Monday, June 1, 2015

Pasta with a summer sauce

Memorial day weekend has come and gone. It heralds with the start of the summer and in Oregon it is usually associated with clouds and if you are lucky a brief burst of sunshine. Except this year - It has been unusually warm this year. We hardly had a winter and then the flowers bloomed early and when I checked yesterday, the apple tree had tiny fruits on it. It is scary - this is what global warming does. The weekend was all the more memorable because we had long awaited guests.. I finally got my cousin, uncle and aunt to visit Oregon after having been here for 15 years.There was a lot of eating, walking and laughing.   A lot of eating - I am actually considering an alternate career as a vegan/vegetarian food tour guide in Portland.
And I received the coolest gift ever. My Aunt gave me this doll(that her mother made) to add to my dusserah collection.

Listening this week -
The music of Bombay Velvet -  A hindi jazz album
Dahikkunu Bhagini  - A poem by Malayalam poet Kumaranasan. With the current climate in India an the politics of the beef ban - a dialog worth revisiting. This poem tells the story of a Buddhist monk, on a hot summer's day who begs for water from a woman. The woman is afraid to give him water because she is of a lower caste. This poem is the story of their dialog.

Reading this week
 Fire monks: Zen meets wildfire - a book that has me planning my study time in Tessajara

And for the recipe. This is pasta with a no cook sauce. You gather all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and toss it with cooked and drained pasta.

Tomatoes 5 (4 roma + 1 beefsteak) or any combination
1 garlic clove minced with salt
1 tsp capers rinsed and chopped
2 ears of corn shucked
1 tsp of preserved limes/lemons prepped
1/4 c olive oil
generous splash of red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kashmiri mirch or paprika or cayenne pepper

1 lb of short pasta.

Bring water to boil for the pasta. While the water is boiling:
Find a large bowl that will hold the pasta
Dice tomato and put into the bowl
Peel the corn. Stand it on the flat edge in the bowl and use a sharp knife to shuck the corn into the bowl.
Smash the garlic with the flat side of the knife on the cutting board. Sprinkle some salt on it and mince it fine and add that to the bowl..
Rinse the capers (brine packed) and chop it into the bowl.
Now about the preserved limes.. I used flesh and skin. If your preserved lemons/limes are very salty, rinse briefly and chop into the bowl.
Add the olive oil,vinegar and chili powder. Taste and adjust for balance. You want a spicy and tart salad.
Let this salad sits while the pasta is cooking.
Once the water comes to boil; salt generously (until it tastes like the sea) and cook pasta al dente. Drain and toss in bowl with veggies. Serve warm or cold.


Corn not yet in season? toss is some Arugula leaves. Too much Zucchini in your garden? Cut your zucchini into matchsticks and use it in the sauce. And do you have some fresh basil,dill or parsley around? toss it in


  1. Mmmm.. a delicious visit. Right from the awesome midnight pasta meal. You SHOULD be a food tour guide. Loved being with you all. We were watching the movie - Chef and remembered the little one a lot. Next time, we will walk more and eat less. Have fun rest of the summer.

  2. ambica i just saw this now. I loved our portland trip! I remember u and ur wonderful family so much! thank you for hosting us =)