Our theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week is “Kid at Heart”. When I first started thinking about what I wanted to make, I was steering toward chocolate and other sweets. But then...I remembered.
When I was a kid, I did not care for chocolate. I know....I was a strange little child. And its not like I wouldn’t eat chocolate or didn’t enjoy candy, but it was never the first thing I was drawn to as a kid. (My mom is sitting in her chair, nodding her head and thinking that I was switched at birth.)
Here’s how it would go down at my kitchen table. We’d eat supper. Usually something like a pork roast or spaghetti. Always with a vegetable (or two) on the side; salad and peas, maybe corn.... We didn’t have dessert every night, but it wasn’t unusual, either. But, I digress. We would finish eating supper and move on to dessert...and my Mom and Dad and sister would all move on to the sweet stuff.... and I would reach for the bowl with the rest of the peas in it...or another helping of spaghetti....
My mother sometimes wonders how she gave birth to me.
So, naturally, when I was reminiscing about my childhood dinner table, it occurs to me that the kid inside me wouldn’t automatically pick Giada’s Chocolate Pizza....no. She would ask for pasta. And not just any pasta, not when Giada is in the kitchen with me.
Its gotta be Sciue Sciue.
(Now my mother is truly confused)
This is not a dish I had growing up, but I discovered it years ago when I first became entranced by Everyday Italian. One of the simplest pasta dishes ever, and made with kids in mind (well, except maybe my completely irreverent picky eater of a son) using pastina; any little short cut pasta you have, but in my case, Ditalini.
This is the first pasta dish I ever served to my Little Man. And he loved it (you know, until he was introduced to the Blue Box and its neon orange contents, and never turned back).
1/4 cup olive oil (I just used a couple of tablespoons. No need to go overboard)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (I add some minced onion or shallot)
5 plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 pound – I used a container of lovely little grape tomatoes)
8 ounces cold fresh mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped (straight from my freezer!)
1 Boil up a large saucepan of salted water. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still al dente (firm to the bite), stirring often to prevent sticking. This takes about 8 minutes. Drain.
2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn.
3 Add the tomatoes and saute just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked, drained pasta.
4 Remove skillet from heat. Add the cheese and basil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt.
**Notes: when I make this, just after sautéing the tomatoes, I add about a half a cup of white wine to the pan and let it cook down a bit. This is best served straight from the pan while the cheese still has some body to it. I made this last night while Daddy was out hunting, and put the leftovers in the fridge for another use. This weekend Ginny is coming out for our annual Holiday Candy making fest, and the rest of this pasta will make a fabulous frittata for breakfast Saturday morning! Stay tuned for that post!