This is an all-star of a recipe and one of my absolute favorites, especially in the summer months. It highlights the best of the summer garden- fresh cherry tomatoes & fragrant basil.
It’s a dish that has the ability to transport me to somewhere in Italy in the summertime. (Where? I don’t know- but it’s my daydream- feel free to share in my imaginary trip!) It’s fresh, vibrant and surprisingly light. Serve with a glass of crisp, white wine and you too, will be transported to land of delicious simplicity.
I use homemade spaghetti which is very thin and light, but if you aren’t up for making your own pasta dough, just use angel hair or capellini.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes halved
- Good olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic 6 cloves
- 18 large basil leaves julienned, plus extra for serving
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta capellini, or fresh spaghetti
- 1 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
- Combine the cherry tomatoes, ½ 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 2 tablespoons salt to a boil.
- Heat the the tomato mixture in a large (12-inch) saute pan and cook on medium-low and cook for about 3 minutes minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don’t break up. You just want to heat through.
- Time this with when you add your pasta to the boiling water which also only takes 2-3 minutes according to package instructions. Drain the pasta well (I prefer to pull with tongs rather than dump into a colander, reserving the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve with extra cheese on each serving.
*If the pasta is dry, add a dash of pasta water to loosen up and make more of a sauce. You can also add a dash of more of olive oil if necessary. (Every pasta is a different. You need to use a little judgement.)