Thursday, June 30, 2016

Feeling Indulgent

In the case of many ingredients, if you can make a sandwich out of it, you can probably make a salad out of it, or even toss the ingredients with pasta. Today's recipe is a combination of ingredients I've had as a sandwich with a salad on the side.

My ingredients list (this makes four meals, no sides needed):
  • .5 lb of prosciutto, sliced into .25 inch long strips
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 Cup chopped tomatoes 
  • 4 Cups arugula torn into small strips
  • 1 pound orchiette (Orchiette means "little ears." I find it at the grocery store. Farfalle aka bow-ties would also work. Nexx doesn't like farfalle for some reason. Go figure)
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or (1 Tablespoon fresh, cut into strips as thin as you can make them).
  • 6 oz shredded parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Zest the lemon, and set aside.

Set your water to boil, add salt if you wish (I always do), then cut up the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Add the lemon zest and stir gently so you don't break up the tomatoes. I use the pink rubber scraper from this set, it has a slightly pointed tip, so it's easy to get under things, and a scoop feel to it

Chop and add your garlic. Alternately, add a Tablespoon of chopped garlic from a jar. Add to your tomatoes. Next, add your basil and gently stir in. 

By this time, your water should be close to boiling, toss in the pasta, stir, and let cook according to package directions. When I get orchiette, the brand takes about 9 minutes for al dente. Hate hate hate mushy pasta. Sorry, almost had a rant going there. Shred your arugula. Slice your prosciutto, keep it in a loose pile. It's a pain in the ass, but resist the temptation to stack it up and slice it all at once. It sticks together.

Drain your pasta, turn off the heat, but don't shake the water off it like you might do usually. The curve of the pasta will help hold a little water. This will help the other ingredients stick. It's also a lot easier than remembering to reserve pasta water, which I never do. Anyway...

Add your olive oil to the pan and swirl it around. Add your pasta back to the pan, then one at a time, add your tomato mix, cheese, arugula, and lastly the prosciutto, stirring well, still gently. Your arugula will wilt a bit, but will still have some crunch to it upon serving. The prosciutto will get a little warm, but will still retain that deliciously rich texture.

Scoops into bowls. Top will black pepper if desired. Can be served either warm or room temperature. If you do room temperature, you can top it with a few shakes of balsamic if you want a bit of acidity--taste it first, the lemon zest already adds some.

Another alteration is not to add the arugula, but rather place the arugula on a plate and scoop the pasta over it. I prefer it mixed in. If you just won the lottery, you could also add pine nuts. 

Questions, comments, suggestions, request? Let us hear from you.

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