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May 8, 2009

Pasta e fagioli thinghi
Posted by Teresa at 07:55 PM * 65 comments

4 sweet Italian sausages
1/3-1/2 C. coarsely chopped walnuts
dried porcini and crimini mushrooms*
1 cube instant mushroom bouillon*
a good pinch of saffron
a middling handful of sun-dried tomatoes
2 good handfuls of chopped kale*
fresh sage, snipped, if you have it
coarse black pepper
1 can of plain cooked black beans *
1-2 C. cheap but decent white wine
optionally, an envelope of unflavored gelatin
pasta—fusilli or rigatoni or celentani or the like.
good olive oil
an orange or two
Get the pasta water going. Set the mushrooms to soaking in a coffee mug of boiling water. If your sausage is precooked, cut it into slender roundels. If it’s uncooked, cook it, then slice it into roundels. In either case, tip in the chopped walnuts and fry them alongside the sausage until both components are brown. Pour in the mushroom broth and let it boil up while you chop and add the mushrooms, then rub the saffron in between your fingers, then snip and add the sage. Add the kale. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into bite-size chunks and throw them in. Add the can of black beans. If the liquid in the can is watery and unattractive, throw it out. Otherwise, include it.

Let simmer. Add the wine and continue simmering. If you want to thicken it with gelatin, do that now. If there isn’t enough liquid, add more wine or some water. When the pasta is maybe a minute short of being al dente, pour it into a colander and shake off the excess water. Pour a measure of the cooked pasta into the sausage and black bean mixture, stir it in, and see if it looks right. Continue adding pasta until it does. Simmer a few minutes more, gently turning over the mixture in the pan, until the pasta is both fully cooked and a pastel shade of the sausage mixture.

Dish out into bowls. Pour a thin drizzle of good olive oil on it, and eat with thin wedges of fresh orange on the side. (Note: you can squeeze the oranges over it if you wish, but I recommend you just eat them as a counterpoint to the main dish.)

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Pasta e fagioli thinghi:
#1 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 08:43 PM:

I think I just found what I'll be cooking on Sunday.

Out of curiosity, what do the walnuts do for the dish? It looks like it would taste good without them, but since I am Not a Nut Fan I don't know if they do anything to the end result other than adding nuts.

#2 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 08:51 PM:

really? you slice up your sausage, and you get roundels out of it? do they read like this?

A roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
A roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught -
Love, laughter, or mourning - remembrance of rapture or fear -
That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird's quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear
Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
A roundel is wrought.

that particular sausage was made from burnt pork, i believe.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 08:52 PM:

Keith: IMO, the browned walnuts are an essential component of the flavor. Walnuts exude (leak?) a lot of flavor when you cook them wet -- far more than you'd get seeping into the general mixture if you substituted almonds or peanuts.

#4 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:02 PM:

kid bitzer @ 2:

Burnt or not, that's pretty impressive.

TNH @ 3:

Thank you. Since the recipe looks so good anyway, I'll have to try it with the walnuts.

#5 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:06 PM:

oh, heavens, keith--*i* sure as hell couldn't do that.

no, no--the real author's name is alluded to in my final line. if you know a bit about roundel's it's not even concealed.

#6 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:11 PM:

Kid Bitzer, the fact that I unthinkingly call those roundels should tell you something about the circumstances in which I learned a lot of my cooking chops.

#7 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:16 PM:

I do love self-demonstrating definitions of verse forms.

#8 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:18 PM:

wait, now you're cooking *chops*?

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:20 PM:

Not tonight. I'll do those another time.

#10 ::: Jonathan Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:36 PM:

I don't have the gift to be able to compose my own self-defining roundel, but I've always liked John Hollander's from Rhyme's Reason.

The roundel ends as it begins; we take
The first words from the first line, where it bends
Easily, and with the refrain we make
The roundel ends.

--But not just yet; its rhyming still extends
Through six new lines before they come awake
Again, those last few words, those sleeping friends

We started out with and will not forsake;
What though the weary journey's way one wends,
When it is finally time to take a break
The roundel ends.

#11 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:50 PM:

alright, by next time maybe this will have improved:

my cooking chops the work-day clean in two.
i close my laptop; soon the humming stops.
i shuffle to the kitchen, and review
my cooking chops

first: peeling, coring, and removing tops;
then boning, trimming fatty residue,
and heating olive oil until it pops.

the cutlet’s poised above the searing dew,
a timid bather: briskly in it hops,
and hops back out again. with that, it’s through:
my cooking chops.

#12 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:50 PM:

Kid Bitzer #2: Pork from a meadow by a stream, you mean.

#13 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 09:58 PM:

indeed: "burnt" is surely a false etymology.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 10:05 PM:

Almost too clever. Good thing that's impossible.

#15 ::: kidbitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 10:17 PM:

agreed. it lacks the full, rounded flavor you'd get from longer simmering. but i'm just short order, anyhow, not haute cuisine.

#16 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2009, 11:36 PM:

Teresa, #6: And the fact that I immediately parsed it the same way says something similar. (Also, I'm more inclined to call the poem a rondelle.)

#17 ::: Jaws (CEP) ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 12:56 AM:

Very minor suggestion:

Pour the mushroom soaking liquid through a cheapo paper coffee filter and discard the grit that will get caught in the filter. This is a common problem with mushrooms -- the grit isn't always dirt, it's sometimes spores, but regardless it hurts the texture of whatever one is cooking.

That's a good trick whenever one is rehydrating something, like dried chiles; I even keep conical filters around that fit my kitchen funnel set. It helps that I dry my own chiles, too...

#18 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 01:36 AM:

Jaws (CEP): I tend to want the solids too (if I'm rehydrating for texture, I'll pulverise the mushrooms first), which means the grit will be there.

Then again, I've never noticed it hurting the texture. With chiles one of the things the solids provide is the thickening properties, so I run them through the spice mills, and use them whole. If I need to keep the placental tissues out, I split them up first, be the bought in bulk, or grown at home.

#19 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 02:38 AM:

Whimper. Neither of my family likes nuts, and for one of them, mushrooms are problematic, they make him feel queasy.

Maybe I'll put it together the night before one of our Renaissance Festival weekends, put it in a crock pot and transport it for our day's feasting. (and make all the patrons passing come into the shop because of the good smells...)

#20 ::: lauren ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 05:31 AM:


I've done a similar recipe--chief differences being vegan sausage or eggplants instead of meat sausage. And pine nuts instead of walnuts. I've got a Prejudice against walnuts.

#21 ::: John VP ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 06:58 AM:

The dish itself, of course, looks splendid. Shall try it. But the *recipe*! Theresa, I've noticed your cookery items before, and always wanted to comment: this is how I think in the kitchen. Bit of this. Measure of that. Add the mixture till it looks right. Stir it till it smells right. Eat it when it tastes right.

I know that baking can require a *bit* more ... arithmetic -- and not that I'm afraid of arithmetic. But I do love improvisation, serendipity, and adventure.

#22 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 09:28 AM:

Mushroom spores? Are you kidding? They're tiny, and I wouldn't call them gritty even before they're cooked. If you're getting fine, persistently gritty particles off cooked mushrooms, I think that has to be the soil in which they were grown.

I own more strainers and filters than most people would think sane. My Christmas present from Patrick two or three years back was a vacuum-operated labware filtration setup. I can't imagine cooking without strainers. On the other hand, I also can't imagine mushroom spores

(One of the minor dissatisfactions of our current apartment is that two out of three of my biggest strainers (the one with the three-foot wooden handle, and the conical one that has a separate tripod to support it) are permanently on duty in the laundry area downstairs, where they keep the laundry sink from stopping up and flooding when the washing machine drains into it. The third, my big metal colander, was for a time assigned to sit upside-down over the back yard storm drain to keep it from getting clogged with leaves during thunderstorms, though it's been replaced by a purpose-built strainer-box rigged up by our landlord. This is what I get for moving to a planet where it rains.)

Paula: those little handmade orrechiette you can get in some groceries would be impeccably in-period.

#23 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 12:34 PM:

a good pinch of saffron

When I was still living in Australia I couldn't see the point of saffron. The stuff under that name in the supermarkets produced yellow, with the little orange threads, but there was no scent or flavour at all. The real thing must have been available, because cookbook authors seemed to be able to find it, but I don't know how. [I think things have improved since then.]

The real thing, of course, is glorious, and one of the many reasons for trying to keep relatively tolerant relations with Iran.

Saffron in iced tea, anyone?

#24 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 12:41 PM:

"the conical [strainer] that has a separate tripod to support it"

Is this a ricer doing double-duty? Add a wooden pestle, and it's a perfect description of Hilde's old family ricer. (From her grandmother, as I recall.)

At first glance, the list of ingredients seemed like something from a random recipe generator. Kale? AND walnuts? AND mushrooms? Huh. Now I'll have to try making it.

For future recipes, could you perhaps recreate the recipe for that Duke's Mixture you made for Hilde and me umpty-ump years ago? Best apple-pie seasoning, ever. I was bereft when the jar finally ran out. (Well, maybe not bereft. Definitely pensive, though.)

#25 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 01:00 PM:

Thomas: Spain and India have very good saffron (not that I think we ought not have good relations with Iran).

#26 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 01:18 PM:

What ARE sweet Italian sausages?

#27 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 01:25 PM:

Anna: They are a sausage, about the size of a bratwurst, with fennel, sages, perhaps a bit of rosemary.

They are sweet, as compared to similar sausages, with pepper flakes.

We use them on pizza, etc. They are a decent breakfast sausage, but tend (to me) to be a bit much in quantity.

I suspect they are actually a New York sausage, from the immigrant community.

#28 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 02:54 PM:

I wanna kitchen! Not a kitchenette with a microwave and a toaster oven. I have to skip this thread and links with regret.

#29 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 03:30 PM:

Bruce Arthurs @ 24: I think she means a strainer rather than an antique ricer. Modern ricers aren't conical, for some reason.

In fact, I didn't think the old potato ricers were conical until I found that antique listed. It's probably harder to use as a ricer than as a strainer.

#30 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 03:35 PM:

Ginger, the modern ricers are squared cylinders because that's the best design for a cammed piston.

#31 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 04:12 PM:

Running quickly through the woods of Google (and having some idea what kind of strainer that Teresa was talking about), I find perforated-steel chinoises at various places (try, and a 'manual food press' in aluminum at Amazon, which does in fact have a tripod stand, and looks very much like the one my mother used when making jam.

#32 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 04:42 PM:

Thanks Terry - I think they might be Sicilian sausages. They have fennel, and they tend to be made from lamb or pultry, whereas ours are made from pork exclusively.

We're talking sausages, not salami, right?

#33 ::: John VP ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 04:59 PM:

Ack! ***Teresa***


#34 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 05:22 PM:

Anna@32: Yes, sausages - raw, uncured, cold storage, need cooking. There's also a standard 'hot Italian sausage' subspecies that has added chili pepper.

Pork-based salami with fennel (usually labelled 'finocchiona') is available from many delicatessens, but fennel isn't the default for salami.

#35 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 06:30 PM:

There's nothing on sale here in Ireland called "Italian Sweet Sausage", which isn't surprising, as it sounds disgusting.

However, a quick Google suggests that this "sweet" sausage doesn't have sugar or any other sweeteners in it, so maybe not so disgusting:


5 lbs. venison
1 lb. pork fat or beef suet
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves, finely crumbled
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. basil
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. thyme

#36 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 06:41 PM:

Wow... venison? Not in any version of, "italian" sausage I've ever seen (this is, of course, the "generic italian" not no-sausage of Italian origin or culture).

Sausages I am used to seeing as that style are a coarse-ground, pork sausage, with moderate fat. The critical ingredient is fennel.

Here is a list of ingredients for one:

* 2 tablespoons salt
* 3 teaspoons fennel seed
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon crushed hot pepper
* 1 teaspoon caraway seed
* 3 teaspoons coriander
* 5 pounds coarse ground pork butt
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 3 cloves garlic, crushed

The sugar strikes me as needless, the caraway as normal. The coriander as acceptable, but not usual, the wine optional.

Ricci's Italian Sausage Company (in Pennsylvania) has this to say: . .A word about the Ricci's Italian sausage family tradition. When we say Italian sausage - we mean Italian sausage. When my grandfather made Italian sausage, he didn't use turkey or chicken. In "The Rocks," we only use pork and never any "designer" spices. Since we are from Abruzzo - our sweet Italian sausage has crushed black pepper, NO fennel, and please, NO garlic! Our hot Italian sausage is Calabria style with paprika, red crushed pepper and fennel. We make our sausage with just the right amount of fat - it's not greasy and it's not dry.

And I have found a general description.

#37 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 06:46 PM:

I think it's 'sweet' as distinguished from 'hot' Italian sausage. The Cook's Thesaurus (they mean 'dictionary' or perhaps 'encyclopedia') web page also thinks that 'sweet' means 'mild' here. The versions I have had have not been obviously sweetened, unlike a lot of (modern and traditional) styles of bacon and ham.

I think of it as a pork sausage that includes fennel in the spices, as opposed to quatre-epices, or sage and pepper, or garlic and woodsmoke.

#38 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 06:52 PM:

Actually, I must apologise to the Cook's Thesaurus. On closer reading it seems to be perfectly good figurative use of 'Thesaurus' in the sense of 'what might I be able to substitute for this'.

#39 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 06:58 PM:

So, this "Sweet Italian" sausage is not sweet and it's not Italian.

But it is a sausage, right?

#40 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 07:47 PM:

Niall McAuley #39: It is a sausage, for all that it is neither Italian (as it seems) nor sweet (merely mild).

But the mention of fennel makes me ask (at the risk of derailing the discussion) what this particular herb has to do with homosexuality in Italian.

#41 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2009, 08:17 PM:

Teresa, thanks for the tip!

And we have a wonderful Italian community in Kansas City. I have five or six locally made brands of italian sausage to choose from. Mendolia's is my favorite.

And the spicy sausage is usually just on the edge of being a bit too hot for me. When we get Italian sausage for summer grilling (or winter cooking) I always make sure I've got some sweet as well as hot.

#42 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 01:36 AM:

Fragano Ledgister@40:

I was also wondering, and you provoked me into consulting The Google. It directed me to this, which is based on this (in Italian).

Giovanni Dall'Orto's opinion, based on plausible looking sources, is that it comes from an older use of 'finocchio' meaning 'worthless'.

By the way, looking at all that Italian makes me think that the title for Teresa's original post is missing an 'h' and should be Pasta e fagioli thinghi.

#43 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 02:03 AM:

PJEvans @31: Very like the chinois and stand, only bigger and older, bought second-hand in a rural area.

John VP, not to worry. I get misspelled a lot.

Baking might imaginably require math under one or another rare circumstance, but don't let Michael Ruhlman scare you. I've been baking for decades, and I'm middling dysnumeric.

Thomas @42: Done!

#44 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 02:25 AM:

Baking is great fun, one of the sins of being unemployed is I am becoming more familiar with baking yeast breads. The Joy of Cooking, the Good Cook bread book (part of a Time-Life subscription book series), James Beard Bread Book and Cooks Illustrated area all really good sources.

In fact there is a challah dough waiting in the fridge for me to bake before going to Lawrence for Mother's day (yikes, that's today! need to go to bed!!!).

#45 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 02:25 AM:

Teresa: When I saw this, I thought of you: Mustang Teresa

#46 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 02:30 AM:

No no, it IS Italian. It's just a question of which bit of Italy you are talking of. As you see, people from Abruzzo are deeply offended by the suggestion that you might put fennel in sausages.

'Up Noort where I come from we love our sausages, which are full of nice pork fat and uncracked black pepper and little else that I know of, but my Sicilian ex-boyfriend was first deeply dismayed and then disgusted when he tasted them. Partly because of the absence of fennel and partly because to him they were horribly greasy.

I miss Sicilian sausages. Like many things Sicilian, they might well be easier to find in New York than in the North of Italy.

Of course there will be drift in this kind of preparation, but Italians are so deeply conservative that it is completely possible that three centuries from now they'll be making the exact same kind of sausages in NYC.

If we will be making them in Italy, that's a different question.

#47 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 08:31 AM:

re 25 etc: Grow your own. It grows pretty well in lots of the US.

#48 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 08:33 AM:

a classic case of what linguists call "peripheral conservatism".

not entirely clear why, but when linguistic groups travel geographically from a core, the furthest dispersed groups tend to preserve more archaic features of the language, where the speakers at the core continue to innovate.

perhaps the center of the pot keeps boiling, so to speak, where the edges cool and harden.

anyhow, if you want to know how indo-european was spoken in its homeland, you'll find better clues in ireland and in india than you will in armenia (using that as a plausible guess among controversial competitors).

italian may lose some of its food traditions. but only because they are innovating so fearlessly, and creating the next traditions. and because they won't put up with anyone looking over their shoulder and saying, 'that's not authentic.'

"so i visited my cousins? in peoria? and they were talking like people talked in the san fernando, like, twenty years ago! and i was just like, whatever! valspeak is so totally 1985!"

#49 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 09:55 AM:

Thomas #42: Thanks!!

#50 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 10:00 AM:

Anna Ferugio Dal Dan #46: Okay!

kid bitzer #48: Rather like the way rural Jamaicans in the 1970s still said "peraventure" for "perhaps", when that had long dropped out of standard use.

#51 ::: grackle ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 10:35 AM:

The recipe looks delightful but the (optional) jello base is deeply troubling (optional) or (not). Teresa, what would its function be? I get an image of the Alien nursery in Aliens transported to foodstuffs.

#52 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 12:48 PM:

Kid Bitzer: It's beacuse the young don't see it as a primary language. They speak it, but only to speak to parent/grandparents, who learned it a long time ago.

When the US troops got to Italy, they were thought funny, because they were speaking Italian which was out of date; it was the Italian of the times of emigration.

Part of it is lack of mass, part of it is the insularity of an out group, and part of it is the problem of active use.

#53 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 12:57 PM:

grackle @ 51:

It's just an envelope of gelatin, which is typically used to make the liquids thicken up a bit, nothing more. It's not jello with sausage in it.

Terry Karney @ 52:

In some cases there's probably also a hint of tradition as well. This is our historical language, and we'd better not change it out of respect for where we came from, or some similar line of thinking. Of course, there will be innovations anyway, because languages do change.

In my experience, food names are some of the most variable even within what is supposedly the same language.

#54 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 02:34 PM:


"peradventure"? really? i would have had an instant idiolect-crush on the first person i heard say that.

a misplaced one, of course, and soon repented of when i heard everyone else saying it, too.

but still--it sounds so courtly.

about the mechanism for peripheral conservatism--all of these suggestions seem plausible, but i don't know that anyone has a good handle on the phenomenon. it has to operate over very long times and very long distances, which makes some of the explanations via overt psychologizing ("and then the tasmanians said to themselves: "we may be a long way from new guinea, but we're still new guineans at heart!"") less plausible. johanna nichol's book "linguistic diversity in space and time" is the place to learn more.

she has shockingly little to say in it about sweet sausages and the use of fennel, however.

#55 ::: Tina Black ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 02:47 PM:

I had Sicilian grandparents who made their own pork sausage -- and I make my own to this day. The recipe I use had canelli beans, but I prefer a smaller bean. Pignoli, not walnuts -- thank goodness, because I'm getting a walnut allergy -- it's coming on slowly, but it's coming to join the other nut allergies.

So my pasta fagioli is more tomato-looking, but I love it anyway.

#56 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2009, 03:48 PM:

C.Wingate@47: grow your own [saffron]

I have tried and failed. It is possible in Seattle [after all, the climate and latitude are similar to Saffron Walden] but it really does need full sun, which in my case I do not have.

This seems to be true of all the autumn-flowering crocus species. The spring-flowering ones tolerate quite a bit of shade, and just flower later, but the autumn ones end up not flowering at all in my garden.

#57 ::: Jonathan Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2009, 08:45 AM:

I made the recipe last night -- due to the lack of exact quantities, it was my interpretation -- and it was just wonderful. The ingredients were expensive ("good" olive oil in my neck of the woods is pricey, as are good sausages) but well worth it. I have enough for the entire week.

Hooray, and more recipes, please.

#58 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2009, 11:33 AM:

Grackle, it's just a thickening agent. I got into using unflavored gelatin to thicken soups and sauces when I was doing high-protein dieting, and liked it enough that I kept the habit.

#59 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2009, 12:36 AM:

Paula Helm Murray @44 - the pizza dough recipe in Joy of Cooking makes a good crusty white bread too. Let it rise a couple of hours, form a loaf on a ccokie sheet, slather the outside with olive oil, let rise again, bake it at 375 for 40 minutes. If you add some fine-chopped fresh rosemary leaves while making the dough, say about a 6" sprig's worth, you may get asked to bring it to parties.

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2009, 01:23 AM:


One of the things which is painful about being in Tennessee is rosemary is no longer ubiquitous. At home it's a weed. Here it's a pricey herb.

#61 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2009, 02:21 AM:

Terry Karney @ 60: Rosemary is definitely ubiquitous in Oregon, or maybe it's just my tendency to find a plant I like, and then go overboard. I put more than a bushel of rosemary prunings in the compost this weekend. I have far too much: rosemary, fuschia, hosta, fringe cups (Tellima grandiflora), and heuchera. My new love is tree peonies, and given what they cost, I will not be doing my usual excess.

#62 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2009, 02:31 AM:

janetl: California is the only place I've seen it used as a hedge; in parking lot planters, in lots of places.

I could go and collect a couple of bushel, at random, from public planters, and not leave any of them visibly depleted.

Here, not so much.

#63 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2009, 07:21 PM:

Terry Karney @60 - A friend gave me a large pot of herbs, including rosemary. The pot overwinters in my garage, since Ohio winters get a bit cold. I still end up buying, as the plants don't exactly thrive in the garage.

#64 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2009, 09:14 PM:

Yes, they do get a bit cold (I spent my youth in/around Cleveland).

#65 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2009, 08:36 AM:

I just made this for lunch. I used chard instead of kale (as that's what we have in the garden) which worked very well: I just chopped up the stalks and leaves and threw them in. I skipped the sun-dried tomatoes but left the rest the same. It tasted lovely but in retrospect, I should have added some red peppers to make up for the missing tomatoes, just for the colour. Or maybe even chopped up red chiles - mmmm.

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Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.