Sunday, September 30, 2007

End of summer pasta

It was a cooler day here - I think the high was under 20 degrees celsius - but it's still remarkably warm during the days given how late in the season it is. In fact, the forecast for this week is ridiculously nice - low to mid twenties all week long, with only one day of rain predicted. While the continued warmth is awesome, it means that I can't switch entirely to fall clothes yet, and likewise the food situation is in a transitional phase. I'm still craving tomatoes while plotting roasted meats and squash soups and so on.

I've been reading through all my autumn food magazines lately, making lists of all the recipes I need to try - like every cook, I fall back on old standbys and "meat and two veg" meals quite often, so the goal for the fall is to try one or two new recipes every week and blog them all. This week's first one comes from the September issue of Cooking Light. The grape tomatoes were my addition, and I think they add the necessary hit of sweetness and fresh flavour to balance the salty ingredients in the pasta. I also tweaked with the garlic preparation a little bit - instead of quickly sauteeing a clove in some cooking spray, I heated the minced garlic gently in the olive oil before adding it to the pasta. It mellowed the flavour a bit more and I thought the results were fantastic:

This recipe should serve 4, but I didn't cook quite enough fusilli, so it made three portions. You can do better, I'm sure.

Fusilli with prosciutto, parmesan and grape tomatoes

1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ounce prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1 cup mixed red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
fresh black pepper to taste

Cook the fusilli until al dente and drain, reserving 3 tbsp of the cooking water.
In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the garlic gently for five minutes; remove from heat and set aside.

To the pasta, add the prosciutto, tomatoes, olive oil, cooking water and cheese; toss to coat and serve immediately.

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