Just the other day, I was admiring all the pretty colors of fall–oranges, yellows, reds, browns–and I thought to myself, I should walk around town and take pics, à la my springtime blog post… but suddenly–all the xmas decorations are up in the city, and it’s SNOWING! :O I guess winter came and smacked me in the face without me even realizing.
I guess I do realize it, because with the shorter days and colder weather inevitably comes the hacking, winter cough. ACK ACK ACK… it started off as a sore throat on Monday morning and then transmuted into a killer headache with a hacking cough for the rest of the week. Now it’s Saturday night, and I’m miserable at home alone, not feeling well enough to go to my friend D-‘s goodbye party. 😥 Oh well.
Time to hibernate at home and pack on the winter fat. I’m downing copious amounts of hot tea infused with lemon and honey, nursing the last bit of my stash of zoethout thee (licorice tea) from A-. I never really liked black licorice before, but then I tried this tea… and I FELL IN LOVE. ♥♥♥ A subtle, sweet blend of licorice and Oolong tea… OMG, this stuff is THE BOMB. It’s sooo good all by itself pure, without any additions. Unfortunately, you can’t find this stuff in Switzerland… and now I’m down to my last teabag with no way to get any more. 😥
What’s a girl to do during these desperate times? I started listening to Arctic Monkeys nonstop to take a break from OD’ing on Placebo. ♫ I’m noshing on salted caramel cookies from France. And I decided to try making some decadent pasta to soothe my tired soul.
I was first introduced to this dish about a month ago at J-‘s place, and it was so creamy, rich, and delicious, with the fragrant scent of truffles–that I made a mental note to try to recreate it myself one day. So ever since then, I was in search of the secret ingredient to this excellent dish–truffle oil.
Despite having a Coop Megastore nearby, I couldn’t find the same brand of truffle oil until I went to the Coop Bellevue store this Wednesday. Voilà! I was ready to recreate J-‘s masterpiece. Barilla pasta (I bought spaghetti), Barilla Pesto ricotta e noci (ricotta and walnut pesto sauce), and truffle oil. Following the tip on the website, I also added a bag of rucola (arugula) to the pasta for extra flavor. (J-‘s version didn’t have rucola.)
I tried my best to pull the pasta and coat every strand of noodle with the pesto sauce, but it kind of gathered into a clumpy mess. So then I poured truffle oil on top, and it got a bit better. And I also dumped an entire bag of rucola (gotta have my greens), which seemed a bit much at first, but then it wilted from the heat of the pasta and melded in quite well.
The finished dish was a tad salty (did I put too much salt into the cooking water, or did I add too much pesto?), but it was still okay. I don’t think it was as tasty as what I recalled from J-‘s, but perhaps my taste buds are a bit off today because I’m still sick. I added some more truffle oil on top, because I couldn’t smell the truffle in my finished dish.
So here it is, folks–a yummy, creamy pasta dish that’s good to fill your tummy on a cold winter’s day.
Pasta with Ricotta and Walnut Pesto, Truffle oil, and Rucola
- Ricotta and Walnut Pesto (Barilla brand)
- Truffle oil
- Rucola (arugula)
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
- Cook the spaghetti for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Wash and dry the rucola.
- When the spaghetti is done, take the pot off the heat, drain the pasta, put it back in the pot (still off the burner), and add some pesto. (I put two generous spoonfuls.)
- Take two forks and pull/toss the pasta until every strand is coated with pesto sauce. Drizzle in truffle oil if it gets too dry.
- To rewarm the pasta, I put the pot back on the warm burner (still turned off though). Add the rucola and toss until it’s wilted. Drizzle in more truffle oil as needed.
- Serve in a large bowl or plate. You can drizzle more truffle oil on top as desired.