My friend Cafemama gave birth to her second boy a little over a month ago. When we were first moving to Portland, I lurked on her blog(s) and then finally introduced myself by way of email when we moved. We are just starting to get to know each other—it's hard to get together when we both have kids (and now she has a newborn)—but we try. And she is surprisingly mobile for just having had a baby...she talks of jogging and berry picking and...I think I was catatonic for six months after having Wallie. She is, in a word, amazing.
And because we really think she's groovy and because she just had a baby and just because...we are taking her this lunch today. (Along with cake. Nursing mamas need cake.)
PASTA WITH LEMONY TUNA SAUCE
If you have a microplane grater, it will come in handy to grate the lemon zest. Try not to refrigerate this pasta. It's better when left to hang at room temperature.
Put the pasta water on to boil and salt it like mutha.
- 1 pound of short pasta, any kind (fusilli, farfalle, penne, campanelle, etc.)
- zest of one lemon
- juice of same lemon (reserve one squeezed half)
- capers (pref. the ones packed in salt, rinsed and dried; or brined), about a teaspoon
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
- 1 6 oz can or jar of high quality solid Italian tuna in olive oil like Callipo, Flott, or Genova (I prefer the first two for price and qulity)
- 1/4 to 1/2 of a finely chopped onion (or omit completely)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it and place it back into the cooking pot. Immediately dump in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and capers. Toss the pasta well. Next add a glug or two of olive oil, mix it again, and then just let it hang out.
Open tuna and dump into a bowl, oil and all. Take reserved, squeezed lemon half and squeeeeze several more drops of juice out of it directly onto the tuna. (Now you can throw it away!) Lightly flake tuna with a fork. Add in a little more olive oil (one glug) and then put that—along with the chopped onion—onto the cooling pasta. Adjust salt and pepper. Stir well.
It can remain like this for a good 2-3 hours, just mix it every so often. When you are ready to serve it, transfer the pasta into a serving bowl (if you want.) Add the parsley (and maybe another drizzle of olive oil) at the last moment.
COLD ARTICHOKES WITH HERB-Y VINAIGRETTE
First, cook two artichokes. Chill them over night.
Halve them and remove the choke/thistley parts. You should have a little "well: in each half.
Prepare the vinaigrette which is:
- 1 part balsamic vinegar (a splash)
- 3 parts oil (3 splashes)
- a few parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
- a garlic clove roughly chopped
Spoon a little vinaigrette over each artichoke. Be sure to fill "the well." Salt and pepper and serve.
Just got back from our visit. Cafemama looks beautiful and baby T. is a snuggly little peanut...and he smells sooooo good!