Where do you keep your recipes? Are they all there in your computer, just a few clicks away when you need one? Are they nice and neat and stowed away in a file, right at your fingertips? Do you think-“oh, I’d love to make that chicken dish that I saw in a magazine eight years ago” and run off and find that recipe in a heartbeat? If so, you’re luckier than I am. I have to say that I am a very organized person, but having said that, I must add that even the most organized person would struggle with a recipe collection as large as mine.
I have a massive file, divided into categories that I chose and it is busting at the seams, but is easy to use. I’ve purged it various times over the years and thrown away hundreds of recipes that I had clipped from newspapers and magazines. Do you really need a recipe that you clipped out twenty years ago for scalloped potatoes? I also have a beautiful leather tote filled with all the current recipes I’d like to try. I keep it nearby in the kitchen. It’s a lot more crowded that I thought it would be. I think I need to spend more time cooking.
I suppose you’re starting to wonder where I’m going with this story. Last night I started looking for a recipe for a pasta dish with roasted fennel and tomatoes. The recipe was in an old issue of Food & Wine that had a great article on baked pasta dishes. First I headed to my small collection of old food magazines (yes, I do have some old magazine issues, but last year I tossed most of them). No luck there. Then I went to the master file and it wasn’t there either. Now I’m convinced that it’s in my “current file” but I was wrong. The crazy thing is, I don’t need a recipe to make this dish since I’ve made it many times over the years. I was just on a quest to find the recipe!
Pasta with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes
3 heads fennel, sliced in half, cored and sliced
1- 27 oz. can plum tomatoes
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound bucatini
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the onion, fennel and garlic cloves and place in an ovenproof baking dish (large enough to hold all the ingredients). Season with salt and pepper and roast in oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and add canned tomatoes (without their juices) and smash into pieces. Toss with vegetables in pan and return to oven for another 20 minutes. Boil your pasta and drain. Remove vegetables from oven, add drained pasta and toss. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Gratitude Friday-I am grateful that I’ve done enough cooking over the years that for the most part I really don’t need all the recipes that I have stashed in various parts of the house!
Photo borrowed from Whole Foods.