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Page 98

Dan’s Papers August 26, 2011 danshamptons.com Page 98

& SIMPLE ART OF COOKING by Silvia Lehrer

The dog days of August are still with us and dinnertime necessitates speed and simplicity. I’m thinking pasta with an uncooked sauce so that the only pot needed is the pot to cook the pasta in. And there is no better time to prepare this type of pasta than in summer with the abundance of fresh local produce at our farm stands and farmers markets. The most legendary pasta with uncooked sauce is undoubtedly the classic basil pesto. The first time I tasted this wondrous uncooked sauce in Italy, it was served with silken, freshly made fettuccine pasta. If this option is not available purchase the best quality fettuccine you can buy. Fresh parsley sauce with fresh tomatoes is another delicious version from Lydia Bastianich. My first experience with an uncooked tomato sauce was when I studied in Italy another long time ago. Vermicelli pasta with uncooked tomato sauce became the object of my affection. You may want to add a salad to your menu, but I have my greens—the basil or parsley and of course tomatoes if I choose to go that route.

I would prefer to finish the meal with a nice thick chilled wedge of the sweetest melons gracing our farm stands right now. Buon appetito! FETTUCCINE CON PESTO Fettuccine pasta with pesto sauce. Serves 4 to 5 For the pesto 3 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves 2-3 cloves garlic 1/3 cup pignoli nuts 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground pepper to taste 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese For the pasta 1 pound fettuccine Kosher salt for the cooking water 3 to 4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water

Processing the pesto.

1. Wash basil leaves and gently pat dry. Without crushing basil, pack into measuring cup. Set aside. 2. Put the garlic cloves into work bowl of food processor fitted with knife blade or into a blender and process until finely chopped. Add basil leaves, pignoli nuts, salt and pepper and pulse with several on/off turns to chop ingredients coarsely. Scrape mixture down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary. With machine running pour the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow steady stream. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process to a puree. Can be refrigerated for a day (or freeze for later use), defrost at room temperature. 3. When ready to sauce your pasta, stir grated cheese and butter into the pesto.

5. Meanwhile, bring 4 to 5 quarts water to a boil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons salt and put in the fettuccine. Stir with a fork to separate the pasta, cover pot and return to a boil immediately. Uncover and cook the pasta at a rolling boil for about 9 to11 minutes, depending on the brand you are using. Taste to be sure pasta is al-dente or firm to the bite. Be careful not to over cook. Just before draining pasta, ladle about 3 to 4 tablespoons cooking water to the pesto to soften and stir to mix. 5. Drain and transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl, add the pesto sauce and stir to coat very well. Serve warm with additional cheese if desired. VERMICELLI WITH UNCOOKED TOMATO SAUCE (continued on page 100)

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