Mariel here. When I was pregnant with my son three years ago, my husband and I moved into our very first house about a month before my due date. While that may sound like insane timing, it actually worked out fairly well since I was in full-on nesting mode. I was more than happy to spend hours browsing wallpaper samples, fabric swatches and furniture outlets. While the house needed some fairly sizable renovations – a new kitchen, all three bathrooms, landscaping, painting, new flooring, you name it – I felt highly motivated to get it all done as quickly as possible.
This time around, since the nest is mostly feathered, those primitive instincts have driven me back into the kitchen. Despite my gleaming new appliances, I spent the past year in somewhat of a culinary funk, churning out just as many recipes as I felt I needed to to keep our little blog alive. But recently, I’ve felt more like my old self in the kitchen and I’ve been using nearly every spare moment to make something new. It actually feels really good – and it’s pretty much the perfect pastime for someone who is 1,000 months pregnant.
This particular dish was culled from the pages of an old magazine and it’s reminiscent of my mom’s Brie, Tomato & Bermuda Onion Salad. It’s simple and satisfying and it couldn’t be easier to prepare since the sauce doesn’t entail any simmering or sauteing. I have a feeling it’ll be a staple when #2 makes his big debut and I go back to living on cold cuts and cheese slices.
No-Cook Tomato & Brie Pasta Sauce with Sweet Basil
Slightly adapted from a recipe published in Redbook
1-pound pasta (cavatelli or cavatappi works well here) – $2.39
½-cup reserved pasta water
1-pound very roughly chopped ripe tomatoes (I use grape or cherry tomatoes b/c they’re often sweeter) – $3.99
¼-cup extra virgin olive oil – stock
¼-cup roughly chopped basil leaves – $1.99
8-oz of brie or triple creme cheese like St. Andre, cut into small chunks – $4.99
Plenty of salt & freshly ground pepper – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $13.36
Cost per serving: $3.34
1. Place the chopped tomatoes in a colander, allowing the juices to drain for 5-10 minutes while the pasta cooks.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Reserve ½-cup of pasta water when straining the cooked pasta. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, cheese, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.
4. Toss the cooked pasta with the tomato mixture and add pasta water a few tablespoons at a time until it creates a thin, glossy sauce. Taste and adjust salt/pepper. Serve immediately.