This week I bring you simple recipes to choose from for a healthy summer dinner. A little pasta, a piece of cod with an Italian spin, grilled asparagus on the side and for dessert, an Italian Popsicle.
All are easy to make. After dinner, sit out on your balcony or patio and enjoy an after dinner drink of Blood Orange Liquore on ice – just sweet enough – not too much.
Try my recipe for Blood Orange pops. It has been beastly hot lately, so enjoy something cool.
Make it a special night at home, relax and enjoy with someone you love!
Pasta Tomato Confit
Simple, light and very easy to make … (Definition of confit FYI means preserving food in its own sauce – cook slowly)
2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 cup E.V.O.O.
4 cloves of garlic
2 ¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb pasta of your choice – I like fettuccini
6 large fresh basil leaves
grated Parmigiano cheese
In an oven pan, pour ½ cup olive oil on bottom. Add all the tomatoes side by side (not on top of each other), the garlic cloves and torn basil leaves. Drizzle all with more olive oil. Reserve some oil for the pasta at the end. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cook at 350 degrees for one hour, tossing a few times until the tomatoes look very soft and wrinkled. Smash every tomato with a fork, retaining all the juices from the pan and the smashed tomatoes. Put all in a large bowl with another pinch of sea salt and toss.
Add the cooked pasta to the mixture, tossing many times until all the pasta is coated. If you think the pasta needs more sauce, you can add more oil or a half a can of tomato paste. Garnish with a basil leaf on each plate and sprinkle grated Parmigiano to taste.
MY NOTE: This dish may be enhanced by adding two handfuls of arugula to the sauce or you may want to add olives or capers or whatever you like. Me, I like it light and summery with no additions. It’s your choice
Grilled Asparagus with Parmigiano
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed off
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Preheat the grill or oven to medium heat. In a shallow baking dish, toss the asparagus with olive oil to coat well. Add the salt and pepper and toss. Place the asparagus on the grill in a single layer and cook, turning until marked and tender, about 12 to 15 min.
Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil to taste. Cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, top with two handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In a skillet, grease with olive oil. Preheat oven to medium heat. Add the fish fillets and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until the fish is cooked. Take out of skillet and wrap each warm filet with 1 slice of prosciutto. Serve over mashed potatoes or buttered and seasoned rice.
Blood Orange Popsicles
3 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice
2 oz 2Nite’s Sicilian Blood Orange flavored vodka
¼ blood orange, segmented and diced into small pieces
Popsicle sticks and mold
Combine juice and vodka. Place 1 piece of blood orange chunk in the bottom of each Popsicle mold. Fill the molds ¾ full; add the stick. Freeze at least 4 hours until frozen. Take out of mold and arrange on a platter and serve.
2Nite Vodka is a refined and glamorous vodka that is bound to become an Italian classic. It is available in four distinct flavors, including Original, Sicilian Blood Orange, Caffe Espresso and Alpine Mint.