Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pasta alla Sorrentina

Happy Thursday evening my friends!  Can you believe tomorrow is already Friday?  My husband had the day off so we enjoyed shopping for ingredients for my blogging recipe and having lunch.  Today was a great day!  

I suppose your wondering what exactly I made for dinner.  Well...what I made was called Pasta alla Sorrentina. I had it once, years ago but decided to tweak it a little bit to my liking.  It's pretty much all the same ingredients, perhaps just worked differently.  My husband was so terrified it was going to be full of garlic he heated up some leftover mac and cheese just to be on the safe side.  What a pansy!  (And the way he embarrassed me at lunch today he is lucky I didn't just roast garlic and slap it on his plate!)  Anyway, this dish is refreshing, great for fresh tomatoes and basil out of your garden.  My basil is abundant and I refuse to waste it!  This is Nebraska, we can't get fresh herbs here in the winter.  Its a parsley, cilantro and chive world most of the winter out here!  Oh excuse me, you CAN choose between curly and flat leaf.  

I used this as a side dish, in reality it can be a meatless main dish.  I did grill up some Italian sausages to go along with it and some super crusty bread. YUM!  

You will need....
1lb pasta of your choice, obviously I recommend spaghetti
1 pint halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 container bocconcini  *small balls of fresh mozzarella* Gawd I love these....get your own snacking container!
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn or cut info chiffonade
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your pasta to al dente.  While the pasta is cooking halve your tomatoes and bocconcini.  Also chop or tear your basil.  Also heat in a small pan 1/4 cup olive oil.  Put garlic and red pepper flakes in the oil while still cold and slowly heat up until garlic is browned but NOT burned.  It will have fulfilled its fate and can be discarded (or eaten).  Put pasta in large bowl, drizzle over olive oil, and add butter.  Toss with tongs until coated.  Toss in tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano.  Top with basil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve!

This is an incredibly simple dish with simple ingredients.  If your looking for pasta drenched in sauce this is NOT your night.  Its clean, and simple.  Make sure to salt last, so your cheese also gets some salt!

Some options in adding meat....
1.  Grilled steak, sliced thinly on the bias and laid across the top
2.  Chicken done the same way
3. Italian sausage chunks on top or sliced thin.


On a side note...I was at my parents over the weekend.   My mother is so cute, but so out of touch with culinary reality I don't even allow her in the kitchen for water while I am there.  Bless her heart, she WANTS to be on top of it.  I mean the rotten green onions, cantaloupe and parsley I recovered from her fridge were proof of that. "Oh Chris, I have pepper in one of those twisty deals".  Even the peppercorns were petrified.  She just can't be trusted with more than toast and coffee these days and honestly I don't think she minds at all!  God forbid she reads this.....oh never mind she has a laptop she is just sure doesn't work, "the screen is just black and it wont do a darn thing. CHRIS, I have tried everything". Ummm...have ya tried powering it on ma?  Yes, I am dead serious.

So I realize this blog is so random and scattered.  However, I am leaving it this way, its how I think. Don't even try to believe you don't have your own scatter brain moments, but accept some of us LIVE that way!  Part of it I blame solely on the fact I am chair dancing to "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire.while typing this blog.

Your..."yes I am one of THOSE" chefwannabe


  1. Your father and I rock out to Michael Jackson at the office so you must get your groove from him! The pasta dish sounds lovely. This time of year I love to chop up about 5-6 tomatoes, add 3-4 cloves of minced garlic, 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, half a red onion, salt, pepper, and some fresh basil and mix well. Let it sit at room temp for 2 to 4 hours and serve over hot pasta. So stinkin' good! I'm going to try your recipe with the mozzarella...yummy! :)

  2. Your combo is the start of a nice panzanella salad and an antipasto salad.. I will be doing panzanella soon, its a nice vegan dish, my nephew will hopefully appreciate. I think you could through mud over pasta and I would be happy.

  3. I love this one too! I've gotta get this written down and in my book.

  4. I made this for dinner! Yummmm!! With grilled chicken, not sure how to post a pic!:)

  5. You can always post it on the Facebook fan page!! I am so glad you liked it!