So most of you may not know this, but today is opening day for college football. This may or may not mean much to you, but if your husband is like mine it means he will be in front of the TV all evening. So, I decided to invite some girlfriends over and make a summer Italian feast! We started with an arugula salad with broiled figs and ricotta salata. (ricotta salata is ricotta cheese aged and dried) The main course was Farfalle (bow tie pasta) with broccoli tossed with lemon and garlic and we ended with some homemade dark chocolate gelato. : )
My friend, Fiona, brought up something interesting — she had never eaten a fig before! Are figs intimidating? I am predicting that figs are going to be the next big thing. They are sooooo yummy!! Look…figs are easy. Cut the top off and eat it! Slice it in a sandwich with some brie and honey, grill them, broil them and put them on some ice cream! Tonight, I broiled them and put them in a salad. Give them a try, you won't regret it!
So here are some recipes: )
Broiled Fig and Arugula Salad
1 package of Arugula, washed and dried
1 basket of Figs
Pinch of Sugar
Salt and Pepper
Easy. Easy. Easy. Start with the figs. Cut the top off, cut in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the figs. Drizzle with a very small amount of olive oil. Stick under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Grate the Ricotta Salata with a box grater. Toss the Arugula with some Balsamic and olive oil, add a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Put a good helping of Arugula on a plate and top with figs and cheese. That's it!
Farfalle with Lemony Broccoli
What you'll need:
8 cups broccoli florets (about 4 heads)
1 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil (plus some for tossing)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, zested
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half the lemon)
1/4 cup pignoli nuts (pine nuts), toasted
Freshly grated Parmesan
What you'll do:
Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
In the same water, cook the pasta. Drain and add to the broccoli. By using the same water, the pasta will soak up some of that Broccoli flavor.
In a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for about a minute. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, lemon juice and pour over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese. Add a little more olive oil if needed. Enjoy this yummy dish!