It was great to have Jane (#5) back in the kitchen and this time she created her famous no-cook pasta sauce. She walked into the house with fresh basil and tomatoes from her gardens, we started slicing and before I knew it this beautiful dish was assembled and the aroma of garlic and basil filled the house. It’s the perfect time to make this recipe using fresh herbs and tomatoes from your garden or your local produce stand or market. The ingredients are assembled and you marinate at room temperature which frees your hands as you prepare the meal. It’s a quick process that leaves you with a scent that I think could be bottled and sold. Whenever your mix basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil together it’s like a nectar of the culinary gods. Fab-U-Lous!
A real treat for me was to see Jane chiffonade the basil. Yes, I learned a new word and technique. Chiffonade is a chopping technique used to cut leafy vegetables and herbs like spinach and basil. The special cut really adds a lot to the look of the herb in the dish. We’re getting fancy now. So she starts rolling and I said, ‘stop the show let me grab my camera’. And Jane, being the artist that she is, did it to perfection as you can see in the pictures below. I just had to include the pictures to show you the step by step process. Take a look.
You begin by stacking 4-5 basil leaves. Begin rolling from the stem end. Jane says this is very similar to rolling a cigar. Just a side note- our great-grandfather had a cigar shop in our hometown ‘on the hard road’. Cool, right? Anyway, you can see Jane’s tightly rolled cigar. I think she’s rolled basil just a few times, what do you think? Then she slices the roll which makes thin, almost curly slices of basil. Voilà!
Now for the really good part. The pasta is cooked, drained and immediately added while piping hot. Any type of pasta can be used. The pasta Jane used for this recipe was a wide noodle from Grand Mère a company from Alsace, France. Bed Bath and Beyond carries the brand in their expanded food section. One more side note – I’m sure she grabbed it because our mother’s family, the Heiligenstein’s were from this area of France. We have our cousin, Johnny Heiligenstein, to thank for this discovery. Anyway- the heat puts the final touch on blending the seasonings and softens the cheese. This dish is excellent hot and if there are any leftovers it’s just as good cold. Yum Yum!
Well, I think I could eat pasta every day. How about you? Do you have a favorite ingredient that you’d like to add to this? Please consider leaving a comment for the Sock Box 10 community.
Thanks for stopping by, Rose
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half - if using whole tomatoes de-seed.
- 1 heaping cup pitted kalamata olives sliced in half
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese sliced and cubed
- 1 cup of basil leaves. This is before the leaves have been cut chiffonade style.
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 pound pasta
- All ingredients should be room temperature.
- Assemble tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, basil and garlic.
- Keep some basil to the side for garnish.
- Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the mixture.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- let the mixture marinate 30 minutes to an hour.
- Cook pasta according to directions, drain and immediately add to sauce. The hot pasta softens the cheese and brings the flavors together.
- Any type of pasta can be used.