Garden Basil Bucatini with Parmigiano Reggiano

Garden Basil Bucatini with Parmesan_By Natalie ParamoreWhat better simple pleasure is there than a fine cheese? Well if you’re me, not much! Truly, I can make an entire meal out of cheese and it’s practically a major food group in my diet. BMW doesn’t consider it a meal unless there’s meat involved and I sorta feel the same way about cheese. Ok maybe not every meal but you know what I’m sayin! I usually find just about any excuse to add a sprinkle here or there to juuuuuust about anything haha.

This recipe came about after a few things happened. First, I attended this amazing cheese event with Parmigiano Reggiano. Yes! There is actually a whole entire consorzio over in Italy dedicated to Parmesan! Not to be confused with the green bottle of ’90’s childhoods but actual real, delicious parmesan. The event was hosted by Parmigiano Reggiano at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop with local chef extrodianire Drew Curren of Italic, Easy Tiger, 24 Diner, arro and soon to be Irene’s. At the event we tasted three different types of parmesan and they walked us through the differences in each. It can’t be called Parmigiano Reggiano unless it’s been aged for at least 12 months and has the official dotted rind, so look for that when you’re shopping. We got to taste the milder 14 month cheese which is hard to find in the US simply because after it ages for hard to get here in time to be sold as a 14 month. The 24 month is the most common and middle of the road perfect for everything cheese and the 36 month is a bolder, stinker cheese that can add that distinct¬†flavor to any dish!¬†

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Quick & Easy Pasta Lunch

First off, thanks everyone for bearing with me the past month as things slowed down here on the blog a little bit. I switched jobs, so was a little busy distracted adjusting to a new routine. Needless to say, loving the new gig but happy to be settling into a new groove and ready to get back to blogging!

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Since I’ve written a lot about breakfasts lately, I decided to do a few lunch posts! Today it’s chicken pasta salad! And I even made it the super easy cheater way. This is one of those perfect make it on Sunday or Monday and eat it a few times throughout the week!

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Black Bean and Fried Egg Rice Bowl

I’ve been neck deep in the kitchen blending orders of homemade pesto. Naturally, a few tablespoons have weaseled their way into my quick dinners. Isn’t it funny how stress makes you crave simple, comfort foods? It’s almost like my brain and stomach can’t handled any additional complicated signals. Simple. Comforting. We all need it sometimes. All my cravings for adventure and change have left me quite the full plate in most aspects of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m definitely a personality type that thrives in stressful, crisis type situations. You can’t have growth without a little pain and stretching. And who wants to be bored anyways?

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If you ever find yourself knee-deep in a million crazy, but fun activities, here is a great go-to dinner (or breakfast)! Packed with protein from black beans and the egg, some carbs from the rice to keep ya full and tons of flavor from the cilantro pesto!

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

1 cup rice
1 can black beans
2-3 eggs
2 tablespoons your favorite pesto
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil

Serves three girls or two hungry guys

Start by cooking the rice according the packaging.

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Once the rice is finished, mix it well with the pesto.

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Drain the black beans and let me dry out on the counter for a minutes or pat dry with a paper towel. You don’t want them to be wet. Ewww.

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Shape the rice into a circle if serving on a plate. Don’t be afraid to use your (clean!) hands to do this. Or serve in a bowl.

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Layer on the black beans.

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Top with a fried egg. I use olive oil to fry my eggs. I like the touch of flavor it adds and a better fat than butter in my opinion.

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I always like salt and pepper on my eggs. So add that if you like!

And there you have it folks, another quick and easy meal. Dig in and enjoy!