Every Wednesday at 8 p.m., sopranos, altos, tenors and basses meet up for an hour and a half. Do the math and you realize this means an early supper. In this house, it's usually last-minute too. Sometimes we hastily put together bread, cheese and a tomato. Once in a rare while, I'm organized enough to bake a quiche or tarte in the afternoon.
This dish is a godsend because (as I proved last night) I can transform myself from garden slot to choral goddess and have supper on the table in a bit over half an hour.
All you need is spaghetti, or whatever ever smallish or narrowish pasta you have, and the classic salad called insalata Caprese--salad Capri-style. This Italian flag-coloured combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella is ridiculously easy to make--and, I've found, doubles as a lovely, light and summery sauce for pasta.
Instead of slicing the tomatoes and fresh cheese, cut them in small cubes, then throw in lots of torn basil and a slosh of olive oil. Maybe a grind or three of black pepper? I assemble the lot in a big serving bowl to cut down on dishes. You can do all this while the pasta is cooking. Then, simply drain the pasta and toss it with the tomato-etc. mix. It's also tasty at room temperature and leftovers work as salad the next day.
Just remember to put a big pot of water on to boil before you climb in the shower.