This is the story of how I returned to Boston only to leave it again. Tomorrow evening I will be heading back to NY, this time for the Cornell Re-visit weekend. The purpose of this event will be (a) for me to meet with professors and possibly decide which lab I want to work in for my first rotation this summer, (b) to meet with other accepted candidates and hopefully make friends, and (c) for them to feed me lots of food and take me to a broadway play all in an attempt to win me over to the dark side (i.e. so that I will choose to go to their program, although I have already made my final decision regarding this). I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it. I’m having flashbacks from college orientation in which I was a scared freshman, alone and lonely, afraid that I would never find my niche in the MIT community. Needless to say, I made friends and am happy but it really is exhausting to have to try to make connections with people. That sounds really pessimistic but I don’t like being put in situations where you have to smile and be witty and think of interesting things to say; its just stressful to think that this will be all of my future classmates’ first impressions of me, and so it had better be a good one, you know? I’m sure they will all be really nice, however, and I can’t help but hoping that I will instantly click with some of them. I am also keen to see what the kitchen/bathroom/gym situations will be in the dorms there. I read in their housing guide that you’re not allowed to have a microwave. Well, I have news for them, I haven’t been “allowed” to have a microwave for the past four years but that hasn’t stopped me much.
Aside from that, the warm(er) weather here in Boston has had me in a good mood. Anything above 40 is running weather to me, and so I’ve been enjoying the 50+ temperatures. MIT recently did a survey on students’ eating habits and determined that very few are getting the recommended 5-a-day. In order to try to ameliorate this, they had a fresh produce stand in one of our courtyards from 12-6 yesterday! I was so pleased and got a honey dew, three summer squash, and 1 lb-ish of broccoli for only 6 dollars. This makes me yearn for the days of farmer’s markets to return. And also to look forward to living in Manhattan where the Union Square Greenmarket is open year round.
In regards to my post title, I should include the disclaimer that no animals were harmed in the making of this pasta. Although the dog did get fed some olives in the process, but my father claimed that she likes them. What I’m referring to is the fact this is my entry for both Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Ruth this week, and also to Tyler Florence Fridays since it was taken from his show Food 911. The pasta was a very simple weeknight pasta and came together pretty quickly. The original recipe called for baby artichokes but I used frozen artichoke hearts. Also, after eating it, I think it could have used some white wine in place of some of the broth, along with some capers. But all in all, a good, simple pasta dish. It is inherently vegetarian and could be made vegan if veggie broth and margarine were used.
Penne with Artichokes, Black Olives, and Peas
Serves 6, adapted from Food 911 (Tyler Florence)
1 1/2 lb whole wheat/regular penne
20 oz or 2 boxes frozen artichoke hearts
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups broth
3 tbsp butter
1 cup frozen peas
2 bay leaves
3 tomatoes (I omitted because we had none, but the acidity from these would have been nice)
Coat a saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the artichokes to the pan. Add the garlic, shallots, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Pour in the broth, cover and let simmer until artichokes are heated through. Remove the lid and add the olives, tomatoes, and butter. Stir to incorporate. Add the peas and 1 tbsp pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
While all this is going on, cook and drain the pasta. Mix with the artichoke sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.
You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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19 Responses to Killing Two Birds With One Pasta

  1. Natashya says:

    I am so impressed that they brought in a fruit stand. I hope other colleges and major institutions like them follow suit.
    There’s nothing like a little pasta to make you feel all comfy and homey again.

  2. Debinhawaii says:

    Looks yummy! I think most any pasta can be improved with some wine and capers!

  3. Pam says:

    This is a great recipe because I always have all of these things on hand!

  4. Reeni? says:

    This pasta looks so good! I like your suggestions for it. Hope everything goes good for you this weekend.

  5. ttfn300 says:

    i can’t wait for farmers markets!!! horray for the fruit stand 🙂 and good luck this weekend!

  6. Donna-FFW says:

    Best of luck this weekend.. This dish looks fantastic.. love your adaptations..

  7. Juliette says:

    I wish they’d bring a veg stand like that to Oxford! The pasta sounds lovely. Have a good weekend!

  8. burpandslurp says:

    I understand the anxiety, but I KNOW you’re gonna rock it! I think it’s so exciting! I hope you lose your fear and get as excited as I am for you!
    btw, thank you for your powerful, beautiful response to my discussion topic on my blog. I think it’s a shame for it just to remain in my comment thread, so I’ll be publicizing it with some other great responses at my next post…is that okay with you?

  9. Ruth Daniels says:

    Wow…I love any dish that brings Spring to my table. We just had 15cm/6″ of snow here in Halifax. Thanks for sharing with PResto Pasta Nights.

  10. Michelle says:

    Your pasta looks really good and I’m starving!!!!

  11. Kim says:

    Pasta is my all-time favorite kind of dish and this looks so comforting. Darn it that pasta isn’t on my diet plan.

  12. leanne says:

    This dish looks easy and delicious. I might try it with wine and capers. Good luck this weekend. Have fun!

  13. Megan says:

    Boy does the first part of your post bring back memories – freshman year at college, trying to be witty and interesting and not sound like a dork (me). I’m sure you did great, and good luck with whatever it is you choose to do!

  14. Jenny says:

    Always nice to have a simple dish for dinner.

  15. Joanne says:

    Natashya – I totally agree! Everyone should have access to good fruit.

    Deb – That is my motto. Capers make anything better and wine, well, never hurts.

    Pam – I know, if I had more storage space and a freezer, these would definitely be staples.

    Reeni – Thanks so much!

    ttfn – Unfortunately I’ll be gone by the time the farmer’s markets appear here. And I’m thinking we need to plan a run next weekend.

    Donna – Thanks so much! I will hopefully be remaking this with the changes sometime in the near future.

    Juliette – Thanks for the comment and the luck!

    burpandslurp – Please feel free to publicize it and attach a link to my blog. I am always ready and willing to talk about my experience, and I think its SO important that we do, not only for others but also for ourselves. Thanks so much for your excitement…its contagious.

    Ruth – I am ready for spring as well. They keep cutting the grass around here so it always smells like green…wishful thinking.

    Michelle – Thanks a bunch! I always get starving while looking at blogs.

    Kim – I think pasta can be accomodated to ANY diet plan. In moderation, of course.

    leanne – Thanks for the good wishes! If you try it let me know how the additions turn out.

    Megan – Haha, I’m pretty sure I sound like a dork anyway try as though I might. It’s hard not to when talking about science excites you. Thanks so much!

    Jenny – I totally agree, I love dishes that come together quickly and easily.

  16. n.o.e says:

    Congrats on your new program – it sounds fantastic, if a bit intense! Killing two birds with it also, right? Your pasta looks fabulous – pasta is my go-to for weeknight dinners.

  17. Joanne says:

    noe – Thanks! It does kind of feel like I’ve signed away my life…and that of my first-born child. I’m a pasta lover as well!

  18. This pasta looks so good. I wish I had some right now.

  19. Joanne says:

    Food Hunter – Thanks so much, what a sweet comment!

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