Pasta For One

I thought y’all might appreciate what became of those luscious tomatoes from Stony last week.

Sorry, I don’t do measurements unless it’s baking.  Baking is chemistry.  Stove-top is art.  That’s my theory.  Bearing that in mind, everything here is subject to taste.  Add, subtract, substitute, knock yourself out.  I’ve always found recipes to be great reading, and excellent suggestions to kick start your meal preparation.  Except for baking.  You have to be really careful how you play with recipes when you’re baking.  Wet-to-dry ratios, gluten development, leavening agents, sugars, this has none of that required attention to detail.  This is all about flavors and textures and making your kitchen smell so good you can’t wait to dig in.

For my version… much of which was dependent upon the contents of my refrigerator…
Roasted garlic
Portobello mushrooms
Vidalia onion
Stony Caldwell’s san marzano tomatoes*, chopped
Fresh basil, chiffonade (fancy way to say slice into ribbons)
Dried oregano and tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
Angel hair pasta, cooked al dente (or to death, if that’s your preference)
Parmesan cheese to garnish

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.  Mash the roasted garlic, and incorporate into the butter as best you can. (I love the stuff, live alone, and didn’t have plans to go out, so I used four cloves.  Color me happy.)  Add chopped mushrooms and stir until they start to lose a bit of their moisture, then add onions and saute until the onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally.  Go ahead and bring your water to a boil, for the pasta.  Salt the water.  It doesn’t make your pasta cook differently, no matter what anybody tells you.  It does, however, make it taste good.  Add the pasta – it won’t be long, now!  Stir that tomato sauce.  It’s time to add the herbs.  Cook it down, stirring now and then to keep it from sticking, while the pasta cooks.  When the noodles are nearly done, scoop up some of the water and add it to the sauce.  It’ll go all creamy on you – that’s the magic of pasta water.  Who knew?!

Drain your pasta, twirl a big ladle full and put it in your bowl, top with sauce and a healthy sprinkling of cheese, pour your wine and voila.  Dinner fit for a queen.

*For the curious who noted the other tomato on the earlier post, the Mr Stripy went straight into a tomato sandwich when I got home.  Seriously, people.  Not like there was another choice.  Sourdough bread.  Duke’s mayo.  Salt and pepper.  We’re done here.