Dinner Favorites · Mondays With Mom · Pasta

MWM – Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes

For this weeks’ MWM, I have quite the story for you. So grab a drink (hot or cold, your choice), a light snack, and read on…..

This wasn’t just dinner, it was more like an adventure… and will forever be known as “the night Mom was supposed to make dinner, but decided a trip to the emergency room would be far more exciting and a perfect way to shake up a routine day.”

Here’s how it all started:

There I was…sitting in the nail salon….casually deciding which color to have my nails done ….when my dad called.

I don’t know about you, but whenever my dad calls, no matter WHAT I’m doing, I answer. He doesn’t call for idle chitchat, so whatever he’s calling about is usually of paramount importance.

And this was no exception.

Me: “Hello Daddy-O, what’s up?”

Daddy-O: “The paramedics are here, they’re taking your mother to the emergency room, she has a nosebleed that won’t stop.”

Well……..alrighty then. Next stop…..Summerlin Hospital. Stat.

But………my fingertips were wrapped in tin foil (to get the gel polish off), and literally, I was stuck. I could see that I had two choices: Do I run out of the salon looking like Edward Scissorhands? Or pull the foil off and have my hands look like I ran into a buzz saw?

Decisions, decisions……. I told my girl to work as fast as she could, because I figured (correctly, by the way) that by the time I got to the hospital, my mother would be situated, checked in and everything would be under control.

35 minutes later, I ran into the ER – only to stop dead in my tracks. Not only was everything under control, my mother was IN control.  I could hear her, behind a curtain, giving one of the assistants quite a earful. He was asking her basic information (height, weight, age) and boy oh boy she had an answer for everything.

Or should I say, no answers were given, because she told him, in exceptionally clear, precise English, that the information he was requesting was none of his business. She gave him the look, crossed her arms over her chest, and that was that.

I stifled a giggle and told my Dad, “Clearly, Mom is going to be just fine.” He laughed and said, “You know your mother”….

After about 10 minutes, I left the hospital and headed to their house to clean up the mess from the nosebleed (which wasn’t nearly as bad as Dad thought it was). Once that was handled, I poured myself a glass of wine, looked around the kitchen, and said, “Well, this dinner isn’t going to cook itself”. So in true Type A fashion, I prepped everything, had another glass of wine, and waited for word that they were coming home.

Oh, but here’s the best part….Mom was quite upset that her favorite lounging robe was covered with blood…and therefore ruined. I told her I would wash it right away at her house so the stains wouldn’t set. No problem, right?

Suuuuuuuure…. what I didn’t realize was that I needed a master’s degree in electronics to figure out how to work the dang machine. I spent 20 minutes (20 MINUTES!!) staring at the controls. The good news? I was able to get it working and the stains came out.

The bad news? The washer may never be the same.

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Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes – adapted from Lidia Bastianich

3 pts. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb. spaghetti
10 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the tomatoes with 3 tbs. of olive oil, and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle over the tomatoes the bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and toss to coat evenly. Bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and lightly caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.

When the tomatoes are just about done, start cooking the pasta. Then pour the remaining olive oil into a large skillet, set it over medium high heat, and add the garlic. Cook until the garlic starts to sizzle and is lightly colored. Add 2 cups of the pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Let half the water evaporate, lower the heat, stir in the parsley and basil, and keep the sauce at a very low simmer. As soon as the pasta is done, drain it, then add it to the skillet. Toss it all together, then add the tomatoes on top and toss again. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, and serve.

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