Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trader Joe's Pasta Recipe

This tastes amazingly delicious for very little effort. Buy a hard avocado once a week, and 3-9 days later, you'll have a perfectly ripe avocado and a new hard avocado. Aside from that, everything else in this recipe can live nearly forever in your pantry or fridge. Asterisks are for notes at the end for my helpful hints.

Trader Joe's Pasta Recipe (all ingredients available at or speciality of TJ's)
Serves 1***, from the kitchen of Cranky Otter

TJ's Lemon Pepper Pappardelle - 1/4 package, boiled in salted water to desired doneness.
TJ's Grapeseed oil - 1 glug (t to T as desired)
TJ's Olive Tapenade, 1T. or Marinated Artichokes, 2-3 segments, chopped
Dorot frozen garlic cube
Avocado, 1/3*, chopped
TJ's pine nuts, 1-2T
TJ's shredded parmesan cheese**, small handful
salt and pepper to taste

Can be made in the pasta pot after boiling if one pot cooking is desired. Otherwise, while pasta is cooking, put a glug of oil in a shallow pan. Add the pine nuts and coat with oil. Add frozen garlic cube and stir to unfreeze. Add in the avocado and olive tapenade (or chopped artichoke). Stir until heated through and pasta is done. Drain pasta and toss with warm ingredients in pan. It's ok if some of the pasta water gets transferred - just cook until it boils off.

Transfer to plate and sprinkle with shredded parmesan**. Enjoy!

*Note 1:
To get 1/3 of an avocado, slice it like a mango: put the stem end up, place a finger over the stem, then slice down at the edge of the finger.
This leaves an easily refrigeratable portion with seed still in place. Doing this on either side slices off about a third on either side and leaves about a third surrounding the seed. Instead of having to whack at the seed with a butcher knife to remove it, after slicing off either side which exposes a little of the seed, merely slice out the stem with a shallow v cut, peel the middle section, and slice or peel it off the seed.

**Note 2:
Keep shredded cheese in the freezer; when needed for topping, it's then always at the ready. To have very hot food, add frozen cheese before removing from pan and keep covered for about 30 sec to heat it up. To make freshly cooked food the ideal temperature for immediate eating, toss the frozen cheese right on the serving. As it gets stirred in, the food cools to edible temperature as the cheese melts. I also use this trick with frozen peas or corn - but only one is left unheated if using all the options.

***Note 3
Easily scale this dish up to 4 servings (whole package of pasta) by roughly doubling the oil and nuts, tripling the olives or artichokes, using the whole avocado, and more handsfuls of cheese.

No comments: