Happy New Year! 2013 is brand new, and a fresh start is definitely something I think we all need. 2012 was a great year; we both had meaningful work and new jobs, got to travel quite a bit, and enjoyed good health ourselves. Still, the year had a pall over it. I had a couple of beloved family members with health scares, and well, we all know the suffering that took place when Sandy hit our shores in October. Watching my home state take a pounding was nowhere near as difficult as actually living the destruction, but it was still hard and incredibly sad to see places I loved destroyed. The devastating tragedy in Newtown broke all of our hearts, and I think we’re all still hurting. It’s just not something you recover from quickly.
A fresh start was welcome when the clock struck 12 on December 31st, and simplicity is one of my goals for 2013. With the fiscal cliff looming, blame being thrown around on social media channels, and a tinge of hopelessness in the air, I feel like making time for simple meals, time with loved ones, volunteering, and random acts of kindness, truly going back to one another is the way out.
Our first work day dinner of the New Year was a simple one that my aunt reminded me of when we were in New Jersey, pasta with kale, white beans, garlic, and parmesan. A few great ingredients and a little bit of time yielded a quick, simple meal.
One of those ingredients was olive oil from Frances Mayes’ Bramasole (Under the Tuscan Sun) generously sent to me by Frances and her husband Edward. I received a tin of oil and a bottle of oil, the tin containing new olive oil from this year’s harvest. We consumed most of it simply on bread (and some by the spoon), and it was fruity, fresh, and spicy. It was a special addition to this pasta dish, and a heartwarming gift during these cold months. You can order oil from Bramasole or join their olive oil convivium by visiting their website.
As for the pasta dish, I just eyeballed it, using tiny pasta shells, white pasta enriched with fiber, along with four cloves of garlic, a can of cannelini beans, and a few handfuls of kale. I topped it all off with Bramasole olive oil, a handful of Parmigiano Reggiano, and crushed red pepper flakes.
What are your goals for 2013?