With the last of the home-grown tomatoes, I made Hubby the bruschetta I had been promising. Rather than an appetizer, we like our bruschetta served with our pasta. The first thing is to dice the tomatoes small, drizzle with olive oil, dash some balsamic vinegar, add some crushed garlic and fresh, chopped basil. Stir.
The pasta is going to include glazed walnuts, so let’s do those and set them aside. Melt some butter and toss the walnut pieces in it with a little brown sugar. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high and put the mixture; stir them around until butter and sugar starts to bubble. Be careful not to burn them. (I kinda did.)
Next, pre-cook some fresh asparagus. Cut off the hard (root) ends, and chop the rest into pieces about 1.5″ or so. If you’re stinkin’ rich, just use the tips. Put the asparagus into a flat glass dish with dots of butter, a little fresh lemon juice and a light sprinkle of garlic powder. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and put some slits in the wrap. (If you don’t dig plastic wrap, just put a glass lid or plate on top, as long as some steam can escape.) Microwave the asparagus until it’s firm but not hard. How long that takes depends totally on how hard the raw asparagus is and there’s really no way to tell. Start with a couple of minutes, test it and add a minute at a time. What you don’t want is limp asparagus from the git-go. When the asparagus is as done as you want it to be, take it out and remove the covering or it will continue to cook.
Before getting started in earnest on the pasta, get the bread for the bruschetta ready. Get some stout bread that comes in a long, skinny shape. We like the kind that is multi-grain and isn’t too hard on the outside, but use whatever makes you happy. Slice it with a serrated knife in diagonal pieces about an inch thick. Butter both sides, sprinkle one side with a little garlic powder, and put the pieces on a cookie sheet. If you have a Silpat mat, the bread will cook evenly and clean-up will be easier. Broil on the top rack of the oven, turn the pieces and broil the other side.
Make some sort of salad; I keep a vinaigrette made at all times. Click here for the recipe.
From here on out, it goes fast. Boil some water and cook angel hair just to al dente status.
While that is going on, add the marinated tomato mixture to top the toasted bread, and shave some fresh parmesan across the top. (I use a vegetable peeler.) When the pasta is just about done, heat a large non-stick skillet and drizzle some olive oil and add a few pats of butter, and as much crushed fresh garlic as you can stand. When the garlic is wilting and the oils sizzling, add the pre-cooked asparagus and the cooked angel hair. Toss quickly, adding a little white wine so it doesn’t get too dry.
Throw in the walnuts and serve with grated parmesan or asiago cheese on top.
Now you have dinner, and it probably took 30 minutes to make. There were’t any measurements in this set of recipes, because none are needed; these things are nearly impossible to mess up.
We had some leftover pasta and a bit of the tomato mixture, so I threw all of that in a bowl and microwaved it for my lunch the next day. Very tasty.
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