Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pasta al Tomate

Last week, Emily and I went to the airport to collect our sister, returned from an epic voyage to Italy. She offered to make the entire family dinner last Friday, a decision I'm sure she regrets. I'm not so sure she missed us. My part of the story started when Al called to invite me to dinner. "Well, I have a party to go to, what time is it going to be over?" (This is the sort of thing you can only say to your family.) But I came and sat on the couch and complained that dinner wouldn't be over according to my schedule. Dad and I sat in the living room, joking and sincerely wondering where the chef du jour was. It was 5:30 p.m., and she was at the grocery store--this is America, Al. We eat by 6! But the pasta got rolling, mom was on-hand to lend assistance and I finally dragged myself off the couch to chop some tomatoes--for which I was lucky not to maim my hand while Al pushed around the cutting board in a frantic dash to find the corkscrew. But taking nibbles of the food and sips from the wine sobered everyone's tempers. Al was the chef de cuisine, mom was sous chef and I was the lowly garde manger (pantry supervisor).

But we did the work to prepare the bruschetta, salad and pasta (no meat to be seen--and on my dad's birthday). Al even grabbed a bottle of wine from the town in which she lived in Italy (Orvieto). The recipes are from a restaurant in Orvieto called Zeppelin where Al took a cooking class. So our meal was just as good as being there--obnoxious family included. Bruschetta: 1 loaf of HyVee take and bake bread (this stuff is awesome and so easy) 2 ounces pancetta Asiago cheese, thinly sliced coarsely chopped fresh basil olive oil balsamic vinegar dried parsely This seems too easy to explain, but here goes: Slice baked bread into one-inch-thick pieces to serve topped with the cheese, pancetta and basil and also dipped in a bowl of a olive oil-vinegar-parsely mixture.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Chilis: olive oil 3 cloves garlic, diced 1 cup dry white wine 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced 1 chili pepper, diced (remove seeds according to desired spiciness) large handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped big handful spaghetti salt and pepper to taste parmesan cheese In a large sauce pan on medium, heat oil and saute garlic for a couple minutes. Add wine, tomatoes and chili pepper and continue to saute for 5 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Al bought an Anaheim pepper, which is less spicy than a jalapeno. You can always adjust the spiciness by adding or removing the ribs and seeds from the pepper. As far as judging a pepper's spiciness, generally smaller peppers are spicier. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to directions. Al picked up some spaghetti with ribs in it, which I really liked. Drain pasta and carefully dump into sauce pan with tomatoes. To serve top with basil and parmasan cheese.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

prociutto, not pancetta obnoxious sister.