Well let’s see, where did I leave off last time. Business has picked up in the last few days nicely and even though lunch caterings are down a bit, we have a large event on Thursday night and a wedding on Saturday. The 200 person lunch is also close, so I guess all-in-all business is going great.
This past weekend was catch-up-on-the-books weekend. Oh and I did get to play some paintball on Sunday. (See the article about Baking Bacon for more background on my paintball playing.) I studied a bit of accounting in college so somewhere along the way I took over all of the bookkeeping for Dish. It saves us quite a bit of money, but I rarely have the time to stay on top of it. When I first started I would keep the books up-to-date on a weekly basis, then it became every other week and slowly over the past six months it has become a monthly thing. Unfortunately I still have to process payroll every week along with vendor payments, but I can do those things fairly quickly. It’s the things like balancing the rather large check register or entering the daily sales info that can get put off at times.
In fact this is part of the problem I have right now. Our business and the numerous opportunities are too big for the staff, but we can’t grow because our location is too small. Enter stage right, adding a new location. Mums the word, stay tuned.
So on Saturday I was looking for something that was going to taste great, not heat the house up and would include pasta. I was in the mood to try something different as well. As always I wanted something with a method or technique that was new to me. Here is a great quote I just stumbled across. “I am defeated, and know it, if I meet any human being from whom I find myself unable to learn anything.” ~George Herbert Palmer.
So with that being said, I found the recipe in Alice Waters’ cookbook “Chez Panisse: Pasta, Pizza & Calzone” I figured it had to be good. Alice Waters, duh! One criteria down. It included some new techniques like charring a red pepper along with ingredients I hadn’t worked hands-on with before like anchovies and pine nuts. Looking good. There was no oven involved and other than boiling some water and toasting some pine nuts, there was very little heat involved. Viola, we have a winner. Oh and there was pasta involved, all the better.
The results were perfect! We loved the bite of the garlic at the back of the throat along with the light and fresh taste of the red sauce. I will make this sauce again. The texture and the taste of the pasta with the basil was awesome. Again super-fresh tasting and the added texture and flavor from the pine nuts were great. The hardest part was cleaning the food processor between sauces!
So without further delay – Here ya go!
Green & Red Pasta (serves four)
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Fresh purple basil leaves (I subbed fresh oregano)
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 2 salt packed anchovies (we used oil packed)
- 3 cloves garlic
- Fettuccine or tagliatelle for 4
- Fresh Italian parsley
- Parmiganio Reggiano
Green sauce – Add the basil leaves and olive oil to food processor and puree until blended well. Mince the garlic and add to food processor. Blend with the basil oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is your green sauce! Move to a glass bowl and clean food processor, you will use it again shortly.
Rinse the capers in cold water to remove the brine. Over medium heat in a small pan, lightly toast the pine nuts. You are looking for a nice brown. Be sure to flip often, they can burn quite easily. The capers, pine nuts and the purple basil, if using, are to be added to the pasta at the end.
Red sauce – Core the tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise. Remove the seeds, salt and pepper them and brush with some olive oil. Grill the tomatoes four to five minutes on each side. I used my gas grill. While grilling the tomatoes, grill the red pepper until the skin blackens. While the pepper cools, skin the tomatoes and roughly chop them. Peel the skin from the pepper and remove the seeds. Chop the pepper and mix with tomato. Rinse and filet the anchovies. Blend, in the food processor, the anchovies, tomatoes/red pepper with the remaining olive oil and season with black pepper.
Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package. Drain and mix half of the pasta with the green sauce and half with the red. Serve them side by side on a warm platter. Garnish the green pasta with the capers, pine nuts and leaves of purple basil. Garnish the red pasta with leaves of parsley and Parmigiano if desired. Devour!
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