Well, I hope everyone liked the cobbler recipe. I’ve made it twice since the blog, and there’s never been any leftovers!
I was thinking about what to do for my next blog, and I thought of another favorite of mine that is really easy.
To me, the summer is all about being easy. Wait, that comes out wrong no matter how I say it. Oh well, summer should be easy. This dish came to me through an old and dear friend and boss of mine when I lived and played in Chicago. (I was the executive chef of her catering company at the time, which also helped.)
The company was Calihan Gotoff Catering, and it was the premier caterer of the Midwest while I was with it. I had the great fortune of helping it become the great company it is today. Myra Gotoff and John Calihan were the owners; John was the logistics of the company, and Myra was the food. Man, she could cook!
This dish was one of her favorites and quickly became one of mine. Not only is it delicious and unique, but it's so easy. The thing about this pasta is, you put everything together and let it go. So, say you’re also cooking a roast and making a salad and putting a dessert together. You make the base for the pasta, cover it and let it sit for a few hours. The longer it sits the creamier the sauce develops. Then you cook the pasta, drain it and toss it with the sauce just before you serve it. You’ve got a killer great pasta dish.
Look for the dish being made on "Nash In Action" on the cable-access channel.
Brie, Basil, Garlic And Fresh Tomato Pasta (or Myra’s Pasta)
(This is an easy recipe, but it needs to be started in the morning or afternoon.)
1 pound bow-tie pasta
2 or 3 ripe tomatoes (right off the vine is best)
8 to 12 ounces Brie cheese (depends on how cheesy you like it!)
3 cloves garlic, made into a paste (procedure follows)
6 to 10 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Cut the brie into small pieces and place in a nonreactive metal or glass bowl.
Cut tomatoes in half, remove the seeds (if desired), cut to a medium dice and add to the brie.
Add the remaining ingredients except the pasta and stir to combine well. Set aside for about two to three hours, stirring every now and then.
By the time the brie has melted with the olive oil, you should have a slightly creamy sauce with tomatoes and basil and garlic in it.
Bring a large pot with at least 2 gallons of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until it is just cooked (al dente). Drain the pasta well, and add to the brie mixture. Toss everything together and season with fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
To make a garlic paste, first peel the garlic and remove the stem end. Chop the garlic into a fine mince, then sprinkle with kosher salt. (Standard salt will do but not as well. Also, standard salt tastes like aluminum foil to me.)
Using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash and scrape the garlic into a paste. The salt acts like sandpaper and makes the garlic mash much more easily.