Friday, January 7, 2011

Caesar Pasta Salad

This recipe caught my eye on New Year’s Eve. I had some leftover romaine lettuce to entertain, so why not?! I had most of the ingredients on hand with the exception of anchovies and penne pasta, so I made a dash to the grocery store. After I weaved in and out of people buying buggies full of booze, I was able to take my loot home.

Just before the cooking began, I hopped online to get the exact recipe. You see, the original recipe was from the Today Show video segment with a local New York chef. All I could find was the video with no direct recipe, so I was forced to brave this one on my own.

I put on my penne pasta to boil.

While the pasta was boiling, I started to chop the garlic and shallot. This is my first time cooking with a shallot, so naturally I was a little nervous.

Put the garlic, shallot, and red pepper flakes in a pan and combine with a little chicken stock and anchovy paste.

Once that cooked for a few minutes, turn off the heat. I’m not sure why but the chef said turning off the heat would maintain the integrity of the fats. And who would want to get rid of the fat?!

Throw in your butter and toss.

The next step is to add your romaine lettuce.
Then throw it in a bowl and toss with the Parmesan cheese.
And taste it. Several times.

Although it looked really pretty and smelled great, I knew Ben would not eat these two things combined. He has food combination anxiety. So I separated the lettuce from the pasta and honestly I think it turned out better.

The lettuce had the sauce. The pasta had the sauce.

Served with a steak and voila!

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can chicken stock
2 cups penne pasta (uncooked)
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1 tsp anchovy paste (or the real things)
Pepper to taste

Boill your pasta, drain and set aside. Combine garlic, shallot, red pepper flakes, anchovy paste, and chicken stock. Heat on medium to high to let the ingredients marinate. Toss in the penne pasta and turn off the heat.  Add your butter and combine. Then add your romaine lettuce and toss. Transfer to your serving dish, add Parmesan cheese and combine. Serve warm.

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