So, last night I finely used my oven for the first time. This week wasn’t as hot and humid as last week and I turned on the air condition. Actually, it wasn’t too bad and the oven worked really well. I think I’m going to bake this weekend.
Anyway, lets start cooking. The final result to tempt your taste buds:
This pasta sauce is composed of a few stages of preparation of different ingredients that eventually are assembled together to give it a special harmonic flavor.
I didn’t mention precise amounts here, it’s a pasta sauce not a cake. But, because it’s a modular sauce, you can’t go wrong here- just put the right amount of things you like on your plate.
– Cherry tomatoes
– Olive oil
– 4 cloves of garlic
– Assorted fresh herbs: parsley, basil…
– Assorted nuts: walnuts, almonds…
– 2 tbs of bread crumbs
– 1 package of pasta
– Parmesan cheese- grated
– Salt, pepper, dried oregano
1. The grilled asparagus and cherry tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 200 deg. Celsius on grill.
Wash the asparagus and dry them.
Chop off the tough bottom part of the stem; the trick here is to start bending the asparagus from the bottom slowly moving up the stem to the point where the asparagus naturally surrenders and breaks.
Spread the asparagus in a baking dish and sprinkle some olive oil, salt and pepper.
The same thing goes for the cherry tomatoes: wash them, dry them and spread in a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried oregano. No need to peel or slice the tomatoes.
The asparagus should go into the oven under the grill for about 5 minutes, don’t over cook it (like I accidentally did) it should still have some crunch to it.
The cherry tomatoes should go into the oven for about 20 minutes, even more, with them it’s ok if you burn their peel a little bit, you’ll see they’ll start to burst and all their juices will come out. Take them out when they’ve become soft inside.
2. The toasted nuts:
While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the nuts:
Use assorted finely choped nuts of your liking, I used almonds and walnuts, you can add pine nuts, hazel nuts etc. Toss the nuts in a pan together with 2 tbs of bread crumbs. No need to add oil, just toast them until they’re brown.
When the nuts are toasted, take out of the pan and let cool down for a while. Then add finely grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture.
3. The olive oil sauce:
Now for the olive oil, garlic and herbs sauce. Time the preparation of the sauce with the pasta preparation so that the pasta is done cooking when the sauce is ready and you can just add it immediately into the pan. Keep aside about 2 tbs from the pasta’s cooking water.
Chop garlic and assorted herbs. I used parsley and basil and you can add fresh oregano, dill, thyme or whatever you like.
Add about 1/2 a cup of fine olive oil to the pan and toss in the chopped garlic, when the garlic becomes more yellowish, add in the herbs and mix. The herbs should really become crispy from the frying.
Add about 2 tbs of the pasta cooking water into the sauce.
Add the pasta into the pan and mix it well with the sauce for a few minutes on a low heat.
4. Assembling the final dish:
Now you can complete assembling the dish. It’s sort of a modular pasta sauce.
So, in the picture above we have from the top left: Parmesan and fresh basil, grated Parmesan, the toasted nuts and the grilled tomatoes and asparagus.
All these goodies go on top of the pasta to complete this delicious dish:
This pasta made a great dinner,which ended with home-made mango ice-cream as dessert, but this is for the next post…