Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The Soccer World Cup is in full swing as I write today, so perhaps an Italian flag should be replaced by a German one... I feel an apology coming on as I am terribly sorry to my German heritage, but when it comes to food, the Italians do take home the Gold. If you will notice the *coincidental* similarity of these two photos:
Do the Italians always have food on their minds?
Don't tell the authorities, but I think my passport is telling a lie! I am a typical Canadian, a Heinz 57 of many nationalities. (Of course my children are greater mutts than myself. But then, I have always been partial to mutts!) Still, I am convinced I should have been born somewhere between Italy and Spain. Although I would miss my blond hair.
And since you are wondering... No, I did not eat this much pasta in one sitting! This portion is for photography purposes only. (I did come close though... as this happened to be super yummy.)
I've had this dish buzzing around my head for a few days now. (Again, food on my mind at all times, very Italian-ish.) I am loving the fresh herbs in my garden, and I always stock Sundried Tomatoes in my pantry, as well as cream cheese - which is purchased in bulk and used in bulk. Garlic is never far off... and so I thought to myself, this must be a match made in Italy heaven. As I photographed the chopped herbs, tomatoes, and garlic, I couldn't help but think it looked an aweful lot like *a* flag. And so, a dish buzzing around in my head became a story buzzing even louder. A little like those horns at the World Cup.
Comparable to Spaghetti alla Carbonara, this pasta makes a great side to a crisp salad or fresh asparagus and grilled chicken. A good chef's knife comes in handy here - chopping the herbs, garlic and tomatoes finely is, I think, important for even flavour distribution. And don't forget to play with the ingredients - what's good for me may not be good for you. I happen to love a good amount of flavour... in other words use as much or as little herbs and tomatoes as you wish, it's sure to be tasty every time!
Asiago and Sundried Tomato Garden Spaghetti
Serves 4 - 6
3/4 - 1 lb Spaghetti
1/2 cup plain cream cheese (please don't use low fat)
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 fresh basil, chopped (or a combination of basil and parsley)
1 (270 ml) jar Sundried Tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
fresh ground Pepper
Asiago Cheese, a big chunk of it, for grating at the dinner table
Cook pasta in salted water to al dente, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water just before draining. Do not rinse pasta!!
In a large saucepan, combine cream cheese and olive with the garlic, herbs, tomatoes and fresh ground pepper over low heat until melted. Add the drained but not rinsed (!) spaghetti and reserved 1 cup pasta water. Stir to combine well. Season with salt to taste.
Serve with asiago cheese and a grater.