Three Pasta Variations

ANN LIKES FETTUCINI, I LIKE angel hair. We compromise, but where she tosses hers with broccoli and cheese I prefer a more piquant accompanage. For the last two nights (and, at this writing and G?d willing, tonight), my preference has been/is to begin with a base of olive oil and garlic. (The secret is to introduce these two with the skill of a shadchan, allowing each to express its inmost soul for at least 10 minutes over low-to-medium heat, rather than frying them to the tarry crisp of the dilletante.) Use whatever amount you like; I usually eyeball about a tablespoon and a half of oil to five or six roughly chopped cloves.) To this I add, respectively:

Pasta Number One

– Five mushrooms, sliced in fours
– Half a tin of anchovies, with the oil
– 2 tsp. nonpareil capers
– Can tomatoes
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Grated cheese (I like shredded Parmesan)

Fry the mushrooms before lowering the heat and adding the garlic and anchovies. Once the kitchen smells nice, add the tomatoes and increase heat to maximum, letting it reduce. Add capers, salt and pepper. Toss with pasta and cheese and serve.

Pasta Number Two

– The other half of the anchovy tin, without a lot of oil
– Dried rosemary and thyme (about a tsp. of each)
– Cherry (or other small) tomatoes sliced in half
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Grated cheese (I also enjoy grated Romano)

Warm the herbs in the oil before adding the garlic and anchovies. About one (1) minute before serving, add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Toss with pasta and cheese and serve.

Pasta Number Three

– Half a tin of anchovies, with the oil
– 2 tsp. nonpareil capers
– Cherry (or other small) tomatoes sliced in half
– Pepper to taste
– Grated cheese (I think we’re out of Romano, though)

Whizz together in a food processor the anchovies and garlic with enough oil to make it more runny than pastey. Warm in a pan over low-to-medium heat until kitchen smells heavenly. About a (one) minute before serving, add tomatoes and capers, pepper. Toss with pasta, top with cheese, and serve.
FOLO: Actually, all I did was toss all ingredients with the pasta. As expected, it turned this into a mouthwateringattheveryMEMORYofit oh my. But heating it might have been nice too.

SHOP SONOMA: Best cheese in this neck of the woods is Vella Cheese. Ig Vella and his family are old Sonoma hands; when you taste his cheese, you’re tasting Sonoma Valley. (Endorsements unsolicited but sincere.)

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