Monday, March 24, 2014

Jamie Oliver's Pasta Peperonata

This week I went with another Jamie Oliver recipe. The last time I blogged a Jamie Oliver recipe it was a wildly successful post and dinner. I had to try his meatball-making technique, one that I still use to this day. Today however is a simple pasta dish. I have to admit, when I got home from work Friday I was not really in the mood to cook. But I'm determined to get on a weekly routine with blog posting so I forced myself to start cooking. No excuses.

Usually when I force-cook food it turns out substandard. I just don't put much effort into it and it comes out half-assed like something's overcooked or undercooked, or I could have added this or I over-seasoned or something. Do you ever get that way? When you're kitchen mojo just isn't flowing? Friday night though was awesome. I started to sautee the peppers in this dish and just got into this relaxing rhythm of prepping the other ingredients. I got my timing down and everything came out excellent.

Like last week's dish, this one hinges on simple and rustic flavors. There isn't a laundry list of herbs and spices and some $10 ingredient that makes you curse when you're finding the recipe for your next post. I loved the peppers in this, and I used celery and carrots in place of onions because they don't agree with me. Stewed together and cooked over medium-low for about a half an hour everything was so tender without being mushy. The parsley acted as a medium between the sweet peppers and piquant Parmesan with made a nice broad-spectrum flavor over the pasta, and the Mascarpone was a stroke of genius lending its creamy texture as a catalyst for all of the flavors to marry.

I don't think I could write more flowery about this dish. Needless to say I scarfed it down anticipating my next bite while still chewing the one in my mouth. Definitely try this - it takes about an hour to cook but it's so worth it.

Want the recipe? Hope right on over to Jamie Oliver's site.

Just one more thing on my mind - I've recently started submitting photos to food-porn sites like Trainspotting and Foodgawker. I was rejected for last week's photo because of "composition" for both sites. Am I angry? No. Going to use this time to protest? No. Disappointed? Maybe, sure. But not really because I learned something kind of cool - that my photos are way to zoomed in on the food. Look at this week's for example:





There's not much room for "composition" is there? It's sort of in-your-face, isn't it? People don't see food like this, or at least if they do they need to learn how to sit up straight and use utensils properly. Or get a lower table, a higher chair? Anyway, I like discovering this sort of thing - possibly accepting constructive criticism? I do think my lighting, focus and colors are pretty good. This is on a point-and-shoot by the way. I need to back off the plate a bit and set the stage. Any composition tips would be welcome!