Last night’s Florence/Cinque Terre – inspired pasta dish:
Slice and sauté mushrooms of the button, portabella, and shittake varieties, enough to fill a 10-11″ sauté pan. Sauté in olive oil until they’ve released their juices, set aside.
In a separate sauté pan, infuse olive oil with 4-5 large, minced cloves of garlic over low heat. When garlic is soft, throw in a pint of cherry tomatoes that have been halved. Turn off the heat and let sit for the tomatoes to soften.
Slice a can of black, or kalamata olives, set aside.
Chop the hard rinds of the Parmesan cheese in your refrigerator into slivered-almond sized chunks.
Chop a medium-sized handful of Italian parsley.
Meanwhile, bring a LARGE pot of salted water to a boil, and listen to your son complain about how many dishes you’ve gotten dirty; deflect accusations that this was done on purpose in the manner of your choice.
Cook a pound of twisted pasta — rotini, or, if you can get it, trofie, until just al dente. Drain, rinse briefly, and immediately drizzle with olive oil.
Assemble the pasta in this order: cheese, mushrooms, parsley, garlic/tomatoes, olives.
Serve with a Tuscan red wine. Follow with limoncino and a good movie. Feel free to drool.