I love cooking. I mean, I really love cooking. I cook when I'm excited, I cook when I'm sad, nostalgic, I even cook when I really have no time for the meal that I have envisioned. I make it work, dammit. Today I did not want to cook. I was so tired that I felt like a puddle of my former self, and the last thing that I could think of doing was summoning my creative juices and pouring them into a meal that would just, let's face it, make more dishes.
There I stood, in Sprouts. I wandered from the grocery to the produce, aimlessly. I picked up some on-the-vine tomatoes and stared at them. I love the smell of tomatoes, they smell so...green, and like dirt, and absolutely like summer. When I grow tomatoes I wander into my little yard each morning with my coffee, and smell the plants as they warm up in the summer sun. Suddenly, I felt it. Inspiration. That moment of throwing dishes to the wind, or however it goes.
Vine tomatoes in the bag, I quickened my pace and grabbed a small container of golden tomatoes. There's little things more fun than mixing different versions of the same thing on a plate. White & green asparagus sauteed, yellow & red roasted bell peppers, black & green olives, pumpernickel and brioche stuffing....yellow and red tomatoes. I knew I had herbs, Parmesan, and garlic at home, so I stood in front of the meat section and what jumped out? Why ground chicken of course! I hurried through the checkout lane, chatting the poor checker's ear off as I'm sure she thought, "Oh goody, it's a bubbly person. When can I take my break?" I rushed to Trader Joe's, grabbed a package of Organic Spaghetti and rushed to my kitchen.
I would make Spaghetti with a Raw Tomato Sauce, and Chicken Parmesan Meatballs!
Now, having made chicken Parm quite a few times (not to mention quite a few summers of raw tomato sauces), I had an idea of which flavors to incorporate, but how to bring it together? I started with bread chunks soaked in milk, just like any meatball. In fact, if I was a little Italian grandma I would have been fine using water, I swear they don't waste anything! I mashed the bread to a paste and squeezed out the extra milk, then added it to the ground chicken, parsley, Parmesan, and salt & pepper.
I scooped out mini portions, and rolled in toasted breadcrumbs, then browned them in olive oil.
Meanwhile I tossed chopped tomatoes with olive oil, salt & pepper, vinegar, parsley, and garlic while the spaghetti cooked.
My favorite part of a raw sauce, is tossing hot pasta into them and smelling the garlic wake up!
Then all you have to do is taste for salt & pepper and top with chicken Parmesan meatballs!