well this is awkward...i feel as though SMAK is some girl i went on a date with and never called back...

my excuse? um.... i lost track of time. i had to go to the doctor. i took a sabbatical. i lost my computer. i moved to a foreign country and was without internet service. i forgot how to cook?

4 months. i have gone 4 months without putting a single picture, recipe, post, not even a whimper onto SMAK. what in the world happened? i don't know what to say. i could try to come up with excuses. clearly i have tried, but all seem pathetic and contrived. so instead of coming up with some reason for my 4-month absence, i will own up. i didn't call back. i didn't even send a text message! all i can ask is to let me back into your inboxes and kitchens. let me make your mouths water with intense anticipation.

let me be your SMAK!

Pittsburgh

this past weekend i flew out to pittsburgh, pa to visit my best friend of 20 years. crap. 20 years? thinking about knowing someone for that long, outside of your own flesh and blood, seems absurd. but none-the-less, shizz happens - megan and i first met and the bright young age of 5, our mothers called each other to make sure that it was appropriate for us to have play dates, and we've been making creepy crawlers and drinking wine ever since!

pasta with pesto cream sauce

megan took me to pittsburgh's strip district, a neighborhood teaming with markets and shops. italian groceries. jewish groceries. stores fronts with tchotchke knick knacks and steelers memorabilia. everywhere. i have never in my life seen so many people wearing sports gear. hats. shirts. jerseys. shorts. tattoos. a little overboard for my taste.

meg & tom

we had planned on spending the evening in without the slightest idea of meal choices. megan and i will quite frequently text each other asking what to make for dinner. so clearly decisiveness may not be our strong suit. while meandering through an italian market, meg picked up a bag of cavatappi. "i bet this would be great with some kind of cream sauce." a few seconds later i was sifting through recipes on my iphone and discovered this easy recipe for pasta with pesto cream sauce.

this meal, along with a bottle of red wine, or two...three, was the perfect way to spend a saturday night with my best friend!

so grab your best friend and try this out yourself and until next time...happy eating!

pasta with pesto cream sauce servings: 8

ingredients: 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons pine nuts 2 cloves garlic, peeled salt and pepper, to taste 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup grated parmesan (additional) 12 ounces pasta 2 whole tomatoes, diced

instructions:

  1. cook pasta until al dente.
  2. add basil leaves, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor. turn on and drizzle in olive oil while ingredients mix. continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. set aside.
  3. heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. add pesto and stir.
  4. drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. pour pesto cream over the top. toss to combine. add diced tomatoes and toss quickly. top with parmesan cheese. serve immediately.