Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dinner & A Movie Vol.1

     CC and I are both big movie nerds so movie nights are a-plenty in this household. Between studying film in school, attending many of our great local festivals (TIFF, Fantasia, Hot Docs...) and countless movie marathons (sometimes weeks at a time), I've had the opportunity to see many great films.  It doesn't hurt that CC works at Suspect Video & Culture and is surrounded by obscure, foreign and cult films, most of which pass through this home. And what better way to combine two of our  favourite pastimes than to put them together here?

Italian Horror Movie and Dinner Night 

First (of many- I am a sucker for Italian horror so this may be a recurring theme) recommended Italian Horror film: La Setta (1991) A.K.A. The Sect A.K.A. The Devil's Daughter. Beware, Italian horror films seem to go by many different names (by country of release), often winding up with two English titles. La Setta begins with a stylish opening sequence set in California during the Summer Of  Love. While a group of hippies are partying on a camping ground, a gnarly looking old man crashes the party and ritualistically murders everyone in a grisly montage. Cut to modern day Frankfurt Germany, where we see Miriam (played by Kelly Curtis, scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis' older sister) an unsuspecting and good-natured school teacher, become involved with a satanic cult whose leader Damon (Thomas Arana) has ungodly plans for her. Directed by Michele Soavi (Cemetery Man / Dellamorte Dallamore), produced and written by Dario Argento (Suspiria).

Pre-Movie Italian Feast:
Pesto Farfalle With Sundried Tomato, Spinach And Baby Bellas

What you will need:
Home made pesto (see below for recipe)
2 1/2 cups of Farfalle (bowtie pasta- also try whole wheat farfalle)
1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil
1 cup of chopped fresh spinach
1 cup of baby bella mushrooms
1/2 red pepper

Vegan Pesto:
2 cups of fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh baby arugala
3/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of salted roasted cashews (set aside an extra 1/4 cup - grind into a powder and use as a parmesan "cheese" topping)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything into a Magic Bullet, food processor or blender. Blend until all ingredients are mixed well and pesto looks smooth. Add to pasta. This makes a lot so freeze whatever you don't use for a later date. Tip: put pesto in a an ice cube tray and use to replace oil for frying.

Bring about 2 litres (or enough water to cover pasta) of salted water to a boil in large pot. Cook pasta for approximately 10 minutes - I like my pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking, drop a teaspoon of pesto and a couple drops of oil from the sundried tomatoes into a large heated pan. Once heated add baby bella mushrooms, fry until soft, add red pepper and sundried tomato, stir and fry until soft. Add spinach and let wilt. Turn down heat to low. Pasta should be done at this point so drain and and add to vegetables in frying pan. Give everything a stir and  add a 1/4 cup (or more if you like) of the pesto. You want the pesto to cover everything . Give it stir and when thoroughly mixed and warm it's ready to go.
Serve with salad and cheesy garlic bread. If you are feeling really fancy add Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes for dessert (Recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The  World). And if you are so inclined, pair with Yellow Tail Shiraz- Grenache (vegan).

 Buon Appetito!

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