Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 06, 2013
Italy! Food! Two words that inspire passion in everyone. A country whose cuisine has delighted the world now has its native son bringing the flavors, tastes, and feel of Italy to kitchens everywhere. Chef Luigi Diotaiuti, chef/owner of Al Tiramisu in the heart of Washington, DC, loves to prepare the foods of his native country, taking traditional ingredients and elevating them to new heights. It is this approach to food that has made Al Tiramisu a popular choice for heads of state, politicians, and celebrities from around the globe.
The true food of Italy is simple, pure and sparkling fresh so that it nourishes your body and embraces your soul, Chef Luigi explains. Good food does not have to be complicated or fattening to enjoy. Just a few ingredients thrown together can create magic!
With the arrival of spring, Chef Luigi recommends taking advantage of the fruits and vegetables now in season, creating light, easy-to-prepare recipes that bring joy to weeknight dining. Chef Luigi suggests serving up these delightfully simple yet delicious recipes that bring a bit of Italy to the family table.
Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella, and Cherry Tomatoes
This quick weeknight pasta dish is a delicious and elegant first course for any occasion. Be sure to use a good quality smoked mozzarella because it is the main ingredient of the dish. Smoked mozzarella has a lot of advantages because it lasts for a long time and can be added to sandwiches, soups, stuffing, and pasta. It’s a great addition to anything that you’d like to enrich and enliven.
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
16 asparagus stalks, steamed 1 minute, and sliced
8 ounces smoked mozzarella, cubed
8 basil leaves
1 pound penne rigate
Heat 1/2 of the olive oil in a large wide skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just until it releases its aroma and begins to turn blonde colored. Add cherry tomatoes and asparagus and stir to coat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. As soon as water boils, add a pinch of salt. Add penne, stir, lower heat to medium low, and cook for 10-13 minutes, or until al dente.
Drain the pasta. Add pasta and a few tablespoons of the pasta water to the vegetable mixture. Add in smoked mozzarella and toss well to combine and melt mozzarella. Once mozzarella is melted, tear the basil leaves into the dish and stir well to combine.
Drizzle the remaining half of the olive oil over the pasta to add shine and extra flavor to the dish.
Plate immediately and serve hot.
Italian Cooking Tip:
Use smaller pieces of fresh asparagus if preferred. Just trim the stalks and cut 1-inch pieces on the bias and add into the recipe – saut