So Beautiful, Colorful Pasta Bowties for Puttanesca High Hog

I love, love, love this Farfalline Multicolori, it is Specialita for sure.  A bit (uulp) pricey to say the least, but  your spirits will be raised, just looking at the package.  Mine were.  A possible cure for depression.  Color therapy.  A friend was behind me in line, and both she and the checker totally convinced me.  Not that I needed much convincing.  Healthy too, no fake colors in there, they use spinach, turmeric, paprika, beetroot or squid ink.  So colorful.

Having just finished the latest (in our library anyway) set in Venice, Donna Leon mystery, By It's Cover, I was hankering for Italian.   Always enjoy her tantalizing descriptions of meals eaten along the way.  So inspired by the book, did a Puttanesca on the high hog (wearing fancy bow ties, with pork, ha ha) with it last night.  Just added some cubed ham, crisped up in olive oil, garlic, olives, capers, and cream.  Some of the saved pasta water as well.  Also, the colors do not leach out as some other colored pastas have a tendency to.  Lovely and deelish!  Will share this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking.  She is sharing a delightful cookbook with contributions from mystery writers this time.


Swiss Pumpkin for Cook the Books Club

For our Cook the Books Club this go round, hosted by fellow Hawaii resident and blogger, Deb of Kahakai Kitchen, we read (or in my case re-read) Comfort Me with Apples, a memoir by noted Chef, Food Editor, Restaurant Critic, TV personality, and author, Ruth Reichl.

I must suffer from some sort of medium-term memory loss.  Most of the book seemed new to me.  Had forgotten the long, drawn-out, often sad, business of her marriage break up and affairs, but on the brighter side of honesty, there is humor, good food, more humor and interesting snippets with restaurant personalities and food VIPs.  Do read as well, Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table, and Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, they are even better.

There was much in her memoir to tempt and inspire, as well as challenge our cooking skills.  Reichl has the ability to communicate smells and tastes through descriptive writing, aided by an unbelievable palette, which is the premier gifting for a food critic or chef.  I sometimes wish mine could be tuned up a few notches. It would certainly help in the area of wine tasting as well.  I wonder if there is an herb that would help??

It was difficult to decide exactly what to prepare for this round.  So many directions you might go, from California nouvelle, to Chinese or Thai.  The idea of Cook the Books Club, in case you are new here, is to read the current bi-monthly book selection and then to cook and post a recipe inspired by your reading.