It seems like I start every week with a bad case of the Mondays. I’m not sure if its because I’m still not used to working Mondays (I worked 10 hour days to get one day off a week at my old job) or if its because the work week officially begins once again. I’m going to say both.
Today was a pretty slow day at work, which didn’t help, though I did get all 3 stars on the Back To School level in Angry Birds. Its the little victories that get me through day. I also took time to take a nice leisurely walk down King Street to grab a sandwich at Bittersweet Cafe. Unfortunately I decided to do meatless Monday after I ate my Big George chicken sandwich, a must if you ever go there, also the BLT is pretty amazing. They have the best bacon!
I’ve seen more and more articles about Meatless Mondays. I think the concept is great. We as a society eat so much meat that if we could just take one day out the week to go meatless we would not only gain the health benefits, but also help the environment. Look into it, its pretty interesting and just think of all the yummy new recipes you will discover. We’ve decided to do Meatless Mondays for all the above reasons. I have a feeling there will be a lot of pasta recipes in my near future.
Here’s our first meatless meal (we did have sausage, I bought it before we decided to do this and I’m not one to waste. Also, it was chicken sausage and really, is that even meat?)
Pasta Caprese (Williams-Sonoma’s Pasta Cookbook)
5 large tomatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flake
1 lb. penne pasta
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
15 fresh basil leaves shredded
Peel and seed the tomatoes, then cut them into small dice. Drain the diced tomatoes in a colander for about 15 minutes to remove excess liquid.
In a bowl, combine the drained tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne or red pepper flakes. Toss and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to develop the flavor.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water (I’d say this is optional, I skip this step) add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes ( I used Barilla, it takes like 9 minutes).
Drain the pasta and put it in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add the tomato mixture and toss. Add the mozzarella and basil shreds and toss gently. The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at once.
Verdict: This tasted like summer. So fresh and just delicious. I’m a parm cheese addict so I had to put some on top, but its not really necessary. This isn’t really a 30 minute recipe, it does take some time to prep, just a heads up in case you’re in a rush. Also, make sure you slice the garlic thin, its pretty garlicky. I’m sure you could pull out the pieces of garlic after it has infused the tomato mixture, but thats not fun. If you’re worried about garlic breath, just be sure to eat it with someone else, that way you’ll both stink. This makes enough for 6, so since there’s only two of us that means leftovers for lunch!!
Tuesday is already looking like it will be an awesome day, despite my prediction of me having really bad garlic breath.