Sometimes you just want a home cooked meal without all the fuss of going to a restaurant. Last night we wanted exactly that and so set out to prepare a simple but, I have to say, delicious dinner made with local ingredients and fresh pasta.
The table in our Air&b is large enough to seat six comfortably and is a deep pine green color. Planning a dinner the other night I selected a lighter green china rimmed with flowers and vines to compliment the table. Next up was a matching salad/dessert plate with with some smaller vines surrounding the rim. I wanted to bring the level up a bit and so selected some green on white striped napkins with an embroidered edge to rest between the dessert plate and the salad bowl.
Green glasses accompanied the china serving as wine glasses.
The bowls were a pretty blue with a green border around the rim. A geometric pattern was displayed on the inside and outside of the bowl that contrasted nicely with the china plates. Flatware was a bit mismatched but added a touch of whimsy to the setting. We were serving three this evening.
A super fresh salad with green leaf lettuce, fresh tomatoes and yellow pepper accompanied the pasta. It was very colorful and added some brightness to the table that would be mirrored by the pasta dish.
The pasta was a handmade spinach and ricotta tortalloni that we bought at a little shop at the end of the day. The lady was lovely and spoke only Italian so we got to practice our Italian on her.
The sauce was very simple: Cherry tomatoes were cooked whole in hot olive oil until they burst. Yellow pepper was added in bite sized pieces along with one diced onion and sautéed in hot olive oil. Whole Cherry tomatoes were added to the sauce and cooked until they burst. The chef, a good friend, stepped back from the stove while the tomatoes burst then smashed them gently with a fork. The sauce was allowed to simmer until the vegetables were tender and the tomatoes had begun to break down. Add a little salt and pepper, simmer another 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until the pasta rises to the top. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until the pasta is covered. Serve immediately. You can add fresh basil or oregano to the dish in the last moments of cooking.
You end up with a very colorful meal from the pasta to the salad. It was also very tasty and looked beautiful and was very filling. Our first home cooked meal in Venice with limited ingredients was a rousing success. Try this at home. It only takes as much time as you need to boil the water and cook the pasta.