Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tomato Summer Pasta

You know, I swear this looked 20x better
 on my phone then it does here.  Can someone
PLEASE teach me how to take pictures??

My daughter and I have a ritual whenever the man of the house is gone for the evening.  We like to come home, watch a couple episodes of My Little Pony, and eat her favorite pasta.  You see, my friends, my daughter thinks that I am a culinary genius.  She has no idea that her favorite pasta recipe is the easiest thing in my repertoire (in case you are wondering, I had to look up the spelling of that word.  Perhaps I should have paid more attention in school...)

I feel silly posting this as a recipe, but hey, I should probably have something original on my blog, no?  It is so simple and is best with the freshest ingredients you can find.  Use this recipe as a rough guide - add more tomatoes, more basil, less pasta, more cheese, different spices - switch it up.  Just make it.  You won't be disappointed (and someone may think you are a genius too!)

Tomato Summer Pasta
(Serves 2)
4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti (we prefer thin spaghetti)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes
Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, green onions, etc.)
2 garlic cloves or 1 heaping tsp. of minced garlic

Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. 

While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a skillet and warm it up on medium heat. 

Next, go ahead and cut up those tomatoes.  If you are using cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half.  If you are using large tomatoes, cut them horizontally into large circles, then dice up into 1" pieces.  You want to keep big chunks of tomato here.  Ya hear me?  No bitty pieces!!

Grab a handful of herbs - whatever you like best.  We usually go for a ton of basil and then some other additions - tonight was parsley, chives and green onion.  Yes, I know it's two different items from the onion family, but go with me on this one.  Chop up the herbs roughly - no need for fanciness here.  I'm sure thyme, rosemary or oregano would be fabulous in this as well.

If you are using fresh garlic cloves, mince them up.  Otherwise, go ahead and do the hard work of opening up that jar and putting a little spoon in it to get garlic.  Go ahead, we'll wait.

When the pasta is almost ready (about 1 minute to go), place the minced garlic in the pan and let it brown for about 30 seconds - you don't want it to get black and bitter, just warmed up to release the wonderful flavor.  Take a ladle and add about 1/4 cup of the pasta liquid into the pan (yup, straight from the pot boiling right next to you).  Once it starts to boil (this will happen within a few seconds), go ahead and add the cut tomatoes to the skillet. 

Right about now your timer will be going off, so drain the pasta and then add into the skillet.  Stir it around a bit and then add the chopped herbs.  Let it sit for about 30 seconds, just to get all those flavors to marry and have cute little flavor babies. 

Dish it up and serve with your favorite cheese.  (Parmesan?  Yes!  Mozzarella?  Of course!  Cheddar?  What?  Yup, my kid is nuts.  I blame my midwestern roots.)  And, if you are lucky, you get to drink water instead of milk with dinner, because your mama said it was okay tonight.

(Okay, you can watch My Little Pony while you eat it.  I won't judge.)

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