Jeremy has been out of town the past week so I have been keeping myself busy by cooking, doing house/yard work, and putzing about my sofa. So far I have built a pallet garden, turned the weird mossy part of my backyard into a garden plot, planted sunflower seeds and corn, cleaned the refrigerator out, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed and mopped the apartment several times, read Dead Until Dark, tried reading World War Z, and watched the entire first season of the HBO series Girls within a 24 hour period. I like to alternate between being incredibly productive and momentously unproductive, it’s like when a bear goes into hibernation after months of vigorous bear-activity. Catching up on all the buzz-worthy HBO and Showtime series is my version of a cozy caniform’s den. And for me, nothing goes better with sitting around and watching television than a big plate of pasta. Since it’s been so hot out I wanted to have a lighter pasta dish, so I threw this together with an olive oil base rather than a cream base, and I used an amazing harrisa infused extra virgin olive oil from Devo. The oil has a blend of garlic, cumin, hot chilies, serrano peppers, and coriander. It added the perfect nudge of heat to the dish, and the combination of flavors went swimmingly with the pasta and roasted tomatoes. I wanted a light Italian side dish so got a few thin slices of bresaola, (an Italian dried beef), from the little cheese shop down the street and nibbled on it happily between pasta bites. It was a delightfully Italian meal, and I definitely recommend some thinly sliced cured meats as a side dish, like bresaola, proscuitto, or salami. Buon appetito!

Strozzapreti Pasta with Fresh Basil, Roasted Tomatoes & Garlic, Toscano Cheese, & Harrisa Olive Oil

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

  • 9 Ounces Dry Strozzapreti Pasta
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Head of Garlic
  • 1 Cup Grated Toscano Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Devo Harrisa Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • A few slices of Bresaola or some other cured meat optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the pulpy seed center with a spoon. Arrange the tomato halves on the baking sheet, inside facing up. Drizzle a tablespoon of the Harrisa olive oil over the tomato halves and rub it in. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt.
  2. Cut the top 1/4 off of the head of garlic, place the head on a 6-inch square piece of tin foil, drizzle 1 teaspoon of the Devo Harrisa EVOO over the garlic head, wrap it in the foil, and place it on the baking sheet. Roast the garlic and tomatoes in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  3. Prepare the pasta according to the package's directions, then immediately toss in a large bowl with the grated toscano cheese, salt, pepper, and the remaining Devo Harrisa EVOO until the cheese is mostly melted. Add the fresh basil, roasted tomatoes, and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery head over the pasta (the garlic should be a soft paste and come out of the shell like toothpaste out of a tube). Toss lightly until evenly distributed. Serve immediately with a side of bresaola or salami.
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