Yes! I have in my hot little hands the hot off the presses new edition of Vegetarian Times. And this baby is loaded with awesome recipes. I can’t wait.

And I didn’t.

Tonight I cooked the curried penne because I need to get Christmas cards out and finish grading, so I need a quick meal.

Christmas cards have to be one of my least favorite social obligations out there (actually any card giving for that matter–I hate it). For a long time I didn’t even do them; then I had a baby and suddenly it’s required that you update everyone you’ve ever met in your entire life on the state of your child. I don’t mind catching up with friends and family I haven’t seen or spoken to for a while. With a military life, sometimes this card is the only contact I’ll have with people I do love, but because of geographic hardships and my own inability to keep up a long-distance relationship, we just don’t speak that often. However, when I print out 100 letters and pictures of my son and then have to print more, there is some sort of problem here. I don’t have over 100 people who need a yearly update. I don’t know how this whole card giving thing spiraled so completely out of control.

Curried Penne

  • penne pasta (I bought this fresh at Assenti’s)
  • 3 Tbs slivered almonds (didn’t have, didn’t use)
  • 1 Tbs canola oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds (didn’t have because I didn’t have my spices here at this house, so I had to use powdered)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp mild curry powder cayenne
  • 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed under hot water
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and toast 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to a small bowl.

Heat oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook 2 minutes, or until softened. Stir in cumin and cook 1 minute more or until fragrant.

Add tomato, curry powder and cayenne. Cook 1 minute or until liquid has evaporated. Add peas and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in buttermilk.

Drain pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with the sauce and top with the almonds and cilantro.

Okay, rampant use of commas in their instructions aside, there are some things to note about VT’s recipe. First: don’t use powdered cumin. The sauce with be too gritty. Second: make damn sure you are away from heat when adding the buttermilk because it will become lumpy. Third: the use of some pasta water during the addition of the curry powder might be helpful for dissolving the powders and thickening the sauce.
That said, this pasta was unusual and good.  Not amazing but a nice weeknight dinner.

Anyway, after dinner, my husband graciously addressed the cards for me while I finished grading two of my classes.   Of which I did until one in the morning.  But now I am done with my comp classes!  Yes!  And with Christmas cards.  Yes!

Only one class and 20 ten-page research papers to go.  Ye–oh.

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