Introduction: Date Night Dinner
First Prize in the
Date Night Dinners Challenge
This is an easy, delicious pasta dish that will start off your date-night with a bang! (and maybe later there'll be some fireworks)
Garlicy pasta with the sweet-tang of tomatoes, very mild peppery-ness from the arugula, creamy goodness from the fresh mozzarella and a sweet-nutty crunch from the pine nuts. . . . . YUM!
Step 1: PASTA ALLA KEMELIA
- Angel Hair Pasta (1/2 lb)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/8 c plus 1/4+ c)
- Garlic (2-3 cloves, minced)
- Grape/Cherry Tomatoes (1 pt)
- Fresh Baby Arugula (2 1/2 oz.)
- Pine Nuts, toasted (1/3 c)
- Fresh Mozzarella (8 oz.)
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Step 2: Fill Large Pot With Salted Water
Fill a large pot with water, place on burner and turn up to med/hi. Salt the water to flavor the pasta and cook pasta according to package directions.
Step 3: Toast Pine Nuts in Dry Pan
While water is heating up, warm up a skillet or frying pan over medium to medium/low heat. Do Not Add Oil Once the pan is warmed up place the pine nuts in the dry pan and toast until lightly golden brown. Shake the pan or toss the nuts with a spoon so that they will toast evenly and not burn. Once the pine nuts have toasted remove them from the pan.
Step 4: Mince and Saute Garlic
Add about 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Regular olive oil will work as well. Turn heat to med/low. Smash the garlic cloves by placing the flat side of a large knife against the cloves and pound the top of the flat side of the blade with your fist. This method cracks the cloves open and will allow the garlic to slide right out of the papery skin. Mince garlic and saute in olive oil until soft. Be sure not to let garlic burn. If it does, you'll have to start the garlic process again in a clean pan. Burned garlic is unpalatable and will ruin your dish. When the garlic is softened, turn off heat.
Step 5: Half the Tomaotes and Add to Pan
Cut the grape or cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pan.
Step 6: Drain Pasta and Add to Tomatoes Along With Olive Oil
Once your pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the garlic and tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup or more olive oil to the pasta. Toss to distribute the tomatoes and garlic.
Step 7: Add Pine Nuts and Arugula to Pan and Toss Well
Add a generous handful of arugula to the pan along with the pine nuts and again, toss to distribute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with bits of diced fresh mozzarella cheese.
Step 8: Pair With Unoaked Chardonnay and Crusty Bread
A glass of unoaked (tree-free) chardonnay would be a nice accompaniment along with some fresh crusty bread. Yellow Tail has a great one, especially for the price.
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