Checca Checca Checca!

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Checca [pronounced KEKKA] is one of my most favorite pasta dishes EVER. I first had it forever ago at Figo, and decided to attempt to copy it. I think I did a pretty damned good job, if I do say so myself! The sauce is so easy, and requires no cooking. It takes about 3 seconds, I swear. People love love love love love it.

You’ll need…

  • – big bunch of fresh basil
  • – head of garlic
  • – 2 really large ugly ripe (or other heirloom) tomatoes
  • – buffalo mozzarella
  • – good extra virgin olive oil
  • – kosher salt
  • – garlic salt
  • – freshly ground pepper
  • – 4 tbsp butter
  • – 1 loaf french bread
  • – 1 lb pasta

First, begin boiling the water for the pasta. Preheat oven to 350. Then peel and finely chop the whole head of garlic. (I use the food processor, even though it is my arch nemesis. I’m usually a knife purist, but this just takes too long for such a fast dinner!) Take out about two tablespoons of the garlic and put it in whatever you’re serving the pasta in. (A big big bowl works well). Pour in about a quarter cup… or less… of olive oil. (I just eyeball it). Then wash and sliver the basil, put it in the bowl, stir around. Throw in some kosher salt, a few pinchfulls. Wash and chop the tomatoes in big chunks. (About 1″ square pieces). Throw those guys in the bowl. Take the buffalo mozzarella out of it’s watery bin, and chunk that up like the tomatoes and throw it in the bowl. Put in about a teaspoon of garlic salt, and grind in however much pepper you like. (I just swish the garlic salt over the top). Stir around and if everything doesn’t seem coated enough by the oil, add some more. Let all of that hang out in the bowl.

Take the butter and throw it into the processor with the garlic. Whir and whip it around until its combined, then spread on halved french bread. Grind pepper over them. (Cut it down the long way, and then into however large you want the pieces to be. This is for the side!) You can leave all of the bread parts out, but it’s so delightful to dip in the pasta sauce remnants. Put the bread in the oven, cook the pasta.

Wait.

Ok, now pasta’s done, bread’s done. (Bread’s done when it is golden and delightful). Take a slightly-less-than-ladle-full of pasta water and put it into the big bowl. Drain pasta, toss in big bowl, serve with the bread, and proceed to NOM your heart out!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of Checca pictures! I need to take photos when I make it next time!

show hide 2 comments

Ali (Mrs French Bulldog)January 7, 2010 - 5:06 pm

Thank for the recipe, I can’t wait to try this :)

Brooke (Mrs. Cookie)January 11, 2010 - 12:41 am

I made it over the weekend and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks a bunch.

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