Saturday, September 4, 2010

Noodles - Two Ways

Sorry, I've been having Internet AND Jump Drive problems! Don't worry - I have been eating and cooking.

In an attempt to get better service while talking to Eliot on my cell phone, I moved to my window. The reception quickly became clear as I told him my new location. He asked about my herb garden and I responded and included a throw away comment about how I also have two tomatoes. Tomatoes? Those were not there when he was watering my plants while I was on vacation! Those came from my mom’s garden and I needed to cook with them soon before they go bad. Instantly, Eliot suggested to dice them and cook them in olive oil with garlic and some of my fresh basil and put that over pasta. Brilliant! His suggestion was MUCH better than my simple idea of diced tomatoes over pasta. This was very easy to throw together as a quick dinner – and very tasty as well! I was able to create this dinner in about fifteen minutes – from rinsing off the tomatoes to taking my first bite!
Here’s how I did it:
Dice two tomatoes (there are great instructional videos and images on the Internet – or open a can)
Slice 4 cloves of garlic
Thinly chop about 10 medium sized basil leaves
Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic to the warm oil. Cook. Add the tomatoes and stir for a few minutes. Add the basil. Add some (kosher) salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss with (preheated in microwave) noodles for a minute. Serve in a bowl with grated (goat) cheese on top.

* * *

The last time I had macaroni and cheese was probably from a blue box over two years ago. It was one of the foods I ruled out of my diet completely after becoming lactose intolerant. I never thought of doing a substitution, even though the food was a staple in my diet my first year out of college. Then Eliot dreamed up a version of the popular dish using hard goat cheese. He researched the different types of noodles and found that Tinkyada is really popular. At the time, since I was only gluten free for about a week, those were my only noodles I tried. They were good when making them with Kosher salt, but when I was doing my sous chef duties of checking on the noodles, I took one bite and asked him how me made them taste SO good! They were bursting with flavor! His secret (which I guess is no longer a secret thanks to the Internet – sorry, Eliot) was adding some olive oil to the water. I’m going to have to have him make this macaroni and cheese again so I can properly record his instructions since my attempt at recreating it based on my memory was rather meh. When I made this over the weekend, I added some pre-packaged sliced ham to help give the food some additional nutrients. I have had bad luck with deli-sliced meats, but if I buy pre-packaged lunch meats, I have no cross-contamination issues.
Once again, I love Tinkyada noodles.

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