Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Pasta with broad beans, lemon and herbs

November 18, 2009

I made this quick, tasty and relatively healthy pasta for dinner last night, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Pasta is my go-to meal when I’m short on time, can’t think of anything else, or am in need of comfort food. The pasta dishes I cook the most tend to be the fast sort—if you can do everything in the time it takes the pasta to cook, then I’m all over it like a rash. You do need to spend a few extra minutes shelling the broad beans here, but after that it’s simple and speedy.

Pasta with Broad Beans, Lemon and Herbs

serves 3

250g pasta (to be honest I usually just use what looks like the right amount instead of weighing it)

250g frozen broad beans (so much easier than buying them fresh!)

75g butter

half a bunch of basil, finely chopped

1/3 of a bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (you could really use any herbs that take your fancy, or that you have lying around)

juice and zest of half a lemon

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a block of parmesan, for grating

Add your frozen broad beans to a small pot of boiling water and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and then squeeze the bright green beans out of the tough greyish skin. Keep the beans but chuck the skins, they’re tough and nasty.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes, according to the packet directions. Meanwhile, warm the butter over a medium-low heat in a small frypan. Once melted, add the shelled broad beans and gently warm them—they shouldn’t fry.

Once the pasta is nearly cooked, add the finely chopped basil and finely grated lemon zest to the broad beans and stir around to coat in butter and heat through. Take the beans off the heat and add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Put the pasta back in the saucepan and add reserved water, beans, parsley, and finely grated parmesan. Mix it all together, then serve with some extra parmesan and lemon on the side, so people can adjust the flavours to their liking. Quick and tasty!


Exploring Cambridge

June 10, 2009

My time in Boston so far has been lovely—really chilled, and a nice change from the hectic week in Santa Fe. Of course, staying in such beautiful surroundings does help the feeling of serenity (ah, the serenity!).

On Sunday we had a pretty quiet day, as Eduard was feeling a bit under the weather. I must admit I was pretty glad to take it slowly too! It was a lovely warm, sunny day though, so we still managed to wander around Cambridge, enjoying the sun, the trees (the trees! the trees are huge!),


the beautiful houses,


and of course the gardens.


It felt a bit odd walking around taking photos of people’s houses (I was worried someone would assume I was a spy, tackle me to the ground and run off with my camera, but apparently these worries were unfounded). But it was such a beautiful area that I can’t have been the first. Until now I always thought my dream house was a traditional ‘Queenslander’, but these houses are starting to make me doubtful—they’re so pretty. This is one of my favourites


(yellow with a red door—squee!) but they were all so different in colour and style

pretty tiles

and some were absolutely huge.


It’s perhaps a bit strange, but on my first impression of Cambridge I was reminded so much of Brisbane, a city I really love. Maybe it was the combination of sunshine and green grass? The humidity and the wooden houses with their rustic porches? Perhaps it was just a smell in the air—in any case Cambridge made me happy.

It was so lovely to have some proper summery weather and I’m not looking forward to the cold of Canberra on Friday. But of course there are many other reasons I’m looking forward to going home.

On Sunday evening we stayed in, tired after all that wandering around. I made pasta with cherry tomatoes and basil (soooo good to cook again!) and we watched some happy and comforting movies—gotta love Wallace and Gromit.

On Monday Eduard had to pop into work, so after a decent sleep-in I set off to explore downtown Cambridge, and in particular find a yarn store.

The walk to Harvard Square took about twenty minutes, but on the way I was refreshed by a cup of hot chocolate and a madeleine at Burdick’s.


Again the walk was lovely—more big old houses, all maintained so beautifully, more huge spreading trees, and more sunshine. However I must have felt I had taken enough nosy photos of people’s houses by now, because I don’t have any photos of that walk. Though one of the streets had particular historical significance, as lots of the houses had been occupied by rich families and important people—I even found a house that was once the residence of both Washington and Longfellow, but it was closed to the public that day.

Once in Harvard Square I wandered around happily getting lost in pursuit of my yarn store. At one point I crossed the river and found I could see all the way to downtown Boston.


I like to think that the fact that I immediately realised I had to turn around and go back across the river is a bit irrelevant.

Eventually I found Woolcott and Co, and spent a certain time in intense but happy scrutiny of yarn.

woolcott and co

By this time I was becoming aware of the limitations of space in both my luggage and carry-on, so anything I bought had to be both unavailable in Australia, very special, and quite small. I eventually decided on three skeins—an alpaca blend sock yarn (!) that will become socks for someone special, and some ice blue wool/angora blend, which I couldn’t resist because I love bunnies. And these were very kindly wound into balls for me by the staff for no extra charge—how sweet!

all wound up

I had lunch at an Irish pub

irish stew and cider

and was then so worn out I wandered back to Eduard’s, where we spent another lazy afternoon and evening chatting, eating pasta and watching movies. Again the chillaxing was just what I needed, but we did manage to make a trip to see the sunset over a nearby ‘pond’ (more of a lake really).


Such a lovely way to end the day.