Skip to main content

Linguine with cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes and mint


Try this as soon as cantaloupe or charantais come into season, but take note of the following:
[1] the cantaloupe/muskmelon must be super sweet and flavorful. Taste it. If your melon sucks, no amount of sweetener will help make it better. And
[2] forget using calorie-saving substitutes. NO. So there's butter, heavy cream, parmigiano - this is a rich, sensuous pasta dish, yet for some reason it left me feeling quite positive in the knowledge that I contributed toward my 5 a day. And you know, it's not like you're going to eat this stuff everyday anyway.

Recipe (serves 4)

Linguini or egg tagliolini/tagliatelle for 4 persons (1 pound)
2 - 3 tablespoons butter
4 cups of 1/4-inch dice fresh, sweet cantaloupe
1 cup fully ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered (better if you can get datterino tomatoes)
2/3 cup heavy cream
Salt (best if fleur de sel) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grated parmigiano to garnish
10 large fresh mint leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/2 lemon

1. Begin by cooking the pasta. In the meantime, make the sauce.

2. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the diced cantaloupe. Lower heat and saute until the fruit begins to caramelize. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a minute or so, then add the heavy cream and continue to cook until thickened and reduced; about 5 minutes. When the pasta is ready, drain thoroughly and add to the cantaloupe sauce. Stir to combine completely and divide into 4 portions.

4. Give a light squeeze of lemon over the pasta (this helps balance out the richness), sprinkle with grated parmigiano and garnish with mint. Serve immediately.

Popular posts from this blog

In the news: from blogosphere to printed publication

It's just a little thing really, but when a staff member from a periodical for Italy's Alpini requested permission to reprint one of my blog entries, I had no idea how surprised, and I have to admit, a little bit sheepish I'd feel after seeing my Tasi e Tira article taking up half the space on page 12. I just received my copy in the mail. The entry was posted over a year ago but through the vast reaches of the internet it goes to show what nice things can happen when you try to immerse yourself in a culture not your own. Perhaps the word "immerse" is rather modest as I like to jump right into the middle of things and get up close and personal. What tickles me the most is that this blog started off as a way of amusing myself (and expanding my knowledge of the country's cuisine), but getting published...whoa! It's like icing on the cake!
Click to view large

Fun in the sun and snow at Alpe Giumello

Why do weekends with perfect weather always have to be so short? This past Saturday and Sunday was the one that anybody with a pulse has been wanting for a long time, the weekend with ZERO rain, no snowfall and nothing but blue skies all around. We had the intention of hiking around the base of Monte Muggio, a 3-hour loop trail that begins from the parking area at localit√† Alpe Giumello, but ice on the trail made it a dangerous gamble. If we had been able to get to the very top of Monte Muggio it would have afforded us a spectacular panorama with Bellagio jutting out in the middle of the lake.Even if a good, long hike was out of the question, there was plenty of wide open space to go for a stroll. We walked the dogs out on the flat plains on the eastern side of Giumello, all of which were covered in a thick layer of packed snow. In less than 30 minutes time we had built up enough of an appetite for a quick lunch at Ristoro Genio, a cozy little bar and restaurant serving hot meals…

Hiking in Val Vertova

We really couldn't have asked for more on this particular outing. The trail in Val Vertova is full of beautiful scenes like this, where you have the option of taking it easy all the way to the end or stopping in an idyllic spot to soak up the sun. I've never seen perfectly tanned boobs in full display until this hike, but with such an inviting environment, why the heck not?
View larger mapTo get to the starting point: from Vertova, follow Via Cinque Martini until localit√† Lacni. Instead of following the right bend in the road, take the left for about 300 meters until the parking lot (B). If it's full, space is available at the headquarters of Gruppo Alpinistico Vertovese (GAV) a hundred meters going back and across the stream (A), but only if the gates are open. It takes about an hour to reach the end of the trail. For a challenge, head up the n.527 that climbs the left just before reaching the end. It quickly leads back down to the river then continues into drier te…