Monday, July 16, 2007

Creamy Comfort

One of my favorite go-to comfort meals is pasta with tomatoes and sour cream. I think my mom created this dish out of empty-fridge/late-dinner frustration, but there's something about the combination of the creamy, lightly tangy sour cream and the freshness of tomatoes (especially delicious summertime tomatoes*) that just works. With a heavy dose of freshly grated Parmesan and a handful of fresh spinach wilted in, it could just be my perfect comfort supper.

Creamy Tomato Pasta

serves 2
1/2 pound dried short pasta (such as orzo, penne, rotini...)
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes*
1/3 cup sour cream (reduced fat works fine here)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 big handfuls of washed baby spinach, stems removed

Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta cooks, score the skin of the tomatoes with a paring knife in an X shape. Dunk tomatoes into the boiling pasta water for about 30 seconds or until skin starts peeling away from flesh. Remove with a slotted spoon and run under cool running water for a few seconds to cool.

Peel skin from tomatoes and cut in half. Discard seeds and excess liquid, then roughly chop. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and Parmesan. When pasta is al dente, drain and return to pot over very low heat. Add olive oil, stir, then add sour cream mixture. Toss in tomatoes and spinach and stir until everything is combined and the spinach is wilted.

This is best eaten on the couch in comfy clothes.

*You can use canned tomatoes, drained, when the tomatoes aren't in season but it's not quite the same. "Amarosa" tomatoes in the grocery store tend to be pretty good almost year round. They're pricey, but worth it.

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