I love Wednesdays, because that means the food section in the Washington Post! I have been looking forward to seeing their 2008 cooking class listings for quite some time, and I recently got my wish. Every year, the Post asks for submissions of local cooking classes in the Washington area and divides them into categories: baking and pastry; business/professional/hobbies; for children; general; healthful; international; and wine and spirits. This year, they have 82 options! I highly suggest checking it out here. I’m already scheming as to what classes I might take – I especially like the culinary options at Northern Virginia Community College and Fairfax County Schools, cooking parties with the DC Dining Society and L’Academie de Cuisine, and wine tasting/food pairing with Greater Washington Wine School and Wine Seller & Vineyard Table.
I’m seriously considering taking a few classes at the community college in Northern Virginia. Check out the listings and see what works for you!
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A friend of mine has been bringing me fresh tomatoes from her garden, and Jared and I love making a quick side dish by roasting them in the oven with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The Washington Post had an entire portion of its food section dedicated to tomatoes a few weeks ago, and we tried Pasta With Fresh Tomato, Roasted Garlic, and Brie (serves 4-6 people):
- 12-16 oz. dried whole-grain thin spaghetti, such as Barilla brand
- 6-7 large Roma tomatoes or 2 pints of assorted cherry/grape tomatoes
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/2 head roasted garlic
- 6 oz. brie, preferably at room temperature
- 1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, coarsely chop the tomatoes and place in a large serving bowl. Stack the basil leaves neatly, then roll them tight and cut into very thin shreds; add to the bowl. Squeeze about half of the cloves from a head of roasted garlic, or add about 1 1/2 tbs. of roasted garlic and mix well. Tear the brie into chunks, discarding the rind, if desired, and add to the bowl, along with the oil to taste, salt, if desired, and pepper to taste. Toss to combine, placing the bowl of sauce on a warm surface of the stove top.
Drain the pasta thoroughly and add to the sauce; toss until the brie has melted. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss lightly to combine. Divide among individual wide, shallow bowls and serve with more of the cheese for passing at the table.
This dish is delicious, light, and refreshing. I especially loved the flavor of the garlic, which brushed with a little olive oil, wrapped in foil, and roasted in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes. I’m excited to try this method of roasting garlic (a new concept to me) to spread on toasted bread, add to homemade pizza, and many other things!
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