Friday, March 13, 2009

Day...oh, who knows - What to do with a lot of parsley, redux

Yes, almost two months have passed since my last post. It's funny, but for all these days, I pretty much forgot about the lone remaining Aerogarden of parsley (remember that it's sitting on the top shelf way above my head).

In fact, twice in these two months, I did check up on the Aerogarden, expecting to find unintentionally dried parsley. But to my surprise, it kept growing and growing. The first time I checked, the water was almost completely dried out, but only a few outer leaves had turned brown--the rest of the parsley was doing great. And by the second time I checked (it was bone dry again, and I had completely run out of nutrient tablets to boot), the parsley had grown even more.

So, as you know, my goal is to use up the parsley so I can retire the Aerogardens and start fresh again in a few months. But how to use up parsley if it just keeps growing so danged prolifically?

Jackpot! I found a recipe that used a whole cup of parsley at AllRecipes.Com! It's a recipe for Alfredo Mostaccioli. No, Alfredo Mostaccioli was not a kid you went to high school with. "Mostaccioli" is a fancy Italian word for Penne Pasta which is not ridged. I happened to have one more box of Penne pasta in the cupboard, so it was perfect. I just had to go out and buy cream, but everything else I had in the fridge, in the cupboard, or growing like wildfire out of the Aerogarden.

The first step in the recipe was to combine the cream and the butter. At this point, I knew this recipe was a winner. Anything that uses this much cream and butter MUST be good.

Next step was to grate the cheese. I happened to have a block of Parmagiano Reggiano (that was Al's best friend in high school) in the fridge, so I whipped out the Kitchenaid with the grater attachment (I'll spare you the requisite pun) and grated up a whole lot of cheese.

Next step was to harvest the parsley. And yes, even after using all this, I still have more to use up!

Throw it all into a pot...

And voila (or should I say presto), a meal fit for a king.

The fresh parsley and the fresh cream and the fresh garlic gave it an interesting taste that I can only describe as "fresh". Definitely a step above your Olive Garden variety pasta.

So, now I'm just searching for one or two last recipes to use for my parsley. We'll see how much it continues to grow without nutrient tablets.