For some people, all the world’s a song cue — everything makes them think of a song lyric.
For me, all the world’s a cooking cue — everything I experience seems to make me think of something I want to eat, cook or bake. We’re watching “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe (though meticulously researched, it’s nowhere near as good as the two previous versions I’ve seen; sad, I love Russell Crowe). Anyway, I’m thinking about oysters, because someone was just eating them in the film, and about crusty bread made in a wood-burning oven, because that’s what they ate.
Saturday morning, I was listening to Lynn Rossetto Kasper on Hawaii Public Radio and she was talking about tomatoes. A caller mentioned a sauce a friend used to make: fresh tomato sauce made with chopped, uncooked tomatoes and “tons of garlic.” This sounded great to me, and since I was on the way to the KCC Farmers’ Market, I decided to buy a bunch of ripe heirloom tomatoes and try to make a version of the sauce. The folks at Big Wave Tomatoes threw in a couple of sprigs of basil, too. (Granted, it’s not a great time for tomatoes; they’re pricey and not to good-looking right now, but tuck the idea away until you see some tomatoes you like.)
I had no recipe and was too impatient to look one up online. So I chopped half a dozen full-size, juicy-ripe heirloom tomatoes, minced 5 cloves of garlic (yes, five) and about a third of bunch of parsley. Put them in a bowl. Flavored the whole with salt, pepper, a generous glog of extra-virgin olive oil.This mixture marinated all day. That night, I tore the basil leaves up and put them in the sauce, then used a slotted spoon to serve the sauce over hot linquine (it had released a great deal of liquid and I didn’t want the pasta to be swimming). The final touch: grated fresh Parmesan.
Husband inhaled it. There was barely half a bowl left and it was so powerfully perfumed that, even in an airtight container, it hit you every time you opened the refrigerator! I made it again next night.
Only afterward did I find this posting on Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s Web site:
“I discovered a trick for making pasta with raw tomato sauces taste lustier. Slightly undercook the pasta. Drain it. Spoon the juices that raw sauces always throw off into the empty pasta pot. Set it over medium-low heat, add the pasta and toss until the juices are absorbed, then add the pasta to the sauce. Pasta and raw tomato sauce is served at room temperature, never chilled.”
As usual, Kasper — She Who Knows All — went me one better. She always has the best tips.