Fellas, let’s be honest, the ladies in our lives do most of the cooking, most of the time. Could be your mom, your sister, wife or girlfriend, but it’s not you. Now BACK OFF angry mob – I’m not saying guys can’t cook, I’m saying most guys don’t cook and the dudes at the drive-thru don’t count!
Ladies out there, you’re agreeing with me aren’t you? Maybe I’m generalizing and stereotyping, but I believe, that even in 2018, a meal cooked with love is a wonderful surprise from the man in your life. And here we are right in time for Valentine’s Day!
So a couple months ago I wrote about my love story with a basil plant and how I ended up loving it so much I froze it and made basil ice cubes. It’s freezing here in North Carolina and I have since killed it. But anyway, I promised a follow-up recipe using my beloved basil ice cubes and here it is.
Loosely based on a Penne alla Caprese recipe by Lidia Bastianich, I swapped out the mozzarella to feed my feta cheese obsession and added a few of my frozen basil cubes. This pasta dish is really yummy and absolutely could not be easier to make. Guys, if you’re reading this, DON’T just dump sauce on the plate, join Chef Jake and put a little love into your cooking this Valentine’s Day with simple ingredients and these few easy steps!
- 1 pound feta cheese
- 4+ cloves garlic (I used 7 but I can't get enough garlic!)
- 1 container little round tomatoes
- 1 pound pasta shape of your liking
- 1 large can medium or large black olives
- Bunch of fresh basil
- Olive Oil (could substitute with frozen basil cubes)
- Balsamic vinegar (if you're a fan)
- Salt (preferably sea-salt)
- Pepper (preferably in a fancy grinder)
- Peel and chop garlic cloves or use a garlic press
- Cut tomatoes in half or quarters
- Cut olives in half or quarters
- Chop up basil in small pieces or tear it up (leave a couple nice leaves for decoration at the end)
- In a big bowl, throw in your pound of feta cheese and break it apart with your hands and/or a fork. Add garlic, salt and pepper and toss it all together.
- Add either a few drops of olive oil or a couple of frozen basil cubes (if you want some balsamic, add that at this point as well).
- Add fresh basil along with the olives and tomatoes and then let it all marinate a bit.
- Get your water boiling and your pasta cooking.
- Drain your pasta, toss it into the same bowl of feta goodness, mix it all up and serve with a nice fresh basil leaf on top.
And while you’re cooking, crank up my playlist of non-traditional love songs!