Wool & Flax

Monday, August 29, 2011

Failure vs. Success

I'm not immune to making mistakes in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination.  However, I do try to avoid them as much as possible because 1.)  I am afraid of disaster (imagine a fire needing to be extinguished after a failed homemade popcorn attempt...ahem...not that anyone in my family would know about that) and 2.)  I don't like cleaning up a mess. 

Two weeks ago I wanted to take full advantage of our beautiful sweet corn that we received from the CSA and make a corn chowder.  This is one of my favorite things to eat, and although it's still warm outside, I decided that soup was in order.  I worked hard shucking the corn and getting every last kernel off the cob, etc, etc.  G and I enjoyed a nice big bowl of corn chowder that evening.  The next night I planned to have leftovers.  Instead of microwaving individual bowls of the chowder, I just put the pot back on the stove to heat.  Well, that was my mistake.  I turned the burner on too high (which is something I'm constantly nagging someone else about), walked away, and that was THE END.  What had been a delicious, garden grown corn chowder ended up as nasty, bitter, BURNT corn chowder. 
Underneath this nice top layer filled with corn, onion, a bell pepper (all from the CSA), stock, and cream lay a black layer that totally consumed every ounce of deliciousness out of this pot.  I don't know about you all, but when this happens, I get a wee bit upset.  All of the work and produce had to be thrown down the drain, and the burnt remains took about a week to scrape off of the bottom of the pot! 

So last week I decided upon a fool-proof recipe from my dear friend Nada (also my former boss) that G and I could enjoy together, without any heartbreak or burned pots.  The recipe she came up with was so easy (great for a last-minute meal, or when you just don't feel like taking a long time to cook) and resulted in a really tasty pasta dish.  I know it's not really homemade, but sometimes it's fun to take a short-cut.

Spinach-Alfredo Pasta
1 jar store bought light Alfredo sauce
1 package fresh baby spinach
1 onion, diced
1 lb. penne pasta (or other favorite shape)
Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:  Cook pasta according to package directions (make sure you season the pasta water with salt!).  Meanwhile, saute chopped onion in olive oil or butter until translucent, about 7-10 minutes.  Add fresh spinach and wilt to desired doneness.  Stir in Alfredo sauce.  If the sauce is a bit thick, save some of the pasta-cooking liquid and add a little bit at a time to get the texture you want.  Drain pasta and add directly to the sauce.  Season with salt & pepper (if needed...it really doesn't need salt if you seasoned your pasta, but you might like pepper or red pepper flakes), and top with some Parmesan cheese. 

Then, watch your G$ devour it like it's candy.


  1. OH man I HATE when that happens to me! If you will remind me while I am over there doing jam, I will show you a 5 minute Alfredo sauce you will love. The longest part is cooking the garlic and tiny bit of onion.
    Oh and G$ is looking more like the Boss every time I see him!

  2. At least no one had to put out the flames on that corn chowder by smashing a potted plant on it like that mythical popcorn blaze. So I would call it a successful failure :)

    Oh did I mention that the pasta rocked?!?!?!