The recipe for this pasta was quite whimsical. It took me some time to accomplish it but I was having fun. My girlfriend had a really tough weekend with some long shifts and little sleep. I wanted to do something nice and I thought a home cooked meal personalized to her tastes would maybe help her feel a little better. After all, who doesn’t like a home cooked meal? Personally, someone can make me grilled cheese and I’d be happy. If it’s made with love, that’s really all that matters.
I had the whole day so I could pull together some really fun stuff for this dish. First off, confit tomatoes. These things taste like wonderfully herb fragranced concentrated ketchup. I’ve used them on burgers before and even just make them now to keep around. The are pretty bangin’.
Grilled squash - I have always preferred grilled zucchini to eggplant. I just think it tastes better. I’m not hating on eggplant at all, just saying how I like to roll. Anyhoo, I knew I could make these ahead of time, squeeze some lemon over them and then slice them into ribbons and toss in at the end. No biggie.
Shitake mushrooms - I felt the need to add something earthy to this dish and the shitakes at the farmer’s market that day sort of called to me. A little olive oil, some thyme and maybe a little beer, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a side dish.
Arugula-pistachio pesto - I hate how expensive pine nuts are. Plus, I’m a bit gun-shy because I’ve heard some people talk to me about the impostor pine nuts that taste like lead. I’ve just been turned off to them for the moment. Fortunately, I had a bag of pistachios and some time on my hands. It was pretty easy to shell them and make pesto in the usual manner.
Homemade pasta - Yeah, ok so I really went over-board here and decided to make the pasta too. It was pretty simple to make this vegan because pasta is pretty much just flour and water. You can add egg for richness but it’s not necessary. Olive oil works just fine. Bring it together in a bowl, kneed it until it comes together and then using your handy dandy pasta cutter, roll it to desired thickness and cut. It cooks in about 2-3 minutes so you’re golden if you have water ready. It also absorbs sauce way better than dried pasta and has a much richer flavor.
That’s the breakdown of the recipe. Bonus, it’s VEGAN!! Anyhoo, it was really fun to make and it’s easy to divide up if you’re making for a crowd. While I was making this for her, one of my buddies stopped by to hang out and drink bourbon. Of course, he became a taste tester for the individual ingredients. We happened to be listening to Pantera when the tomatoes came out of the oven. We agreed that “Cemetery Gates” really brought out the flavor of the confit tomatoes.