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feeling the burn, taste the burn

Posted Feb 07 2011 9:27pm

Parents are a child’s best teacher.
They share with us the wisdom they have acquire through their many (many, many) years of life.  They advice us at critical times in our lives.  They offer their unsolicited opinion, whether we want to hear it or not.  They do this through their words, their expression, and their actions.  It is our job to watch, listen, and learn.

Let me repeat that:
It is our job to WATCH, LISTEN, and LEARN.

I failed in that department today, and as a result I am breathing fire! I am like a dragon with flames coming from my mouth every time I speak.  The culprit is a seeming innocent spice.  Red pepper flakes.

Red Pepper have the power to make or break a meal.  It must be handled with care, and added with a touch of grace.
I knew this when I started making my dinner tonight.  Countless times, my mom has made a meal and gone slightly overboard with the red pepper flakes.  Mouths began to burn!  Jaws would open and close as if that would soothe the burning sensation spreading across our tongues.  It was only a matter of time before bread was pulled out of the cupboard and chewed.  Our mouths signed in relief as the burning began to dissipate.  I should have learned that red pepper flakes were risky business.  But I did not.

Some things can’t be learned by watching and listening.  They can only be learned by doing it yourself.  Tonight, I did put too much red pepper flakes on my pasta.  I diddid guzzle a huge glass of milk to ease the burn.  But behind the spiciness provided by the red pepper flakes was a very delicious pasta meal.

[I have no idea what the numbers at the end of my fork mean.  Any ideas?]

A medley of roasted asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic.  When I pulled the vegetables out of the oven, they were sweating with flavor.

After a chop, toss, and seasoning (too much seasoning), the pasta was ready to be served.

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Pasta

I did not included quantities for the ingredients because, honestly, I’m not sure how much of eat thing I added.  Fortunately, that is fine for this dish.  Roast as many vegetables as you want to eat.  Cook as much pasta as you want to eat.  Add as much spice as your mouth can tolerate.  This is an adaptable recipe, so adapt it to your likes and dislikes!  Have fun and experiment

  • EVOO [Garlic Gold works wonderfully]
  • asparagus
  • tomatoes, cut into segments
  • garlic
  • pasta
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • basil, julienned
  • Parmesan Cheese

1.  Toss asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic with EVOO and season lightly with salt and pepper.  The oil on the vegetables and juices of the tomato will become the sauce for the pasta.  Roast at 420* until asparagus is tender (~15 minutes).
2.  While vegetables roast, cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain.
3.  When vegetables are done roasting, allow to sit several minutes until you an handle them.  Chop the tomatoes and asparagus into bite sized pieces.  Mince the garlic.
4.  Toss the vegetables with the pasta and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese.
5.  Test the pasta to see if it needs any more seasoning, basil, cheese, or a drizzle of EVOO.
6.  Serve.


Lesson for the day:
Learn from your mom’s mistakes!  I hope my mom doesn’t read this  :-/

What is the most valuable advice you received from your parents?
My mom and dad have always taught me to work hard and never give up.  They taught me to believe in myself and my abilities.  Thanks mom and dad!

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