Great Meals

It is early morning here today.  The house is very quiet as everyone including all 7 dogs are asleep.  We have even managed to gain two more people throughout the night.  Yeah, my nephew and his friend needed a place to stop for the evening.  So here I sit, in a dark house, without coffee and think about my last few weeks.

Well last night went better than I expected.  Actually ended up with an early date night with Dear Hubby.  He took me to a local steak and fish place where we ate to our tummies were content.  Also tapped our toes and sang along with the band that was playing there.  Then home early enough to have time to still hang out with our family.  Never felt a bit of guilt that I had steak while they had sausage and eggs either!  Score one for me.

This last week has also been pretty special due to our friend Nessa from across the street.  She has been through several hard months and is coming out of her shell more.  In doing so she asked if she could make dinner for us several nights.  And of course, we said yes.  Two evenings we had pasta.  It was an experiment to compare a healthy organic whole wheat pasta to regular pasta and then also just another wheat pasta that is not organic.  We had our eyes opened as well as our taste buds.  The first meal was a family favorite of mac & cheese.  Same recipe for each just the pasta changed.  We used Jovial whole grain einkorn penne rigate for one and Skinners enriched shells for the other.  Wow, what a difference.  I did not realize before just how bland the enriched pasta was.  Jovial had a wonderful nutty taste to it.  Between the two the Jovial was more satisfying and filling.  The next night we compared Jovial whole grain einkorn spaghetti to a store brand whole wheat spaghetti.   At first eating just one strand of each I did not notice any difference.  But when I did several at a time then I found that same nutty flavor in the Jovial.  The other whole wheat was satisfying but did not have quite as much flavor.  This sure did open up our eyes to the benefits of using more organic and natural foods.  I loved when I looked at the ingredients on the Jovial, it read organic whole grain einkorn and water.  Yep, that was all it said.  Pure, right!  Oh you can also enter to win a trip to Tuscan at Jovial.  You have til the 20th to do it.  Until then, here is a recipe for you to try.

Whole Grain Einkorn Linguine with Roasted Pepper and Almond Pesto
recipe image
2 large red bell peppers
8 ounces Whole Grain Einkorn Linguine
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat a grill or gas burner to high. Char the peppers on all sides, about 10 minutes total, and transfer to a paper bag until cool enough to handle.
  3. While peppers are cooling, cook linguine for 11 minutes and drain. Return pasta to the pot off the heat.
  4. While pasta is cooking, pulse together garlic, almonds and salt in the bowl of a food processor (or pound them to a paste in a mortar and pestle) until finely chopped. Then add the basil leaves and pulse again.
  5. Remove peppers from the bag and peel the skins off. Transfer to a cutting board, cut in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds and stems. Add peppers to the food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Drizzle in olive oil and lemon juice, and pulse until incorporated. Add cheese and pulse again. Season to taste with additional salt if desired.
  6. Serve warm or cool.
  7. Serves 4-6
Additional Tips
This pasta, somewhat of a hybrid between a pesto and a Spanish romesco sauce, stands on its own as a meal. But it would also make a beautiful side dish for a summer grill.  Thanks so Jovial for hosting this blog and sharing with us.

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