Good day, everyone! It has been a long time since my last post and so I would like to kick off my return to the blogging arena with a post about a date night dinner I recently enjoyed with my significant other. On the menu was pappardelle pasta with a roasted cherry tomato sauce and a simple salad served along side.
Pappardelle noodles happen to be my favorite form of pasta – if such a preference is even possible within a food group so heavenly.
And the simple tomato sauce made to bathe these neat noodles does just the trick. The preparation of the sauce begins with roasting a few pounds of cherry or grape tomatoes until they begin to caramelize. Roasting is a great way to accentuate the flavors of virtually any fruit or vegetable –it can even revamp many specimens that may be slightly too ripe to eat plain. It is my go-to method for preparing an easy and delicious side dish – as my family is very well aware.
The next step is puréeing half of the roasted tomatoes with some canned whole tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, and garlic. Finally, some red wine is mixed in (the rest of the bottle goes nicely with dinner for those of age) and the whole thing is sautéed until all the flavors get well acquainted with one another.
To assemble the dish, I cooked the pappardelle al dente (the best way to eat pasta), added it the sauce along with roughly one-third cup of the pasta’s starchy cooking liquid, mixed in the rest of the roasted tomatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste, and added some fresh basil for garnish. Voilà!
Basil is my favorite herb, a tomato in any form is probably one of my favorite things to munch, and I already mentioned my love of pappardelle pasta so this dish basically rules in every way.
The salad was composed of greens, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds all topped with a smooth balsamic dressing. This salad epitomizes ease and simplicity to (literally) toss together. And if you make a large batch of the balsamic dressing (made up of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper) initially, you will have plenty within reach to enjoy throughout the week.
All in all, this meal was pretty easy to prepare. Even though the food came out well (always a plus), the best part of the date was getting to spend a nice spring evening outside enjoying a simple meal with one of my favorite people in the world.
Most everyone who knows me is aware of my Pinterest obsession. It comes as no surprise that inspiration for the meal came from there. If you aren’t hooked by the wonderful realm of pins and customizable boards, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out. You won’t regret it.
Thanks for checking out this post! I hope it may inspire you to put together your own summer date night dinner. Remember, you can never go wrong starting off with pasta as a baseline. As my mother always says, it is a food of the Gods after all!
The recipe for the pappardelle dish can be found on Spoon Fork Bacon, an awesome food blog I also HIGHLY recommend perusing.
— Mary Peyton Sanford