Gary inspired me last week. He put together a pasta salad to take to a Hanukkah party. It was the second time he made it. A hit. Especially with those impressed girls. He sure impressed his mother, too.
He made it up as he went along. He knew what would go. I'm proud of him for being adventurous.
Jane and I didn't get home 'til after six last night. Nothing planned and I needed to hurry, with everyone waiting and hungry. Gary's salad came to mind and I went from there. I'd do something warm. More like a pasta dish than a salad. A take on his creation.
Here's how it all came together:
First, I chopped up about four cloves of garlic and sauteed them in olive oil with some sliced mushrooms. (That's a smell that sends me to the moon.) I pulled out some oven- roasted tomatoes I made and froze from the loads of this summer's garden tomato bounty and cut them in slivers. It was the first time we used them, and oh man, they are good. So much flavor. (I'm trying to ration them throughout the winter. They are that good. Why didn't I make more?) I also julienned the rest of the fresh basil that was left over from Gary's. Another out of this world smell. After my whole grain pasta was al dente, I tossed all those goodies in and sprinkled in a couple handfuls of Parmesan.
I made a simple dressing of olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Stirred it all together and called the fam to the table.
Gary's version had chunks of fresh mozzarella instead of the Parmesan, and added chunks of chicken breast. Good either way. I'm also thinking that this looks very festive with all these holiday colors. A good thing to take to a party, don't you think?