Fresh Pasta (photo: R Marinho)
I guess I’m having an Italian few days with my latest blogs. Raphael and I loved Italy so much and we didn’t really go crazy and spend that much money on restaurants. One night we said okay, lets not make money an issue and go for the best Italian food while we were in Florence. That night also happened to be our monthly anniversary. Yes we celebrate our monthly anniversary – you wouldn’t complain if it gave your husband and excuse to buy you flowers every month, would you?
So anyways, we asked the hotel concierge where was the best place and letting her know that money wasn’t an issue and she said the best place wasn’t even the most expensive, but a family run restaurant on top of a hill. Lets just say that was one of the best meals of my life. We started with fresh local carpaccio as an appetizer, pasta – spaghetti as the 1st course, then beef flank steak with a side of green beans for the main and finally dessert – chocolate ravioli in a orange sauce with fruit. Don’t worry we shared all of the courses but we were still VERY full. I think the whole thing cost us 60€ which is about $83 Canadian.
So anyways, these thoughts of Italy inspired this recipe (and also for the fact that I had left over ingredients from the caprese)
Raphael and I in Florence eating dessert after a full Italian meal (photo by our waiter - sorry it's a little blurry)
Preaparing Fresh Pasta (photo: R Marinho)
Serves two with lots of left overs
Cook time – No more than half an hour – chopping, cooking and checking your facebook included
½ pound fresh pasta – I used linguini
15 cherry tomatoes – slices in half
5-10 black olives – chopped
1 cup fresh basil – chopped (no, dried basil wont work)
1 juice from a lemon
½ zest from lemon
5 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large pan heat olive oil add tomatoes, olives, half of the basil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
Sauté until tomatoes get a little soft.
In a large pot bring water to a boil (the pot should be ¾ full).
Add salt so that the water tastes like the ocean. (If you’ve never tasted the ocean, just make sure it’s salty but not too salty)
Add your pasta and boil for about 8 minutes or until it is al dante. (I personally like mine a little more done but taste it and see what you like better)
Drain pasta and add to your sauce.
Add remaining fresh basil and stir gently until everything is mixed well.
Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Notes and Tips: You can also use rice pasta if you’re trying to stay away from wheat. Just follow the packages instruction for cooking.