Fettuccini with Asparagus, Arugula, and an Almond Crumble

Yesterday was a little bit rough.  I had to take that geophysics test that I was talking about in the morning, and it was just as hard as I expected it to be.  After that, I went home in a bad mood to eat a relatively unsatisfying lunch in the 45 minutes that I had between class and lab.  Oh well.  Lab was okay.  We set up a grid in our professor’s back yard and proceeded to perform a seismic survey on a couple transects.  I’m not entirely sure why this whole process took four hours, but it was alright.  Of course, right after lab I had to bike over to work.  It was pretty nice though, work was very quiet and I just read a lot of Game of Thrones.  I think it is pretty appropriate to say that the shit has hit the fan in this book.  I’m pretty concerned as to what happens next, but I may need a 24 hour break before I read anymore.  After work, I headed over to Hannah’s house to cook dinner and have a glass of wine.

Asparagus and Arugula Fettuccini with Almond Crumble
(adapted from this recipe by Katie at the Kitchen Door)

2 heads garlic
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese + ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 lb. fettuccini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
½ cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 oz. arugula
½ lemon, skins removed and cut into sections

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Chop the tops off the garlic heads, smear both heads with olive oil, and wrap in tin foil.  Roast for 40 minutes.  When the garlic is done, remove from tin foil and squeeze each clove of garlic out of its skin and into a bowl.  Add butter, breadcrumbs, cheeses, red pepper flakes, and almonds.  Mix well with a fork to ensure that the garlic gets mashed.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil water for the pasta and cook according to package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, sauté the asparagus in olive oil for about ten minutes.  Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup of the pasta water and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.  Turn off and add the lemon and arugula.  Mix well until the arugula has wilted.  When both the pasta and vegetables are done, drain the pasta and return both the pasta and the vegetables to the same pot, mixing well.

Using the now empty frying pan that the vegetables were cooked in, fry the almond-breadcrumb mixture for about five minutes, until the cheese is obviously melted and the mixture turns a darker brown.  Pour the mixture in with the pasta and vegetables and mix well.  Serve immediately.

This recipe is absolutely delicious!  Hannah and I both took our first bites and made simultaneous groans of delight at how wonderful everything tasted.  We determined that we both must be texture eaters, because there is something about the crunch of the slivered almonds that makes everything come together, and then it contrasts so well with the smoothness of the roasted garlic.  We made a couple of changes from the original recipe though.  It called for a garnish of mint on top, which decided against, and then it called for preserved lemon, but we definitely did not have that, so we decided on using your everyday lemon.  We also upped the amount of cheese and red pepper flakes, and used regular breadcrumbs instead of panko.  Overall everything turned out wonderfully.  I had seconds last night and ate leftovers for breakfast this morning!

After dinner I headed home to be artsy while watching a movie with my roommate.  We made books in printmaking on Wednesday, so I wanted to fill the book with something nice so that it could be a present.  There was a lot of playing with markers, and unfortunately, my left-handedness came back to haunt me everything something smeared.  We watched a movie called Dangerous Beauty from 1998 about a girl who had to become a courtesan in Venice so that she could make a living, but then later gets targeted by the Inquisition for witchcraft.  As corny as a lot of it was, I absolutely enjoyed the movie, (and totally recommend it if you have two hours to waste watching terrible wonderful historical movies).  Anyways, the rest of today will be spent taking my geophysics take-home test. (Two tests in two days for the same class?  No thank you.)  Wish me luck!

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