Recipes inspired by musicals: Oklahoma!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You’ve got to love a musical that has an exclamation mark in its title.

When I was growing up, my parents bought my sister and I a couple of Reader’s Digest compilation records.  (Sadly, I will have lost many of my younger readers already.  I suggest you google “record”, and continue by googling “Reader’s Digest”, and you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about.)

Our favourite four-album collection was called “The Wonderful World of Music for Children”, and the record we played the most was “Songs from Great Shows”.  All of the songs were great, but none was more magical than “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from Oklahoma!    How can you not love a song with lyrics like these:

“Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry
When I take you out in the surrey
When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top!
Watch that fringe and see how it flutters
When I drive them high-steppin’ strutters
Nosy folks’ll peek through their shutters and their eyes will pop!”

Yes, more exclamation marks.           

The story revolves around a box social dance.  Each of the girls in the neighbourhood prepares a box lunch, which is auctioned off to raise money for the schoolhouse.  The successful bidder gets to eat the lunch with the girl who prepared it.  The tension surrounds Laurey (played by Shirley Jones, in her first movie role), whose lunch is bid on by both cowboy Curley and the cruel farm hand Jud.

Curley would have loved finding Pasta, Pesto and Peas in his box lunch.  The recipe is taken from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties! (Yet another exclamation mark!)  If you take it on a picnic, just keep the salad chilled in a cooler until you’re ready to serve it.  I think you’ll enjoy it so much, you’ll find it earns an exclamation mark of its own.

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

3/4 pound (about 340 grams) fusilli pasta
3/4 pound (about 340 grams) bow-tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto
10-ounce package (300 grams) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes, until each pasta is al dente.  Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil.  Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice.  Add the mayonnaise and continue to puree.

Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta, then add the Parmesan cheese, peas, pine nuts and salt.  Mix well and season to taste.

45 comments:

Rita said...

Yes I remember Reader's Digest and I remember Oklahoma! What a feel good musical that was! Your salad inspires me to make some pesto; my basil is really grong crazy this year. Happy Sunday!\
Rita

allieksmith said...

I LOVE how you can connect food and entertainment! What a talent :)

Raina said...

Oklahoma is a favorite of mine too. I used to wake my kids up in the morning when they were young singing, "Oh what a beautiful morning.." Then they got older and started complaining about all the racket...lol

This pasta salad looks wonderful. I have an outing to go to and was asked to bring the pasta salad. I think I found the one to bring...thanks:)

Beth said...

Raina, I almost mentioned that song in my post. I love it too! Hope you like the salad as much as I did.

jillbert said...

Pesto and spinach! That combination deserves an exclamation point.

Angie's Recipes said...

I know reader's digest, but not sure about Oklahoma...love your pasta..pesto and pasta are for sure great together.

Carol said...

I know Oklahoma. O-K L-A H-O M-A, Oklahoma!
But not Reader's Digest.
The pasta looks delicious!!!!!!! Definitely worthy of many exclamations.

Heather said...

I love Ina Garten. Her recipes are usually always outstanding. I will have to give this a try...somehow I need to sneak the peas and spinach by my husband!

Valerie said...

Perfect combination of food and music. :D

Barbara said...

I remember seeing this on stage. Loved it AND loved the movie.
Great pasta, Beth!

Victoria said...

I love your recipes inspired by musicals!! I've never seen Oklahoma! but I'm familiar with the song because they sang it in When Harry Met Sally, haha. I always thought this pasta salad looked great when I saw it on the Barefoot Contessa :)

yummychunklet said...

Ooh, this looks like a really tasty pasta recipe. Yum!

Nina said...

Oh, Beth--I ♥ Oklahoma! What a great pairing with this Ina pasta salad! I might seriously make this tonight!

Jess said...

Yummy! I've never seen Oklahoma! (I know, shame on me), but I love pesto :)

Barbara Jean said...

Ah, and Hugh Jackman sang from Oklahoma at his show last week. Beth did you ever see "When Harry Met Sally"? Billie Crystal and Meg Ryan use a karaoke machine to sing Surrey with the Fringe on Top. :)

Beth said...

I saw When Harry met Sally years ago, but I can't believe I forgot that scene!

Monet said...

How cute! My dad use to sing songs from Oklahoma! when he took me to school in the mornings. Thank you for sharing another beautiful recipe. I hope you had a lovely weekend, and I hope you have an even lovelier week. Many blessings and much love...

Torviewtoronto said...

innovative way to make pasta looks wonderful

laxsupermom said...

Oklahoma is one of my favorites, too. This looks like the perfect recipe to pack for a picnic. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia said...

Oh Beth - I sang along with Oklahoma! from the time I was 9 and my parents bought me the cast album. They created a monster! I can still belt "I Cain't Say No" at the top of my lungs! And after all that exertion, I'd like to settle down with your pasta salad.

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

Ah, the box social. I do wish that it was more in-vogue now...Imagine the types of things you could find in your box these days!

The Barefoot Contessa really is wonderful as far as entertaining goes. Such elegant recipes, so low maintenance.

Jo Schaffer said...

I'm just a girl who cain't say NO to something that looks that yummy!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Oklahoma! is one of my all-time favorite musicals. Our theater group did it in high school, and the songs were some of the most fun to sing. So far we are 2/2 in the musical category.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Never thought of adding peas to pesto... sounds yummy. I love peas.

Barefeet In The Kitchen said...

I grew up reading Reader's Digest and I still adore musicals. My boys and I were just singing "Going Courtin'" last night.

The Baking Gypsy said...

Oklahoma! is such a great! What a fantastic idea to host a recipe inspired by a musical! I love the idea of pesto mixed in with the pasta...sounds really yummy! :)

xx,
Tammy

Dan said...

Oh, I really like the idea of the spinach in the pesto, it looks excellent.

Oh, and re: exclamation points, IMO people should only get 10 per lifetime. No idea why companies insist on putting one in their name or product names.

Cheers

Cassie @ Bake Your Day said...

This sounds like a great combination. I like adding peas to pesto!

Tiffany said...

What a great tribute to summer! :D

Reeni said...

This is one I haven't seen but I like the story behind it. And this pasta is something anyone would welcome in their lunch box! Delicious.

Tami said...

Delicious! A lot of my favs all combined in one bowl. Can't wait to try this recipe!

lapetitepancake said...

I love that scene in When Harry Met Sally when they are singing "Surrey with the Fringe on Top". haha Good times.
Don't you just love Barefoot Contessa! This recipe looks nummy.

Yasmin said...

Mmmmmmmm! This looks delicious! and so good for you :) I hope you have a good week!

Cheers,
Yas
www.tickle-your-tastebuds.blogspot.com

Belinda said...

How fun acn d yummy! Makes me want to dance.

Joanne said...

I love this new series of yours! Musicals are so much fun.

This looks like one tasty pasta salad! I adore pesto.

Amie Kaufman said...

Looks delicious! (Exclamation mark.)

Talk about perfect picnic food. I'm so jealous of all of you in the northern hemisphere right now! I envy your heat!

Jeanne said...

Now I'll be singing the soundtrack all day! I love Oklahoma! The alliteration and the exclamation points make this recipe sound even better!

Angela Ackerman said...

This looks exactly like what I need to make for dinner. I love pasta salads that aren't heavily creamed. NOM.

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Medeia Sharif said...

I haven't seen Oklahoma! yet, but I am a pasta fanatic.

LDH said...

Oh, Beth, your post is just the motivation I need to make this recipe. I have had it in my file for at least a couple of years but never tried it. Soon :)

Kathleen said...

Love the OK! musical. This pasta salad looks fabulous!

The Golden Eagle said...

I love that song! (Although I've never actually watched Oklahoma.) And I love pasta. :)

Angela Felsted said...

A pageant and an iceberg. How cool.

Kristen said...

I have been so out of the loop with my family's move that I didn't realize you had a series going...what a fabulous idea to match food with musicals (two of my favorites!). I have made pesto, pasta and peas. It's also a favorite. I haven't made it in years, but now that you have reminded me of its yumminess, I am going to have to buy some basil!

Sue said...

I am enjoying your musical food:) This recipe sounds AMAZING!

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