Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fresh Tomatoes over Pasta

I accidentally made this up when my sister D visited me in SF back in the 80's.  We bought fresh pasta and topped it with fresh tomatoes and herbs cooked in hot olive oil.  I made it a few years ago and haven't stopped.  My son and I eat this every time my husband is out of town, not that my husband doesn't like it but we both love it!!  It is super fast and I will never grow tired of these flavors.  I can easily eat this every week!  It's a perfect dinner when you have about 20 minutes to get it on the table.  It can be the entree or a side dish.
These quantities made 3 portions.  First, get the water on the stove.  Fill an 8 quart pot with 6 quarts of water and heat over medium heat, with the lid on.  Next, get the prep done.  When everything is laid out you actually look (and feel) like a chef.  Quarter, 10 perfectly ripe Cherry Tomatoes and place in a bowl.  Place 2 Cloves of Garlic in your garlic press.  You need a few Tbl of Fresh Herbs and you can substitute dry, but take note that dried herbs have a more intense flavor.  This time, I used 1 Tbl Fresh Parsley and 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano and 1/4 tsp Dried Basil.  Place on the counter, Bottle of good Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Pepper Flakes, Kosher Salt and Pepper Mill.
Once water is boiling, remove lid, turn heat to high and add 1 Tbl Kosher Salt.  Measure out Angel Hair Pasta add it to the pot.  Cook uncovered.  I have a gadget that has holes and each diameter represents the portion size.  So I used the 2nd hole (1 1/4" round) and then added a bit extra.  It may be approximately 1/4 pound per person.
Heat an empty saucepan over medium heat.
When hot, add 1/2 Cup Olive Oil.  Once hot, add Tomatoes.  They should sizzle.  Stir for about 1 minute.  Press Garlic straight into the pot.  Add 1 1/2 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar and swirl for about 30 seconds.  Add Herbs, 4 or 5 pinches of Salt, 4-5 grinds of pepper, 1 shake of Red Pepper Flakes and swirl.  Turn off heat.  Add 1 Tbl Butter without doing anything.
Drain pasta and plate.  Swirl Butter into the sauce and ladle over hot pasta.  Top with Parmesan Cheese. Indulge immediately with a salad and warm bread.

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