Last weekend was a hot one and the Husband and I decided we would take most of our meals outdoors. Most of our meals consisted of sandwiches and champagne cocktails, but I did manage to bust out a quick, relatively light pasta dish courtesy of Barefoot Contessa (who I have a secret crush on even though she cooks with a lot of oil and butter. Or maybe I’m just jealous I can’t cook with the same abandon). Anyways, I didn’t have cherry tomatoes or capellini so I adjusted the recipe a bit and the result was a smashing success. We wined and dined and then spread out on the couch and watched the third Twilight movie on demand. Ladies, they can’t deny your movie choice if you feed them. This goes for men too. How do you think the Husband got me to watch Jackass 3.
½ cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
4 pints small cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes (or regular old tomatoes)
18 large basil leaves, julienned
2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (I used dry thyme)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ pound dried capellini or angel hair pasta (I used Trader Joe’s garlic basil linguini)
1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra chopped basil and grated Parmesan for serving
Boil large pot of water and add two tablespoons of salt and a splash of oil. Meanwhile, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, two teaspoons salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for five to seven minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don’t break up. While the tomatoes are cooking, add the capellini to the pot of boiling water and cook for two minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the tomatoes and Parmesan, and toss well. Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. Serve large bowls of pasta with extra basil sprinkled on top.