Summer Garden Pasta

Summer is quickly coming to an end around our house.  The weather is slightly cooler, the anticipation of school is in the air and oh yeah, I’m having a baby this week.  Nothing like adding another little one to your brood to make you realize those long leisurely summer days are over!:)  It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing summer is drawing to an end.

We’ve had a wonderful summer soaking it all in for what it’s worth.  It is of course the shortest season of the year (sadly) and I always have lots of goals to accomplish for our family during the summer months.  One of my personal goals is to entertain more during the summer months.  I discovered this recipe while browsing for recipes online.  It seemed effortless and I loved that it basically “cooked” on its own.  I served this for company twice this summer and it was a hit.  Serve it at your next gathering before the season ends.  By the way, it tastes great with grilled meat or fish.  We had it alongside marinated grilled hanger steak, roasted vegetables, and fruit salad.

Summer Garden Pasta

Recipe Courtesy Of:  Ina Garten

  • 4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving
  • 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

Directions

Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.

I doubled the recipe for this picture thus, the copious amount!

Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package (be careful – it only takes 2 to 3 minutes!). Drain the pasta 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 with extra cheese on each serving.

Note: The first time I made this dish, I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great.  The second time I made this dish, I doubled the recipe for a crowd and the thought of halving 8 pints of cherry tomatoes made my head spin.  So instead, I threw the tomatoes, garlic, basil and oil into my food processor and pulsed it for a few turns.  It made the arduous task of chopping tomatoes much easier and I think it binds the “sauce” together and adheres to the pasta better.

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