Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gremolata a.k.a. Green Gold

I know I may be repeating myself here, but I promise, this time, it's for real.

If you eat the following dish, your life will never be the same.

I told the same to my facebook friends and only a handful of them believed me. I have much more hope in ya'll.

Have you ever heard of gremolata sauce?

I hadn't either.

But it didn't take me long to realize that gremolota sauce may in fact be the Holy Grail of my culinary experience. I'm not sure that anything can top it. Not even Chi Chi's Restaurante mild salsa.

(It pained me to write that, but there was no other way to put this into the proper context.)

Here's the skinny:

Veggie Pasta with Gremolata sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (basically the juice of one lemon)
A handful of finely chopped fresh basil (this was my modification, hence the "Shannan" measurement)
2 T olive oil
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest (I probably used a little more)
1/4 t salt
1/8 t black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.

Meanwhile, cook Rotini (corkscrew) pasta as directed. (Have you ever heard of Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta? It's in the purple box. It has 3x the fiber of regular pasta and as much calcium as an 8 oz. glass of milk. Slightly more expensive than the old standby, but totally worth it when your family eats pasta as much as this one does.)

Add 2 cups of fresh sugar snap peas to the water for the last 3 minutes of boil time. Drain. (I also added some fresh brocolli, because it needed usin'.) Stir a little bit of butter into the drained pasta and veggies. (I'll let you define "a little bit".) Add one box of grape tomatoes, halved, and grated parmesan cheese. Pour gremolata over pasta mixture and thank your lucky stars that you have me in your life.

This is a pretty healthy meal, especially if you make it meatless, so help yourself to one of these after dinner. Or four. That's what I do.

Just don't take the milk chocolate ones with the colored sprinkles, or I may have to hurt you.