Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta

Bucatini Pasta with grape tomatoes and dried basil.
I didn't come up with this simple pasta dish--I heard it on TV one morning and the recipe was so basic I remembered it exactly the next time I bought grape tomatoes. Whenever I eat it I swear there is nothing more perfect in life. I have yet to find a restaurant that makes such a delicious tomato basil pasta dish.

I have my own way of making this easy dish and love to share it! The freshness and quality of the simple ingredients really make this dish special. I try to buy fresh pasta from a local farmer's market. While I'm there, I also buy some good looking grape tomatoes, fresh garlic, and basil. You will want a good olive oil as well. It is easy to add other ingredients to this sauce to make it your own. I would suggest trying onions, red pepper flakes, cooked bacon, or a shredded hard, aged cheese. Try adding all if you like! This is a very versatile dish that can be great for lunch or dinner, served as a side or a main course!

1/2 lb. fresh made pasta from your local farmer's market. I also recommend Bucatini/Perciatelli Pasta if you do not have fresh pasta.
1 small package of beautiful shiny red grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 leaves Fresh basil, shredded-- a 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil also works well
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After rinsing your grape tomatoes, set them in a small glass pan in a single layer. Then add your sliced garlic.

2. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the tomatoes and garlic well, adding a little extra as sauce that will coat your pasta. Add the sea salt and black pepper. I'm usually good about low-sodium cooking, but you want to add a generous amount of sea salt to this dish. It really brings out the overall flavor of the sauce. Stir to coat evenly. Then sprinkle the basil on top.

3. Cook for 40 minutes. If you want to make this dish faster, you can certainly cook it for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, but I don't think it's perfect this way ;-). 

4. While your tomatoes and garlic are roasting, boil water for your pasta during the last 20-15 minutes, depending on if you are using fresh or boxed pasta. To serve, spoon the tomato basil and olive oil sauce over your hot pasta. Pair with a sweet Moscato and be in heaven.