Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer pasta

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Summer pasta
Delicious way to use cherry tomatoes and basil

It took more than a week to collect enough cherry tomatoes to make a new pasta dish.

My granddaughter kept a close watch on our two plants and picked the bright red tomatoes as soon as they got ripe and added them to the others in the kitchen.

As soon as I had a pint, I decided it was time to make Ina Garten’s summer garden pasta. I had watched her make the dish on “Barefoot Contessa” earlier this summer and really wanted to try it. I was intrigued with how the combined tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and olive oil just sit on the counter for 4 hours to make the sauce for this recipe.

My one pint is only a quarter of what a full recipe calls for, but with the quartered recipe I was able to make plenty for a side dish at lunch a few days this week. It could have also been a main dish for two!

This easy dish has very little hands-on work. The main time-consuming task is cutting the tomatoes in half and cutting the basil leaves. I grated the Parmesan cheese while the tomatoes rested on the counter.

When the four hours is up, just cook the angel hair pasta and mix everything together. It’s really that easy.

This pasta dish is very good. I ate it cold and hot and liked it both ways.

I especially enjoyed the taste of the fresh tomatoes and basil that I grew in my own backyard. If you are growing cherry tomatoes this summer, this is a great way to use them.

I hope to have enough cherry tomatoes to make this pasta again this summer, but I plan to make bruschetta first and probably roasted tomatoes. I sure hope those two plants keep producing!

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Summer Garden Pasta 

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

Good olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)

18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried angel hair pasta

11⁄2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1⁄2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on each serving.

*I omitted the red pepper flakes. I also didn’t add as much salt to the pasta as she suggests. I successfully quartered this recipe because I only had 1 pint of cherry tomatoes.

Ina Garten

“The Barefoot Contessa”

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