Everyone I know is going to Italy.
Okay, not everyone. But an annoying number of people that I know have traveled to my favorite country recently – or plan to in the very near future. And though I tell them to take lots of pictures and have a great time, I am secretly seething and radiating with jealousy. Because that’s the kind of person I am.
Here’s the thing - I’ve never been to Italy. When I tell people this they ask, “Well, how do you know it’s your favorite country if you’ve never been there?” A fairly reasonable question, given the circumstances. And what is my response to this logical request for additional information? “Because I just know, okay? I know.”
Not surprisingly, the conversation usually ends there.
But seriously – I have wanted to go to Italy for over six years now. Which, if put into perspective, isn’t really that long. But it feels like an eternity to me. Especially when I’m bombarded with tales of other peoples travels. It feels a little like the universe is taunting me, which isn’t anything new – but it’s still annoying.
I am a solutions kind of girl, though. And I’m determined to make my trip to Italy happen within the next year. I think with an agressive savings plan and a couple of rounds of Beginner’s Italian via Rosetta Stone, I should be able to finally set foot in my favorite country next summer.
In the meantime, I’ve decided if I can’t actually go to Italy this year, I’m going to do my best to eat like I’m there. Which is why I’ve been buying pasta like mad. And hey, planning a bit trip is a lot of work. I’m carbo-loading to keep my strength up. And to give me yet another excuse to eat pesto…As if I needed one, right?
Tomato, Asparagus & Pesto Fettuccine
- 16oz dried fettuccine
- 1 small container (10oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced
- ½ cup of basil pesto
- ½ cup of warm water
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4oz goat cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cook fettuccine in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet instructions. Drain well and return pasta to pan with olive oil to keep warm.
In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, asparagus and garlic and sauté for 2 to 4 minutes, until tomatoes collapse. Toss with the hot pasta and stir in pesto and ½ cup of warm water. Season with salt and pepper and top with goat cheese.
Goat cheese makes everything better. This is not an opinion, it’s a fact – so don’t argue with me. And this pasta – though ridiculously simple – is really delicious. Or, in Italian, delizioso.
One Italian word down, only around 999,999 left to master. No sweat…
Italy, I’ll see you soon!