Catalyst Cooks

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And What to Do with that Homemade Pasta? (a Quick Recipe) September 9, 2011

If you’ve experimented with the Homemade Pasta Recipe I posted yesterday, you probably want a quick sauce to go with it.

I got up this morning and prepared my lunch for this afternoon:

I took some bacon out of my freezer and ran it under cool water.  While it quickly defrosted, I put a cooling rack inside my jelly roll pan and placed my bacon on the top, leaving a bit of space between the strips.  I threw that in the oven and set the oven to 400 degrees.  (If the oven is cold when the bacon goes in, the bacon maintains its flat shape better.)  This cooks for about 20-25 minutes or until crispy.

I put my pasta pot on the stove to boil.

Then I prepared a quick sauce, by mixing the following (for 4 servings of pasta, about 1/2#):

  • 1/2 Cup half and half (or whole milk, or cream)
  • 1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped (or chiffonade) – stepped outside into my ‘sunken garden’ to get this guy! **
  • 2 T softened butter (I use unsalted, and soften it by letting it sit out of the fridge- you can also soften in the microwave)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

After the pasta was cooked (I like mine ‘al dente’ or with a bit of texture), I tossed the drained noodles with the mixture above until the cheese and butter were melted (not too much, or it will make the pasta mushy).

I put a squirt of lemon juice over the top and dressed it with the cooked bacon, which I used my kitchen scissors to snip over the top.  Finally, I used a bit of basil for garnish.


** A word about the sunken garden:

Last fall, Neighbor Dave and I got rid of our hot tub.  This is a long story for a different day (including the generosity of mom/Pam’s neighbors, marriage lessons in how to navigate the dismantling of a deck, and how to turn a bad thing into a good one).  End result: I now have a sunken garden on a very nice concrete slab right in the middle of my deck!

This garden has been fruitful, despite the cruddy spring and short summer.  Cherry tomatoes, basil, arugula, sage, thyme, rosemary, lemon verbena, and tarragon abound.  Makes for some great summer salads and herb additions to my favorite dishes… all by just going outside to the sunken garden!


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