The summer heatwave finally hit Colorado Springs. While the A/C struggled to keep the upstairs below 80, I sat in my cool, cool basement, looking for something light & tasty and very Italian for dinner. Found something nice at Epicurious, then changed it up a bit.
Heat Wave Penne
Four Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
About a half cup of fresh basil, chopped
8oz fresh mozzarella (the round kind you get in the water-filled container), sliced into 1/2" strips
4oz Prosciutto, sliced the same way
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Enough penne for 2-4 people
Salt & pepper
Got everything chopped and sliced according to the directions? Then the hard work is done. Take everything but the pasta and mix it together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Let it sit out on the counter for an hour while you enjoy a gin & tonic.
Boil the penne for 13 minutes, strain, then pour back into the pot. Throw the tomato/basil/cheese/Prociutto mixture in with it, and gently toss.
If you're feeling really ambitious, you could make a salad, too. One head of butter lettuce, cleaned, torn, and chilled. Make the dressing by beating together a tablespoon or two of olive oil, 2 teaspoons or so of balsamic vinegar, 1 crushed clove of garlic, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and three turns of the pepper mill. If there's any basil left over from the pasta, throw it in the dressing. You can put the salad together while the pasta is boiling.
Enjoy with a slightly chilled Chianti, and try to ignore the heat.