“What to Have for Dinner” by Martha Stewart Living (1996)

The best of Martha Stewart Living’s “What to Have for Dinner — 32 easy menus for every night of the week” could’ve been instead titled “What to Have for Dinner — if you don’t have a long commute after work and then have to get a small child ready for bed”.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a beautiful book, as are most of Martha’s books.  It has gorgeous photographs and is organized by seasons of the year.  One of my favorite recipes in this book is “Shrimp Saute with Orzo”, but I’ve never made it on a work night especially since I’m frugal and buy the whole shrimp which requires cleaning and peeling.  This time I decided to try “Penne with Tomatoes and Pancetta” because I had some fresh sage to get rid of.  Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?  Too bad it was a little disappointing for the time it took to make it.  The ingredient list wasn’t bad; it was the time required — 10 minutes to cook the pancetta (I used bacon); 10 minutes to cook the onions; 10 minutes for the carrots; simmer for 5 minutes; fry sage leaves for several minutes.  I even cheated and used diced tomatoes instead of the canned plum tomatoes in which the recipe requires you to seed and dice.  It took me about an hour (including prep time) to make this seemingly simple pasta dish, and it didn’t even taste that spectacular.  Another thing — this recipe is supposed to serve 4, but do the following ingredients sound like they serve 4?   Two 28 oz. cans of plum tomatoes, 28 oz. cannellini beans, 1 pound of pasta.  Last time I checked, a pound of pasta is supposed to serve eight; combined with all the beans and tomatoes, this was a huge pot of pasta.   The greatest thing about it was that we had plenty of leftovers that went into the freezer.  Sure beats having fast food for lunch at work — and fast food this definitely was not.

When I have more time, I’d like to try other recipes in this book:  “Herbed Spaetzle and Spinach” (I’d have to buy myself a potato ricer for this), “Seared Tuna Steaks with Caper Butter”, “Peppered Steak Sandwiches”.  I wish I had more time tomorrow — I want to eat these!

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Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Cookbookaddict, your penne with tomatoes and pancetta looks incredible! I love how with this meal there will be plenty of leftovers especially when I am trying to keep everyone in my home satisfied when it comes to food! “Wild Thing”, you make my heart sing! Loved and saved this recipe. I shall revisit you soon. Thank you for sharing.
    Cheers, Gaby
    You can always visit me at http://ptsaldari.posterous.com.

    • I didn’t post the recipe here, but I’ll try to e-mail it to you sometime.


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