I was a young foodie padawan when I started my first job in the restaurant industry. California Pizza Kitchen was my Yoda. For three years, I waited on tables, silently learning and developing my palate. This was my favorite dish, and it was my destiny to conquer it.
If I had super cool html coding powers, I would have made that first paragraph into a scrolling perspective. How awesome would that have been? But since I have the html proficiency of a rock, let’s just move on to a topic that I’m more familiar with.
When I flashback at the mental slideshow of wee little Dhale, was I always a foodie? Maybe. I tried making spaghetti for the first time after I saw an episode of Punky Brewster and she threw noodles at the ceiling to see if they were cooked. But barring this juvenile culinary attempt, I’ve always been an onlooker.
It wasn’t until I began moonlighting at CPK when the foodie inside me was unleashed. I learned about the bitterness of radicchio, the creaminess of goat cheese and how on Earth to pronounce “andouille”. Schlepping tables for three years at a restaurant that cultivated a diverse palate truly opened the doors to my culinary world. And for this I thank you, CPK, for hundreds of tasty meals that I consumed under my employment. Half of which were my all-time favorite: Tomato Basil Spaghettini.
|1||lb. spaghetti noodles|
|1||28 ounce can of stewed tomatoes, peeled|
|5||cloves garlic, minced|
|3||Tbsp capers, drained|
|1/2||cup goat cheese, crumbled|
|1||tsp red chili pepper flakes|
|1/2||cup fresh basil, julienne|
|salt & pepper to taste|
- Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute garlic and olive oil over low heat for approximately 5-7 minutes. Be careful – do not burn the garlic! Add chili flakes and saute for another 2 minutes. Add entire contents of the canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- Once the sauce is simmering, add sugar. Season with salt & pepper. Allow to simmer for another 15 minutes over low heat. When the large pot of water begins to boil, add pasta and cook al dente. About 7-10 minutes. Drain pasta and toss with olive oil.
- Combine pasta with the tomato sauce in the skillet. Add capers and basil. Transfer onto individual bowls and top with goat cheese. Makes 4 servings.