Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Farfalle (Bow Tie Pasta) With Asparagus, Hard Boiled Eggs and Parmesan Cheese

When I was discussing what to have for dinner on Easter Sunday with my daughter, she mentioned a dish that her friend and former boss used to make.  She said it was absolutely wonderful with ham, so of course, I insisted that she make it for us (and it was one less thing I had to make).    She did and I have to share the recipe with you because it is wonderful.  It could even be a stand alone dish for a meatless meal.

Holly went to New York City right after graduating from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis.  She was a musical theater major and wanted to experience the Big Apple.  We put her on a plane, one of the hardest things I have ever done, and watched her fly into the sunset.  Don't get me wrong, we wanted her to live her dreams as we wished for all of our children - she was just the first one to go.  Her friend had rented an apartment for them to share.  She had never been there, didn't know how to get there and there were no cell phones then.  The cab driver, who was also new to NYC, couldn't find the address and they drove around for hours trying to find her new abode.  She arrived at 2 am, somewhat hysterical.  I on the other hand, was approaching a nervous breakdown because we had not heard from her.  When she finally called in tears, I was so relieved that I cannot even begin to tell you how relieved!  And so, her adventures began.  Her sister and brother joined her there eventually.  It was not quite as traumatic the second and third time around because she was there to greet and guide them.  It did get a little easier for us as each one of them went to live their dreams.  Since then, they have been all over the place.  We just go with the flow.

During her time in the city, she worked for a woman by the name of Faye Hess who owned the Long Island City Brick Co. Cafe in Long Island City.  Faye taught her to cook wonderful meals as the Lucy and Ethel pair greeted and served the surrounding neighbors on a daily basis.  The cafe was a quaint little place with a plethora of regular daily customers.  It was like watching a tv show as the regulars came and went, as they shared triumphs and tragedies.  We visited there on several occasions, even sang Christmas carols one year for all the neighbors at the cafe.   Dan played his guitar and the rest of us joined in - sort of like the Partridge family folk style.   It is quite a memory.

Faye was so good to Holly and taught her a lot.  Faye has a blog called FayeFood.com and a website called Dinnerlist.com if you are interested in some amazing recipes and insights into food.  She was recently a participant on Chopped on the Food Network also.  Holly and Faye have remained friends through the years, even though they have traveled many different paths since the days at The Long Island Brick Co. Cafe.  Faye also teaches cooking in Italy in the Tuscany region and in France.  You really might want to check her out!

Anyway, back to this wonderful dish we had on Sunday.  Talk about a good side dish for ham, especially when you want something other than potatoes.  YUMMMMO as Rachel Ray likes to say.  It is an easy dish to fix.  Here is what you need:


1 lb. farfalle pasta (bow tie pasta)
1 bunch asparagus
3 cloves garlic
6-12 hard boiled eggs
fresh or grated parmesan cheese
olive oil

Cook the pasta according to directions.  Drain and drizzle with olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
In a large saute pan, add enough olive oil to saute the asparagus.  Remove the pithy ends from the asparagus spears.  Cook the 3 whole cloves of garlic just enough to perfume the olive oil and remove from pan.  Add the asparagus and cook just enough to still be crisp and bright green.  Remove from the pan.  Place the pasta in a large casserole dish, scatter the asparagus over the pasta.  Peel the hard boiled eggs and crumble with your hands, scattering them over the pasta and asparagus.   Use as many eggs as you like.   If you are using fresh parmesan cheese, make long ribbons of cheese with a vegetable peeler all over the top of the hardboiled eggs.  If using grated, use several hands full and scatter over the hard boiled eggs.   That's it!  Serve and enjoy.  OH SOOOO GOOD.  I certainly could eat it just by itself for a meal.

This is a wonderful recipe that I am so happy to have discovered.  With fresh and tender spring asparagus starting to come it, we will certainly be enjoying this again and again.  If you wanted to add some chopped ham to the dish, you certainly could and then you would have a one dish dinner that would be so easy to prepare.  It's also a great way to use some of those left over Easter eggs you may have in your refrigerator.

Thanks Holly for sharing this recipe from Faye.  I certainly appreciated getting to enjoy this delicious dish on Sunday, and am thankful to be able to share the recipe with all of you.  Give it a try, you are going to like it a lot!  Maybe some day I will get to go to Tuscany and take a class with Faye.  Who knows?  Anything is possible.  I certainly never thought I'd make it to New York City as many times as I did.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

You know, when you get your first asparagus, or your first acorn squash, or your first really good tomato of the season, those are the moments that define the cook's year. I get more excited by that than anything else.
Mario Batali