Farfalle with Lemon, Walnuts and Parmesan

serves 2 to 4, depending on appetite

This dish originated as a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants meal. I had a hunch the flavors would work, and figured out the order and amounts as I was adding them to the pan. Luckily, I had a pen and paper nearby to record the tasty results. We didn't have any leftovers, but my guess is this would make a pretty yummy cold pasta salad too.

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

10 walnuts, shelled and coarsely chopped

generous splash of white wine

1/4 cup milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup frozen peas

8 ounces farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions

Heat olive oil with butter in a deep skillet. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add walnuts and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring or shaking pan ocassionally, until golden and fragrant. Add the wine, and scrape up any toasty bits on the bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.

Slowly stir in milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Simmer for five minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Add the frozen peas and continue cooking until heated through. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning as needed. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately.

And for that leftover plain, cooked pasta…

Grilled Corn, Tomato & Farfalle Salad

serves four

This recipe uses all items I had on hand: some leftover corn from the previous night's dinner, plain cooked pasta, tomatoes and some cilantro I was determined would not get tossed at the end of vacation. Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, and same goes for the pasta.

1 ear of grilled corn

8 ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked according to package directions

1 large tomato (or 2 small), chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cut kernels off the grilled cob of corn. Add with cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl. Toss with tomatoes and enough olive oil to coat pasta. Add balsamic vinegar to taste. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. May be prepared the day before. Serve at room temperature.