When I was first contacted about hosting Pasta Presto Nights and Ruth inquired as to whether I would be available for the week ending September 11th, I couldn't help but wince about the date. September 11 will be forever etched in my memory as a day of horror and sadness. I don't think one needs to be a resident of New York City, New York State, or the United States to feel touched by this date when so many families lost loved ones. One just has to have compassion.
Before I present the roundup of recipes, I would just like to ask that each of us reading this post think about how we could honor the memory of those who died on 9-11 in some small way. Perhaps it is as simple as remembering them in our thoughts and prayers; perhaps it is by rendering some small kindness to another person on this infamous day.
Turning back to the subject at hand, I was pleased to see the wonderful Pasta recipes that filled my email inbox from around the world. We have recipes from New Zealand, Canada, USA, Malaysia, Switzerland, Australia and the contributors used many subspecies of pasta, from orzo to ravioli to rigatoni, so we really covered the map with Pasta Presto Nights #130.
1) Little Inbox of the Malaysian blog, Eating Pleasure, took a classic dish and tried to make it healthier, and her version of Curry Noodles looks tempting indeed. She lightened things up with soy bean noodles and evaporated milk, and the result looks and sounds very inviting.
2) Gillian of So So Simple Food gave Delia Smith's Macaroni and Cheese recipe a test drive and pronounced it "sensational". Her New Zealand food blog has some gorgeous photography and I enjoyed her foodie tour of France from her recent travels.
3) Participating in her first ever blog event, Hannah from Melbourne, Australia, tackled Pumpkin Ravioli from scratch. Her blog, Eat it Good, has lots of photos to illustrate the ravioli-making process, which reminded her of past travels in Milan. Welcome to Pasta Presto Nights, Hannah, and with such impressive cooking skills, we look forward to more of your pasta creations!
4) Pam, at the Tennessee food blog Sidewalk Shoes, cooked up some cute little orzo pasta with a summery Orzo Cucumber Salad with Mint. She found inspiration for the dish on her cookbook shelves and a copy of "The Flavor Bible". Looks like a winning combination.
5) Your happenin' hostess also made a pasta salad using a "shopping" tour of my late summer garden in upstate New York. Some gorgeous fennel bulbs that managed to hide from ravaging bunnies and a head of roasted homegrown garlic got mixed into a salad with gluten-free corn noodles, sliced grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls for a Late Summer Pasta Salad with Roasted Fennel and Garlic over at The Crispy Cook.
6) Our wonderful Pasta Presto founder, Ruth of Nova Scotia, Canada, squeaked in under the deadline with a fab-looking Last Minute Pasta with Pancetta, Olives, and Roasted Tomatoes. Ruth's blog, Once Upon a Feast, also had a recent post with an interesting video link about a Brit cooking up pasta on the fly in a hotel room (though the gluten-free traveler in me did not approve of cooking tortellini in the hotel coffee pot and the mom in me hoped he didn't leave a big mess for the hotel maid to clean up).
7) Those cute little pasta bow-ties, or farfalle, are featured in a tangy Eggplant Marinara Sauce in an entry from Parita's World, in Basel, Switzerland. Parita roasted the eggplants first and then added their smoky flesh to her spicy marinara sauce. (Don't tell my kids, but I often sneak in roasted eggplant and other veggies, whirred up in the food processor to disguise them, into my spaghetti sauces).
8) Rigatoni with Spinach and Spicy Chicken Sauce is a quick and hearty dish whipped up by Sara over at the Washington DC-based, Imafoodblog. The one-pot dinner recipe sounds divine, with nice glass of red wine on the side!
9) Daphne is a new bride who cooked up a simple but sophisticated Smoked Salmon Ricotta Pasta on her Perth, Australia-based blog More than Words. Talk about being Pretty in Pink!
10) Hailing from Indiana, Heather the Girlichef thought pasta for breakfast was a great idea, and I would have to say that I concur with her astute assessment. Heather made use of a half-full box of fusilli and sauced it up with eggs, olive oil, Parmesan and spices for a luscious Egg and Pasta Scramble.
11) Deb from Kahakai Kitchen in Hawaii sent us over a plate of Shrimp Scampi with Corn and Orzo, inspired by a recipe in Clean Eating Magazine. Deb is one of my cohosts over at Cook the Books, a bimonthly foodie book club, where we have just begun reading Peter Mayle's book "French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew". Feel free to join us.
12) Pasta with Grilled Tomatoes and Grilled Vegetables is the tempting entry submitted by Hillary at Chew on That. Hillary was tempted by the gorgeous Zebra Tomatoes and Chocolate Peppers (who doesn't like Chocolate?) she found at her local Chicago market and made them into a citrusy, smoky tomato sauce for her pasta.
13) Bits of Taste is a Malaysian blogger who offers up her version of Spaghetti Carbonara. Prowl around her well-designed blog for other recipes, particularly her Chinese favorites.
14) Pairing a late summer favorite, basil pesto, with tortellini, was the inspired idea of my fellow New Yorker, Joanne of Eats Well With Others. Her dish, Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad, made use of her dad's carefully nurtured basil plants and sounds perfect for a quick evening's meal. Pesto Presto Pasta!
15) Anna at the Australian food blog Morsels and Musings made a Tamarind and Kaffir Broth. Anna used kaffir leaves from her own kaffir tree on her balcony and states that this soup "really hits her sour spot".
16) Sarah over at the Ontario, Canada blog What Smells So Good? was afflicted with the same garden woes as I and others in northeastern North America faced this season. Unusually damp weather blighted our beloved tomato plants and so instead of having window sills full of green tomatoes and armloads of ripe red tomatoes to cook down we have leafless, brown plants with only a few fruit left on the withered vines. Sarah made good use of some of these precious remaining cherry tomatoes in her Summer's Candy Pasta.
17) Cherry tomatoes are also the star in Chaya's Pasta with Lite Sauce over at her blog Sweet and Savory Says it All. Chaya also has another blog, Comfy Cook, which features Gluten-Free recipes, so I had a lot of fun exploring and bookmarking recipes over there.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a pasta recipe from their kitchens and thank you to Ruth for allowing me this opportunity to host Pasta Presto Nights. I was honored to serve as your host for this round and look forward to sharing even more recipes with you all in the future.