"I'll just get a couple of things." When I say that, I don't believe myself. I am worse than a kid inside a candy shop when I enter food heaven a.k.a. specialty food shops. I do try my best to keep myself focused on the essential food that made me take a trip there in the first place but I always lose the battle of self-control.
My husband wouldn't stop badgering me when, on one occasion, I went inside a specialty food shop to buy some mozzarella. We went in, he went out, he went back, I was still browsing, with a little mountain of food accumulating at the counter, and yet another mountain was forming beside it. Finally, after piling 4 bags of food in the car, he asked me if I got the mozzarella. "What mozzarella?"
One of my recent acquisitions is a pack of beautiful naturally colored farfalle primavera. When a beautiful sunny day came out, it was apropos to prepare it for lunch. I got stuck though with which sauce to mix it. I wanted something very springlike, fresh & light but I couldn't find anything acceptable in my fridge. I went out for inspiration and I got more than what I thought would inspire me. I went hurriedly back to get a basket to gather all the edible flowers & leaves in our garden. Yellow roses, white roses, chive flowers, sage flowers, lavender flowers, stinging nettle, rosemary, thyme, parsley & mint. Practically everything edible around. (The orange in the basket was my daughter's harvest from our kitchen fruit basket.) When I finally finished harvesting, I looked at what I got and wondered how the pasta would taste like. Like my garden.
From the flowers & leaves I gathered, I added a carrot, a squeeze of lime & some freshly grated dried ginger. It tasted good but far from explosively delicious. It was very pleasant as my husband and I agreed on, very light and makes you think of spring and garden. Just like I had hoped this pasta would come out. Well, come to think of it, I literally cooked my garden.
When my son arrived from school and asked what was for lunch. I replied, "Our garden." He didn't know how he would take my answer. Or maybe garden was too vast a word because not only does it include the flora but also the fauna which sends him to feardom. He is curious about insects, loves ladybirds & is scared silly of spiders. I put his fears to rest by showing him the excess of the ingredients in the basket. "See, Mommy cooked neither spindly spiders nor ladybirds."
Farfalle Primavera ai Fiori del Giardino
- 200 g. farfalle primavera (or any short pasta)
- 2 big rose heads (untreated), petals only
- 3 - 4 chive flowers, florets separated from the clusters
- 2 - 3 clusters of sage flowers, florets plucked from the clusters
- 1 carrot, chopped finely in an electric chopper
- 3 sprigs mint, leaves taken out from stems & chopped
- 2 sprigs parsley, chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves taken out from stems
- 4 lavender flowers, chopped
- 2 small stinging nettle plants, chopped
- a squeeze of lime
- a teaspoon of grated dried ginger (or powder or fresh ginger)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Boil water in a pot for the pasta. When it boils, add coarse salt. Cook pasta according to the number of minutes suggested in the pack.
- Meanwhile, heat skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped carrot. After about 3 minutes, add all the ingredients except the rose petals. Reserve a few chive florets to sprinkle before serving. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Ladle a little amount of hot water from the pot boiling for the pasta if the sauce is too dry. Add salt. Add the rose petals a minute before turning off the fire.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving. Sprinkle chive florets on top.