i am posting! this is a post!

Now that that’s out of the way…. Seriously though, I feel like such a slacker. I’ve had so many people ask me in this disappointed tone if I’m still blogging. YES! I’m sorry! Geez! Guilt trip city… BRIANNA GUIDORZI*. And ALEXIS KOSTUN*. I’m a full-time student with a job. If I’m not blogging, I’m probably: reading all of Virginia Woolf’s works, analyzing a million short stories, checkin’ out what everyone from Plato to Wittgenstein have to say about epistemology and metaphysics, playing Tetris, writing 12 papers every semester….

note unwashed hair, pile of dirty dishes in background, huge container of coffee on the stove, bags under eyes

But I’m back! And hopefully better than ever, but don’t put any money on it. During this time, I’ve matured as a chef (or “cooker” as my little brother used to say. “Cooker” sounds more appropriate). I can say things like, “This minimalist pasta dish allows the spicy bite of the arugula to take center stage, while the sweetness of the onion and earthiness of the potato and rosemary create a perfect muted background.”

Okay, not really. If the rosemary tastes earthy, it’s probably because I “harvested” it from someone’s front yard rosemary bush. What attracted me to this dish wasn’t its minimalism, but rather, its adventurousness (initially I typed a more colloquial descriptive word — proof that I haven’t matured so much after all). But back to the dish — it has both potatoes and pasta. Like Deb from Smitten Kitchen, I was a bit suspicious of all the starch, but then I realized: I love pasta! I love potatoes! Why not have them both… together? (I admit, I felt a little like this:)

We elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup!

But of course, I got over that pretty quick. And I’m glad that I did, because this was delicious. Perfect for if you’re about to run a marathon, or if you’re just a marathon carb-eater. Plus, everything in this recipe came directly from a plant, except for the whole-wheat pasta, and who’s going to knock you for eating whole-wheat pasta?

By the way — over the winter break, I’ll be doing a “12 days of Cookbooks” series! Though I can’t guarantee that these posts will be daily, or that the series will be complete before Christmas, I can guarantee it will be delicious and wonderful. Stay tuned!

Penne with Potatoes and Arugula, adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

1 pound firm boiling potatoes (I used a regular potato)
About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used much less)
Salt and pepper
A handful or two of arugula
1 small red onion
4 to 6 cloves of garlic
1 sprig rosemary
3/4 pound penne or other tubular pasta
1/2 lemon
parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice the potatoes about 1/3 inch thick and toss them with a small amount of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them in a single layer in an ovenproof dish or on a baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment, to make everything — and clean-up, easier) and roast in the oven until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes,

Meanwhile, wash the arugula. Slice the red onion. Peel and chop fine the garlic cloves and the rosemary leaves. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and put the pasta on to boil. Heat a saute pan, add some of olive oil, and saute the sliced onion until it is soft and translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula and garlic, and saute both until they just begin to wilt and soften. Lower the heat, add the potato slices and rosemary and toss together for a minutre or two. When the noodles are done, drain them and add them to the potatoes and onion. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and toss everything together. Drizzle with a little olive oil, top with parmesan cheese, and serve.

*Just kidding, I really do appreciate feeling missed 🙂

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8 responses to “i am posting! this is a post!

  1. I can relate to the hesitation toward recipes involving both pasta and potatoes. I made a soup once that had chickpeas, potatoes, AND pasta in it. Weird, I thought. DIVINE! Of course we can have all the things we love together! Moderation, smoderation.
    I will be trying this recipe over break. Also, I am expecting daily posts (jk). Someone gave me a fabulous vegetarian cookbook as a Secret Santa give, and as I cook, I will share the best recipes with you.
    P2 Cooking Society thoughts…in the works!

  2. YAY! Natalie, I’m happy you are back. And – hold the freaking phone. What is this amazing-sounding butternut squash-kale-cheddar cheese casserole you so blithely mentioned in the post above? WHERE? WHERE CAN I FIND THAT?! It sounds like something I want to eat … *if not bathe in.*

    Just kidding. Girl, don’t feel guilty if you need to take blogging breaks. You are one of those bloggers who packs in so much wit, info, and beautiful photography into each post that it’s no surprise they take time! Sometimes I have to take little blog-cations to get my brain back in order.

    That being said, I get really happy when you post a lot, so the selfish part of me says: Get back to work!!! Blog a lot. 🙂 I love your food and photography, but most of all I love your voice, Natalie. Kudos!

  3. Pingback: 12 Days of Cookbooks: pasta blahsta | The First Kitchen·

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