This has to be one of my favorite Italian pasta dishes. “Pasta al Pomodoro” literally translates to “Pasta with tomato” in Italian. It’s light, fresh and completely uncomplicated. If you’re looking for a 10 minute dinner to make your taste buds scream, you might enjoy this. The key is to use fresh ingredients. When I say that, I mean:
• Fresh tomatoes, not canned
• Freshly cut basil from whole leaf basil, not dried
• High quality olive oil
• Fresh pasta as opposed to dried (if you can)
• Freshly grated or high-quality Parmesan Cheese
If all else fails, obviously use the boxed or bagged pasta if that’s all you have access to. I know that not everyone has the time or patience to make their own pasta noodles. However, if your local grocer carries it, there is a brand of fresh pasta that is sold nationwide in the refrigerator section called “Buitoni”. It is around the same price as the dried pasta, but it tastes SO MUCH better and cooks in less time. Fresh pasta actually cooks in under 60 seconds so if you’re looking to shave off 15 minutes from your cooking time, definitely check it out. Nothing beats fresh pasta.
The packaging looks like this:
But anyway, onward and forward to some kick ass pasta!
Here is the recipe for Pasta al Pomodoro. The photo shows Spaghetti noodles, but I often make it with Angel Hair as well. It’s also a great foundation dish you want to add grilled shrimp or chicken. MMMM MMMMM MMMMMMMMMMM! If I wasn’t hungry before, I am now!
2 packages of Buitoni pasta (This is slightly more than 4 servings but I account for second helpings)
1/3 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomatoes, diced (plum tomatos are the best)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1.5 cups chopped fresh basil
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil and add garlic; cook until garlic is tender. Add tomatoes and pepper and heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer hot, cooked pasta to large bowl. Toss pasta gently with tomato mixture, the fresh chopped basil, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and pass remaining Parmesan.