Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trattoria Brown - Pasta Italia

Okay, disclosure. This pasta is named "Pasta Italia [Italy Pasta]", but it is not exactly Italian. In fact, Pasta Italia was developed by Mormon missionaries serving in Italy sometime before 1996. The first time I ate it I had just spent 32 hours in planes and airports. Under those circumstances, nothing would have sat well in my stomach, and Pasta Italia did not. Thankfully, I tried it again about six months later. It soon became one of my favorite summer pasta dishes, thanks to its nature as a cold pasta salad.

Upon returning to America, some recipe tweeking had to take place. Most notably, bacon was substituted for pancetta, and that's fine because bacon is better than pancetta. Anyway, enjoy this Italian pasta that isn't.

Ingredients

1 pound pasta

8 ounces (two balls) of mozzarella

6 roma tomatoes (deseeded and chopped)

1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano

15 fresh basil leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)

7 strips bacon

5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt (to taste)


Directions

Heat water over high heat. While water is coming to boil, place bacon in a sautĂ© pan and warm over medium high heat. Cook until crispy but not burned. While bacon is cooking, cut the mozzarella into small cubes, and place them in a large bowl. Cut tomatoes in half, Seed them and cut them into small cubes, and places them into the large bowl. Now that the bacon is done, remove the bacon and cut into ½ strips and set aside.


By now, the water should be boiling. Add salt and put in pasta (preferably shells). Poor over tomatoes and mozzarella the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and stir together. Chiffonade the basil leaves and set aside. When the pasta is cooked and still al dente, remove front heat and poor into a colander. Once in colander, run cold water over it until pasta is cooled. Shake off excess water and place pasta in large bowl. Place bacon, basil, and parmigiano over the pasta. Incorporate everything. Add salt to taste. Enjoy.


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