Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mr.Harland's Fresh Tomatoe,Garlic,Basil,Goat Cheese Pasta....Yum !!!

Years ago,there was a beautiful and wonderful restaurant in Fresno,Calif. called "Harland's"Restaurant. The floor was laid in black and white large tiles.I believe the booths were black,and there were cream colored tulip lights in vases behind the booths.It was very romantic ! Dining in there one night,I ordered the Fresh Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta.What was brought to me a little while later was this pan of ooey,lucious ,fragrant Heaven !The goat cheese was melting over a fragrant pan of chopped tomatoes,lots of garlic,basil and olive oil. Well,I like to take risks if I have looooved a dish, often calling the chef to ask for the recipe.Imagine my shock when Mr.Harland kindly gave me the recipe over the phone ! I couldn't believe he'd share such a jewel with me !
This is how you make it....Boil some water in a pot and cook some Angel Hair pasta or some spaghetti(about a pound for maybe five people) Chop up in 1/2 inch pieces about 10-15 Roma tomatoes.(The Roma tomatoes are best because they are denser and won't water down the flavor of your sauce.)Chop a whole head of garlic in 1/4 inch pieces.Keep a log of goat cheese cold in the fridge,to crumble on top later.Chop about a cup of fresh basil in 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.Have parmesan cheese ready too.Pour 1/8 inch extra virgin olive oil in a medium-large frying pan.Heat the oil on medium low-medium heat.Cook the garlic a few minutes,until soft,but not brown.Add the Roma tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.Add the basil at the end,just before serving,and a little salt and pepper,to taste.You can add a little more olive oil now,if you think it needs it.After placing the hot pasta and sauce on a plate,crumble some cold goat cheese on top. Then grate some fresh parmesan cheese over all (or use some already grated) .The parmesan cheese adds another level of flavor and saltiness.

I just love it when tomatoes are in season ,where I live in the San Juaquin Valley ,in California ,and I can make this dish,or just to eat them with salt and pepper ,and maybe a little sprinkle of fresh basil !! The dry heat here in the summer makes the most lucious tomatoes ever !! Choose very red tomatoes,and make this dish when tomatoes are in season ONLY !!

Love thoughts.....(When I say "he",I mean he or she) ......When I think of being very selective in choosing red,ripe tomatoes in season.... my thoughts are on being selective in choosing a future mate with good character.Observe things like.....does he drive carefully when you are in the car......does he stay sober at parties,so he can safely drive you home.......how does he treat animals.....is he kind to servers in restaurants.......does he love and respect his parents,or is he angry at them......if he's angry at them,he may very well treat you with that same anger.....is he patient and forgiving.....or does he explode in anger........does he apologize easily........does he encourage your interests or does he only talk about himself ......are you both of the same faith.....?

Take time to get to know him,at least a year or two.....stay friends for a long time and DON'T SLEEP with him !!!!!!!! (until the wedding night !!!).........observe his friends.....he most likely will be LIKE them.Ask him a bazillion questions..........If you're engaged to him,go to many sessions of pre-marital counseling.(They offer this at churches)The counselor will ask you questions that you may not have thought of.

My Swedish great-grandmother said to her children....."It's not da looks that count.....it's da character." Good advise Great Grandmother !

Amities,(good wishes)
Poppy (Katy)

P.SWhen I was twenty,My grandmother took me on a trip to Europe.(She had been a ballerina,and had the opportunity to dance in Paris for a few months) She wanted me to see Paris and many other beautiful sights.I was shocked when we went to Italy, to see how slender the Italians were......they eat pasta as a SIDE dish......not a huge main dish........as stated by Mireille Guiliano.....author of "French Women Don't Get Fat". Now I get it !!!