Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One for the Goombahs

It's Dining with Dad week in honor of Father's Day at IHCC.  I've talked a bit about my Italian familia before, so it should be no surprise that I chose to make a pasta dish for my step-dad, Ralphy. It should also be no surprise that he is posing with a huge piece of cake right next to the buffet. There he is with my tiny grandmother, dressed up like a true spacone for a birthday celebration. When I first met my new family, Maye (as my grandmother is known) put out the typical spread for dinner, all 9 courses of it. My siblings and I had no idea what was coming, but we powered through like champs, eating what was probably upwards of 3000 calories. I had been warned that refusing another plate would reduce her to tears, and so I binged. Luckily things have changed a bit, and none of us eat like that anymore! Otherwise, I would have had to become bulimic, and that would suck. I hate throwing up.

While my mother has revamped Ralphy's entire diet, he is still a real Italian boy, and nothing makes him happier than a big plate of macaroni and gravy. He has been known to eat a pound of pasta by himself. And even though I won't actually be spending Father's Day with him, I think this is a dish that would satisfy even his appetite. It's a combination of three recipes from Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times: Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans, Pasta with Walnuts, and Linguine with Spinach and I'll be making it next time I visit my parents. It's so good, so fast, and I know my health-conscious mama will love it as much as my carb-craving papa.

Ralphy's Greeny Linguine

1 lb. whole wheat linguine
4 cups. baby spinach, stems removed
1 1/2 cups green beans, cleaned and trimmed
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

In a small bowl, stir garlic, red pepper flakes, and basil into oil. Set aside.
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add linguine and cook until halfway done (about 6 minutes). Add green beans and continue boiling. When linguine is almost ready ( test a piece, but it should be about 11 minutes) add spinach and cook until just wilted (2 minutes). Strain and return to pot. Add oil mixture, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately with grated parmesan.

Print the Recipe

Oh, and p.s. y'all! is giving away 2lbs of fresh morels!

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Pam said...

Great story about Ralphy and I bet that was some fantastic food, worthy of every calorie. Your dish looks delicious with its great combo of ingredients!

cookies and cups said...

This does look so good!

Great story too!

Pierce said...

That was a wonderful story! You have a way with had me laughing at the 3000 calories..I would have totally binged.

Kim said...

I loved the story about your step-dad Ralphy. Any man who loves to eat pasta is alright in my book;-)The green linguine looks terrific!

girlichef said...

Sweet =) This sounds delicious...but I totally loved your story the best!

Tiff said...

Love your story and the pasta looks so good!

Joanne said...

Aww cute family story! I have an Italian famiglia as well and they are insane eaters! I need to cut their portions down to size.

But not before I make this pasta! Well worth 3,000 calories.

Claudia said...

Another here for the Goombahs. Good story for Father's Day. We can't all spend it with our dad, but we can make a dish he'd like.