Dinner in a New House

Hello from Newton, Massachusetts!

It has been almost 3 weeks since we said goodbye to our London flat and headed west. And we're feeling pretty settled here in our new home. As settled as we can while our British stuff still sits on a dock in the UK, waiting for a container it can fit inside to come across the ocean. That's how I imagine it anyway.

It's been a pretty smooth transition, all things considered. It probably helps that Phil is a teacher and gets the summer off, which gives us a lot of time to move in gradually and make thoughtful decisions about what we want and need in our house. Where before, we relied on the cheapest furniture Ikea offered and a few hand-me-down family pieces, now we're choosing items we'd like to hang onto for a long time, to outfit not only this rental house, but some future owned property. It's exciting!

The best part about our new house is this kitchen:

Love the retro touches that were left intact by the owner! This house was built in the mid-20's, but was extensively renovated and touched up just before we moved in. A lot of quirky characteristics still remain, which I love. The fully metal kitchen cabinets and counters are so interesting. It has already been awesome making meals in here, despite the heat and humidity!

And we've already taken full advantage of the nearest farmer's market, held weekly during the summer and early fall in Cold Spring Park.

They've got some great stalls here with plenty of fresh produce to choose from. So far my favorites have been the blueberries, peaches, and leafy greens (of course!). I hope I don't have to miss a single market day!

With that in mind, I prepared a simple summery meal for dinner recently using a lot of what we purchased at the market. This is a simple meal requiring very few kitchen appliances and tools (perfect if you've just moved house!). And the ingredients are simple too - nice and light for a warm summer evening. Brown rice pasta can be tricky to find, especially one that has a good texture. In the UK, I liked Rizopia products. Here in the States, I'm partial to Tinkyada. Both provide a nice texture that is similar to wheat pasta without the tricky digestion associated with gluten-containing foods!

Enjoy this satisfying and simple meal and I'll be back with you again very soon...

Summery Pasta with Mushroom Ragu and Goat Brie

by The Particular Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Keywords: boil saute entree gluten-free wheat free vegetarian sugar-free soy-free nut-free Italian summer

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 300g brown rice pasta (any shape)
  • 2 tbsp organic olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 28-oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz goat brie (or other soft goat cheese), broked into small chunks
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips


Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. We used Tinkyada shells, which took just over 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the mushroom ragu. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saute pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until just softened, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for another couple of minutes, then pour in the tomatoes and herbs, and season well. Turn up the heat and cook until the sauce starts to bubble. Reduce to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for at least 15 minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, toss with the sauce. Stir through the goat cheese to let it melt a little.

Serve warm with a scattering of fresh basil on top.

(This is a great dish to make extra of, as the leftovers when eaten cold are wonderful!)

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