Monday, June 18, 2007

Tomato Lovers Pasta

Since I posted the last recipe, I have been thinking about how to make it better, and today I decided to tweak it a little. Here's what I did:

*1 can of petite cut tomatoes (mostly drained)
*4 - 6 medium vine ripened tomatoes (seeded and peeled)
*8 cloves of garlic (separated from the head, but still in their casing - do not peel)
*Artichokes packed in water (or oil, but drain the oil)
*12 oz. of pasta (I used a confetti pasta, but penne or other medium pasta will work)
*Fresh Basil (I skipped this today, but it would have made it soooo much better)
*Sundried tomatoes - I don't know how much, but DO NOT get the ones packed in oil. Get the
dried ones and reconstitute them in hot water until soft.
*Pine Nuts (to taste - I have no idea how much I put in, but add as much or as little as you'd like)
*2 Chicken Breasts - cut into bite size pieces and sauteed
*Olive Oil
*Fresh grated parmesan cheese
*Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In an 8x8 baking dish, add can of tomatoes and a splash (about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of olive oil), salt and pepper
to taste
. In another 8x8 baking dish, add quartered tomatoes that are seeded and peeled. Add the garlic cloves to this 8x8 dish (I actually put the garlic into the pockets of the seeded tomatoes to keep them moist - it worked well). Splash the tomatoes and garlic cloves with a but of olive oil, about a teaspoon and a half, add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for about 40 minutes or so, but watch to make sure they don't burn.

Boil pasta to desired consistency, maybe a little aldente (or keep a bit of a bite to the pasta). Aldente means "to the tooth" - or translated, means sticks to the tooth a little bit. Anyway, while the pasta is cooking, sautee the chicken in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Take the tomatoes out of the oven and remove the garlic. Squeeze the garlic into a bowl and smash the garlic into a paste (throw away the peels). When the pasta is done, add the roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic paste, reconstituted sundried tomatoes, artichokes, pine nuts, basil and chicken. Stir together. Add parmesan cheese to individual bowls. Yummy!

This is by far one of the best pasta dishes I have made yet. You MUST be a tomato lover in order to eat this dish (obviously I am a big fan - I eat fresh tomatoes by the bowl on a continuous basis). Since this is an original creation, let me know if you have any questions. And, if you decide to make it, send me a message. :)

Some of the items do not have quantities - I did that on purpose because I think that people need to experiement with food and find out what tastes good to them. I could easily say, 1/4 cup of basil shiffonade, but that's what I would like (or even more for that matter). I would just add little by little until it looks good and tastes good to you. If you need more specifics, message me and I can guestimate for you. :) Happy cooking!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Time

For a new Recipe!!! Yeah!!!!! This one is from Ellie Krieger, and it's GREAT!!!! It's got yummy tomatoes, basil, beans and pasta. I LOVED this recipe....Shawn, not so much. He really liked the flavor, but didn't like the beans. I think next time I make it I will add some chicken and/or pine nuts to it to kick it up a bit. But, I really love the recipe just like it is. It's healthy, lower in calories and simple. Without further ado, here it is:

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1(15 ounce) can cannellini beans
1/2 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Slice each tomato into 8 wedges and discard the seeds. Put the tomato wedges and garlic into a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a few turns of pepper. Roast in the oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Drain the beans into a large colander in the sink. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta into the colander containing the beans, so the hot pasta water will warm the beans. Return drained pasta and beans to the pasta pot.

When the tomatoes are done, pick out the garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Pour the roasted tomatoes into the pasta pot, add the garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the basil and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine. Serve topped with the Parmesan.