Pasta Scuie Scuie: A Double Take
Yes, this dish may look a bit familiar. Can you see the similarities between these two pictures? With the exception of the type of pasta I used, the ingredients are nearly identical. The top dish is Pasta Scuie Scuie (pronounced ‘shway shway’ and meaning ‘quick quick’ in Italian) and the bottom dish is Margarita Pasta Salad. There are two very significant differences though. Garlic and heat. In fact these are so important that it means one dish turns out fresh and cool, while the other dish is creamy, velvety, and rich. Both are fantastic. Both are easy. And both are quick to make and use the fresh ingredients of summer; tomatoes and fresh basil. However, the flavors of the finished recipes could not be more different.
And how do you guarantee success when making Pasta Scuie Scuie? Use a really great tomato. Now that most gardens are starting to produce this summer fruit with abundance, you can take advantage of that and highlight the earthy, sweet, sun drenched flavor of a fresh tomato. This flavor is nearly impossible with a grocery store tomato and I highly recommend using your own or, if possible those from a local farmers market. A fresh homegrown tomato could wear a super hero cape, it is so good! But where ever you get it, you need just one. A few minutes of time and that one tomato will reward you with lunch or dinner for four very happy individuals. Scrumptious, satisfying and very, ‘quick quick’. Pasta Scuie Scuie
This recipe is adapted from something I saw Giada DeLarentiis make about a bazillion years ago. It is also fantastic with whole wheat pastas.
1 large tomato or 2 small, diced
salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 T chopped basil, about 6 leaves or so
1-8oz pkg fresh mozzarella, cubed (if you can find mozzarella ‘pearls’ that will save you time)
1/2 pound small shaped pasta such as orechette, ditalini, small shells, macaroni, or mini-penne
Cook the pasta according to manufacturers directions. Drain. Dump pasta into a serving bowl. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan (I use the little pan I fry eggs in) add a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Close to 1/4 c or so. Add the garlic, tomato, and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bring to a bit of a simmer over medium heat and let bubble slowly, just until the tomatoes start to break down. This will only take a minute or two. Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Pour over pasta, making sure to scrape the pan clean with a rubber spatula! Gently toss with the pasta. Add the mozzarella. Gently toss together. Serve.
*Note* Add the mozzarella at the end. If you don’t, the heat of the past and sauce will melt it all together in one big ball. Yes, this tastes fantastic, but not exactly good for quality control. Also, save yourself some time and boil the pasta a day ahead and refrigerate! No need to reheat, just toss fresh sauce with the chilled pasta and mix thoroughly. Leftover grilled chicken is a great addition.