Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Pasta Alla Toscana

Lazy, lazy, lazy. So lazy. Almost too lazy for its own good. Small Perfect Cloud stretches its lithe limbs in the only ray of light the sky has deigned to illuminate the terrace with today. The brown paws reveal their retractable claws, and drowsily Small Perfect Cloud scratches at a random bush of grass that is growing between the cracks in the stones. Small Perfect Cloud's colour today is especially creamy; one would be tempted to think that boredom influences the colour patterns of cats - and one may even be right. Divine Cherry, however, who as always finds inspiration in just about everything, was reminded by Small Perfect Cloud's harmonie en beige of a Pasta dish she used to love as a child. A somewhat distorted madeleine, if you will. Be that as it may, this is what Divine Cherry set out to prepare after gazing upon the blessed serenity of a sleepy cat.
Divine Cherry took a carrot, a stick of celery and half an onion and chopped it very finely. It has been pointed out that using a mini food processor may or may not improve your task considerably. The choice is yours -  but it is highly recommended. Not that you have to. But you may wish to think about it. Divine Cherry used a food processor. Just saying. It's up to you though. Nevertheless, once that was done, Divine Cherry put the chopped ingredients, together with some black olives and the speck/cured ham, as well as some salt and pepper, into a pan with some oil and lightly fried it. When the ingredients were satisfactorily done, she poured the secret sacred liquid in the pan. It is the one secret that must never be revealed. It is what makes the world go round, what keeps one sane in long summer afternoons, and generally speaking, what makes living worthwhile. It is the secret to everything, and never must it be divulged. It's half a glass of white wine. Divine Cherry kept the fire on (on low) until the wine had evaporated. Meanwhile, she had been cooking 200g of pasta (al dente, naturally). Once it was ready, she simply mixed the pasta with the preparation and added 3 spoons of cream. I remember distinctly that Divine Cherry paid very carful attention not to cook the cream - she was very specific on this indeed. The cream is to be warmed up, but never, under any circumstance, must it cook. Never ever.
And that is how this Small Perfect Cloud inspired childhood's dish came to be. The Celestial Dragon is still licking its whiskers.

-1 carrot
-1/2 onion
-1 stick of celery
-a handful of black olives
-1/2 think slice of cured ham or speck
-half a glass of white wine
-3 tbsp of cream
-200g of pasta (preferably any short kind)
-oil, salt and pepper

Finely chop the carrot, the celery and onion with the help of a mini food processor if you have one. Then toss them in a pan with some oil, salt and pepper, the black olives and the speck/ham. Add the white wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated. Cook the noodles and drain them al dente. Put everything together and add the cream. Stir well, making sure however not to cook the cream.


Pasta alla toscana come la faceva mia nonna...

-200 g pasta
-1/2 cipolla
-1 carota
-1 costa di sedano
-una manciata di olive nere
-1/2 fetta spessa di prosciutto crudo o speck
-mezzo bicchiere di vino bianco
-3 cucchiai di panna
-olio, sale e pepe

Tritare carota, cipolla e sedano molto fini (se avete un mini food processor la vostra vita sarà più facile...). Soffriggere il trito con un po' d'olio, sale e pepe, e agiungere le olive e il prosciutto tagliato a dadini. Unire il vino e lasciare che si consumi. Bollire la pasta e scolarla al dente. Unire il sugo alla pasta e legarlo con un po' di panna. Attenzione a non cuocere la panna ma scaldarla solamente.

And Spread the Mess

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