Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Favorite Summer Dinner

When I was little, I was a very picky eater. The only dish I could rely on at restaurants was pasta with olive oil and garlic. That was one of the very small number of things that I ate for years.

Now, my palate has expanded significantly. My oil and garlic pasta has become whole-wheat fusilli instead of my traditional angel hair. Instead of asking for "no green stuff" I pile it on adding fresh basil from the garden and broccoli (and depending upon my food-supplies and my mood, green onions or frozen spinach). However, to this day it still remains one of my favorite dishes.

This dish can be made with any variety of vegetable substitutions and pretty much any type of pasta. Bell and sweet peppers are always a nice addition, if you have them around. Also, chicken is a lovely addition to this dish. I had it with chicken just last night.  Experiment!

Oil and Garlic Pasta Stir-Fry 2 servings
Prepare 2 servings of pasta. I suggest a rigatoni, fuscilli, or an linguini, but it's your choice.

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 or so garlic sections, either finely chopped or pressed into the pan
1/4-1/3 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes sliced into thin slices
1 cup broccoli, chopped
Parmesan cheese, to taste

  1. If pasta will take about 10 minutes to cook (as it does with dry fuscilli), start pasta first.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil and garlic.
  3. Once the garlic has been sizzling for 45 seconds or so, but is not yet golden, add sun dried tomatoes. Move everything around in the pan for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add basil. Stir for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Blanch broccoli so it is a little bit al-dante (in the microwave or by whatever means necessary). Then add the broccoli to the pan. Stir and let finish cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Then add the pasta. Add a little more olive oil if needed.
  7. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top. Stir for 30 seconds. Serve.

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