Sicilian Pasta with Fennel Salad
|0.5 cupsParmigiano Reggiano; grated|
|1 bagarugula; preferably organic|
|1 lb.ripe tomatoes|
|1 lbfennel bulbs; (up to 1.5 lbs)|
|1 lemon; preferably organic|
|1 lb.farfalle pasta; preferably unenriched|
|1 packagepine nuts|
|1 packagealmonds (unsalted)|
Sicilian Pasta with Fennel Salad Preparation
When you walk in the door
* Fill a pasta pot 2/3 with water, add 2 tbsps. salt and put over high heat
* If your capers are in salt, put 3 tbsps. in a bowl and cover with warm water
* Get out Pantry Items
* Get out Tools
* Assemble the ingredients
* Open the wine and let it breathe. Try doing the same.
* Rinse and pat dry the herbs.
* Pluck 3 cups basil leaves, and about 10 mint leaves.
* Rinse and pat dry the arugula, and measure out 3/4 cup.
* Peel and mince 2 cloves garlic.
* Measure out 1/3 cup almonds and 1/4 cup walnuts.
* Measure out 3 tbsps. pine nuts.
* Drain the capers if they’re in brine. Measure out 3 tbsps.
* Core the tomatoes.
* Rinse and trim the stem and the root ends off the fennel, and trim away the outer layers if they’re not really white and fresh.
* Grate ½ cup Parmigiano.
* Coarsely chop the nuts together. Put the capers on top of the nuts, and coarsely chop them.
* Put the basil, the mint, and the arugula on top of the capers and nuts, and finely chop the greens.
* Put all the chopped ingredients in a large bowl, and cover with 7 tbsps. olive oil. Whisk everything together.
* Finely chop the tomatoes, and add to the bowl with their juices. Stir in 1/2 of the minced garlic cloves. Add about 1/4 tsp. salt.
* If the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta.
* Set the table now.
* Cut the fennel bulbs in half, then finely slice them. Put them in a bowl, and squeeze half a lemon through your fingers, right over them. Toss. Drizzle with 3 tbsps. oil and toss.
* Add 1/4 tsp. salt, some black pepper, and the remaining minced garlic and toss.
* Check the pasta. If it is al dente drain it, saving some cooking liquid.
* Turn the pasta into the herb and nut sauce and toss, toss, toss. Season with salt and toss some more. If the pasta is dry, add some of the cooking liquid, 1 tbsp. at a time, until it is the way you like it. (You’ll probably want to add about 3 tbsps. cooking liquid).
* Take the pasta, the Parmigiano, and the salad to the table, along with the bread. Don’t forget the wine!
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