Today’s Foodie Friday presentation comes to you via a day’s outing in St. James (one of the oldest neighborhoods in Port of Spain), where I had a great surprise lunch out, and a consuming obsession with the barrage of sewing that I’m doing at the moment (an obsession so awful I considered getting up at six to sew when my run was rained out.) I can safely say that the sewing frenzy can be attributed to this skirt, which I made last weekend and wore for today’s almost-rained out outing:
More on both will be coming next week. But for the moment we’ll just stick to the pasta, shall we?
So, after a delicious and HUGE lunch, I was racking my brains for something light for dinner and, more importantly for today (it being Friday and all), something light that would go with tonight’s bottle of wine. Note: this is why my Friday night meals tend to the Italian–wine just doesn’t taste the same with, say, Pad Thai. Oops, my secret is out!
I was also after something I could make at the absolute last minute and with minimal supervision, because my head and hands were much too busy pinning and pulling and crossing my fingers that the sewing would come out to be fussing and stirring a pot. I can multitask, but I can’t multi-fuss–that much I know. (I can, however, multi-burn food–but we’re not going there today.)
And whom should come to the rescue but the wonderful Nigella Lawson? I love her recipes and read them like people read good novels and salacious magazines–I once actually considered taking her classic How To Eat to the gym for a good elliptical session, back in the day. And she has great hair, and obviously eats what she makes with great delight… And I think I have a serious girl crush on her. Stopping now.
Anyway, Nigella rescued me once again–specifically her Rigatoni al Pomodoro e Prezzemolo. I know pomodoro is tomato, I haven’t a clue what prezzemolo means, and I make it with whatever pasta and herbs I have, plus a few tweaks here and there (namely I’m a garlic beast and I like more tomato in my sauce).
So, for my take on this, you’ll need:
- two 14-oz cans tomatoes, diced if you’re ultra-lazy
- 2-3 tsp. olive oil
- 6=8 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch of parsley, or basil, or both
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 pk. linguini
Set aside whatever else you’re doing for five minutes (just five minutes, I promise) to get your cook on:
- Set a big pasta pot of water to boil; cook pasta as directed on the box.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the garlic, stirring until it JUST starts to turn golden.
- At this point, you are about two seconds away from getting back to what you’d rather be doing! Add the tomatoes, water, bouillon cube, parsley (if using basil, reserve until you’re ready to serve), bay leaf, and salt/pepper/red pepper flakes to taste.
- Cover the pot and let it simmer until the pasta is done, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon a bit before serving.
- Go back to doing whatever you’d rather be doing (but remember to check on your pasta!)
- When the pasta is ready, put your obsession away (if I can put it away, you can too, trust me!), drain it, put some pasta in a bowl, top with sauce (and basil, if you’re using) and serve.
It’ll taste like you slaved over sauce all day long and will make you feel like you definitely deserve to have it with an expensive bottle of wine (or at least a nice, brash, ballsy wine masquerading as such.) If you serve it to others and they ooh and ahh over it (as they should, if you took time out from doing fun things to cook on a Friday night), take credit for the tastiness–giving due props to Nigella, of course–and don’t tell anyone how easy it was…
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