Roasted fennel and salami pasta

IMG_6522.jpg

Raise your hand if you never want to eat turkey again. Anyone? Everyone? Okay then. Here is your antidote to all things stuffing, potato, and pumpkin-related.

IMG_6523.jpg

If you read my last post, you might be wondering if the turkey did, in fact, knock M out so that he slept away from home. (If you didn't read the last post or just don't care about my kid's sleep habits, I totally get it and you can skip to the recipe by scrolling to the next photo.) The short answer is, no. The longer answer is, we didn't really let him try. After a disastrous nap attempt, we decided to drive home that night instead of risking another all-nighter.,

I was definitely disappointed to head home so early and M was devastated, so it's gotten me thinking a lot about the danger of expectations as we head into the holiday season. Holidays with kids can be tough. They don't care that you've done the same magical thing for 10 years running. If they're tired or hungry or having a day for no reason at all, you just have to adapt.

For the past two years, that has often meant opting out of pictures with Santa and tree lightings because we knew that at 9-months and 21-months, M wouldn't really understand or appreciate them. And I struggled, especially seeing social media postings of others joyfully doing all of the things.

This year, M is older and more aware and so much more of a "kid." He understands holidays and wants to spend time with friends and family, so it feels like we'll be depriving him of something if we pull the plug due to an impending tantrum. He was SO sad to leave my parents' house after Thanksgiving that I worry about changing plans or setting him up by suggesting something if we can't follow through.

I think we'll try our best to be realistic about our plans and only share them judiciously with M. And we'll also try to be gentle with him and ourselves by acknowledging that this a season where everything is heightened in both good ways and bad. The calculus is always shifting about what's "worth it:" Our sanity versus making memories versus M's immediate happiness versus our overall health.

IMG_6515.jpg

Anyway, back to the food! I love roasted fennel so so much. I mostly hate the taste of licorice, but fennel is just a little bit anise-y and roasting it takes away almost all of that medicinal bite. We often put roasted fennel on pizza because its taste is satisfyingly meaty without adding any actual meat.

IMG_6526.jpg

I guess it's gilding the lily a bit to add meat to the roasted fennel, but the combo of roasted fennel and salami is top notch. I don't cook the meat at all because heat often turns cured meats a bit too gamey for my liking, but if that flavor is your jam, go ahead and saute the salami for a few seconds. 

I always use Marcella Hazan's famous sauce with a couple of small changes: I use less butter than she calls for. I also melt and slightly brown the butter and then saute the onion a bit before adding the tomatoes (she tosses everything together). The sauce is a perfect amount for about 10 ounces of pasta, but if you like a saucier dish, opt for 8 oz instead.

 

Salami and roasted fennel pasta

For the sauce:
1 can or box of crushed tomatoes (28 oz), or about 1.5 cups
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, peeled and halved

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium flame. Place the halved onion cut side down in the butter and let cook for 1-2 minutes, being aware of the butter and not letting it brown too much. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium low, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40-45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking.

For the rest:
10 oz dry pasta (a little more than half of the box)
1 lb fennel
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Salami

Preheat oven to 400. Wash fennel and chop into thin slices, trying to keep things as equal as possible. This will be difficult, so don’t sweat it too much. Toss with olive oil and roast for 20-25 minutes, until bits start to brown.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

When pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the pot. Cover with sauce and stir to combine. Add the roasted fennel and chopped salami and stir a few times to incorporate.

Yield: 6 servings

IMG_6524.jpg

Spanish frittata

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes

Man, oh man did I want to quit Whole 30 this weekend. It snowed in New York and I desperately wanted hot chocolate, grilled cheese with tomato soup, and red wine. They were more than cravings: They felt like yearnings. For the first time, I felt like I was missing out on something by restricting my diet. I hemmed and hawed because one of the primary reasons to do this program is to determine if you have any food sensitivities and I'm pretty sure that I don't. So, I spent some time thinking about why else I'm doing it and I thought I'd share some of them. But please keep in mind that these are the reasons this works FOR ME, not a prescription for anyone else.


I know what's in my food. For real: Cooking all of our meals for 30 days is a huge time and energy commitment, but the payoff is immense. I'm reminded that I can throw together something delicious on even the roughest day and that takeout doesn't have to be our default. Which also means, I decide how much and what type of salt and fat we eat, what processes by which our fruits and vegetables are grown, and how humanely our meat is raised.

I get to be the food boss: Eating this way removes some of food's power. Though I really wanted some of my wintry favorites this weekend, red wine isn't exactly oxygen. I won't die if I don't have any. These short-term "rules" make it easier to resist those cravings (yearnings?) and realize that I'm the boss, not the food. That's not to say that I never have any control over what I eat, quite the contrary. But I have less control than I'd like and this short reset gets me back on track. 

I feel damn good: This is my third go-round with Whole 30 and I can honestly say that I feel terrific once I get a few days under my belt. Yes, the first week or so is tough because I feel tired and cranky. But after a short while, my skin looks better, I have more energy, and I'm sleeping better. For some people, this happens while eating dairy, legumes, and grains. Unfortunately, I'm not always one of those people.

We still get to eat REALLY good food: Bread and cheese aren't the ONLY delicious foods in the universe. This next recipe is all the proof I need.

 

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes

I based this recipe on Mario Batali's Tortilla Espanola from Food & Wine. After doing a lot of research on tradition recipes for this dish, I realized that they all required frying the potatoes in several cups of oil and then flipping the entire egg and vegetable structure over and over using a large plate and a cast iron pan while cooking. What?!?! Do Spanish people do this with toddlers underfoot? If so, I salute you, Spanish parents. I wasn't game to take this on, but MB's recipe uses much less oil and forgoes the flipping, proving that it can be done! I cooked this like a frittata, letting the eggs set on the side and then cooking the rest in the oven because, laziness.

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes

Spanish frittata

1 lb potatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch thick pieces or thinner
1 large fennel bulb (about 8 oz), sliced thinly
6 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small links chorizo (4 oz), sliced
8 eggs
S/P

Preheat oven to 350. Heat your oil in a 10-inch cast iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced potatoes and fennel and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often to prevent browning, until the potatoes are fork tender. Cooking time with vary depending on the thickness of your potatoes, but plan for anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, crack your eggs into a large bowl (pausing to stir the potatoes and fennel) and whisk to combine the whites and yolks. Don’t overwhisk! These don’t need to be frothy, just combined.

When your veggies are cooked, add the scallions and cook for one minute more. Turn off the heat and let the veggies cool slightly while you slice and add the chorizo to the whisked eggs. Add the cooked veggies and stir to combine. Reheat your pan over a medium flame and dump the egg, meat, and vegetable mess back into the pan. Cook on the stovetop until the sides begin to set, about 7-10 minutes. Put into the oven to cook through, about 10-15 minutes. Check the middle with a skewer, chop stick, or popsicle stick to test for doneness.

Serve immediately or let sit out for up to three hours. This is also delicious cold!

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes
Spanish frittata | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant frittata is another fast and easy Whole 30 recipe that is on the table in minutes, requires only a few ingredients, and is interesting and delicious for the entire family. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #frittata #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #fritattarecipes