Campanelle al Pomodoro e Basilico

20th September, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in easy, pasta, vegetarian

Campanelle, little bells, are just so much fun, but even better than that, their funnel-like shape hangs onto a lot of this sugo fresco, so every bite will be a little explosion of fresh flavors. Campanelle are also sometimes known as Gigli, (lilies). If you can’t find campanelle, use fusilli or any pasta corta, like ziti, penne, or mostaccioli.

This is one of those things that isn’t really a recipe, but a place from which to jump off, to start riffing. It’s fabulous, fresh, delicious and quick, and perfect for improvisation. If you grow your own tomatoes and basil, even better, as you can build it right from the garden, and really experience the freshness. Add other greens for variety – fresh and peppery arugula is especially nice. Read more…»

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

7th September, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in easy, pasta

I’m sure I don’t have to say this, but I will anyway, just in case there is one single reader holding out for “convenience” at the expense of flavor and aroma: Throw away the jar (or, worse, the tin) of pre-ground pepper that’s been sitting on the shelf since great aunt Maude gave it to you as a house-warming present when you got your first apartment. It was as useless as a unicycle to an earthworm when it was “fresh,” and after it had seen the dawn of the new millennium, it became even more so. Bin it. Buy a decent pepper mill, some fresh peppercorns, and never, ever look back. Really.

Now that that’s sorted (and the single holdout has either stopped reading, or has gone on a quick spending expedition to get a shiny new Peugeot mill and a glass bottle of tellicherry peppercorns), we can talk about Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper), a classic Roman dish that’s almost as old as Rome itself, and universally loved. It’s quick, delicious, satisfying, and cheap as old chips to make. Go wild! Read more…»