Candy Tomatoes & Sausage Cream Pasta
MENU Mozzarella Prosciutto Skewers Olive Tapenade & Bread Walnut Grape Salad Grilled Roma Tomatoes Sausage Cream Pasta
It is true, the tomatoes turned out like CANDY. It was all I could do not to throw them on ice cream and gobble them down (okay, that might be gross---but you get the idea). The BBQ is an amazing thing: turning my garden tomatoes into sweeter than sweet gems to plop on top of Sausage Cream Pasta. The pasta is so rich and filling, you don't need a big portion. Perhaps a little ground pepper, some fresh parmesan but hands down those candylike Grilled Roma Tomatoes only add presence to this rich, creamy event of a meal. Did I mention the pasta is EASY to make?
Beyond the tomatoes and pasta---before the candy and cream---I served Olive Tapenade with artisan bread (recipe below) and Mozzarella Prosciutto Skewers.
My favorite appetizers are easy, easy, easy. As in, around 3 ingredients and no prep time (my brother Kerry would like that: he and my sister-in-law Donna have a joke about a cookbook they own whose title includes "Quick and Easy." In reality, they figure the author has 3 full-time sous chefs chopping, stirring, assembling and reducing sauces and ingredients for a good hour before the 'chef' steps in to make the 'quick and easy' meal. Makes for some good humor when you are trying to feed small children on the fly).
The Olive Tapenade appetizer is simply a store-bought jar of tapenade (Trader Joes in my case); I filled a coffee scoop with tapenade, placed it in the middle of a plate, surrounded it with olive oil and cut a few leaves of basil on top (chiffonade a la scissors). If you cannot find tapenade in a jar or don't have it on hand, you can pulse blend 1/2 c. kalamata olives, 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt in a small blender for tapenade; add a few drops of your favorite vinegar and a pinch of basil, parsley or oregano if you feel the urge. Any extra will keep for 1-2 weeks covered in the fridge. It is great on sandwiches or paninis.
To lighten the richness of the meal, a salad is a perfect fix. I added in my Walnut Grape Salad; just when you thought things couldn't get better, this salad walks through the door.
I confess, not many desserts round my table mid-week. A truffle or nibble of chocolate is all I need with my already half-full glass of red wine or on a good day, a decaf cappuccino. More fanciful desserts make a happy appearance on weekends and at dinner parties. Oh and by the way, good luck with tonight's dinner---go knock their socks off.