Tuesday, August 31, 2010

local band pasta salad

One of my favorite ways to spend my evenings (besides in the kitchen) is to go to live music shows. So imagine my glee when I discovered that an awesome local band were selling their very own cookbook at the merch table! The band is Gentleman Auction house, and they are fantastic... they have had some national recognition, and they are all pretty. Seriously. How does that happen? All very talented and all very good-looking. Jeez. Anyway, I picked up the cookbook, which is a self-published little book filled with recipes from the band and their family and friends.

I saw GAH (love how the initials work out... GAH!! :) ) again this past weekend and St. Louis first annual Loufest. Loufest was fantastic.... well organized, great music, beautiful weather, good food and beer. It made me so proud of my city! Check out my fellow Food Blog Mobster Kelli's take on the fest... and FBM's official photographer Corey Woodruff's photos from the event. (and pledge to his kickstarter to help him document and even bigger fest in New York this fall...)

In honor of the sun and colorfulness of the fest, the recipe I chose from Gentleman Auction House's cookbook is this tortellini salad with asparagus, ham and strawberries flavored with a lime vinaigrette. I changed very little... I used more asparagus just because I wanted to use the whole bundle, and I subbed fresh lime juice and agave nectar for the limeade the recipe called for. I was a little iffy about the addition of strawberries... with asparagus? But it really worked! This is a fabulous salad for warm weather... and it's so pretty with the red berries, bright green blanched asparagus and pink ham.

Ham and Asparagus Tortellini Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
adapted from Gentleman Auction House's Cook Book

-1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
-1 (16 oz. ) pkg. cheese tortellini
-1 cup cubed ham
-1/4 cup green onions (I forgot these)
-1 pint strawberries, quartered

-3 Tbls. olive oil
-3 Tbls. rice wine vinegar
-juice from 1 lime
-zest from 1 lime
-1 tsp. agave nectar
-salt & pepper

Cook the tortellini in boiling water according to the package, adding the asparagus about 3 minutes before the tortellini are done. Drain and rinse the pasta and asparagus with cold water. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, either with a whisk or by shaking them up in a container with a tight lid. Combine the tortellini, asparagus and ham, and toss with the dressing. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Add strawberries right before serving.

Here is a Gentlemen Auction House video for your listening and viewing pleasure:

And here are some pics I took of them performing at Loufest:

I do believe that is a mixer bowl as part of his drum set (there are 2 drummers!! rawk!)

Man. Food and music is a match made in heaven! There has got to be more band cookbooks out there... ? Woody informed of the upcoming book Mosh Potatoes, which has the Headbanger's Ball little tween in me all swoony. Franz Ferdinand's lead singer has a book about eating while on tour, called Sound Bites, that is fantastic... I did a little write up on it a few years ago. Dear readers, tell me some more music + food books!!

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