dark days #15: tangled in pasta

I’ve been on a fresh pasta kick lately.  Not making it, no, but buying it from a local company. :)  But local it was, and thus a fitting candidate for this week’s Dark Days winter eating local challenge.  (In my defense, I did make crackers last weekend with a pasta machine in my flatbread class.)  Fresh pasta is toothsome and has a pleasant bite if it has been made with premium ingredients.  I can really taste the difference, especially in lasagna.

I’ve had a bumper crop of arugula this winter, so much that I treated it like spinach and made a wonderfully cheesy arugula lasagna last week. It didn’t qualify as local meal because I used non-local cheese and tomato sauce, being out of my own, but it was delicious.  We’ve been eating heavy-on-the-arugula salads, too.  I even mixed some in to my salad served to the bread baking class participants this weekend.  We’re all so desperate for green at this point in the winter, the salad was more of a hit than I expected.

For the Dark Days challenge, I did manage to rustle up a delicious creamy spaghettini with arugula, onions sauteed only ’til pale gold, and local frozen peas from Stahlbush Island Farms, our Willamette Valley processing facility.  My idea was based on the French spring vegetable dish of creamed new petits pois with shreds of lettuce.  The sauce contained some frozen homemade chicken stock and local butter and cream, and was quite mild.  Loads of salt and pepper and the first chives of my garden finished it off.

Consider the pea.  I’m kind of smitten.

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