Tangled Branches: Satiated
riveting tales of how we sustain ourselves
Friday, August 29, 2008
Pasta with Uncooked Tomato Sauce
Long ago, I used to make pasta tossed with diced fresh tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil and diced fresh mozzarella, but eventually forgot all about it. But twice in the last week I read about a similar dish, so decided to revisit the concept. Basically you cut up good fresh ripe tomatoes, toss them with some seasonings and let them sit while you cook the pasta. Combine tomatoes and pasta. Eat.
I used 2 large tomatoes (Piriform and Persimmon) and several smaller ones (Striped Roman and Black Prince). I cut them into chunks by slicing 1/2 inch thick and then cutting along a solid wall (so the pieces don't fall apart readily). Striped Roman, and to some extent Piriform, are basically all solid, so they can be diced. Chopped finely 1 small yellow onion and a small part of a leftover red onion (I would have used more if I had them). Minced 2 ripe red Czechoslovakian Black hot peppers and 1 large clove of garlic (really large, I would have used 2 if they were smaller) and 1 large sprig of curly parsley. Basil would be an obvious choice for seasoning here, but we're getting just a bit tired of tomatoes and basil - seems impossible, I know. The bronze fennel is going to seed in the garden. I gathered one of the semi-ripe (just starting to turn brown) seed heads and snapped off the seeds from just one section of florets (about 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon of seeds). Mixed everything into a large bowl and added salt and olive oil to taste. It needs a heavy hand with the salt - I could have used more.
Now cook whatever pasta you have on hand. I can never remember the names of pasta shapes, but I used some thin linguini type stuff. After cooking and draining the pasta, I tossed it with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, but on reflection I wished I had spooned in a bit of the juice from the tomato mixture instead. We just served ourselves, buffet-style. A portion of pasta with the tomato mixture ladled on top. On the side we had crusty bread spread thickly with goat cheese. Fast, fresh and delicious.
BLT of the Day
Yesterday's lunch BLT.
Bread: Whole Grain store-baked from Costco, sliced very diagonally to get large enough slices to fit the tomato
Tomato: Mortgage Lifter
Mayonnaise: Trader Joe's Organic Mayonnaise mixed with minced Serrano peppers and garlic, and a splash of lime juice
Lettuce: None, substituted Thai basil leaves
The verdict: Tasty, but the chile/garlic/lime mayonnaise pushed the flavor too far away from the classic BLT. I do think that mayo mixture would make an admirable tuna salad though.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Deborah Madison's Salsa Verde
When I hear "Salsa Verde" I think of tomatillos and green chiles, but Deborah Madison's Salsa Verde has nothing to do with hot peppers. This is a versatile olive oil-based condiment, thick with parsley, and very adaptable. So adaptable in fact, that she's included a different version of it in all three of her cookbooks on my shelf. The common ingredients in all the recipes are olive oil, parsley, garlic, and capers. This sauce is good on just about everything, and I could sit down and eat it with a spoon, but try it on scrambled eggs, or boiled potatoes, or spread on bread with a slice of cheese.
I don't want to copy published recipes here but others feel no such scruples, so if you do an internet search for Deborah Madison and Salsa Verde you should come up with enough information to make this sauce.