Sunday, December 19, 2004


Cook this and make love

Hello again, amici.

This is a really quick dish, and it will delight your special amica/amico. Whatever. Make it with love and you can't miss. Remember if you don't cook with a passion, nothing will taste right, no matter how fabulously fresh the ingredients are. Put il suo cuore in your efforts. From your heart to your hand to the cutting board, the pot, and beyond!

(I like to make this dish while listening to Alfredo Kraus and Dame Joan Sutherland sing the achingly beautiful aria A te, o cara from Bellini's opera I puritani. It puts me in the, ah, mood...)

Penne with fresh tomatoes, basil and goat cheese (serves two)

6 medium sized, good quality plump, juicy, plum tomatoes, washed and cut into chunks (I do not skin or seed them because the whole tomato is good for you)
3 medium cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons good quality, fruity olive oil
1 generous cup, washed and dried basil leaves, chopped into medium sized pieces (I prefer to tear them into pieces, but I'm usually not in a hurry when I make this dish.)
1 1/2 to 2 oz. of mild, creamy goat cheese (if you're brave, think of using a stronger goat cheese)
1/4 cup toasted pignole nuts (optional)

1/2 pound penne pasta (I like Barilla)

Put a generous pot of water for the pasta on the burner and bring to a boil. You can make this sauce while the pasta cooks. The sauce will be done when the pasta is al dente!

In a large saute pan, saute the garlic in the olive oil until tender (do not let it burn!). Add the chunked tomatoes, stir and turn down the heat. Let simmer for a minute or two. Turn off the heat. Add the basil, saving enough for garnish. Stir the basil into the tomatoes and garlic.

Drain the pasta. Place in the large saute pan with tomatoes and basil and heat through for about a minute. Remove from heat and divide pasta between two pasta bowls. Add chunks of goat cheese to warmed pasta and sauce. Sprinkle with additional basil, and, if you desire, toasted pignole nuts.

Prepare for a heavenly experience. Ooooooooooh. It is soooooooooo goooooooood!

Serve with a fruity zinfandel. Follow with slices of a ripe, juicy melon or pear, or plump, ripe mission figs. Then have a little rest. For an hour or so...


Thank you for your kind evaluation of my work at New World Odor and your enthusiastic encouragement. Yes, my eyes are already a bit soft and on the way to melting. That's fine. I can't stand watching what is happening anyway.

Your post today is a good one for me. I have three beautiful tomatoes and a basil plant that must be prepared before I leave town for the holidays. I'll have to substitute walnuts for pine nuts. THanks for the inspiration.

Your items all seem to be meatless, which is a plus. I'll keep checking back early and often. Thank you.

Kevin F.
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