The bounty of the cupboard, the bounty of the garden

17 03 2009

SOMETIMES, ASIDE from making the time to cook for someone, there’s nothing like getting the sudden rush of inspiration – yes, to cook for someone.  Last Sunday, while doing my own “special” grocery shopping, I saw Millel shaved parmesan cheese.  Not everybody carries this – the shaved variant – that even when all I had made were just a couple of steps into the expanse that was the sprawling supermarket, my radar locked onto the short pile on the refrigerator shelves.  I made a mad dash towards its direction, ready to tackle anybody who would attempt to beat me to the stack.


I picked a couple of the 125-gram resealable plastic packs.  I just so love the packaging – resealable.  Though at home, never has a 125-gram pack seen the light of the next day the moment it gets opened.  Hahaha!  To my cart already aching from the weight, I threw in a couple of packs of basil – one repacked with saran wrap and generic labelling, and one in a cute white-and-green “re-usable” (at least to me) tub; a one-pound pack of San Remo Angel Hair; a small bottle of Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil; lots of fresh roma tomatoes; and a can each of Hunt’s Stewed Tomatoes and Diced Tomatoes (the label says “Basil Oregano Garlic”).


I stared at my slowly-getting-filled cart and I knew that my brother would be very happy when I got home.


Thrown in for good measure, I grabbed a couple of sacks of SaladTime’s “Arugula & Mixed Greens” and a bottle each of Dizon Farms’ Honey Mustard, Oriental, and Pineapple-Basil dressings.  Yum!


I’m all for making my vinaigrette from scratch (having learned at home and from the school of “From Martha’s Kitchen”), but I would never raise an eyebrow at really good commercially available stuff.  And I do swear by Dizon Farms’ bottled dressings!


So here, let me share with you the fruits of my labor – my Angel Hair Pomodoro, and my Salad of Arugula and Mixed Delicate Greens in a Pineapple-Basil Dressing.  I just love how this pasta turned out.  The shaved parmesan just really looks oh so elegant compared to its grated kin.  The pineapple-basil dressing lovingly stained the arugula leaves.  And its arresting tanginess was the perfect foil to the light peppery bitterness of the arugula.




At least half of my sauce is always made from fresh roma tomatoes I blanch and peel myself.



Fresh basil! With the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, I could very well have caprese salad!



Angel Hair Pomodoro. Doesn't the shaved parmesan cheese make this simple dish such a beauty?



The sight of an arugula leaf, lightly stained with the vinaigrette, tempts me to no end.