Sunday, July 6, 2008
Swooning over Mario Batali
If I had to name my favorite chef it would be the one with the orange crocs. Better known as Mario Batali. I don't know when I became a fan. Maybe it was the Iron Chef Americas challenges because he always won, or his Italian cooking, but I fell in love with him one day.
I have told some people if I ever met him I would faint. Probably not the best first impression from me to him, but it's either that or I might lose the ability to speak to him, which is the more logical choice.
Now you would think with my admiration of Mr. Batali, I would own all of his books, most of his cookware and orange crocs. However, I do not. I own a Mario Batali wooden spoon, but that is all. Shocking, I know.
Also, due to my recent move, I no longer have Food Network, which means no more Iron Chef America, Good Eats, or all of which I use to watch. But trust me this doesn't mean I am lacking in food knowledge. Or that I am not cooking. Quite the contrary.
I rarely am seen outside my kitchen because most nights are spent there cooking quick meals. With this in mind, I decided this week to make a Batali dish, but having some of the ingredients already. I came up with my own, an ode if you will to Mario. The perfect light summer pasta dish, simple and elegant. One that calls for seconds. Fresh tomato and basil spaghetti.
I picked basil from the garden, picked up local tomatoes and garlic, but off cooking for a day, then cooked it for lunch. I was craving Italian food, so I took his spaghetti with sweet 100 tomatoes, garlic chives, and lemon basil and used what I had. It was me being economical, a localvore, and well, avoiding searching all over North Carolina for lemon basil and garlic chives. What came out? Well, I guess you'll have to try it for yourself and see if you like. I am adding it into my recipe book and am sure to make it when my tomatoes come in on my vine.
And if you see the man in orange crocs, can you send him my way for a cooking lesson or two?
Fresh tomato, basil spaghetti
1 tomato, cut into slices
handful of basil, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/4 of a bag of spaghetti
Begin boiling a pot of water for the pasta. Once boiling, add dried spaghetti.
While the water comes to a boil, saute garlic in olive oil, once turning lightly brown add tomatoes. Cook until softened. Once pasta is cooked, drained and add to tomato mixture. Toss together and basil. Serve and Enjoy!