A Gift to my Mama: A Sumptuous Dinner of Pasta Primavera and Other Delights

Last night (22 October), on the eve of my mama’s birthday, I gave her my gift to her: a sumptuous and hearty dinner, which I really labored, not to mention spent, for. I think it was the best birthday present I ever gave her.

Santi's is heaven (well, for me!) after a hectic day

My day yesterday began very early, waking up at 6 in the morning. There were 5 big groups booked yesterday in the museum, all in the morning, and the first trip was at 8:00 am, an hour earlier than the usual opening time. There was a constant flood of students entering the museum, and walking through its halls. There were just too many kids to monitor, to remind (and scold!) not to to hold the artworks. I really position myself at the third floor where the Luna, Amorsolo and Zobel masterpieces are on display because these are the works that really have to be guarded. Alas, the most irritating but also saddening comment came from a teacher who was as ignorant and unappreciative as the kids:

“Ah kaya naman bawal hawakan, ZOBEL KASE.” In my mind I wanted to shout at her and tell her: Ma’am, you sorely miss the point!!! It’s not because it’s a Zobel! It’s because it’s a work of art, a painting that can be destroyed!

Anyway, I ended my day at 3 PM since the students from Miriam, which arrived at 12, was the last group for the day. I headed over to Landmark grocery where they had Santi’s, which carried deli products cheaper than Rustan’s. So I did some of my grocery shopping there. Since Santi’s in Landmark was incomplete, I had to go to Greenhills pa, the closest to our home.

STARSTRUCK MOMENT: While I was in line at the cashier in Landmark, I noticed none other than muy simpatico palangga, Maurice Arcache, shopping. Gosh, his cart was full of vegetables! However, I was more surprised that he shopped there and not at Rustan’s. Well, I’d totally understand. I do my grocery in Rustan’s or Shopwise almost always but sometimes, these two become a tad too frustrating. Sorry Nic and Cam!

After picking up more cheeses and truffle oil in Santi’s, I headed to Shopwise Araneta to buy that planned 350 + Pesos worth of pork baby back ribs. But when I examined the two racks in the freezer, which I swear, were also the ones I saw almost two weeks ago, I was unimpressed. I decided to simply buy chicken to roast, and some buy one-take one muffins. These bakeshop promos of Shopwise are what keeps me in Shopwise though.

THE MENU:
Appetizers: Cheese platter of Gruyere, Raclette, and Brie with grapes, crackers, buttered bread and Prosciutto Crudo
Pasta: Creamy Pasta Primavera with Proscuitto and Parma ham
Main Dish: Garlicky Rosemary Chicken
Dessert: Peach halves

PASTA

INGREDIENTS: Pasta Primavera
Pasta Primavera is a relatively new dish, and was actually said to have been invented in Le Cirque, New York. For this dish, the spring vegetables must be used. Meaning, they have to be green, and crunchy.

Organic Spinach, asparagus and linguine

Green bell pepper, olives and capers (didn't use capers)

GARLIC, minced
1/2 ONION
SPINACH
ASPARAGUS, sliced to 3 cm
GREEN/YELLOW Bell Peppers, sliced
OLIVES, halfed
PROSCUITTO and/or
PARMA HAM
GRUYERE, grated
200 mL of all purpose cream
1 beef broth cube
SALT and PEPPER to taste
Olive Oil
Truffle Oil
Nutmeg (1 tsp)
2 tbsp Butter, unsalted
400 grams of Linguine pasta

Some of the ingredients

Boil the pasta noodles in water, oil and salt. While you are waiting for the pasta to become “al dente”, soak the spinach well, and wash off any dirt stains. Likewise, cut the other ingredients. When the pasta has already become al dente, strain this and set aside for a while.

YUM

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for a few seconds. Then, add the bacon/ham and let the meat sweat, meaning, allow it to cook in its fat. After this, add in the butter and let it melt with all the oils. Once this is done, add in the asparagus and let it simmer for a while. Afterward, add in the olives, bell peppers and beef broth cube. Add more olive oil if necessary.

add in butter to give more flavor

Once everything becomes slightly cooked, add in the spinach and let it simmer for a good 30 seconds or so. Add in the cream and the truffle oil and bring to a boil. Add some butter if preferred. Then, once it begins to boil, add in the pasta and the grated cheese and toss evenly.

vegetables to be used for this dish have to be crunchy

Top with more Gruyere and some Parmesan as well as some more slices of Prosciutto. Add also some parsley.

voila!

I was exhausted after all the cooking and preparations! Remember, I also cooked chicken, and I still had to prepare the appetizers! But heck, it was a fabulous meal for the woman who’s first in my life.

the roast chicken

This dinner hecho ayer.

I was so tired to even change our ordinary placemats to better ones

About hechoayer

Things made yesterday still influence us until today. Things made today will influence us tomorrow. Things of the essence such as faith, culture, food, music and values should never disappear nor eroded by the times. Instead, these must be recorded, lived and shared. Something made yesterday - hecho ayer - can be tomorrow's saving grace. Never ignore the past.
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