Sun-dried tomatoes get tossed together with fettuccine for a twist on the ultimate Italian classic creating a hearty dish with a little bite to it and a whole lot of flavor.
I recall in my formative years a very highly respected chef remarking that, and I paraphrase from memory, “There is no wrong way to serve an excellent meal, whether it’s straight from the pan, pre-plated, or served on your favorite platter, a well-made meal serves itself.”
Looking back through the prism of years of experience, I must admit that I can now only partially agree, since after saying that there is “No wrong way to serve an excellent meal,” he then lists several ‘excellent’ ways of serving it. So yes, I agree, there is no ‘wrong way’ to serve an excellent meal, provided all your serving options are equally excellent.
As any regular readers of Living the Gourmet are already likely well familiar, I’ve stated several times “We taste first with our eyes,” and I’ve noted how the very best chefs put just as much effort into the presentation of a meal as they do into the seasoning of the meal. In wine, for example, great pains are taken when designing labeling, selecting the bottle shape, the ensign of the cork, and in tastings no small amount of attention is given to the glasses for serving. Presentation, what you see, smell, and feel, forms your ‘pre-tasting prejudice’ against whatever it is your palate is about to sample – be it fine wine or an excellent meal.
For this reason, I keep a variety of serving bowls, platters, and ‘fancy’ cooking pots and pans at my disposal for use in my pictures on the site, many of which I’ve featured here for your convenience.
Today is one such feature courtesy of Southern Kitchen. Their Mud Pie label platter takes ‘Serving’ to a very literal level, being embellished with definition of ‘Serve’ right in the bottom right corner “Serve (Verb) To Serve Food or Drink to a Gathering.” Beyond the quirky words, the platter features a construction that’s equal parts sturdiness and heft, without being awkwardly heavy, making it a breeze to use while allowing it to withstand the often times damaging rigors of groups of family and friends, all without sacrificing on appearance. From a design point, the platter features a strikingly minimalist white ceramic finish with thin grey accents as pictured below, with a hammered finish ringed in a shallow rim, making it an ideal backdrop for things like pasta or meats.
Naturally, that brings us to today’s recipe. To test flight the platter, I prepared a fresh garden sauce with sun dried tomatoes.
To start things off, we begin by heating a large cast iron frying pan, and set the cherry tomatoes to char in the pan dry, and sprinkle them with a few dashes of salt.
While the tomatoes char, we combine sun-dried tomatoes, capers, caper juice, fresh basil, and anchovies in a food processor and give them a few good chops to reach the desired consistency. Personally, I prefer the mixture to remain course and chunky for this recipe.
After that, drizzle, a few tablespoons of olive over the charred tomatoes, and then ‘press’ them to release their juices into the sauce. Careful not to press to hard or suddenly or you’ll risk being splattered.
Once that’s done, add in the chopped garlic, seasonings, wine, and then continue letting the sauce simmering over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the fettuccine – be sure to generously salt the water.
After you have cooked the pasta, add about four tablespoons of the pasta water to the simmering tomatoes.
Now, take the mixture from the food processor and set that at the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and then lift the cooked pasta into the bowl, then spoon the tomatoes over this and toss until the well combined.
Presented on the Mud Pie “Serve” Definition Platter from Southern Kitchen, top with a bit of fresh scallions and Parmesan for garnish, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and dried oregano, and just like that you’ve got a meal that’s both delicious – and – excellently served.
Products featured in this post have been sponsored by Southern Kitchen. I’m wearing the Heirloomed “Pecan Orchard Pleasantries” Full Skirt Linen Apron and featuring the Mud Pie “Serve” Definition Platter. Take 25% off your first purchase from Southern Kitchen today!
Enjoy with Love!