I’m rediscovering the simple pleasures of family dinners. Summertime plays a number on our regular routines. The kids scooter through the house and drink the neighbors gatorade for two of their three square daily meals. We run to the park in flip flopped feet at randome hours of the evening and drive cross country, then back again, eating whatever we can find that assumes the color green and doesn’t cause excessive grease dribble over our suntanned legs.
In short, we stink at doing the basics for three months of the year. So, tonight when I asked the twins to set the table and they we actually in the house to do so (not wheeling around the culdesac on shiny bikes), I found myself pleasantly suprised.
I like pleasantly surprised, don’t you? We really ought to plan more pleasant surprises.
So, we gathered around the table with steaming bowls of pasta and the waftiness of garlic all around us. We held hands to pray, sent a squeeze between the bunch of us, then twirled noodles about our forks and debated the pros and cons of all sorts of nonsense.
I like debating nonsense.
Getting those spitfires a brewing in your belly makes you hungry. Lively conversation just makes a meal taste good. Winning the debate? Why, that’s just icing on the cake.
Wanna feel the rush of winning something other than a debate? How about this gorgeous Heritage4 Quart Cocotte from Le Creuset!
Here’s the deal. Anyone who shares the best tip for making family dinners memorable, successful, or downright simple wins! Winner will be debated over and decided by my children. After all, it’s never to early to start a set of good, feisty conversationalists, eh? (Nor is it ever to early to help them learn a few tricks to helping mom in the kitchen during the busiest time of the day. Even more important that debating is being an intuitive helper, I’d say.)
Roasted Tomato, Garlic & Pine Nut Pasta
How can anything so simple be so delicious? Roasting tomatoes in garlic and olive oil creates a light sauce which lends subtle, simple flavor to this dish. I love how quickly I can prepare the tomatoes while boiling the pasta. The timing is almost impeccable. Once your pasta is finished, your tomato-ey sauce is ready to rock.
1 package fettucine noodles, cooked
3 cups colorful cherry tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup asagio or parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in a baking dish lined with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the garlic and olive oil, then drizzle over your tomatoes. Toss basil into the mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss your dish in the oven and allow the tomatoes to roast for 15-20 minutes, or until they "pop" and begin to turn ever so slightly golden brown around the edges of the skin.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and pour skins, flesh, juices and all into your bowl of pasta. Toss with parmesan cheese, sprinkling toasted pine nuts over the top. Serve immediately and en.joy!
Disclaimer: Thanks to Le Crueset for sponsoring this giveaway. I was not compensated for this giveaway, nor to express positive opinions about the product. But, holy flicker! Have you USED Le Creuset. The best. The end. (The previous three sentences were my own unabashed opinions. Double The End.)