When I picked up Will from school today, one of the other moms asked me about my writing. She’d noticed my email signature, which indicates that I am a writer and editor and a few of the sites that I regularly write for. The question caught me totally off guard — but in a good way.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. While other kids would pretend to be doctors or policemen, I used an old dressing table in my room to pretend that I was writing a novel or filing an important news story on deadline. It was just my thing.
Writing is very much a part of who I am. Someone on a message board recently remarked about how a profession can’t define you … I totally disagree when it comes to the arts. When you are a writer, an artist, a singer, musician or performer, it’s very much ingrained in who you are.
Since writing is such a big part of me, I am not used to people asking about it from such a ground level. It made me smile to talk — if only for a few seconds — about how I came to be a writer and what I write about.
What I failed to mention when I was speaking with her though was another important part of my job: creating new recipes. I love the art of creating. I love pulling together flavors that just work well together and using them in new and different ways.
One combination that I love is artichokes and lemon — particularly when we are talking about fresh lemon. After Cate confessed how she often uses bottled lemon juice, I started paying more attention to what I use and have found that the taste of lemon juice and zest are far superior than the bottle. Color me a total convert.
As for the roasted vegetables, I absolutely love roasting veggies and tossing them in pasta. Pretty much everything is better roasted. It really brings out the flavors in the veggies … so, when I read about a pasta that Patsy at Friends, Family and Food made with roasted tomatoes and asparagus, I had to make something similar for dinner.
The result? A slightly tangy, rich, light and fresh tortellini pasta … Mmmmmm.
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen artichoke hearts
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup Romano cheese
- cheese tortellini
- 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a large jelly roll pan with nonstick aluminum foil. Spread the tomatoes, artichoke hearts and broccoli on the baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 12 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle the vegetables with the Romano cheese. Place it back in the oven and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, cook up enough tortellini for two people -- I used about a half a package.
- Zest the lemon and juice the halves.
- Toss together the tortellini, roasted vegetables, lemon zest and two tablespoons of the fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.