Friday, September 02, 2011

sunsets and late night pasta

There's something to be said about sunsets.  The warm glow, the stillness of the air. It is as if the world is slowing down, getting ready to settle in.  It's a time to reflect.  Reflect upon the day you just had.  Or the day that will be.  A time to clear your mind, and just feel the glow.

I often reminisce about the past travels or plan future ones. I yearn to have our children discover the world, learning about cultures, people, and even politics, but yet maintain their innocence, the purity of appreciating all the beauty the world has to offer.

When my husband and I travelled to Europe, it opened our eyes to sights, scents, sounds and tastes that changed our views of how the simple things can be so beautiful.  Late night gatherings while enjoying light fare and wine was popular, and showed us how the day doesn't end just because the sun sets.  

A quintessential Roman dish, usually consumed late at night, called  "Pasta aglio e olio" (or pasta with garlic and oil), was something I learned to make, and is now part of my recipe repertoire.  It's good for lunch or a late night supper with wine.  This recipe is a nod to enjoying both the day and the night.

Simple Pasta with Garlic and Oil

       1 -500g box of long thin pasta, like linguine.
       1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
       1/4 cup of butter
       6-8 cloves garlic, minced
       1/4 cup pasta cooking water
       1 teaspoon salt
       1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
       1 plum tomato, chopped
       1/4 cup of parmesan
       1/4 cup of lemon juice
       Meat or vegetables of choice (chicken, crab, peppers, zucchini...anything goes!)

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add butter, until the garlic browns.
  3. Add parmesan, parsley, and tomato. Heat slightly, then remove from heat.
  4. Toss with the cooked pasta.
  5. Top with parmesan to taste, and serve.

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