Wednesday, July 10, 2013
a garlic-scented ear
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Tonight I decided to improvise and create a raw tomato sauce, of sorts, in order to take advantage of my aforementioned ridiculously productive tomato plants. It wasn't perfect, but it made for a tasty, healthy dinner, with the added bonus of being able to feel virtuous for using up my own crop.
After gathering a colander full of tomatoes, which took a while because the little guy occasionally needed a sample, I set a pot of water on to boil for pasta. Once I tossed in the best option from my pantry, a whole wheat penne, I sautéed a couple of minced garlic cloves in olive oil just until they were toasty and brown. I poured the infused oil over the tomatoes and added a generous sprinkle of sea salt, as well as some finely chopped basil. Before I drained the pasta, I scooped out a cupful of the pasta water. As soon as the pasta was done, I dumped the entire bowl of tomatoes into the now empty pasta pot. I salted the tomatoes again and poured the starchy pasta water over the tomatoes, swirling it together with the garlic oil, and then tossed the whole mixture with the penne. For a finishing touch, I grated over a handful of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. Yes, I can see how it might seem a bit much for me to spell out the entire name of my version of Parmesan, but it's honestly all I use. You can thank Rachael Ray.
All in all, I was pleased, but there was definitely room for improvement. For one, I think it might have been better to halve the tomatoes-there would have been a "saucier" effect. It might also have been nice to cook them a bit with the oil. Then there would have been the completely irresistible effect of hot, bursting cherry tomatoes. Either way, there are plenty of other opportunities for me to try to make things better-my tomatoes aren't going away.
Even though I wasn't 100% in love with my raw cherry tomato sauce, my little A thought it was great. He happily plowed through his plate of pasta and spinach tonight in the shortest time span imaginable, asking for more when he was finished. After his bath, as I was getting ready to brush his teeth and we were having a cozy little nuzzle, I noticed the particularly strong smell of garlic. Thinking it must have been my hands, I immediately gave them a good scrub, but the smell didn't go away. I then thought to take a closer look at A's head, which I had been showering with kisses, and that's when I noticed a tiny shard of toasted garlic, tucked right behind his ear. Is it weird that it was an incredibly proud moment for me? I know we've been blessed with a good little eater, but lately we've discovered that he's just like anyone else-once he discovers the treats he likes (cookies, chips, etc.), he will eagerly seek them out, even at meal time, turning down what he doesn't want as much. I'm very happy that he found my impulsive tomato sauce appealing.