These are a few of my favorite things…Pasta (you already knew that) and Peonies!
Ryan and I have been so blessed with wonderful neighbors since our move to Iowa City 7 yrs ago. (First of all, SEVEN years ago?! I can hardly believe we’ve been here that long.) In our first home, on the East side of Iowa City, we enjoyed Sara & her furry friend Pez on one side of us and Jennifer and her 2 daughters Bridget & Muriel on the other. I remember sobbing the day we moved..(just to the other side of town mind you)…I hate goodbyes. And now, on the West side of Iowa City, we have more amazing neighbors. Stan, to the South of us, has become one of my favorite people! He calls me, “Miss Robin” and is always around to chat with me in the yard, give me advice on the endless schrubbery & plants I inherited, and keep an eye on me when Ryan is gone! I love his company. This past weekend, he surprised me with a big vase of peonies (fresh from his yard!).
Aren’t they beautiful?! What a thoughtful & amazing gift. If you read this Stan, Thank You!
For dinner that same night, I had planned to make another one of my favorite pastas…Pasta Pomodoro. In Italy, I ordered this pasta every chance I had. It’s simple…Pasta and Pomodoro (tomatoes). It is similar to what we know of as “Spaghetti/Marinara” in the States…but much more fresh (in my opinion). Try it once…you’ll see the difference! Pasta Pomodoro is a great tomato-based pasta for summer nights…
Serves 4 -6
- 2 cans (28 oz) whole, peeled, tomoatoes. Drain & Crush by hand.
- 2 cans petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 1 Sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup Fresh Basil leaves, torn
- 1 cup Mozzarella, freshly grated
- Spaghetti noodles, cooked & strained
Start by making the pomodoro sauce. This will allow for the flavors to meld while you prep the rest of the meal.
In a large saucepan, heat EVOO over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, ~5 minutes. Add the diced and crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for ~15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring for 2-3 minutes to break up tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes.
Stir in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
While the sauce is simmering, bring water to a boil.
Cook pasta until al dente. ~ 9-10 minutes or as indicated on the box.
How do you know when the pasta is al dente?
When it is slightly firm and still sticky enough to stick to the wall!
Strain pasta. Immediately top with sauce to help retain heat.
Garnish with freshly grated mozzarella…
And dig in!
Indulge. In Life. In Love. In Food.