Thursday, July 10, 2008

Smoky Summer Pasta

Summer has definitely arrived in Vancouver.

For the past couple of weeks, it has been warm in the mornings, warmer through the afternoons, and warm through the evening. The sun has been shining and everything is bright and cheery and dandy.

Yet, all the weatherly perfection has had an adverse effect on my industry, as if my battered and bruised virtue can take another blow. All that sun is lulling me into a stupor and my appetite has been erratic. I don't feel hungry, and then I do, and then I unreasonably expect the food to be there the moment I want it!

Case in point: today. After breakfast and a few nibbles here and there, I did not really feel hunger pangs until 5pm in the afternoon. Then I wanted something really quickly, like -- tada! -- a presto! pasta!

We had cleaned out the pantry a couple of days ago and discovered a bag of coloured gemelli pasta. Here was our chance to use it. We wanted a pasta dish that was "summery," and when I think of summer, I think grilling and smoke.

The newly-organized pantry comes to the rescue again, because we discovered we still had cans of smoked oysters waiting to be used.

Smoke: check.

Summer flavours have to shine through and what could be more summery than a ripe tomato? What could be more refreshing than mint? These were the other ingredients that went into our smoky summer pasta dish.

Smoky Summer Pasta (proudly ours)

1-1/2 cups uncooked gemelli pasta (or other short pasta: penne, elbow macaroni, rotini)

4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 85g can smoked oysters
1/4 cup paprika
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup packed mint chiffonade
1/2 lemon

Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to manufacturer's instructions (until al dente).

In a cold saute pan, add smoked oysters and garlic. Turn heat on to medium and wait for the garlic to sizzle. Smash oysters. Add paprika. The mixture will form a paste.

Add cooked pasta to smoky paste and toss to coat pasta evenly. You may need to add some pasta water to loosen the mixture. Turn off heat. Add tomatoes and mint and stir to combine. Add lemon juice. Season to taste.

note: Of course, each ingredient can be adjusted to suit your tastes.


We're submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights (created by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast). This week's host is Gay of A Scientist in the Kitchen.

Presto Pasta Nights info

We are also submitting this into Culinarty's Original Recipe round-up.

Thanks for the heads up, Mark (of No Special Effects)!


  1. Luv the paprika in here...some red pepper would be a great addition too!

  2. Love the smokiness of this dish!

  3. Ooh, smoked oysters! I've never used them before but it sounds so darn easy. I'll have to try this!

  4. That is fan-freaking-tastic. First chance I get when I see smoked oysters (do you think I will here in Manila? Hmmm we shall see), I'm trying this out. You could also enter this in the Original Recipes event! (I think Lore of Culinarty is hosting it.)

  5. That pasta looks tasty! I like the sound of the smoked oysters. I will have to look for them.

  6. Hunger is the best inspiration, isn't it. This smoky pasta looks delicious. Good luck with your entry!

  7. I've never tried gemelli pasta. This pasta looks so tightly twined. Can the sauce get in ? :P

  8. Mint sounds really refreshing in a pasta dish and a great idea for this hot summer days, not to mention the smoked oysters and the generous amount of paprika :).
    This truly fits the bill of an original recipe!
    Thank you for participating and a big thanks to Manggy as well for letting you guys know about the event.

  9. What a perfect dish for summer! I can't wait to try it. Do you use regular paprika or the smoky Spanish kind?

    Either way...thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  10. Interesting with paprika and mint. very summery.

  11. tigerfish:
    I believe each "strand" of pasta is hollow. Then two are twisted together to create each piece. The hollowness helps in the sauce/flavor-absorption, I guess, hehe.

    We had a smoked hot Spanish paprika that just ran out, so we used regular ol' paprika this time. I think perhaps that's why we used a lot of it. The smoked one was much stronger.


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