Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

With apologies to Eddie Cochrane, please. Anyway, it's summer, it's really hot, it's really humid, I'm really cranky...but a guy's gotta eat - and so does Significant Eater, who has been studying away for the final part of a grueling exam she's taking this summer.

How to do that without adding heat and humidity to our already soupy apartment is always tough during the dog days of August. However, making pasta with an uncooked sauce at least solves half the problem, and with what I had lying around the kitchen (see above), was eminently doable. And I'm not that much of a snob (okay, maybe I am) to scoff at the De Cecco brand, especially when I find it on sale for a buck or so a box.

There was a pint of greenmarket grape tomatoes that needed to be used, along with a big bunch of fresh basil from the same lunch was on the table in less than half an hour - holy shit, don't tell Rachael Ray, but this was a real 30 minute meal, I guess. No sandwiches here.

So, while the pasta was cooking, I cut the tomatoes in half, doused them with a good dose of olive oil, salt and pepper, and stood back to admire my handiwork.

I also tore up a handful of basil, and grabbed a hunk of Parmiggiano Reggiano from the fridge.
As soon as the pasta was done, I grabbed my Chinese spider and removed the cavatappi from the water, dumping it right on top of the tomatoes and basil...don't pour it into a colander, you need some of that pasta water to help make a bit of a sauce. Add a BIG grating of the parm, toss and taste, maybe add some pasta water, perhaps some more pepper (we like pepper), and, as Mario always liked to say back when he was Molto, take it to the plate. Significant Eater was very happy.

And I know the orange one (RR) always likes her dessert, so I cranked up Miss Silvia (oh, the heat!), portioned out a couple of scoops of homemade coffee ice cream I happened to have in the freezer, and topped them with a freshly pulled espresso - a nice tasty affogato, which made Significant Eater's afternoon study session just a bit easier.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. First, and most important, that's Eddie Cochran, with no "e" at the end of Cochran.

    And as long as I have been moved to comment, I must say that there's nothing wrong with De Cecco. Not every dish requires high-end (read: expensive) pasta made with antique brass dies, or some such.

  3. @, my spelling really sucks.

    Agreed on the De Cecco.

  4. De Cecco uses brass dies. I've seen them at the Abruzzo facility.
    Typically what you are paying for with a high end artisinal pasta is the wheat. De Cecco controls the wheat flavor by buying from many sources to maintain a consistent flavor.
    Nice sauce. Try gushing up some of the tomatoes to give you a little more spread on the flavor. But I'm totally with you on the raw sauces this time of year.

  5. We mode an almost identical dinner last night, except it was with orange cherry tomatoes as sweet as candy. Also I tore up some leftover fresh mozzarella and tossed it in to melt on the hot pasta. It brought my appetite back from the dead.