Monday, August 17, 2015

A Little Pasta Party

I'm Italian, as I imagine you are too. Maybe it's just a sweeping cultural generalization, or we actually do have hotter blood pumping through our veins. Either way, we only deal in one of two emotions: unrelenting rage and jubilant gaiety. Rarely do the two mix. Except in the bedroom. The joy is brought about by many things such as pie, booze and the gentle purrs of my cat. The rage is triggered by mostly everything...from misplaced sunglasses to one of the good plates getting broken. Nothing is too small to get worked up about. Unfortunately for you non-Italians, there's no delicate way to deal with these unpredictable bouts of passion. It's best just to wait it out because there will probably be a pasta dish once the tantrum subsides. I keep this relic of my dad's college days in my kitchen to warn strangers that they're walking on eggshells. 

Yellow Tomato Pomodoro

When Italian women get mad, they get even. When I'm angry, I take to the pots and pans. I feel it gives me a much needed sense of control in a world full of chaos. After drinking too much vino by the beach, I stumbled into Mariano's and purchased some lovely yellow tomatoes. It's the season for them and I had a hankering for some fancy Italian food. Diet bedamned! If you're too poor for the $9 organic heirloom tomatoes then you should probably reassess your career goals. The regular ones will work fine though, I guess. I'll be honest, I think I'm misusing the term "pomodoro" - all I know is that it means tomato in Italian. Pretty much all I learned in the two semesters of Italian I took in college. My plus one and I are still learning a lot terrifying things about each other after moving in probably too soon. I save my cat's whiskers in a jar marked 'cat whiskers' and he owns a wok I just found in the cabinet. Ya think ya know someone....

you will need the following: 

1 lb good tomatoes
1/2 sweet onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
salt & pepper 
a few fennel seeds (optional)
fettuccine noodles (cooked)
shaved parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

Step 1: Remove stems from tomatoes. Cut in half. Over a strainer, pull out the guts, saving the juice but discarding the seeds. In a sauce pan, simmer oil and onions with spices until onion is soft. Add garlic, simmer 3 minutes. Add most of the tomato pieces and juice. (Save a handful of tomato pieces to toss in later). Simmer until tomatoes fall apart. Allow to cool and then run through a food processor. 

Step 2: Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a wok or deep skillet. Add cooked pasta, tomato pieces and sauce. Add 1/2 c hot water and toss it around until it all thickens together and there's no longer water sitting at the bottom. Add copious amounts of shaved parmesan. 

Garnish finished product with more cheese. Mangia!

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