5.04.2011

summer garden pasta.

This recipe is one of our favorite pasta dishes, and it might have been one of the first Barefoot Contessa recipes I ever made. So, while it's not exactly a new weekend recipe, it is new to this blog. And, while it's not exactly summer yet, it sure feels like it in Southern California.
While we got our clean on on the year's most beautiful Saturday to date, we let some grape tomatoes and basil hang out in a bowl of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes all afternoon. As you can imagine - the longer it sits, the better it gets, and it was a perfect way to wind down a long day, because in about 20 minutes, we had this beautiful bowl of pasta to inhale.
We've enjoyed this pasta so many times that we've varied it slightly, depending on what we have on hand. In Saturday's case, it was Spaghetti (not Angel Hair, which I prefer in this dish), grape tomatoes (and not cherry) and we added some shrimp, which are a great, light addition if you're craving some protein.

Here's The BC's original recipe with a couple of notes. Halving it makes plenty for two. Enjoy.

The Barefoot Contessa's Summer Garden Pasta
From The Barefoot Contessa At Home, page 121

4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus a few extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a large bowl (note: this will be the bowl that you dump the pasta into, so make it big (and pretty, if you're serving family style)). Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Just before you're ready to serve, cook the pasta al dente, according to the instructions. Drain 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, topped with some fresh basil and parm on each serving.

If you'd like to throw in some shrimp, here's what I do after thawing (if frozen), cleaning and deveining:

Season shrimp with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a tablespoon (or two, depending on number of shrimp) of olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp are pink.

Remove shrimp from pan and toss into bowl of tomatoes and basil (which I usually do before adding the cooked pasta to give the warm shrimp a chance to mix and mingle with the bowl of goodness).

PS: While I'm a big fan of all The BC cookbooks, her At Home is probably my favorite. I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I made this last night and it was amazing! I followed your suggestion and added the shrimp. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!