Jungle Jim’s Day

Hello Dear Readers!

Yesterday was my day off in this very long week and what better way to spend it with loved ones cooking and eating? Around noonish (because time doesn’t exist on off days) I rolled out of bed and went over to my very good friends house, Taylor. We had made a plan to make breakfast at her house and shoot the breeze for a bit. I hauled in my groceries and she put on a pot of coffee- I poured myself a mimosa- and we got down to business. I chopped and sautéed onions and peppers while she cooked an array of breakfast meats. We snacked on fruit and chit chatted about the current events in each others lives. We laughed, we got serious, we were meaningful, and most of all- we were hungry. I flipped the last few pancakes as she set the table for a feast. We took our respective pictures of the beautiful spread then demolished it while talking about future plans we promise to make that hopefully life won’t get in the way of. At the end of our meal my phone alerted me with a text, Sean (My wonderful boyfriend) was on his way home. I said my goodbyes and headed home for the next event: Jungle Jim’s.

Sean and I have this ritual we like to perform every now and again: We would take a trip to Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield and spend a good few hours there strolling down the aisles with beers in hand, talking about everything to nothing at all and just enjoy each others company. Walking into Jungle Jim’s every time is like walking into a childhood memory or a warm hug from your mom. Sean and I link arms and make our rounds to the candy aisle, then produce where we pick up fresh herbs, then to different countries food, over to the cooking aisles where we marvel at different contraptions and daydream about owning it all, then last but not least- the olive bar. We laugh and goof around the playground that is food and leave with a buzz of happiness, love and pure bliss. Upon arriving home we turn on music, crack open a bottle of wine and start to organize the items for dinner. The evenings spent cooking in the kitchen together will forever be one of my most precious memories. The different smells from chopping fresh herbs, sauteing tomatoes in olive oil and garlic, bread in the oven brings a smile to my face that makes my cheeks hurt. The aroma of garlic in a pan on low simmer should be made into a damn candle people! To put it simply, cooking makes my soul happy.

The pasta dish we made came from a book called: Pasta, irresistible recipes for perfect pasta by Linda Fraser. We made Spaghetti with Herb sauce, with the only addition to the recipe being the sautéed cherry tomatoes. The sauce was made out of fresh basil, thyme, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend together to make a thick paste and then tossed in spaghetti and garnished with more basil, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and a touch of parmesan. Thats it! The noodles bathed in the creamy sauce with the crunch of pine nuts and juice of the tomatoes will make your taste buds sing with delight! I will say that this is one of the easiest dishes and the most flavorful by far, It only took about 20 minutes to make. I’ll for sure be making this again in the future:)

Below I’ll list the ingredients and directions if you would like to try it out for yourself. Let me know how it goes! Share if you made any adjustments or additions. Thank you for reading this post and stay tuned for the next food adventure!

Love,

C. Laino

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces fresh mixed herbs, such as parsley, basil and thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 12 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, basil leaves to garnish

Directions:

  • Put the herbs, garlic and half the pine nuts into a blender. With the machine running slowly, and the oil and process to form a thick paste.
  • Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes until al dente. Drain.
  • Toss the spaghetti with the herb paste and parmesan. Sprinkle remaining pine nuts and basil leaves and serve immediately.

*I also topped the pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes in olive oil and store-bought tomato pesto sauce for some extra flavor.

*I found that the paste was a little too thick, just add water to thin it out.

 

 

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