Friday, April 4, 2008

This better bring some beautiful damn May flowers

Ugh. The rain is apparently never ending these day. Ok, maybe that's not entirely true. The weekend's supposed to be perfect, beautiful, warm and dry, but it's sure been the wettest and most tedious of weeks leading up.

The days when I have to pick up the kiddo include a ton of driving, and the addition of rain made yesterday's trip a particularly long one. The dictionary definition of torrential rain came down, to the point where it was impossible to see the car in front of me, and the fog added an entirely separate dimension of blindness. All in all, we didn't get home until after 6:30, where my mother had been waiting with Adam for me to get home; she locked herself out of her house, and I had the spare keys with me.

So it was another quick, easy, tastes-better-than-it-looks dinner from Diet for a Small Planet.

Fettuccine al Marco, otherwise known as "Whatever Pasta Ya Got" al Marco

This was an excuse for me to finally use our brand new fancy food processor. Adam makes hummus in it all the time, and salsa...But before the move, the al Marco was a weekly staple at the house.

First, start boiling your water. When it's just the 2 or 3 of us, we use maybe 8 oz of pasta. The recipe will feed 5 or 6 with more pasta and some bread. If you use less, the leftover makes a nice dipping sauce/schmear for French bread.

Next, in the blender or food processor, combine

1 lb of cottage cheese (~2 cups)
4 oz of plain unsweetened yogurt (~1/2 cup)
1/2 c parsley
1/4 c Parmesan (or more, if you fancy)
Spinach-- the original recipe suggests 2 cups of leaves optional; I've used, fresh, frozen, more, less, whatever I have, and none. I think we've settled on using a 10 oz block of frozen (Thawed and drained, obviously). It's cheap, it's easy, and doesn't require the spinach to be "seasonal."

Whiz it until it's smooth and salt and pepper to taste.

Ta- da! Sauce is done. Less spinach= less green color, by the way. When the pasta is out and drained, you can either combine it all together (if you used 1 lb of noodles) or dish it up individually. The heat of the noodles warms up the sauce, but it's never piping hot-- it's great for sticky summer days when you don't want to turn on an oven or get a facial from the steam off your meal. The recipe suggests garnishing it with black olives, more parsley or fresh basil. I prefer sliced black olives for a little salty, tangy kick.

It's super easy and good for you-- especially if you can get decent non-fat yogurts and cottage cheese; since there's no flavorings or sweeteners, they don't have the preservatives or artificial junk that most low-fat items have. It's even better with homemade, hand-cut wheat fettuccine, but I haven't had much time for that these days. And we ALWAYS have most of the ingredients for this. Sam's Club keeps us up to our eyeballs in pasta, Parmesan, black olives and French loaves, and the rest is cheap and easy enough. We were eating 10 minutes after I got home.

Love it.


Jen & Stan said...

That dinner looks great! We are a family who eats a lot of pesto but I believe this might be a hit here too.

As for the rain, we have it here as well! Yesterday's forecast on said we would be getting steady, soaking rain and that's pretty much been wat we've seen since Monday. After the lawn job we got from the roofing company I don't think too much of anything will be growing this year. I do hope you'll post plenty of pictures of what shows up at your house.

Jennifer said...

Mmmm! That looks like a recipe I made last summer... we used basil instead of parsley, thought, and added brocolli. Quite good!