The Berger Bungalow: The Perfect Plate of Pasta

The Perfect Plate of Pasta
Posted on:9.09.2015

This week, I decided to join the Perfect Plates of Pasta Linkup with Healthy Living Blogs. Although Pasta is not extremely healthy, it sure is good! Today's recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks: Twelve Recipes. My dad gave me this cookbook when I was first starting to learn about cooking, and I slowly learned to love it! It is a bit tricky to read because it is written like a novel in conversational form instead of like a traditional cookbook. Cal Peternell originally wrote the cookbook for his son who had never learned how to cook and was heading off to college, so this cookbook is perfect for the uncertain, new cook. I definitely recommend this cookbook! Anyway, on to the recipe:

Summer Marinara 

2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 bunch basil, leaves only, very roughly chopped (about 1 packed cup)
1 scant cup ricotta (if you can possibly find it, sheep's-milk is the best), optional
1 pound rigatoni or fettuccine
Parmesan Cheese

- Put a big pot of cold water on to boil. Add salt.

- If you don't mind tomato skins and seeds, or if you're in a hurry, just cut the tomatoes into large dice about the size of, well, dice. If you prefer to skin and seed the tomatoes, make tomato Concass√©. 

- To draw out some liquid and intensify the flavor, put the diced tomatoes in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, ad let sit for 10 minutes or so, if you're still in a hurry, don't. 

- Put the pasta in the pot of boiling, salted water. Stir frequently. This is a quick sauce and will be done before the pasta is, but you can also wait to boil the pasta until the sauce is done.

- Heat a large skillet to low and add the oil, then the garlic. Stir a bit and add the basil and a sprinkle of salt. Raise the heat and cook the basil, stirring, until it's wilted and dark green, watching that you don't burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with the salt (if you haven't already), and cook until they just lose their rawness, about 5 minutes. If the pasta isn't cooked yet - taste a piece to see - turn off the sauce until right before you drain the pasta, and then bring it back up to speed. When the pasta is done, drain it and toss it in the pan with the sauce, tasting and making the proper adjustments. Toss in the ricotta, if using, but don't mix it in all the way; leave some streaks and lumps. Pass the parmesan to grate.

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