Thursday, June 23, 2011
From Sorrento with Amore - Pasta of the Month
Do you ever travel in your daydreams? One of the scenes in my mind is to rise one morning, throw open the rustic wooden shutters and find myself staring into the deep blue waters of the Tyrrenian Sea. The morning sun climbs higher and sparkles across the sea like small diamonds. The intoxicating lemon scented air surrounds me. Throwing on some clothes, I wander down to the street where I will be greeted with a warm cup of espresso.
The fishermen are beginning to dock and unload their catch. When I finish my "wake up" beverage, I begin my ritual at the pasticerria. I buy some creme filled cannolis for later, as well as a just baked loaf of bread encrusted with rosemary and olives. This will go nicely with my lemon infused pasta. I continue down the trellised path surrounded by magenta colored bougainvillea. Bright terracotta urns filled with hot red geraniums line the street. Each step beholds a beautiful sight.
It's just a dream, but I know dreams do come true! I've only been to Sorrento through pictures and travel brochures, but I'm sure its as beautiful as they say. I will visit someday!
As June is rapidly coming to an end, my pasta of the month is a lemon infused angel hair pasta. So lemony but light, and simple to make. You don't have to be in Sorrento to enjoy the bounty of the region.
1/2 box angel hair pasta
1/2 shallot or onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
a handful of parsley, basil and lemon verbena, roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, juice squeezed
2 ladles of pasta water
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp lemon zest
In a large pot boil water for pasta and cook according to directions. Reserve at least 2 ladles of the pasta water before draining. In a large skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic, parsley, basil and lemon verbena. (If you don't have verbena you can use a little more lemon zest, juice or lemon thyme might be an interesting variation.) Cook on medium only until shallots soften. Add the lemon juice, drained pasta and ladles of pasta water to moisten. Mix thoroughly, garnish with Parmesan and lemon zest and serve immediately. Hopefully, this will transport you to the villa in Sorrento...