heat, stirring to keep from sticking. Stir in the goat cheese and add some of the pasta water, about a 1/4 c at a time to melt the cheese and meld everything together. Cover and simmer until the asparagus is mostly cooked. Toss the pasta into the sauce and add the seasonings to taste. Serve with grated parmesan.

And for dessert, I made peach almond crumble. This is my man's new favorite dessert.

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