Saturday, March 10, 2007

Artists Make the Best Chefs

It's probably no surprise that artists can translate creativity to the kitchen. Recently, I made a recipe from a 3x5 card given to me by a combined media artist living and working in Toledo. Kay is a talented artist, well respected teacher, and a fabulous chef. A few days after making her recipe, I ran into her at the gym to thank her for the "gift that keeps on giving" and she didn't remember the recipe. So I shared some of the ingredients with her, offered to send her a copy and learned her spontaneous recommendation to substitute whole wheat pasta for the original capellini. I had actually substituted penne when I made it this week...

This particular recipe is easy to make on a weeknight, mild in flavor and a light dish for the health conscious among us.

Capellini with Asparagus

1/4 c. olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 leeks, white part only, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh chives
2 tbs dry white wine
2 tbs. butter
1 lb. capellini (or whole wheat shapes of your choice)
Fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

In a saute pan, combine zest, garlic leeks, salt/pepper and simmer 4-6 minutes covered. Slice 1/2 asparagus into 1 1/2 inch lengths. Add to saute pan. Also, add chives, wine, and butter and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining asparagus to a 2 qt. saucepan or small stock pot of boiling water. Cook pasta with remaining asparagus. Drain pasta while reserving 1/2 c. of liquid. Remove overcooked asaparagus from the collander and discard. Return pasta to the empty pot and add asparagus leek sauce & reserved liquid. Toss to combine. Top with cheese and serve. Serves 4.

“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".