Thursday, August 18, 2011
Panzanella Penne - Pasta of the Month
The last couple of days have been spent putting my home back together. With the kitchen remodel comes alot of fine particle dust in every nook and cranny, shelving cabinets and pantry, juggling food from one refrigerator in the garage to the new one. I'm sure I have the longest hallway to the garage, or it seems that way. I must have made 50 trips, there and back. But, the kitchen is really looking great!
As I mentioned, we were invited to dinner at Paul & Cathie's Resort. (That's what we call it because it's absolutely gorgeous, evoking a calming resort-like feeling.) We had a bit of rustic garlic and olive ciabatta type bread which was left over, so I snagged it to create this pasta of the month for August.
I even made it more rustic by cooking this dish in the gourmet garage on one hotplate. (not recommended but doable!!) To further the Tuscan experience, I air dried the bread slices, then cubed them. Thanks, Nevada, for your lack of moisture. You almost don't need a toaster in this part of the country!
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
2 garlic cloves, cut finely
2 Tbsp butter
1 - 1 1/2 c any rustic Tuscan bread, cubed
1/2 box of penne pasta
about 2 ladles of reserved pasta water
Parmesan or Romano cheese for garnish
Boil water for the pasta, salt and cook the pasta according to directions, usually around 11 minutes. Reserve 2 ladles of the water, drain the pasta and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until onions are soft. Add the garlic, fennel, tomatoes and butter. Continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes on medium high heat, stirring to mix the flavors. Add the bread cubes.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet, along with the pasta water. Mix thoroughly. At this time you can add some cheese to the mix. Serves 4 hungry adults!