Moving Day Pasta
“If you could have any pasta in the world right now, what would it be?” Overtired and hungry, Mandi hoped that I could make a decision better than she could. We had just packed our lives into a big truck, and hauled it across the island. Our theory when it comes to moving is different from most; it is better to suffer greatly for one day, than to suffer mildly for 10. The whole evening was crazy, trying to get things done quickly since the moving truck charges per hour… but as the truck drove away, our minds drifted to our empty stomachs. We had planned to get take out from one of our new neighborhood restaurants, but at times like this when we have waited too long to eat, a decision sometimes can’t be made. “If you could have any pasta in the world right now, what would it be?” There were only 2 options on the take out menu, a “sampling” of their full menu it said. Mandi hoped that whatever came out of my mouth at this moment, she would relay to the man on the other end of the phone, and they would miraculously serve it. “Orecchiette…..orecchiette with sausage…and cherry tomatoes, and maybe some arugula and mozzarella.” Maybe it was because we were standing in front of our new stove, or maybe because we knew that whatever we got from the restaurant wouldn’t be exactly what we wanted anyway, but we decided that it was a pretty easy dish to make for ourselves. So we pulled our pans from our suitcases and headed to the grocery store.
We pulled up to the store with a new excitement. This would be our new local store. Unlike in the US where you pretty much know what to expect with stores, here it is really a toss up and you never know until you walk in the door. A huge cheese cart greeted (grated?) us at the doorway and we were happy to see a variety of cheeses from around the world. This was a good sign, but where is the mozzarella? We circled the cart 4 times. What kind of a store doesn’t have mozzarella?? This place sucks! We continued to shop somewhat strategically. How can we cook this meal without pulling the cutting board out from its packed away hiding place? The decision was made to buy green onions so we could cut them directly into the pan with scissors, we would crush the garlic and fry the chunks in the oil to flavor it, then remove them. We finally found fresh mozzarella, hidden away next to the beef, we even got store bought garlic bread just to save time and effort. An hour later, (I may be exaggerating but it felt like forever all lost in an unfamiliar supermarket, I can no longer shop happily) we finally headed home to put these ingredients together.
The Tick Tick Tick of the gas stove starting is a comforting sound I haven’t heard in awhile. Our new stove is luxurious! Such space, almost double the size of our old one. Put the water on first to cook the orecchiette. Take 3 fresh sausages and remove the casings and cook the sausage meat in the frying pan. When this is done, remove it to a bowl and discard most of the rendered fat. Put some olive oil into the pan with the crushed garlic chunks to impart garlic flavor to the oil. When the pasta is almost ready, turn the heat up in the pan. The goal is to brown some of the pasta. When the pasta still should have a minute or so to go, strain and place it directly into the pan. After a few minutes, add the tomatoes, then after 2 more minutes add the cooked sausage, shut off the heat and add the arugula and mozzarella. Here are a few pictures of the meal. The camera was packed away so I used my cell phone to take these. Oh yea, and we used basil because they didn’t have arugula.