A lazy Sunday lunch

17 05 2009

INSPIRED BY the presence of a hunk of GIGLIO provolone cheese in the refrigerator, my home-alone Sunday lunch didn’t turn out to be drab at all – but it was a lazy one. I mean, taken at a leisurely – almost glacial – pace.

Cheese has got to be one of the more versatile ingredients. It can see you from starters, to soups, to salads, to the main entrée, all the way to dessert.

So that exactly was what was in my head when I went to the fridge. In true Rachael Ray-in-30-Minute Meals fashion, I piled up on my left arm most everything I needed to whip up my meal – the Giglio provolone cheese, my prepared honey mustard dressing, a 200-gram pack of Sunsweet hearts of hydroponic romaine lettuce. And from the pantry shelf I took exactly five ripe, plump roma tomatoes, five large cloves of garlic, McCormick cayenne pepper, and an already-opened box of San Remo organic “bronzato style” penne dried pasta.

Sunday Lunch - Salad 00

My very simple salad of Sunsweet hearts of romaine (hydroponic) with freshly grated Giglio provolone cheese in a honey mustard dressing.


Sunday Lunch - Salad 01

A close-up shot of a romaine leaf drizzled with the dressing and covered in cheese... much like a green mountain top getting snow capped.


For the salad, I whisked at the bottom of the plate the prepared honey mustard dressing. On top of it I tore the hearts of romaine, on which I drizzled some more of the dressing. Then I finished it off with a very generous grating of the provolone cheese. Much later in the day, I made the same salad for my mother. She crushed on top of it some “chicharon” and called me in to check out her “innovation,” to which I quipped, “That’s so Chef Margarita Fores of you!” Hahaha!

Sunday Lunch - San Remo 00

San Remo organic "bronzato style" penne. The box says that is made in the traditional "bronzato style" that gives the pasta its distinctive rough finish that makes it hold the sauce better.


I’m not really the type to use penne for my pasta dishes. I’ve preferred the long, thin strands of angel hair or spaghettini all this time. Unfortunately, I’ve run out. But I was so pleasantly surprised to see this open box of San Remo organic “bronzato style” penne behind big plastic bottles of supplements from the States. So what was an open box of this pasta doing lying around? I remember picking this one from the supermarket shelf when I was fancying making pasta for one of my best friends. The bold declaration “organic” on the box label caught my attention. I mean, being the health buff that he is, Superman would most likely appreciate something organic – and for pasta, that’s quite a change! But unfortunately, that pasta venture didn’t pan out quite well. I didn’t like how the sauce I made tasted. So I didn’t bring the dish to work anymore! I put it in the refrigerator and it was that night’s perfect cold dinner during TV-watching. See, I don’t throw away anything! But I won’t serve second best to important people either.

Sunday Lunch - McCormick Cayenne Pepper 00

McCormick ground cayenne pepper. Perfect for tomato-based pasta sauces!


Sunday Lunch - San Remo Cooked 00

San Remo organic "bronzato style" penne pasta cooked to perfection according to package directions.


For the pasta, I used extra virgin olive oil that was about seven swirls’ worth around the pan. Then, I lightly sauteed the garlic I first crushed then coarsely chopped. After about thirty seconds, I added five dashes of the cayenne pepper. And then I added the coarsely chopped tomatoes that I first blanched and peeled. After about five mnutes, I tossed into the sauce the penne pasta (cooked to package directions). And then I tossed everything a little more (think about how chefs on TV toss together the dish they’re making, with that slight wrist action).

I plated the hot pasta dish and grated on top of it the provolone cheese.


Sunday Lunch - Penne Pomodoro plated 01

The finished dish! Yum-o!