Our two-year-old couldn’t keep his hands off of the Penne with creamy brie and tomatoes. Or should I say Rotini with creamy brie and tomatoes recipe? I had a hard time snapping a photo before serving it because he kept asking, “Mommy, can I have some?”, while I was trying to ease the bowl away from his reach. I suppose I could have tried harder to get him not to stand on the furniture and stick his hands into our dinner but he’s never really done it before and I thought it was cute. Plus, more importantly, I was hungry (surprise!) and wanted to just snap a photo and then dig in. By digging in, I don’t mean sticking all our hands into the serving bowl – I did take the time to set plates and cutlery and dish out portions to the three adults and one toddler at the table. And I explained to the little one how important it is not to stick your hands into serving bowls when people can see that you’re doing it.
As I’m sure you can guess, this meal was a hit. My husband said, “It’s a nice change having pasta without pasta sauce.” I was reminded of a meal that he and I ate in France years ago, where our hosts retreated to their tiny Parisian kitchen and quickly prepared pasta adorned simply with tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. Sometimes I need to be reminded that a delicious meal doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated.
The tomatoes, prosciutto, basil and brie in the Chatelaine recipe perfectly complemented each other. The creamy cheese masked the raw garlic so that it was a subtle afterthought rather than an overpowering show-stopper. Tomatoes and basil always taste like summer to me, and the prosciutto added the perfect amount of salt. I think a nice deviation would be to add chicken strips to the pasta. Or how about toasted pine nuts? We had a simple green salad with the pasta and were so satisfied that we had leftovers of both to take for lunch the next day. Surprisingly!
It was incredibly fast to prepare because the only ‘cooking’ required is the pasta. If you can master your chopping skills to coincide with the cooking of the pasta, about 8 to 10 minutes, you can have this made within 15 minutes! Can you imagine? What are you going to do with all your newfound free time?