I saw chef Adèle Hugot cook pasta this way (and call it pastato), I thought “it really is not that much different from what we have been doing with vermicelli and rice in the Lebanese kitchen”. She coats the pasta in olive oil in a wok, then adds the white wine and stock (or a couple bouillon cubes) and lets the pasta absorb the stock completely. Then adds the basil, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese.
One great advantage here is you only use one pot, the pasta absorbs a good homemade stock (ideally) and the dish is ready in 12 minutes.
I am going to cook pasta this way from now on, with variations based on my pantry’s finds and my mood.
Today, I added a few slivers of jamón serrano, toasted pine nuts, garlic and basil.
I like to add the mashed garlic after the pasta is cooked. Two reasons: All the benefits of garlic are preserved and the pasta has that fresh slightly pungent garlic taste.
- 10.6 ounces penne (300 g.)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes, seeded and peeled
- 3 cups chicken stock or water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- A few slivers of jamón serrano or salami or prosciutto, sliced
- 3 ounces of kashkaval cheese or parmesan or any sheep’s milk cheese of your taste
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ounce of fresh basil leaves
- Heat the olive oil in the wok; add the pasta and toss, letting it color slightly.
- Heat the chicken stock or water and bouillon cubes to almost a simmer, add the white wine and pour into the wok over the pasta.
- Add to the pasta diced tomatoes (seeded) and shredded sun-dried tomatoes. Let the pasta absorb the stock completely. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet with a teaspoon of butter till caramel-colored.
- Cut the cheese into shreds using a potato peeler. Mash the diced garlic with a pinch of salt. Shred the Spanish ham.
- Add the cheese, shredded ham, toasted pine nuts and shredded basil to the pasta. Toss the pasta.
- Grind some fresh black pepper over the pasta and serve.
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