Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fudging A Recipe

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Last week Mr. L took me out to lunch.  He felt sorry for me because I'd zapped my laptop.  I thought I'd fried it, but luckily my friend Cleo Coyle came to the rescue and told me to take the battery out and wait 30 seconds and everything would be fine.  Yea!  It was.

But that didn't get Mr. L out of taking me to lunch.

We went to one of our favorites, Keenan's and both decided to have the pasta special.  It said:  Penne pasta with sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and olive oil.


I said to Mr. L, "You know, I think I could make this."

And so, the other night, I did.

I will admit, that in years past I have not been known as a good cook.  But I've been playing at it more and more since I started the Booktown Mystery series.  And anyway, Mr. L was onboard to help.  Boy did he.  I'd been trying to get hold of a friend all evening and when I finally did--it was time to make dinner.  So Mr. L did all the chopping and boiling of pasta, so that by the time I got off the phone, all I had to do was the assembly.

Sundried tomatoes Here's the sort-of recipe as I made it.

Pasta (maybe 6-8 ounces?  The box was already open, so I'm not sure).
2 hot Italian sausage links (partially cooked, and then cut into coins)
1 can artichoke hearts
1 small jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (can't tell you how big it was--the jar went in the recycle bin on garbage day)
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 chopped scallions
6 cloves garlic, chopped (we like a LOT of garlic)
Olive oil

I tossed in the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, figuring it would add nice flavor, and sauteed the garlic, mushrooms and sausage.  When the mushrooms were done, I tossed in the sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts to warm through.  About five minutes later, I tossed in the hot pasta and the scallions, adding a little extra olive oil to coat, mixed everything, and served with crusty Italian bread.

Pasta w sausage sd tomatoes Definitely NOT a diet meal.

Definitely delicious.

Have you had luck fudging tasty food without benefit of recipes?


Lynn Cahoon said...

Yum....Ok I'm going to have to try this.

I don't use a lot of recipes to cook but when I first make a dish I'll pull a recipe off the internet. I did this with a knock off of Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscony. I have to say I love my homemade version almost as much as the one I get at the resturant.

Dru said...

Lorna, your recipe looks so easy, I may try it as well.

I've made a few dishes from known ingredients and it came out good.

Have a good weekend.

Mason Canyon said...

I can add a few spices and herbs to a dish, but that's about it. I usually have to have a recipe to at least go by even if I don't add as much or more than it calls for. Your recipe looks great. I'll have to give it a try.

Heather Webber said...

That does look good! I'd make it in a heartbeat, except I'm the only one here who likes It. sausage and mushrooms. :/

And Mason, I'm with you--I rarely stray from a recipe!

Jessica said...

I'm one of the people who rarely uses a recipe unless I just totally don't have a clue about a recipe! My lasagna recipe changes every time I make it LOL

Shannon said...

I actually do this a lot. And I make a lot of mistakes trying to get it right...some tasty, some, honestly, just get thrown away. I am very thankful many clone recipes are already out there. I've had a few friends ask me to lunch with the intent to ask me about a certain dish at the restaurant...all good until asked about a pimento cheese recipe...I can't stand pimento cheese! But, she was pregnant and wanted to make it at home.

Kiy said...

You had me at artichoke hearts. Sorry did you say something? YUM!

Seriously though, this looks great. The hubs and I would devour it, the kidlet would pick out the pasta and eat it. :)

I am a total recipe gal. I collect them, as my grandmother did. It skipped a generation. Poor mom, missing out on all that goodness. She says she just waits to eat until she comes to my house, haha. I have tried to do a few things like this, some successes. Some not so successes.

Cheers, Kiy

Leann Sweeney said...

I love recipes and collect cookbooks, but I have never "lost" when I've thrown everything in the pantry into the crockpot. Add some meat and it ALWAYS tastes good.

Cleo Coyle said...

Lorna, great post! My mouth is watering at your delish pasta dish. Italian sausage and sun dried tomatoes are right up my alley. And don't get me STARTED on the love of garlic! Here’s one for you, too...


First boil your pasta. I like angel hair but any pasta will do. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Throw in garlic cloves (roughly chopped) and warm for a minute or 2 in the oil, then add your shrimp (peeled and cleaned – frozen is fine but thaw it first). The shrimp will cook very fast – you don’t want to overcook it as it will get tough and rubbery. So just as the little fellas begin to turn pink, remove the shrimp and garlic but leave the oil in the pan. Turn the heat OFF on the oil and go back to your pasta.

Drain the pasta well, turn the heat back up on the pan of oil and roll the pasta around to coat. Throw in one (1) tablespoon of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, a bit of fresh or dried parsley, and add your shrimp back in. There is no need to add the chunks of garlic back in because the garlic has already imparted its flavor to the oil. But if you really like garlic – as we do – toss it back in there, baby! Toss all ingredients together and serve!

Although there is much debate about whether to serve seafood pasta dishes with cheese, I do enjoy grating some nice, salty Pecorino Romano over the top. Freshly ground pepper is also nice on this dish.

Eat with joy!

Lover of Books said...

Yup, one I fudge a lot is a family recipe. We love our cheese dip but one time we couldn't find the jalepeno cheese dip we like to put in it, so we grabbed a can of nacho cheese dip instead and used one big tub of that instead of two cans of the jalepeno cheese dip. :)

The recipe is as follows:
1 lb of Velvetta
2-3lbs hamburger meat, cooked add taco seasoning packet
1-2 cans of jalenpeno cheese dip
1 can of ched cheese soup

put it in your crockpot on high for three hours and then once it is melted together, put it on warm.

Not healthy but great dip!

Unknown said...

Oh Wow, thanks Cleo and Lover of Books for the wonderful recipes. Time to go to the store to stock up on some new ingredients!

signlady217 said...

I have a lot of cookbooks and tons of loose recipes (working on organizing those!), but I'm not a big fan of cooking. I do ok most of the time, but every once in a while the MOOD hits me. I made a loaf of challah bread for Thanksgiving this year (a BHG recipe) that surprisingly turned out really good.

I also made up my own recipe (after looking around on the net) for pumpkin soup. I fixed it for some of my girlfriends recently and they raved over it, so I will call that one a success, too (they're not always).

My husband is the one who can just throw anything together and it turns out great, even if he's never made it before and we're having company. If I did that, we'd probably starve or have to order a pizza instead!

Helen Kiker said...

Your recipe sounds great and I will try it but will omit the artichoke.

I often have to modify recipes because I am missing some of the ingredients. Sometimes it is a success but more often the original is better.


Andrea C. said...

Sounds and looks great. Between my husband and I it includes all our favorite ingredients! I don't really like to cook but you have inspired me!

Lindy said...

My best friend's mom used to make a dish she called "Mexicorn Rice Ring" for our church dinners. I LOVED that stuff, but when I was grown I didn't have a way to get the recipe. I made mine simple: I cook up a pound of ground beef with a package of taco seasoning. When that is done, I add a can of Mexicorn. While that is cooking I prepare about four cups of rice. I put the rice in a casserole dish and scoop a well into the middle of it where I put the Mexicorn mixture (my friend's mom put her rice into a ring mold, unmolded it onto a plate and put the Mexicorn mixure in the middle). Since I like cheese on everything,I sprinkle a little cheese on top. It is so quick and easy to make, and it is still my favorite.

misterreereeder said...

Yes I have fudged / created some tasty food recipes. Luckly there are more recipe resources now - even some in cozy mysteries.

tweezle said...

This sounds (and looks) delicious!!! Thanks for posting the recipe. I'm going to have to give it a try.

David Chaudoir said...

Judging by the other recipes in your books, Lorna, I'd definitely give this a try!