Cooking class | Living the Country Life

Cooking class

June 4, 2012

Living the Country Life is a part of Meredith, home to Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and much more. The food expertise around here is tremendous. I was lucky to participate in a pasta and wine lunch with chef Edmondo Sarti recently. Everyone had a chance to make some pasta dishes at each table. Below is my favorite: Mezzi Rigatoni Puttanesca with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Capers and mixed Olives.

Here are 5 simple tips for perfect pasta, thanks to Barilla:

1. Fill your pot 2/3 full of water. More than that and it will boil over. Less and the pasta won't cook right.

2. Salt water with coarse sea salt.

3. Undercook pasta by three minutes, drain, transfer to pan and add sauce, cook three minutes, allowing pasta to absorb flavors.

4. Never use oil in the water. The pasta will not bind to the sauce.

5. Do not rinse pasta after cooking.

Mezzi Rigatoni Puttanesca with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Capers and Olives

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons onion, chopped

2 anchovies, optional

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons capers

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

Sea salt, to taste

1 tablespoon parsley

1 box rigatoni

Saute garlic and onions in oil with anchovies and red pepper flakes. Add crushed tomatoes right before mixture turns yellow. Simmer 5 minutes. Add capers and olives. Season with sea salt, if needed. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to box directions. Drain and toss with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.

Note: I think we added the parsley early in the photo above. The dish was absolutely delicious!

Dessert was served in the Meredith Test Gardens. Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries.


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