January 6, 2011

Create. Love. Do. Oh, and Pasta.

Three short and simple words that hold so much meaning!  My New Years resolution for 2011 (by the way, I can't believe it is already 2011) is to create more, love endlessly, and do like never before.  I guess that is more like three resolutions, but who's counting.  With that being said, let me break it down a bit...wait, pause and rewind...that phrase always makes me want to get up and actually "break it down". I am pretty fierce on the dance floor, at least my kids think that I am.  Thanks for being mommy's biggest fans!

Ok, play and fast-forward back to my explanation:
* Creating for me is like breathing.  It is a necessity and it is vital for me to be alive (not literally, like a vital organ keeps me alive, but for my soul to feel alive).  I have always been a more "right brain" type of gal.  The more artistically inclined and mathematically challenged.  I thrive on letting my mind wander and daydream into ideas and creations.  Unfortunately with a chaotic life, a husband that is a workaholic, and two little hooligans running my every move like a chess game,  my "brilliance" usually turns into a dim, flickering light rather into a bursting, radiant creation.  So, my resolution is to take some "me" time to dive-in and create (no matter how many late night and early mornings), and let the dishes sit in the sink for just a few more hours so I can let my soul flourish and my mind and heart smile.

*To love endlessly is an idea that we all believe in.  Of course I love my family with every part of my being, and I love my friends as if they were my family.  But I want to dig deeper.  I want to love EVERYONE as I love those close to me.  I need to be more patient, act kinder, and I need to give a little more.  After all, aren't we all taught that "love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud"?! Ok, enough of the sappy stuff...on to the next one.

*To do is harder then to say.  You know what I mean..."it is easier said then done".  I want to prove that wrong to myself this year.  It is time for me to DO DO DO (that kinda reminds me of a song...).  

Ok, I am done with talking about my resolutions (I know you're thinking "finally"...haha).  That's ok, I still love you.  Who wants some fun stuff...or should I say delicious stuff? 

Pasta Ponza.  Say what?!  Pasta Ponza is one of Giada's recipes in her new book that I recommended earlier (I wish I was Italian post).  It is fantastic, easy-peasy, and I hope you enjoy!

Giada's Pasta Ponza


  • Butter for greasing
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs 
  • 1 pound ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.
Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzlethe top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the saucewith a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately

***NOTE*** I did not make it with the Capers, I am not a huge fan.  Also, if you want it a little crunchier, use Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) they absorb less liquid.
*** PS*** Did you know that Ponza is a secret island off of Italy?! (Now you do).

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