Lingua Di Suocera
"Mother In-Law's-Tongue" Pasta
with Roma Tomato, Garlic, Shallot and Crisped Salami
As I browsed through Facebook one day, I'd noticed our local butcher shop, which has undergone an amazing rebirth and reinvention of itself, which I love. A photo of a particular pasta was featured for Valentine's Day, and I felt the need to purchase it. It is "Lingua Di Suocera". Now, I did not know what that meant, but to be honest, I should have taken a moment to read the think banner across the top because it tells the buyer what it really is, so I asked my friend, Chef Vincenzo of "Vincenzo's Plate", what that meant, and he told me it means "Mother In-Law's Tongue" and we discussed how it should be prepared. While I do love heavy meat sauces, I have been more into lite extra virgin olive oil bases infused with garlic and herbs and tossed with vegetables. I decided to sliver Roma tomatoes, shallots, slice garlic cloves into discs an top with shaved parm. It turned out brilliantly.
This is definitely a thirty minute meal, prep included, and however you decide to serve it, this is an amazing pasta. It is thick, enlarges as it boils but takes on infused oil flavors and catches bits perfectly. I will be creating new recipes for this and other pastas new to me soon. Here is my lite recipe. And gentlemen, if you want to impress your date or your dinner company, This is the meal for you! The line colorful lines in the pasta is comprised of vegetables, therefore, this is a healthy meal all around!
Lingua Di Suocera pasta
2 shallots, slivered
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and ribbed and slivered
4 cloves garlic, sliced into discs
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Shaved Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
In a large pot, at six quarts of water and place the pot over high heat.
In a large sauce pan or wok, add the extra virgin olive oil (evoo) and some of the garlic chips and the oregano so as to infuse the evoo with those flavors. If you stopped yourself from reading and asked: "Wha--? A wok???" Yes. I have found that when tossing hot pasta in hot evoo and veg, a wok is the perfect instrument for even cooking. Turn the heat to warm or low, whichever is the lowest setting of your stove top.
Now prep the tomatoes and the shallots. Shallots offer a lighter sweet red onion flavor and I did not want to take away from the flavors already added to the pasta itself, so I thought shallots would be perfect.
When done prepping the aromatics and tomatoes, remove the garlic chips to a small bowl or plate. In a separate small skillet, add a small drizzle of the oil, about a teaspoon only, and raise the heat to medium-high. As the oil heats up and ripples, slice six slices of salami or your favorite Italian charcuterie meat into slivers. Crisp the meat in the smaller skillet and remove to a paper towel.
Note: Have a pair of tongs with long handles and your serving plates ready to be used once the pasta is ready, as the rest goes very fast! You will not have time to look for things in the cupboard nor a drawer. Just saying this from experience with my first "When Pasta Met Garlic" experience.
By this time, the water in the large pot should be roiling, waiting for the pasta to enter the hot tub. Add a generous amount of sea salt to the boiling water, but not as much as you might unflavored pasta, again, because we do not want to take away from the original veg flavors in the pasta already. Salt will help enhance those flavors, so do not be afraid to add the salt! Boil the pasta to just before it is al dente, just before it is done by two or three minutes. Drain in a colander and get ready to use it! Have a pair of long tongs ready to use! This goes by very quickly from now!
Finally, we are ready to get the main event going! Raise the heat under the wok or high-sided sauce pan to medium-high. When the aromatic oil begins to ripple, you are ready! Add the the pasta to the pan or wok and top that with the remaining garlic, the shallot slivers and Roma tomato slivers. Toss the pasta together with the aromatics/veg for three-to-four minutes, coating everything with the garlic and oregano infused evoo. Take plate one, in a circular motion, plate the pasta. You may want to use a spoon to get a bit more of the veg which may be left behind and top the pasta with it. I like to add fresh cracked black pepper over the top. Add some of the crisped charcuterie meat atop that and sprinkle some of the shaved Parmesan on top, and be generous! Plate the rest, and enjoy!
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