Friday, September 9, 2011

Spicy Pappardelle with Summer Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Oregano

My books are like my kids or my cats since I don’t have children. You know what I mean. Picking a favorite just isn’t possible. Each one is special in its own way. But, when the others aren’t looking, I do sometimes point out a few that are maybe just a little bit extra special. Don’t tell them I said that. There are a lot of them. I can’t help it. One that I tend to favor is On Top of Spaghetti by Johanne Killeen and George Germon. It’s a book of nothing but pasta recipes, and pasta does make me very happy. I’ve cooked from this book many times, and I know that whatever I pick from its pages is going to be good. Whether it’s pasta with vegetables, tomato sauces, seafood, or baked pasta, the book has never let me down. It had been a while since I spent time with it, so I pulled it off the shelf a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for something light and fresh for summer. The head note to this recipe reads “this is as close to pasta salad as we get,” and that sounded perfect. I made a couple of small changes to the original ingredient list. Instead of using Scotch bonnet pepper sauce, I used some fresh, locally-grown habaneros, and since the oregano in my herb garden hasn’t survived our summer very well, I used fresh basil.

To begin, chop large tomatoes or halve cherry tomatoes as I did, and place them in a large bowl. Next, onion was minced and cucumbers were chopped, and both were added to the tomatoes. I seeded and finely chopped two habaneros rather than using pepper sauce. Then, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, and salt were added. Fresh oregano was supposed to have been added in addition to the dried, but since my fresh oregano has about two leaves on the plant right now, I added fresh basil instead. The mix of vegetables and herbs with the oil and vinegar was set aside to allow the flavors to mingle and the onion’s sharpness to subside. Meanwhile, the pappardelle was cooked in boiling water and drained. It was then tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette, more basil was added on top, and dinner was ready.

This isn’t intended as a chilled pasta salad. Instead, it’s a room temperature pasta dish with raw vegetables. But, it does end up being a lot of pasta which means we had leftovers. Pulling the pasta out of the refrigerator and letting it come up to room temperature before serving those leftovers worked well. The finely chopped habaneros distributed throughout all that pasta added just enough of a punch, and the layered flavor of the onion and dried oregano played well with the fresh tomato and cucumber. As it always does, this book delivered another great meal, not that I play favorites.



26 comments:

  1. Yummy! That pasta dish looks amazing.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love a good pasta cookbook!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I must make that pasta! Other than a baking book, a pasta cookbook makes me weak in the knees. Do you have Giuliano Hazan's "Classic Pasta Cookbook"? I live in that cookbook!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not only do those noodles themselves look delightfully chewy (pappardelle a real splurge for me!) but I love the thought of including cucumbers in this dish. They're so refreshing, and would lighten things up nicely!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks so light and fresh, great colours too :)
    *kisses* HH

    ReplyDelete
  6. fresh looking tomatoes, cucumber and not mention about the pepper. Look great!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pretty salad! I haven't seen the book but I love the title. I'll have to check it out since we eat a lot of pasta around here, too, and I'm always looking for inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Understand completely the "not-playing favorites." I try to do a fair rotation of the books I bring to my bedside table, and when I put each one back in storage I make sure to pump up their "shelf esteem" ;-)

    (sorry, could not resist, that was pretty bad, though... )

    ReplyDelete
  9. The dish looks so colorful and nice!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the colours and it makes it all the more appetising!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like your bright, fresh pappardelle, Lisa. I made Jamie Oliver's a couple months ago but still haven't posted it. He used some Parma in his and used leeks and a mushroom Pangrattato on top. Involved. Yours is so much more doable.

    ReplyDelete
  12. that pasta looks, light, colorful and delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We make this type of pasta dish often and love it. We also toss hot or tepid pasta with a variety of raw or just grilled veg and it really is the perfect meal. I need to pull out my pasta cookbooks too, now; Great dish!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like the fresh flavors in this dish!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lisa, you pappardelle looks delicious, so colorful and so tasty.
    Hope you have a great week :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That style pasta, pappardelle, looks so delicious. This dish does look so colorful and healthy. I hope you all are faring well in Austin. A smoke cloud hung over Houston for a few hours on Saturday and it was so scary.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hehe I don't have kids either and I think my shoes and cookbooks are like that too! :P I like the idea of this salad especially a room temperature one for a nice change! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really like the simplicity of this pasta. I am sure it was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I could have this every day! Looks really delicious and light.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This look amazing Lisa, love pasta and veggies, look delicious, gloria

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love habanero peppers. I never used to be able to handle hot peppers up untill a few years ago, now I can't get enough of them. However, I take the habanero in small amounts, almost died when I ate one whole lol I also love pappardelle, usually with some kind of heavy, meat sauce, so this is a refreshing take on it. So colorful and lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great flavor, color, and texture combo... yum!
    -Erin

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't have that book! I need that book! I just had a papparadelle dish in a restaurant that was so uninspired that I complained. This is so much more my cup of tea. I've never done the totally raw vegetable thing with pasta. I'm sure it was delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  24. room temp pasta salad? i like the sound of that! i'm also a fan of floppy pappardelle and any use for the bags and bags of veggies my mom sent me from her garden. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. That just sounded so refreshing and tasty. What a treat.

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips