"An Italian family is all about love, respect and food - or food, respect and love. Food is the vehicle that makes things happen in an Italian family. All your problems, joys and fears are talked about at the dinner table."- Maryann Esposito
I love this quote - because it sums up a lot - about the need to celebrate with food, work out problems with food and just commiserate - over food. This weekend had elements of celebration, working out problems and commiserating.
And I finally realized something (we won't talk about how many decades this took) - but it's not about the eating - although I won't lie - I find eating most enjoyable! It's the care in the choosing of a meal, the buying the freshest ingredients you can find and the act of putting it together - is as much a pleasure as the serving and eating of it.
So, in between the required grilling, I came across this recipe from TASTES OF ITALIA. I loved the simplicity of letting the fresh flavors of lemon and spinach shine. And shine they did.
3/4 lb. spaghetti - cooked according to instructions. I did my usual one pound and just increased everything else a tad
4 T olive oil
6 cloves of garlic cut in slivers
4 T capers
1 t dried red chile flakes
4T lemon zest
4 cups chopped spinach (I used a lot more!)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh ground pepper
Cook spaghetti. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, capers and chile flakes and cook for two minutes - stirring. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and cook for an additional two minutes. Drain pasta. Add pasta, spinach and salt to skillet. (I added the spinach first and sauteed briefly). Toss well. Pass the Parmesan and ground pepper. Simple and summery pasta.
I woke up to a lovely message from Donna from My Tasty Treasures.
Donna's blog is not only chock full of everything you want to eat in life; she's also a guarantee smile and outright laughter. Her enthusiasms for all of life is unbridled and you always leave hungry. Pay her a visit and be ready to print!
You know those e-mails where you need to pick a "favorite this" and a "favorite that?" Well, I'm not capable of that. I never give one-word answers. They all have "explanations." So choosing five wonderful bloggers is impossible for me - BUT - what I would love to do is pass this on to my first five blogger friends who befriended me when I did not know what I was doing. And believe me when I say, I have cooked from all of their blogs and if you are smart - you will too!
So as a way of thanking these remarkable cooks for their sharing of recipes and wisdom, the awards are passed on to:
http://saraskitchen.blogspot.com/ - everything is luscious and fresh
My Italian friends who remind me of my heritage:
And sweet Pearl for her stories and original recipes.
And just so you know - this is killing me - 'cause I really want to thank ten!
Grazie to all of you.