Pasta Alla Medici
A good summer supper around here is no easy feat to pull off: it’s not dinner for Papa without MEAT. Baggy acknowledges summertime by baking potatos and making beef stew on the hottest days of the year. Eating a nice cool salad would be, for her, an admission that there are natural forces she doesn’t control. For the last month Joan has eaten only granola, washed down with steep draughts of kombucha tea (is it just me, or isn’t that stuff toxic? I admit I can find no evidence supporting this point of view, but I’m sure I read it somewhere). Tuxedo Boy recently became a de-facto vegetarian (except for bacon), and Little Sunshine has more food rules than the Book of Leviticus.
So I made Pasta alla Medici, as translated through the lovely and talented Nigella Lawson. She’s re-married, bless her, to the man whose design firm caused me to buy a computer which spontaneously combusted before I was finished paying it off. Long story.
But it’s a short recipe:
Cook a bag of bow tie pasta. Also cook a good pan of peas. If you don’t have conscientious objectors from peas in your house, you can throw the peas into the pan with the bowties about five minutes on. If you do, cook them separately, because it’s not as good without them, and the sensible people can just add them in. I also cooked some cauliflower separately, because Tuxedo Boy loves cauliflower and pasta together. Meantime, chop up some ham into 1″ cubes and saute it till it’s well cooked and juicy–it won’t take very long.
Drain the pasta and peas when they’re cooked. Put them back in the pan, add a slug of cream, a biggish spoon of sour cream, the ham, and most of a small round tub of shredded parmesan cheese. NOT the powdered stuff in the iconic green cylinder, mind you. It must be shredded. Stir vigorously till the cream, sour cream, and cheese have made a gooey white sauce which coats the pasta, the ham, and whatever vegetables you are allowed to use.
Serve in bowls, to be eaten gluttonously with spoons. A salad isn’t a bad idea, if you can get one organized.
Ours was followed by watermelon ice, made in the little white Cuisinart ice cream maker Joan gave me last summer. We love it, and if you’re thinking about buying one, you should.
Voila! A dinner with something for everyone.