Friday, September 11, 2020

PANDEMIC DIARY - How I Spent My Sequester - Pt. 4 - Pasta!!!

How I Spent My Sequester - Pt. 4

In my last pandemic diary entry I told you how I've thankfully gained only five pounds with all the cocktails, wine and amazing dinners Richard has made - and I probably wouldn't have even gained that if it wasn't for the outrageously good pasta dinners he's made between his low carb feasts.

Then the other night I woke up w/ the full moon shining through the bedroom window hearing a trolley clanging in my head and singing "Rice A Roni, the San Francisco Treat" over and over in my half-asleep brain, a commercial I remembered as a kid.  As far as I recall, my mother never actually made Rice A Roni, and back then I'd never been to San Francisco, but the jingle was catchy and since one couldn't mute commercials in those ancient TV days or DVR shows in advance so you could fast-forward them, I was a captive audience. I couldn't get rice out of my brain (and I'm not a big lover of rice) - but, I had to have some pasta and there just happened to be leftover orzo in the fridge.  The sun hadn't risen when I found myself in the kitchen microwaving the leftover orzo and wolfing it down in a frenzy like an addict shooting up a dose of heroin.  The craving was satisfied.  And, like an addict, I went into a hazy euphoria trance when I finished my little cup of orzo.  Not a good look.  Carbs!  White carbs!  I had just fallen off the wagon.
Confession:  I hate to say that I'm on the Keto diet - it sounds so tres trendy (and really is just basically the NuAtkins diet w/ a hipster name) - but that is how I've been eating for over a year - losing 20 pounds and mostly maintaining.  It's not that I don't have bread (I'm a sandwich junkie, so yeh!) - I just don't have it often... WELL, unless someone drops off homemade sourdough (which happens now and again and I cannot resist) or Richard bakes his no knead bread (ditto the sourdough parenthesis) ... AND, it's not that I don't have a baked potato now and again - when I make one for Richard, it's usually a huge one and I indulge by cutting off an end then loading it up with butter and salt... or I've been known to have a bit of mashed potatoes.  But, when I do have a major craving for mashed potatoes and know I'd eat a bowl full if Richard makes it - he keeps me on track and makes mashed cauliflower, a pretty good substitute (and you must try mac & cheese made w/ cauliflower instead of macaroni - to die for) - but I digress...  we're talking about pasta, and if you put a plate or bowl of pasta in front of me, I'm a goner, especially when Richard makes one of his delicious concoctions.

There's his mushroom w/ shrimp fettuccine...

His pappardelle pasta noodle with asparagus, ham (sometimes mild sausage) EVOO and freshly grated parm.

Or his shrimp (sometimes chicken) linguini w/ EVOO, rosemary, garlic and spinach (sometimes peas)...

 ... shrimp scampi orzo w/ spinach.  Spinach is a great addition - you can just fold it in the pasta at the end just so it wilts.  Yum.  AND it adds a real healthful element to any pasta dish.

His traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner. Homemade tomato sauce... his own meatballs... Eating doesn't get much better. 

Ah, but then there's his spaghetti and meat sauce.

And last, but not least, Richard's version of Wolfgang Puck's mushroom pasta.  One of the joys of my foodie life.

Now if only I could get that Rice A Roni jingle out of my head so I can next write about all the marvelous low carb meals we've been feasting on since we've been sequestered.

During this 'stay at home' period, some people have repainted rooms and rearranged furniture - others are cleaning out their closets or garages - folks are taking online aerobic or yoga classes - others are binge watching television series (well, have to admit we're doing that, too) and many others are engaged in video home schooling of their kids or conducting their businesses online...

We write - we read - we watch TV.... AND I get to eat at the only indoor fine-dining restaurant for two in town.

Bon appetit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


MickMil said...

Delicious!! My favorite way to spend a pandemic!! Problem is I couldn't pick one of the seven pastas over another, so I'm coning over seven nights!!

ilona saari said...

I wish you could come over for 7 nights... Miss you. xo

Anonymous said...

Nice one!!! Now - only need to decide on which one to try first. 😎
And I am with you on orzo. Yum
Xxxxx Barbara W

Anonymous said...

Hi Ilona,
Hope all is well with you and Richard! It’s funny that you talk weight gain and pasta!
I have gained 4 lbs all in the middle! But just decided to make pasta for dinner and of course Chardonnay doesn’t help either. Mershad

Anonymous said...

Hi,excited your weight is remaining pretty much the same, mine higher than yours, but not gaining more. Envy you having a live in chef who also watches your weight/diet. He is welcome to come my way any time.

Anonymous said...

I think I've put on the 20 lbs. you lost just looking at those pasta dishes! Kitty W

Anonymous said...

Oh My Gosh!!!!!! You made me SO hungry!!! Jean

Lynda said...

You're killing me with Richard's pasta. That's my Achilles heel, too! Any recipes available to share? I gained 25 lbs in the past 4 years... Trump's election got it started (10 since COVID) but last month I curtailed the bread and pasta. Now I'd like to allow myself a special pasta dish once a month. Would you and Richard share his take on the Wolfgang Puck pasta dish?? I'd be indebted. (lol)
Hope your canyon remains safe from the dreadful fires.

Lynda said...

Good for you, maintaining your weight in the days of COVID and Trump! Sharing recipes? If you are, I'd love to know how Richard makes his Wolfgang Puck pasta dupe.
Take care and stay safe and in peace.

ilona saari said...

Here's the link to the pasta, Lynda -- There seems to be other links to his pasta as well. ttps://