Go! Now! Run!

Now is the time!! Go to a farmer’s market and get some real heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. Do not delay!

Vegetarians, take special note of this Alert CD (Courtney-Deb) recipe and take appropriate action.

From “Marcella Cucina,” by Marcella Hazan comes the “must eat” recipe for RIGHT NOW.

Woop! Woop! Woop!

Okay. You get the idea. This is a wonderful recipe if you can’t cook, but you can chop better than they do in that food chopper commercial – you know, the one where the woman holds the knife in both hands and hacks at the tomato on her cutting board. Anyway.

One other thing… couples must eat this together. There are strong flavors in this pasta “sauce”, and if one eats it and the other doesn’t, well, let’s just say one of you will be on the sofa for the night.

Here we go.

Let’s start with what Marcella writes about this pasta sauce:

“Although this sauce is completely raw, you might say that it cooks itself. It is a fine demonstration of the dynamic reaction that ingredients can have to each other, if you give them the chance.

SUGGESTED PASTA: Only boxed factory-made dry pasta is a good match for this sauce, and spaghettini, thing spaghetti, is the most strongly recommended shape.”

This recipe makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta, making 4 large or 6 small servings. We halve it for the two of us.

Did you notice that she says the sauce is RAW? Yep. No cooking. Click on the “Keep Reading” link to get the recipe…

1-1/2 dozen whole small black olives

8 whole green olives in brine

1-1/2 tablespoons capers

5 or 6 anchovy fillets (This can be omitted for vegetarians. If you eat fish, but you “hate anchovies,” put them in. Or use anchovy paste. Really. Trust me. It’s a flavor that you don’t realize what it is, but you love what it does to the dish.)

1-1/2 pounds fresh, really ripe, firm tomatoes

10 basil leaves

1-1/2 teaspoons marjoram OR 3/4 teaspoon oregano

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped very fine.

1/4 cup very finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley


Black pepper ground fresh

1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Pit both the black and the green olives. If using capers packed in vinegar, drain them and rinse them in cold water. If using capers packed in salt, run cold water over them, then place them in a bowl of cold water to soak for 30 minutes. Drain them and rinse in several changes of water.
  2. Chop the pitted olives, the capers, and the anchovy fillets all together. You can use a food processor, but do not overprocess to a pulp. Set aside in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Wash the tomatoes and skin them raw using a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler. (We don’t always do this, and we’ve been happy with the result, so if you’re not up to peeling tomatoes, don’t stress.) Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut the tomatoes into narrow fillets about 1/4 inch wide. Add them to the bowl.
  4. Cut the basil into very thin strips and add it to the bowl together with the marjoram or oregano, the garlic, the parsley, a liberal sprinkling of salt, black pepper, and the vinegar. Toss once or twice, then add the olive oil and toss again, thoroughly. Allow the sauce to steep for at least 1 hour, turning all ingredients over from time to time. Taste and correct for salt and other seasonings.
  5. Cook the pasta to a firm, al dente consistency. Drain and toss at once with the contents of the sauce bowl, turning the pasta strands over several times to coat them well. Serve promptly.

(All text in the recipe is from “Marcella Cucina,” by Marcella Hazan, except for my comments in blue.)

By the way, this is a great cookbook to have. Try the fennel and arugula salad.


One response

  1. oh, jeez. i am just drooling! i got me own tomaters in the garden! nothing like a fresh garden tomato. When it’s yours, it’s even better!
    For the record, CD, they are: “Wisconsin 55” and “Jaune Flame”.

    August 29, 2007 at 6:07 pm

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