I remember coming home from soccer practice on night with dirty knees and elbows. I was starving.
“What’s for dinner mom?” I said.
“We are having ‘pasta nostra’” she replied proudly. My mother had learned a new word, the implications of which changed our lives forever. Pasta nostra means ‘our pasta’, and it was one of the first things my mother dared to cook for us that did not require a recipe or a microwave setting. The ability to be flexible in the kitchen requires letting go of old ideas, taking risks, and trusting one’s senses. I generally find that frequent tasting along the way is essential.
On Sunday’s Farmers market demo (at the Minneapolis Farmers market) I will be making duck egg omelette’s, the shell of the recipe is written here, but I probably will deviate during the demonstration depending on what the earth provided and the farmers delivered for the week.
Here is the tentative menu:
Mushrooms stuffed with asparagus and amaranth (featured above)
½ cup dried amaranth
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1 bunch fresh asparagus
2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
1 lemon (for zest)
1 small bunch lemon thyme (about 5 sprigs)
1 sprig of mint
1 bunch chives, (about 1 Tbsp chopped)
¼ tsp pepper
about 13 large mushrooms for stuffing, brush and remove stems
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion
sprinkle of salt
2 cloves thinly sliced garlic
Cook the amaranth: in a small saucepan, add 1 ½ cups cold water to ½ cup dried grain, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 min.
In a large frying pan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, the salt, and the asparagus (minus the tips) diced into very small rounds. Add the minced garlic and the mirin and saute, covered, for about 3 min. Add the amaranth and cook, uncovered. Add the herbs, all minced. Cook until some of the moisture has evaporated (about 5 min) and remove from the heat. Stuff mushrooms with the mixture.
In a separate pan, add oil salt onion, garlic asparagus tips, thyme, and stuffed mushrooms. Cover with a lid and cook on med-low flame for about 10 min.
Top with asparagus tips and garnish with lemon zest.
Side note: these can be enjoyed without cooking the mushrooms, or alternatively the mushrooms can be oven baked at 350 for 15-20 min.
Duck egg omelette’s with asparagus and herbs
1 Tbsp olive oil, or a really good non-stick pan and a tiny bit of oil
2 or 3 duck eggs, whipped (duck eggs have a large yolk, and lots of protein. This makes them energetic risers)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oil or clarified butter
morels (if they are still around)
locally farmed bacon
Cook the bacon in the oven or in the frying pan and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and saute asparagus and morels in a little diced onion and salt. Remove from heat and add tomatoes and herbs. (you will need about 1/3 cup cooked veggies, per omelet). In a fresh pan, heat oil with a dash of salt and pout in egg mixture. When the edges are cooked, add hot veggies and bacon to one half. Reduce heat to med-low and cook. Flip carefully and serve garnished with herbs or salsa.