Pasta Party!

    The best way to eat food is to share what you make with friends. Today two of my dearest friends came over for a casual dinner of pasta, Chilean wine, and rum balls.

    In my opinion, everyone needs a fool-proof pasta recipe they can tweak and change according to what's on hand. Here's mine:

    What you need:

    1 box whole wheat pasta
    4 peddadew peppers
    7-8 slices of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped coarsely
    3 large green olives, sliced
    4 large black olives, sliced
    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 Tbs capers
    juice of 1/2 half lemon
    3 inches pepperoni, in thick julienned pieces
    salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes
    2 Tbs fruity, salad olive oil
    1/3 c baby tomatoes
    Dijon mustard
    3 oz Havarti cheese, cubed
    (if I had time, I would have also added 1/2 a sauteed onion)

    What To Do

    Cook the pasta in the way described in a previous post (boiling, salted water with a splash of olive oil) and cook until al dente.

    In the meantime, heat some oil in a saute pan and add 2 cloves of garlic. Add all the other ingredients, lastly being the salt and pepper.

    Add this mixture to the pasta, then mix in the olive oil and about 1/3 cup sliced, fresh cherry tomatoes. You could add some cut basil here, too.

    Finally, add the cubed Havarti. Havarti is a fast melting cheese, so this will probably start melding into the pasta quickly. Squeeze in the mustard (1 or 2 squirts), lemon, add the red pepper flakes, and taste for seasoning.

    Finally, dust with a cover of pecorino cheese.

    Tips from the Chef

    Adding the following things can really make a pasta dish pop:
    fresh herbs (basil, for example)
    lemon juice and lemon zest
    Dijon mustard
    red pepper flakes
    feta or goat cheese

    Luckily, the other little ingredients really pack a punch and I just love them in any dish.

    Thanks to my amazing friends who came over to spend a Sunday evening together.

    I will miss you so much next year!

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