Friday, November 9, 2012

Presto Pasta Nights - # 289 - The Penultimate Round-Up

Welcome to Presto Pasta Nights #289! This is my sixth time hosting (kind of hard to believe!) but a bittersweet one since this is the penultimate roundup of Presto Pasta Nights. Next week's roundup will be the last, capping off more than 5 years of weekly roundups of pasta! So please join me with your favorite glass of drink to celebrate all of the yummy pasta we have before us!

First of all I want to pay tribute to Ruth Daniels of Once Upon A Feast for creating Presto Pasta Nights. Since I started blogging more than three years ago, PPN has been the event I have participated in most and from which I have met such wonderful bloggers. I have always loved that it was weekly - the frequency made it feel cosy, like cooks sharing recipes over the back fence or in the aisle of the grocery store. Everyone was so welcome and it created so much virtual community, one of the main reasons I personally enjoy blogging so much!

So often Ruth's dishes feature interesting pasta as well as delicious flavor combinations. Of course this week is a perfect example: Conchiglioni with Italian Sausage and Mushrooms. In a word, Yum!

Next is Lana of Bibberche with her Mediterranean Pasta with Sardines. Lana not only went "pantry spelunking" (something I adore!) to bring the briny goodness of her childhood to her family, but she produced a dish that left her family silent in rapture-filled eating. Sounds like a winner to me!

Stash of Simple Kitchen Seasons is a cook after my own heart. Reminding us of the authentic way to make Spaghetti Carbonara - no cream, raw eggs! - he serves up a gorgeous carbonara that lets the simple ingredients shine in perfect harmony allowing the pasta to take center stage.

Catherine of Cate's Cates brings us Vegan Pasta Primavera with fresh herbs, fava beans (or broad beans as some call them) and a bowl full of fresh spring veggies because she's living where Spring is just blooming, lucky duck! Well she stole my heart when she started talking fresh herb sauce with favas - all of which are growing in my southern California winter garden right now! So this dish goes to the top of my must make list!

Haalo of Cook Almond Anything, a PPN regular, sends us Tajarin con Ragu Leggero dell'Orto inspired by a recent meal at a local favorite restaurant in Alba (so much inspiration from the Mediterranean in this roundup as me dreaming of that wondrous food region!) Adding lots of vegetables - bell peppers, zucchini, red celery and peas - she lightens up the traditional notion of a ragu to create a confetti effect with gorgeous egg pasta!

Next is Alicia of Foodycat who serves up a real doozy - Prawn and 'nduja fusilli lunghi. Prawns + Calabrian spicy sausage? When I was an omnivore this dish would have sent me into ecstatic convulsions at the very description! All of this inspiration from the Mediterranean is having me longing for that magical place. Luckily it's easy to "take a trip" through the pantry and at least taste my way through deliciousness!

Skud of The Oeconomist serves up a Ricotta Pesto Vegetable Pasta Bake. Whew! That's a mouthful to say but better yet one I'd like to be forking into my mouth as soon as possible! He added mushrooms and sundried tomatoes along with a creamy version of Ricotta that is sliced up in wedges. I completely understand why he heard that kind of ricotta talking to him!

Tigerfish, another long-time PPNer whose dishes never fail to invoke involuntary drooling, brings us Preserved Chinese Leaf Mustard and Chicken Noodle Soup, writing at An Escape to Food. I am always intrigued by anything preserved (preserved lemons being one of my favorite ingredients) and the idea of adding preserved greens to a warming noodle dish sounds perfect as the darkness falls earlier and the rainy season begins in Southern California. This dish is zipping to the top of my must make list!
Bringing up the rear is my Vegan Alfredo with Peas and Parsley. Using that magical ingredient of soaked raw cashews, I made a pureed sauce with some nutritional yeast that paired perfectly with some orrechiete, peas, and parsley.

Farewell for now dear pasta eaters. See you all next week for the final celebration of Presto Pasta Nights! Thanks for participating this week and happy eating!


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