Tag Archives: santa barbara

V********s Day: Fettuccine with Almond Basil Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

I like flowers. I like going out to dinner. And I also like getting to see my boyfriend, who lives 5 hours away. If it happens to be on a certain consumerist/hallmark/excluding holiday, I am not going to complain. It’s not like I got a giant teddy bear and some cheesy heart shaped things- that makes it ok- right? Plus we celebrated it on Saturday***, February 12th. Capitalist crisis averted.

Joey and also I rode bikes a lot- while at the moment it’s cold and rainy here in Santa blabla- this weekend was sunny and delicious. One afternoon we rode to Whole Foods and walked around for a while before splitting a sandwich and brown rice sushi outside. I’m lucky to have a man who will let me spend tons of time in a grocery store and only come out with 3 items.

I love food shopping. Trying on clothes wears me out but I could stay in the produce section for hours. I remember in high school one of my favorite things to do was go to the grocery store late at night and just walk through the deserted isles. I probably wouldn’t survive very long in a zombie attack.

Anyhow, I kept the weekend light and fresh, sorry to those in the rest of the world who are cold and still in soup phases.

***The Day-of-Day-of, I spent cleaning my tiny, but dirty house. This is very important when your bathroom is so small that mold grows overnight and the downward slope of your kitchen collects water in weird places.





Fettuccine with Almond Basil Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Make sure you get good tomatoes. I am serious. Santa Barbara has the great advantage of year-round produce, but if you are somewhere colder try it with cherry tomatoes- they are more consistently sweet. Just cut the roasting time to 30 minutes.

2 lb vine-ripened golden tomatoes

olive oil and coarse sea salt

1/4 cup raw almonds

2 cloves garlic

2 cups roughly chopped basil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 cup (more or less) olive oil

16 oz Fettuccine

Heat Oven to 300 F. Slice tomatoes in half and place, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt. Roast for 50 minutes.

In the meantime, chop the garlic and almonds in your food processor. Add basil, Parm, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend and add more olive oil if needed.

After tomatoes soft, turn on the broiler. Place the tomatoes under direct heat for a few minutes until slightly black on the edges. Flip and brown them on the other side.

Cook pasta according to package directions, or until al dente.

Toss together the pesto and pasta. Gently fold in the tomatoes (and all their juice).



Filed under Pasta

Apple potato soup with sage brown butter? Have One on Me.

Joanna Newsom Concert at Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara

I fell in love this weekend. The first Friday in my new house snuck up quietly behind me while I tried to organized all my socks and cookbooks in this tiny cottage.  I forgot that Joanna Newsom was playing in SB, although I had planned to buy tickets some time ago. Nevertheless, my bff and roommate, Donna, and I found tickets the day of the show. Seeing my sweet Ghana roommate and friend, Mallory, was another great surprise that night.

But the concert.

I knew it was going to be great- but MAN was it. Newsom’s voice has changed out a bit since her previous albums, and while I still love the older albums, she has a smoothness in her voice that, combined with her expert harping, fills up the room.

It was the first concert I had been to since London, and I fell in love again and I felt inspired again.

Then I started thinking about food.

Ha. No, it’s not a joke and no, I wasn’t hungry. Lately whenever I feel inspired by something, it’s accompanied by a flavor, a texture, and a smell. Gabriel Garcia Marquez makes me want to add almond, thyme, and floral flavors to everything, and Joanna Newsom feels like apples and sage.

Apple Potato Soup with Sage Brown Butter

It’s smooth, but not overly decadent. The apple adds an underlying sweetness while the sage brown butter fills the empty spaces with nutty earthiness. Top it off with apple chips and have some sourdough bread.

Apple Potato Soup with Sage Brown Butter and Apple Chips

1 onion-chopped
1 tart apple- sliced thin
2-3 cloves of garlic-minced
2 lb thin-skinned potatoes-peeled and cubed
¼ c. dry white wine
1 c. cold-pressed apple cider
Water or low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper
3/4 to 1 c. whole milk

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot and add onion, apple, and garlic. Cook until the onion is transparent. Add the cubed potatoes, apple cider, and white wine. Cook for a minute or two until alcohol smell is gone. Add enough water or low-sodium vegetable broth to cover potatoes by an inch. simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

Mix in a blender or with an immersion blender until alllllmmooossst smooth.

Return to pot, stir in milk and heat for another 5 minutes.

Brown Butter
3/4 stick of butter
1 1/2 Tbs sage

Add butter and sage to a stainless steel skillet. Heat until it smells deliciously nutty and is golden brown. More on making brown butter here.

Apple Chips
Olive Oil
1 Tart apple, sliced into thin strips

Heat oven to 250 F. Lay out apple slices in a pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle a little salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.


Filed under Soup