Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Straw and Hay

Straw and Hay, originally uploaded by Jaquandor.

I made this dish for dinner a couple of nights ago, using a recipe from a Christmas-themed cookbook by the Frugal Gourmet. I'd always wanted to make it, but I always forgot about the recipe when not in the Holiday season, because that's the only time I tend to peruse this particular cookbook. (He gives the Straw and Hay recipe in honor of the donkey ridden by Mary to Bethlehem.) It's called "Straw and Hay" (Paglia e Fieno in Italian) by virtue of the two colors of pasta involved. I served it with a crusty garlic bread from The Store, and we loved it, although The Wife and I agree that next time, I should add shrimp.

Since I'm sure this cookbook is long out print, here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic (or more, to taste -- I used more)
1/2 pound spinach linguine
1/2 pound regular linguine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt, Pepper, and additional cheese to taste, when served

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain (but do not rinse) and pour into large bowl.

While the pasta cooks: In a small frying pan, melt the butter, and then add in the olive oil. In this mixture saute the garlic for just a minute or so, until it's barely browned and the mixture becomes deeply fragrant. Pour the garlic mixture over the pasta in the serving bowl and add the 1/3 cup grated Parmesan. Toss to combine, and serve hot.

I added a small pinch of kosher salt to my own serving, plus quite a lot of black pepper. Next time, I'll add shrimp; what I suppose I'll do is throw in some cooked shrimp to saute when I add the garlic, which should just bring the shrimp up to a serving temperature. Diced Italian sausage might also be a good addition to this.

What I loved most about the dish was how simple and easy it is. I usually take my time cooking recipes that are new to me, and even so, from the time I put the pot of water on the stove to boil to the time we sat down to eat, about twenty minutes elapsed. That rocks!


Karen said...

I used to watch the Frugal Gourmet all the time on PBS and loved his stories and recipes. I have a couple of his books, but haven't seen this recipe. I agree that shrimp in the mix would be good!

Lord Chlorus said...

I learned to cook from the Frug over 25 years ago. My wife and I love his recipes, but I never even knew this book existed. (Just ordered a used copy.) The recipe sounds great. Thanks!

--- Dan

Luvmyboys said...

Mmmmm....I make something like this, but add toasted pine nuts with the garlic and butter. Yummy!