Friday, December 9, 2011

Pastina and Pea Soup

Recently, while I was starting to consider my cooking goals for 2012, I thought that one challenge for myself would be to cook, every week or perhaps twice a month, a recipe from a cookbook that I've never, or at least seldom, used. I use many of my cookbooks, but there are quite a few that for one reason or another haven't seen much action. Earlier this week, my RSS reader had notice of a new post at Couscous & Consciousness, the blog from another Cooking Italy participant. Sue announced that she has taken over hosting Cookbook Sundays, whose goal is for participants to, yes, cook from cookbooks they don't use. Serendipity reigns, and here we are. This isn't going to be a 2012 goal, but one of the (limited number of) cook-alongs that I'm participating in. (Although, another idea for a 2012 goal might be to participate in these cook-alongs.)

On Friday Ed and I had originally intended to lunch out with friends, but this plan fell through. I had nothing in particular planned for dinner, so on the way out to go have my hair cut, I grabbed a promising unused book to look for dinner while waiting.

The Best 125 Meatless Pasta Dishes
Mindy Toomay and Susan Geiskopf Hadler
Prima Lifestyles (1991)
ISBN 155958145X

The book I picked up was The Best 125 Meatless Pasta Dishes, by Mindy Toomay and Susann Geiskopf Hadler. I'd seen this book recommended somewhere and managed to get a copy via Bookmooch. After it arrived, it went onto the shelf with other pasta books and has been patiently waiting for me to have a good look. Now I've had only a quick look, but I did manage to find what appeared to be a nice, quick soup for our dinner, Pastina and Pea Soup.

And very simple it was. Sauté some onion and garlic. Add water with some vegetable broth cubes and bring to a boil. Stir in some tarragon and white wine, and simmer for a bit. Bring back to a boil, add the pasta, and cook till al dente. (Pastina seems to be a name for any small pasta shape. Not sure I've seen the word before.) Stir in some half-and-half, frozen or fresh peas, and grated Parmesan. Heat and serve. Voila, you've got dinner—a light dinner perhaps, but that's all we wanted.

Nothing fancy here, but quite a tasty soup for minimal effort and with ingredients that are always in house. Some bread and cheese afterwards and we were quite satisfied.

Now it's time to sit down for a good look through this book, with a packet of stickies at hand. A good proportion of the recipes, including the one I tried, are clearly marked "Almost Instant." This can be very handy for those days when time or energy for preparing dinner is limited.

This post is linked to this week's Cookbook Sundays.

1 comment:

  1. Kaye, that book looks like a real treasure - I'm always on the lookout for good, meatless pasta dishes. Love the idea of this dish - seems very quick and easy, and I would pretty much always have all of those ingredients on hand.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with Cookbook Sundays - hope you'll share again :-)

    Sue xo