La What Now?

Since the 1960s, baseball teams and players have been publishing cookbooks. I collect them and try out some of the recipes that major leaguers have shared with their fans over the years. Photos, recipes and comments included.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mediterranean Christmas Eve Pasta by Jim Thome - from "Recipes From the Roster: Favorite Recipes From the Phillies" (2004)


1 cup sliced black olives
1 cup sliced green olives
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 anchovies
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 qt. bottle extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh orange slice
a generous amount of coarse ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. angel hair pasta

Garnish: freshly shaven Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if available.

In a large saucepan, brown garlic in small amount of olive oil. Once garlic is browned, add the remaining olive oil, olives, anchovies and black pepper. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes over medium/low heat. 

After 45 minutes, add sliced mushrooms and orange slice. Cover and continue for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft. Remove remainder of orange slice.

Presentation: pour over cooked and drained "al dente" angel hair pasta and serve with freshly shaven Parmesan cheese. Garnish with sprig of fresh parsley.

One more post for 2016, courtesy of former White Sox slugger and Renaissance man Jim Thome.  

I don't know if this "Christmas Eve Pasta" is a Thome family tradition or something he passed along that already had this name on it, but I love the images conjured by this dish. Picture big Jim and his family gathered in their ugly Christmas sweaters, chowing down on pasta and olives while awaiting Saint Nick.

I stumbled across the recipe while preparing to make the Holiday Country Soup recipe out of the Philadelphia Phillies' 2004 cookbook. 

One's eye could not help but be drawn to this amazing image while flipping through the pages.

A couple of tweaks: instead of buying green and black olives separately, I bought a mixed olive salad (green, green with pimientos, black and kalamata) with hot peppers in oil.  In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, I also threw in some chopped capers. Oh how I love the capers.

Apart from that, the recipe was very straightforward and I finally found a use for the angel hair pasta that had been kicking around the cupboard for too long than one should admit on a food blog.

But the dish turned out great.

A tip of the cap to Jim Thome for seeing off this strange and bizarre year of 2016 with a bang.

La Russa Gastronomique will be back with more culinary curiosities in the new year.

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