Wallie takes two naps a day which kinda cramps our style a little. I feel bad for Bunny because it really throws a wrench into our morning. We now have to stay home whereas before, we were always out of the house until her afternoon nap. On the upside, Wallie's naptime is our time to spend together. We usually spend the time doing some kind of art project or cooking. Today she helped me make lunch for our playdate buddies.
The next couple of posts will probably be about summertime pastas since I have a couple of potlucks to cook for over the next day or so. In our family, we don't eat pasta salads so much as pastas made with uncooked sauces that are meant to be served at room temperature.
In general, I am not a fan of the Americanized pasta salad which is usually some sort of pasta which has been rinsed with cold water (please—never do this*) and tossed with salad dressing. I just don't like my pasta to have a vinegary taste.
Try this pasta and you will never do the above again. And let your toddler help you with it. Here is Bunny stemming the tomatoes and putting tomatoes into the CuisinArt and "chopping onions."
PENNE CON SALSA CRUDA (Penne with Raw Sauce)
If you like bold flavors, this is for you. You probably won't use all the sauce on the pasta but that's okay. It's great as a bread dip, too.
Put the pasta water on to boil and salt it generously.
- a pint of grape tomatoes washed and stemmed
- a red bell pepper, chopped
- half a sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla, Texas Sweet, etc.)
- 1-3 cloves of garlic
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pecorino romano cheese for serving
Place veggies and herbs into the bowl of a food processor. Add a six-count pour of olive oil along with salt and pepper.
Turn processor and and whiz everything into a loose, pesto-like consistency (see below) and set aside:
When pasta is ready, drain it well, and then toss with the sauce. (Go easy on the sauce as you will likely have a cup or so left over.) Add several generous handfuls of pecorino romano cheese and serve immediately or at room temperature.
*The reasons why you never, ever rinse pasta—either with hot or cold water—are:
- It washes of all the starch which helps the sauce to stick.
- It cools the pasta off—even if you are rinsing it with hot water to serve it hot. Just leave the pasta alone. However, if you want the pasta to cool without sticking (if you are making a cold pasta, for example) just toss it with a teeny bit of olive oil and spread it out on a baking pan or two. ...not too much olive oil or your sauce won't stick nicely to the pasta.