Thursday, August 09, 2012

Penne with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese (Page 209)


  • Date: Sunday, June 3, 2012 -- 6pm
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Kitchen: My Temporary Apartment
  • Book: Gourmet Today
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I was in Boston a couple months ago, and was fortunate enough to be staying in an apartment rather than a hotel room. I decided to take advantage of the kitchen, and make something from The Book. I was looking for something with very few ingredients and that required little equipment, as the kitchen in question was incredibly poorly equipped! I settled on this recipe. I started by cooking some penne. Meanwhile, I halved cherry tomatoes and tossed them with salt. I tossed the hot cooked pasta with goat cheese, then added the tomatoes, some chopped Kalamata olives, torn basil, salt, and pepper. The dish looked delicious. And from the ingredients it also sounded delicious. But yet, it wasn't delicious. Perhaps the goat cheese I used was too strong, but the flavor of the goat cheese was very overpowering. I absolutely love goat cheese, but the way it dominated this dish made the whole thing one-note and unappealing. I rarely meet a pasta and cheese dish that I don't like, but this one left me pretty disappointed.

The recipe is here.

15 recipes down, 1091 to go!

One very nice thing about math research is that it is tremendously portable. I can take my pen and paper anywhere, and most of the reference materials I could possibly need are either on my computer already or can be found on the internet. My research life would be very different if I were in a lab science, for instance, where you are tied to your lab and the equipment therein. I travel a lot, but on the road I can continue working, and that is wonderful. However, I am about a month in to this California trip now, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to focus. I miss my workspace at home. I miss getting up, packing my lunch, and heading in to my office each morning. Basically, I miss my routine. I don't mind working in libraries, and coffeeshops, and hotel rooms, but after a while (about a month apparently) I start to miss my own space. So far I have been managing to power through my increased restlessness and get work done anyway. But I am glad we are headed home in two days. I will only be home for 5 days before I leave on another trip, but I have high hopes for a productive and refreshing 5 days.

In the meantime, I am trying to get as much work done as I can. I don't really have the luxury of taking a few days off, as the semester is almost upon me and I am far from ready! Fortunately (or unfortunately, I suppose) I have tons of organizational and teaching-relating tasks to take care of, and that kind of thing is pretty easy to do even with my compromised focus level. So I will write syllabi and lecture schedules, etc. And the poor people who are co-organizing conferences and programs with me will be bombarded with emails for a couple days, as I check the things off my to-do list that I can rally to get done. Sorry guys!


Amy said...

This raises the question - do you take The Book everywhere?

I've been reading your blog off and on for a a few years but don't think I've ever commented. I really enjoy it, as the Yellow book has been a frequent source of inspiration, and I recently got the Green one. I live in Switzerland now, so some ingredients are trickier than usual to come by, but all part of the fun. I hope you enjoy your upcoming Swiss trip!

Teena said...

I don't take The Book everywhere, but I do travel with it sometimes! I did take it to Boston earlier in the summer, but I didn't bring it with me on this trip to California, as I knew I wouldn't have a kitchen.