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vrijdag 8 juni 2012

Pasta with Summer flavours

The weather is dreadful yet again. No sign of Summer, only rain, lots of wind and a dark sky. Let's hope it's changing for the better once the 21st of June comes. I'm prepared to wait for the official date to call it Summer, but after that I expect much more from the skies above us!

To ease the pain, I have to do with food that gives me a joyful feeling.

Today it was pasta with fresh vegetables, Italian ham, pine nuts and fresh cheese. Due to the vegetables that aren't cooked along, you get a nice crunch and it's really a cross between a pasta and a salad.

Ingredients for 4:
- 300 grams pasta (penne for example)
- 200 grams fresh cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- 150 grams Italian ham
- 35 grams pine nuts
- 80 grams rucola (rocket)
- 100 grams cherry tomatoes
- 3 dl milk
- pepper and salt to taste
- crushed dried chilli to taste
- some cheese to top (if you like) like emmental, gruyère ...

How to:
First, cut the tomatoes in half and place them next to eachother with the wet side up on an oven tray. Put the tray in a 150°C oven for about 1 hour. The tomatoes will come out a little dried and their taste will be even sweeter.
Cook the pasta al dente. 
In the meanwhile, cut the ham in smaller, bitesize pieces. Roast the pine nuts.
Warm the cheese in the milk. It'll get thickened while heated. Add pepper and salt to taste to the sauce.
Toss the cooked pasta in the cheese sauce so that it gets soaked up.
Now assemble everything: spoon a bit of pasta in a plate, put some ham, pine nuts, rucola and cherry tomatoes on it. Then spoon some more pasta on top of it. Put some ham, pine nuts, rucola and cherry tomatoes on it again, crush some chilli on it and cover with some cheese.

I promise: it's a heavy dish, but the Summer flavours make up for at least some of the bad weather!

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