Thursday, August 04, 2005

Alton Brown Tells It Like It Is

Be careful what you ask for, Alton. You just might find yourself audited, and NOT by the IRS!

Well Pasta Due

Last night I had a chance to try out a new recipe on TFR, and she heartily approved.
Anyone who knows my eating habits might find this hard to believe, but the one type of side dish I have the most difficulty creating is a starch. I'm great at cooking veggies, not so much at eating any (except a very few -- I'm finicky that way). So last night I had a dilemma.
I was making steak sandwiches, using beef flank steak instead of Buffalo tri-tip this time, and had decided on my green beans as the veggie. But I wanted one more dish, something starchy, maybe cool, and so I decided to try an idea I'd had for turning caprizzi into a pasta salad. This is what I came up with:
Caprizzi di Ferrari
2 cups radiatore pasta
6 ounces fresh mozzarella
4 Roma tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
Bring 3-4 cups salted water to a boil in a pot over medium heat. When water
reaches a boil, pour in 2 cups radiatore pasta (any smaller pasta, such as
rotini, will do, but I prefer radiatore). Cook 10 minutes or until al dente.
Strain, rinse with cold water until pasta is cooled.
While the pasta is cooking and cooling, cut the mozzarella into ½-inch cubes.
Slice the Roma tomatoes into similarly sized chunks, removing the seeds. Rinse
the basil in cold water and julienne. Combine all three with the now cold pasta
in a glass bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and
garlic, and mix well. Drizzle over the pasta mix. Salt and pepper to taste (I
like it with more salt & pepper, but that’s up to you), mix gently but
thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 1 hour. Makes 4-6 servings.
I gave it that name because of the colors and the fact that radiator translates as radiator (at least, that's what Babelfish tells me). I discovered radiatore by accident and love it. It's a rolled (slightly spiral) square of pasta that's flat on the inside and has wavy ridges on the outside. It's a smaller pasta, but has substance -- you can get it in one bite, and can really sink your teeth into it. Enjoy!