Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Garlicky Cesar Salad Pasta

My spouse made this for me on our first date and it's been one of my very favorite meals ever since.  This recipe is based on a traditional Cesar Salad (from TJ) but I skip the anchovies.

Croutons (yes, of course, make your own)
1/3 loaf of stale ciabatta, baguette, multigrain or whatever is handy (Sadie Rose and Bread & Cie are my favorites, until I learn to make awesome bread), cut into 1/2" cubes
olive oil
sea salt or garlic salt

Heat a large pan on medium-low.  Add the bread cubes and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Add a few pinches of salt.  Toss to coat well and toss every now and again to allow the croutons to brown evenly.  Toast until golden. 

6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (from Calivirgin or Good Faith)
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
juice from ½ small lemon (off my tree)
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed (from Sage Mountain Farm)
1&1/2 teaspoon dijon or stone ground mustard (try SoNo until you learn to make it yourself)
a goodly pinch of sea salt
2 goodly pinches of fresh cracked black pepper

Mix well or blend dressing ingredients together (I just make this in a jar, screw the lid on and shake).

1 big head romaine lettuce, cut or torn into bite sized pieces (JR Organics has amazing lettuce!)
½ cup parmesano reggiano cheese, microplaned 
1/4 pound angel hair pasta (I get mine in bulk at OB Peoples Co-op)
sea salt

Heat a couple quarts of water to a boil, add a couple teaspoons of salt, return water to a boil and add pasta, stirring occasionally.  Angel hair cooks real fast and I hate over cooked pasta so taste it after 3 minutes and see if it's al dente.  As soon as it's done, drain it (do not rinse!) and give it a light coating of the dressing so it doesn't stick together.

In a separate large bowl, toss the romaine and dressing, then add the parm and toss to combine. 

Plate a handful of angelhair, top with a big helping of salad and garnish with croutons.

Serves 2-4

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