Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Pasta

Classic, right?

This is a little adaptation of a Barefoot Contessa Recipe.
The sauce is uncooked, making for a very colorful dish, and takes advantage of summer freshness.
There are relatively few ingredients and the only cooking required is boiling water for the pasta.

Make sure to get the parts of the sauce prepared a few hours before dinner, and the meal is a cinch.
I think this sauce is best with pasta that's cupped or somewhat hollow so it's able to "catch" bits of tomato and basil.

Basil is easy to chiffonade with a sharp chef's knife.
Stack up several leaves on top of one another, roll them into a cigar shape, and slice the roll in thin and even cuts.
Voilà! Chiffonade.

*I had what I thought was a perfect video in this spot.
But I got rid of the video and posted the link instead because the video would play whenever it was on screen, even when it wasn't the post you were looking at.
If you still want to check out the video, see above (there'll probably be a commercial before the video).*

When cooking the pasta, it's important to make sure it doesn't turn into mush. You want it to be "al dente."

The easiest way to do this is to undercook it by a couple of minutes (depending on the time given on the package), taste, and leave it in a little longer if necessary.
Remember that pasta will continue to cook and steam itself a bit once it's off the heat, plus it'll soak up some of the liquid from the sauce.

Summer Pasta
serves 4-8
(really, it depends on who you have eating and whether it's a side or a main)

3 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
3/8 c olive oil (or scant 1/2 c)
3/4 t kosher salt, plus more for salting pasta water
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes
18 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded, plus extra to be used prior to serving
1 lb. pasta (I use campanelle)
1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving, if desired)

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place them in a large bowl with olive oil, minced garlic, the 18 basil leaves, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Stir gently to combine and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let macerate at least 3 hours at room temperature, tossing occasionally.
When you're ready to eat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Salt liberally, stir to dissolve the salt, and bring back to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook to al dente according to package instructions (or be like me and cook for less time than the package instructs).
Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Toss together with the Parmesan cheese and extra fresh basil leaves.
Serve with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to know where the petty cash is too!