These two food items have nothing to do with each other, except that they were both cooked in my kitchen this evening. To some success, I might add. We have been on a quest around my house to explore new recipes and we are finding some good ones. The Pasta Ponza was no exception.
Ok. What is Pasta Ponza? Here is your answer (Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis).Yellow and red grape tomatoes (2 cups of each) spread out over the bottom of a buttered 8 x 8 dish (the recipe called for capers as well, but I didn’t have them). On top of the tomatoes goes a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, and half a cup of Italian bread crumbs. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the bread crumbs and bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees. While that is going cook penne pasta (1 pound) al dente. Reserve a cup of the noodle water to add to the dish at the end. Strain the pasta, put in a bowl, cover with tomato/breadcrumb mixture. Toss with 1 1/4 cups of Romano or Parmasean cheese. Add the cup of noodle water for good consistency. It was very tasty. A much better attempt than the blog post previous to this one…
So, where do the jalapenos fit in? I went to my favorite Mexcian grocery store the other day for a bit of retail therapy (which usually involves spending about 10 bucks on produce and other authentic ingredients) and came out with a bag full of jalepenos. The were 2 pounds for a buck, so I got more than I needed. They were sitting on my counter this evening going bad and I had a brilliant idea. I sliced them up like pieces of Okra, breaded them, and fried them. I used Paula Deen’s awesome fried okra recipe for the breading. I took one bite and whoa! I sounded like Homer Simpson finding a long lost donut. The savory element of Paula Deen’s seasoning added to the spicy of the jalapeno was awesome.
These two don’t really belong on the same plate together, but they can hang out in my kitchen on the same night again any time they want to. Sometime trying new things is like this though. One form of creativity leads to another. And sometimes necessity demands creativity. Either way, it was a good evening in the kitchen. It makes me look forward to getting back into the kitchen tomorrow.