sidenote: everyday pasta has been my muse these past few weeks, since it is full of very simple, easily adaptable and completely edible ideas for dinners. i’ve determined to whittle down my summer books to just a few, all light and easy with the occasional weekend challenge thrown in: everyday pasta, my vue, the new spanish table, jamie’s italy, wagamama, the kitchen diaries, the perfect scoop, and both of emily luchetti’s passion books. my main challenges for the summer will be marshmallows, croissants (or danish), and chocolate making. i’m ,signed up for a class at the new school in just a few weeks, in fact.
anyway, by the time i arrived home, soaking wet and just as the rain was stopping, it was clear that there would be no picnic, no movie, and no outing. which was, perhaps, just as well, since i had an overwhelming day spent buried in our bloomberg terminal at work. i turned, as ever, to giada and whipped up a baked pastina with some leftover chicken. giada seems to have a bit of a soft spot for “pastina,” the little baby pasta stars i remember with horror from youthful meals of campbell’s chicken and stars soup, and having utilized them in several of her recipes i begin to see the appeal. they are small, easy to cook and have a nice, tender mouthfeel. the blend wonderfully into the casserole, soaking up the tomato sauce and the spices and forming small galaxies suspended in the mozzarella cheese.