First Dinner in Bethesda

 Ginny dubiously cooking with electric.

Technically this is the first dinner I cooked in the new kitchen.  Our first dinner was pretzel thins and Rondele cheese.  There is a smallish Trader Joe's close by that doesn't sell 2 buck Chuck or any other alcohol, but does have a nice cheese section.  I bought a basil plant, some tomatoes, orzo, fresh mozzarella, and chicken sausage.  I used Ian's very limited kitchen implements to cobble together a pasta dish that my family thought was "the best pasta they had ever tasted."  I am providing you the recipe below so you can wow your loved ones as well.  It helps if you feed them lentil stew from a bag and pretzel thins with cheese for the previous few meals.

The World's Best Pasta

orzo pasta (as much as you think your family will want)

1 pint small tomatoes, halved

1 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1 small ball fresh mozzarella

4 links chicken sausage (or sausage of your choosing--the kind I used was cooked and just needed heating)

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

salt/pepper

In the same pot you are going to cook the pasta in, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over med heat. Add whole sausage links and brown on all sides. Remove from pan.  Add water and salt, bring to a boil and cook orzo as directed.  While orzo is cooking, slice sausage into rounds.  Drain orzo and set aside.  In the same pot, add another tablespoon or so of olive oil, then add tomatoes, sausage, garlic and saute until tomatoes are just heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a splash or two of balsamic vinegar.  Top with torn basil and cubed mozzarella.

Serve on top of a cooler with white wine in old dried beef containers.