pasta for one

I lack discipline. I really do.

If you’ve ever gone food-shopping with me, this will be no surprise to you. Just last week alone, I made two impulse buys – a bucket of ‘ugly’ fresh shitake mushrooms at the farmer’s market (“it’s such a good deal!”) and a whole bunch of shiso leaves at the Japanese store (“but I must have them for the umeshiso rolls!”). It doesn’t sound like that much, you say? Well, did I tell you that we also subscribe to a weekly delivery of organic produce from Terra Firma Farms? This makes our fridge is a veritable garden, but one where we’re sometimes faced with the task of figuring out how to combine various ingredients that are all going to go bad soon. So… shiso, shitake, and my general laziness in trying to find something more ambitious to do with them resulted in a simple Japanese-style pasta dish.

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Yummi Maki

For a while now, every time I would open the freezer, there would be a few tubs of this pork broth I made a few months ago, taunting me to find a use for them. Honestly, I can’t even remember exactly why I had pork bones to make broth from – I guess we took the meat off for some other use? Anyway, what can you do with pork broth? I toyed around with the idea for a pork pho for a bit, but having never made regular beef pho before, I was hesitant to attempt my first pho with an alternate meat. Then, in a moment of revelation, I finally figured out where in the noodle world pork broth fits… Ramen! (duh)

Although my broth was also made from pork bones, it was much lighter and clearer than my favorite milky-white tonkotsu broth. I heated it up with the white parts of some scallions, ladled it on top of some fresh ramen, and garnished with the green parts of scallions plus a hard-boiled egg (from Devil’s Gulch Ranch – I’m currently obsessed with finding really good farm eggs). Speaking of ramen, why won’t Japanese stores sell just fresh ramen without seasoning packets?!

To go with the simplistic bowls of noodles, I made some umeshiso maki. Mine all came out pretty sad-looking with rips and tears in places, but as my mom likes to say, “It all ends up looking the same in your stomach anyway.”

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