As you can perhaps tell, I haven’t cooked much lately. Or, to rephrase, I’ve been cooking and eating just fine, but haven’t photographed or written about any of it. Call it midsummer food doldrums, I suppose.
There have been raw cookie dough truffles, greens with bacon and balsamic, shepherd’s pie, collard wraps with millet and hummus, pasta with ham and peas, and lots and lots of scrambled egg tacos. If you’re clamoring for any recipes, speak up in the comments! I need a kick in the pants to get things posted.
Most of all, though, I’ve been focusing on the non-food-related details of life this summer.
A month of working the day shift always whittles life down to necessities: sleep, exercise, friendships, quiet time for reading and reflection. Invariably, August means taking stock, slowing down, focusing, and practicing being present. I struggle with taking on more than I have time for, and I’ve challenged myself this month to just do less, and prioritize people over projects. So yes, there have been more conversations, cups of coffee, text messages, and dinners than dishes washed or bathtubs scrubbed. It kills part of me to let the details go to pot, but I’m trying to focus on the big picture.
And yes, there have been bigger, more personal reasons for the urgency surrounding intentional living this summer. I’ve tried writing about it but it never comes out right here. Suffice to say that it has been a summer of heavy, unexpected, and course-altering events that make the world seem at once hopelessly bleak and impossibly beautiful. I’m flabbergasted by how supportive our little community has been, and humbled by the deluge of unmerited favor we’ve received. Obviously, none of this is compatible with faithful adherence to a blogging schedule, so thank you for being patient as I’ve withdrawn a bit from this space.
Getting ready for my husband to come home is also motivation to start blogging again. We’re 10 weeks into J’s 12-week internship, and I’m consciously trying to prepare myself for his return. Three months apart was perhaps too long, but we’ve been intentional about using the time to appreciate, apologize, plan, and grow. Good things. We’ll see how it all holds up when we’re actually together again, but for now I am hopeful.
And finally, there is pasta. With ham and peas, Parmesan, garlic, and pepper flakes. Definitely worth blogging about.
It’s tempting to call this “carbonara,” since that’s how I’ve always thought of it, but in reality it’s nothing like spaghetti carbonara. I’ve made the real thing before, but admittedly I like this better. The garlicky sauce is creamy and loaded with Parmesan, the peas and ham play along nicely, and red pepper flakes give it a little pizazz. Comfort in a bowl.
So tonight, ignore your inbox and unwashed laundry. Throw together a bowl of this pasta, pour yourself a glass of wine, and toast to the present.
- 1 pkg. gluten free spaghetti (12 oz.)*
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. minced onion
- 25g (roughly 3 1/2 Tbsp.) rice flour
- 2 1/2 c. whole milk
- 80g (1 c.) grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 6 oz. diced ham
- 120g (1 c.) frozen peas, defrosted
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tsp. salt and a small splash of olive oil. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside when done.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in the base of a saucepan over med-low heat. Saute garlic and onion until they begin to turn translucent, 5-7 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add rice flour and cook 1 minute, stirring with a whisk. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk vigorously, as the mixture will seize briefly. Add the remaining milk and keep whisking until smooth. Cook 4-5 minutes over medium heat, whisking often, until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in Parmesan cheese, peas, and ham. Season with salt and pepper and a few red pepper flakes.
- Pour sauce over drained pasta and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately, passing red pepper flakes at the table.
- *I use a corn and rice blend pasta, since it has a similar texture and color to traditional noodles made with semolina flour.