August 16, 2013 by Sarah
This is what I imagine pasta in Italy tastes like. I’ve never been there (we had planned a trip for this spring, but it didn’t happen for this little reason), but I’ve heard that the food involves just a few ingredients and is incredibly flavorful. This pasta is just that. It’s really just pasta, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and parmesan. The first time I made it, my husband and I couldn’t get over how delicious it was. I almost had to pause after every bite, I was in heaven!
This also just happens to be the ultimate summer dish. We have tomatoes just rolling out of our garden lately, just about a pint a day! I’ve been looking for ways to use large quantities of them. We also just happen to have all the herbs needed in this dish right in our backyard, quite convenient.
The recipe that I’ve been working off of is from one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten. I’ve been using it as a starting point and then tweaking it depending on what I have. Below is the most recent way that I made it. I have high hopes to make this pasta several more times before summer is over. You gotta try it.
Capellini with Tomatoes + Basil, adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 pints cherry tomatoes
large handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
a few pinches of fresh, chopped thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1lb capellini or angel hair pasta
1 cup parmesan cheese
The capellini cooks in just a few minutes, so you’ll want to time it well. Start by heating a large pot of water and when it boils and the time is right, salt the water and throw in the pasta. Cook according to the package instructions.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for just 30 seconds. Then add the tomatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Stir it here and there, it’s ready when the tomatoes start to soften.
When the pasta is ready, reserve some of the water and place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the tomato mixture and parmesan on top and toss together well. You can add the pasta water to add more moisture if needed. Garnish with more fresh basil leaves and parmesan if desired.