I recently joined the board of directors for Triad Health Project, our local HIV/AIDS service organization. I’ve been volunteering with THP for several years now on a variety of different levels – hosting fundraisers and serving meals at Higher Ground, THP’s retreat and resource center for persons infected by HIV/AIDS. Without a doubt, I’ll be posting more on my work with them in the future.
Ok, back to food. After my board orientation, I had drinks with THP’s Executive Director and her partner. She gave me my first unofficial assignment. She is hosting a dinner for their development staff at the end of August and needed help on a menu for picky eaters (she didn’t refer to them as picky eaters – but hell, with these restrictions I’ll take the liberty to say they are). One doesn’t eat seafood, one doesn’t like chicken and one doesn’t like beef – so I was left with pork and vegetarian. My first thought was to serve a Cuban inspired meal with Cuban pork roast, black beans and rice and avocado and grapefruit salad but the pork roast takes a some time to cook and no one wants the stove on that long in the heat of the summer (no worries, I’ll post this when the weather turns). I quickly arrived at the idea of Pasta with Brie and Tomatoes. My mother found this recipe a number of years ago in the heat of summer when she needed to feed a crew of vegetarians. This pasta is so simple, you basically tear up a round of brie, throw in garlic, tomatoes and basil and let the heat of summer turn them into a delicious sauce (you could call this solar cooked…perhaps?). The heat of the pasta finishes the dish off – becoming a creamy and decedent meal.
- 1 lbs pasta, linguine or spaghetti
- 1 pint fresh grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 large round of brie, rind removed and torn into small pieces
- 1 large handful fresh basil, torn into pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Several hours in advance, combine brie, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper in a serving dish. Sit in a sunny spot in the house until room temperature and melded together. When ready to serve, throw hot pasta (directly from the boiling water) over the mixture and toss together. The combination of the pasta and mixture creates a extremely fragrant and exciting presentation. I suggest you do this in front of your guests – and bask in the glory of your creation!
Serve with something green – a simple salad or roasted asparagus. I’ve also served grilled sausages on the side for the meat eaters.