Friday, July 25, 2014

Capellini with tomatoes and basil

capellini with tomatoes and basil, sauteed chicken
One of summer's best features is the produce. Summer produces the freshest ingredients that make the tastiest, simple-to-create dishes. Like capellini with tomatoes and basil. I love the delicately thin noodle paired with the intensely flavorful olive oil sauce - full of garlic, sweet ripened pearl tomatoes, and freshly picked, aromatic basil. It is my tried-and-true pasta of choice when dining at an Italian restaurant. My favorite potluck item when a lovely friend makes it for our Tuesday community group dinners. I realized last week that all these simple ingredients are ones we habitually have stocked up in the kitchen. So I whipped up capellini with tomatoes and basil with a side of sauteed chicken for dinner. Alex and I agreed it was so good that I made it two weeks in a row. The freshness of the ingredients is nonnegotiable: just ripened tomatoes, just plucked basil, fresh garlic, good extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. I would love it even more if I could more readily find whole wheat angel hair or capellini. Nevertheless, such a perfect (and colorful!) summer dinner that tastes light but is quite filling. I eat so many portions of this that it might be regarded unhealthy. I could say it's because I'm a breastfeeding mama who is hungry all the time, but who am I kidding? This just might make it on the weekly meal plan for the third week in a row now that I've written this.capellini with tomatoes and basil, sauteed chicken
Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil (adapted from here)
Ingredients:
1 lb angel hair or capellini pasta
3/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb mini pearl grape tomatoes, halved
2 oz fresh basil leaves, julienned
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra julienned basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:
1. Boil a large pot of water. Add angel hair or capellini and cook for 2 minutes, or until al dente so that it is still firm to the bite. Watch your pasta carefully as it cooks so it doesn't get soggy. Drain the pasta, and shock with cold water. Reserve some of the pasta water.
2. In a large saute pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until slightly browned. Add tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally until tomatoes are softened.
3. Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Add sauce and Parmesan. Toss well. Add some pasta water if pasta seems too dry. Top with fresh basil and Parmesan. Serve immediately.

3 comments:

  1. I'm not a huge pasta fan, but my husband is, so I think I'll make this for him this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nothing beats the flavorful taste of fresh ingredients. That looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This recipe looks so good. Definitely a summer must-try recipe. I totally agree with you on how summer produces taste best.

    ReplyDelete

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