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I've made tonight's dinner before, sort of. I got the idea from a couple of different cooking shows - Alton Brown; Giada di Laurentis - and from a dish made in a local restaurant. It's one of those things that are too simple to imagine, but with endless variations.
I used the technique first on a steaming hot holiday night,and again on a warm and lazy night.
Tonight is hot again, but the air conditioner makes it feel comfortable and I'm making it on request even though next week, the Nine Days, will be entirely meatless except for the Sabbath.
The basic dish? Cook pasta and toss it with ricotta cheese, olive oil and fresh garlic, and grind fresh pepper over it.
Tonight, I have sun-dried tomatoes. And scallions. And I just toasted a handful of pine nuts because toasting makes an enormous difference. I have whole wheat rigatoni flavored with garlic and parsley. I'm going to slice the tomatoes and scallions fine, and mince the garlic. I have cold-pressed olive oil - the type you do not cook with. I'll serve it with plain mixed salad and a simple vinaigrette (although I'm not sure in what, since I'm using my dairy salad bowl for the pasta, as it's the only thing big enough for proper tossing. I'll buy a pasta dish someday or maybe Sunday, when I have another pair of hands to help me take it home.)
Drain the pasta. Do not rinse. Put a puddle of olive oil on the bottom of the bowl, and add very finely minced garlic. Add the hot pasta. Toss. Put in a cup of ricotta and - I don't know. A bunch of scallions, and a handful of tomatoes. Toasted pinenuts. Pepper. Taste for salt and maybe add some. Or grate fresh parmesan. I have that. I'll do that. Serve right away in bowls. If the garlic is fine enough,the heat of the pasta will sweeten it just a enough, but it needs to be dry, needs to be in microscopic dice, not grated even with a microplane. I'm not sure why.