Thursday, May 19, 2011

Caprese Pasta

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I wish I could fly.

I always dream that I can. It feels like swimming, only you can do it anywhere.

I like swimming. I like how you're weightless and free. I like how you get all wet and slow and happy.

I wish air was like water.  I wish that when you were tired of sitting you could just give yourself the tiniest little kick of the ground and float away. 

Maybe I should just go live on the moon. Except I don't think there are beaches there. Just cheese and stuff. But cheese is also quite wonderful.

Pasta is good with cheese. Especially fresh, gooey mozzarella. And freshly shredded parmesan. And fresh basil leaves. And fat, red grape tomatoes. Fresh ones.

I cooked a lot today. My beautiful sourdough starter was finally ripe and ready, so I took part of him and made him into two big, crusty loaves of bread. I haven't cut into them yet. It's called willpower.

Grandma and Grandpa were came for dinner, so I made a strawberry rhubarb pie. With rhubarb from our own little garden. Fresh rhubarb. Under a thick, flaky, buttery crust. 

I wouldn't have spent so much time in the kitchen if I had known how beautiful it was going to be outside today. Once I had my pasta in the oven, I dropped everything and ran. 

I dashed under the dark pink flowering crab and past the bright tulips until I reached the freedom of the wide open field of freshly mowed grass. I tore through the warm, flowery air, clouds of flour and dandelion seeds billowing in my wake, the cool wet grass cushioning my tired feet. I ran and ran and ran towards the sun. It was bright and warm and happy.

It was like flying.

Caprese Pasta 
Inspired by Jessica of How Sweet It Is

1 lb. cooked and drained rigatoni pasta *
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion
1 T butter
1 lb. pork sausage
1/2 lb. ground chuck
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
3 cups tomato pasta sauce
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
8 oz. fresh mozzerella, cut into chunks
8 oz. shredded mozzarella (8 oz. of the fresh just wasn't enough)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Saute the onions, garlic, and butter on medium high heat. Add the meat and brown.
Combine the pasta, sauce, meat. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients, saving about half of a cup of the shredded mozzarella for the top.
Pour the pasta into a large baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake at 375º for about half an hour or until the cheese on top is bubbly and brown.

*1/2 lb. would have been sufficient. I ended up freezing half of the Caprese Pasta before I baked it so we could have it another night. Less pasta means more goodies with each bite. Just sayin.




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