For the first time since we bought our new home, our friends Rodney and Jocelyn were able to come and visit. While they do not live very far, sometimes suburgatory can seem like it is miles away from those more accustomed to living near the city. Yet, today they ventured the thirty minutes to us and we were delighted to have them over. As always, I felt a lot of pressure to cook something spectacular. Each summer the promise of learning to cook rears its ugly head once August settles in. Yet this August, I am more prepared to rise to the occasion. Usually unable to decide on the menu for fear of being underwhelming, I chose to make a simple pasta and salad for lunch.
While perusing the colorful and intentionally laid out aisles of Whole Foods, the teal cartons of organic tomatoes caught my eye. Fixated by the lushness of the hues, the firmness of the skin, and the subtle scent, I purchased three bundles of tomatoes as my recipe starting point. Obviously, half of a carton could be used to top a salad and the other two and half portions would be used in a rustic tomato sauce. Once the main ingredient and idea was determined, the shopping was a breeze. Home within 20 minutes, I went straight to work.
2 and half cartons of tomatoes, (cherry or grape)
1 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of pine nuts
sprinkling of red pepper flakes
sprinkling of black pepper
pinch of salt
5 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
8 oz of fresh capellini pasta
small bunch of basil chopped
Preheat the over to 400 degrees. In a dutch oven or oven safe covered pot, toss the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, wine, and pancetta. Cover your colorful and fragrant mixture and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Prepare pasta al dente accordingly. Once the mixture has baked, toss in the pasta, basil, and parmiggiano cheese. Enjoy a light and delightfully satisfying meal.
This was our lunch recipe today but I could easily have thrown in some shrimp or chicken and prepared it for dinner. It was a fresh, fast, and flavorful meal. Thankfully there are enough left-overs to have for lunch tomorrow as well.
After lunch, our foursome had a blast laughing about our summer misadventures and reconnecting over half drunk glasses of wine and lemonade. Rodney and Jocelyn are so easy to get along with and are always willing to share of themselves deeply. It is a friendship that I cherish and am happy to watch grow over the years. We couldn’t help ourselves at times from talking about future plans for babies. We questioned our preparedness, laughed about our notions of childbirth, and enjoyed our naivete and worries. When did we ever become “adults”?