It's been hot here lately. Hot. Humid hot. Melt-when-you-step-out-the-door hot. The air conditioner has been running overtime. I can't even remember the last time we didn't use it... two? three? weeks ago? I am afraid to see the next electric bill.
Chickens stay in the shade, holding their wings out from their bodies. They lay in holes they've dug in the dirt.
Pigs wallow in the mud and snort lazily at me when me when I appear at their gate.
Everything in the garden looks wilted despite the more than usual rains we've had. That hard bright sun beats everything down.
This heat even affects the monsters. They are too hot to misbehave. I think they thank God for air conditioning in their nightly prayers.
The heat affects me, too.
Sometimes I think I'm too hot to eat.
And then I get over it.
But one can eat only so many cold sandwiches and salads. Once in a while you want something pretty on your plate. Something nice.
And that's when I turn to this dish. It's quick. And filling. And pretty. And it's not a sandwich.
And it won't heat up the kitchen much. In fact, part of the preparation can be done earlier in the day, before the heat has sucked every last bit of energy out of you.
GARLIC AND OLIVE OIL PASTA
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
12 oz. dry pasta
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
parmesan (or romano) cheese
Heat garlic and olive oil gently in small skillet just until garlic is soft. Remove from heat and let cool to warm or room temperature.
Chop bacon into bite sized pieces and cook in separate skillet. Drain grease and set bacon aside.
(Sometimes I prepare the bacon and garlic oil earlier in the day and put them in the fridge until later when I'm ready to cook the pasta.)
Cook pasta to al dente in a pot of well salted water. I like to use linguine or bow ties for this dish, but use whatever kind of pasta you like.
Whisk 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed, if you have one) and 1/4 cup sour cream into the garlic and olive oil.
Drain pasta and toss with cooked bacon and garlic and olive oil sauce.
Sprinkle fresh minced basil and quartered tomatoes on top of each plate, along with some freshly shredded or shaved cheese.
I don't like careful measuring or having to stick to a strict recipe on any day, especially a hot one. Just eyeball the amounts, changing proportions to suit your own tastes, and this dish will put a quick and pretty dinner on your table without too much heat in the kitchen.