I am absolutely in love with springtime in Virginia. Wow! Does it get any better than this? I can hardly keep my eyes on the road when I run out to do an errand. It's so beautiful. Everything is blooming, turning our world green.
I must extend a big thanks to John and Emily Achin for introducing us to the gardening book, "Dirty Knees". I think I'm on my third time reading over it. It's so specific about what to plant when for our area. A true godsend for this California transplant!
Our garden is huge and I'm into starting small so we portioned off a small area and put up some barriers for wildlife. Here's a peek at what's coming up! Spinach and peas. ( I love to companion plant.) Onions with beets soon to follow. Potatoes, fava beans, kale, lettuces, chard, kohlrabi, flowers, and carrots. Lots of carrots.
In our hoop house we have corn bursting forth, tomatoes right behind, cukes and a few strawberries. Thanks to the hens they left all of there nitrogen behind for us to plant away in. The corn came up like lightening! There is something so empowering about growing your own food.
Here's an italian pasta recipe that Daphne prepared. Another yummy treat all the way from Rome!
typical pasta sauce recipe from Rome.
saute pancetta (polyface bacon) diced into small cubes
add onions, finely sliced
when onions are browining add a generous amount of Marsala.
(It is a sweet cooking wine usually found near ports and sherrys).
Add crushed red pepper flakes, for a little kick, according to your flavor preference.
Let the wine cook off a little and add tomatoes.
You can add preserved tomatoes (if canned I like to use a hand blender to have a smoother texture) or fresh, finely diced tomatoes.
Stir nicely and let the whole sauce reduce.
Separately cook linguine (or more traditionally, bucatini, thick spagetthi with a whole in the middle that can be challenging to eat but an experience).
Strain the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly with the sauce, serve and sprinkle abundantly with parmiggiano or pecorino romano.