|In which I rediscover garlic and basil|
Sep 30th, 2006
When I was in my early twenties I didn't know how to cook very many things - pasta, pork chops, and burritos were about the extent of my culinary repertoire - but I found that if I threw enough garlic and basil on most things they tasted good. I cooked a lot of pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and capers. When I started reading cookbooks and expanding my range I left these pasta dishes behind - because I had cooked them so often when I didn't know what I was doing I think I associated them with a lack of culinary sophistication. So when I got home late one night last week to a mostly empty fridge and a reqest for pasta I was faintly surprised how good the results tasted once I threw in enough garlic and basil and capers. Just because it may be overused doesn't rob this classic combination of its power.
I wouldn't call this a recipe really, just a call to lay in some fresh basil, some red and yellow bell peppers, a tomato or two, maybe even an eggplant and go to town with the olive oil and garlic. I cubed the eggplant and bell pepper and sauteed them with plenty of garlic and oil. When they were soft I added the chopped up tomatoes and some more garlic and a little salt. These cooked for a few more minutes, just until the tomatoes broke down and started to bind the sauce together, then I pulled my pan off the heat and added the basil and capers. A dusting of feathery grated parmesan topped off the pasta and sauce.
It may not be haute cuisine but it sure tastes good and that's what it's really all about isn't it?