Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Caprese Pasta Toss and Back to the Airport

If it seems like I've been spending a lot of time in airports lately, its because I have.  And really....if it seems like that to YOU, imagine what it seems like to ME.  This week is Boston.  Actually, not.  Its a suburb outside of Boston, that, to the best of my ability to comprehend, does not believe in non-chain restaurants.  Last time I went there, I asked the front desk lady at the Marriott if there were any good places to eat for dinner, and she told me there was a Quizno's right across the street.  Well, color me happy!  Quizno's is EXACTLY what I had in mind for a nice place to spend my per diem allowance for the night after a long day of traveling.  I was like, well....I was really looking for a sit-down type of place where I could get a nice glass of wine.  She nodded knowingly and said there was an Applebee's in the same shopping center.  Great, I couldn't wait to have some chicken fingers and a nice glass of Franzia.

This time, I got smarter and decided to stay and eat downtown and just drive to my meeting in the burbs for the day.  My plan was perfect except that my trip got extended by another day and the first night I'm forced into staying at the Marriott in the burbs across the street from Quizno's and Applebee's.  This is stressing me out, and I've spent the entire morning (and a ridiculous amount of time last night) trying to decide, when I land in Boston, whether to eat downtown and take a taxi to the burbs in order to avoid chicken fingers and Franzia.  Or, do the practical thing and rent a car, drive to my hotel in the burbs, and suck it up.  Maybe Franzia is better after a glass or three?  Probably not.

Anyway, I haven't decided yet, but I'll continue to ponder this very, VERY important culinary decision.  My dinner on the first night could make or break my trip...what if I get a Franzia hangover and fall asleep in my client meeting the next day?  Or get food poisoning from chicken fingers?  I think its safer to take a cab from the airport to downtown, eat a delicious dinner with non-Franzia wine, and THEN take a cab from downtown to the burbs.  Just to be safe.  Safety, and NOT practicality, is the issue here, people.

Okay, time to talk about food that I actually cooked!  Two of my favorite things to eat are pasta (not always good for the "try not to be so fat" diet), and tomato/fresh mozzarella salad.  So why not combine them?  I've seen tons of variations of this out there, both from Rachael Ray and some fellow food bloggers.  I took those as inspiration and just kind of made things up as I went along.  I used 100% whole wheat pasta for the protein and fiber, and cut WAY down on the amount of oil and cheese I used.  Still turned out great, and I served this with petite filets broiled in the oven.  Delish!

Caprese Pasta Toss
Source: inspired from Rachael Ray and the general interwebs

1/2 lb whole wheat penne
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small anchovy filets
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, diced into bite-sized pieces

Heat oven to 375 F.  Put halved grape tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Roast in oven for 20 minutes until tomatoes start to "burst.

While tomatoes are in the oven, boil pasta in well-salted water until al dente.  Drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan.  Add anchovy filets, and stir, breaking up the filets and allowing them to "melt" into the oil.  Add red pepper flakes, garlic, and Italian seasoning.  Let garlic get soft, but make sure it doesn't burn.

Add cooked pasta to the oil/anchovy/garlic mixture.  Add tomatoes and diced mozzarella.  Toss to combine.  Serve.  Drool.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, totally laughed out loud over the "she nodded knowingly" and recommended Applebee's! Sorry you've been traveling so much! What do you do?