By now you all know that consistency is NOT my middle name. I offer, not as an excuse, but as a simple explanation for my long absence the fact that I am just about to pop this baby out (of course that means posts will become even more intermittent once I am a fully sleep deprived zombie/mother of two). I have been relying on a combo take-out, mom’s cooking and trader joe’s prepared meals to get by.
Nowadays, when I do find pockets of time when the stars align (I’ve got energy, the grandparents have taken the little one out), I look for recipes that are less involved, requiring fewer dishes to clean. I’ve seen many permutations of the thin-pasta-with-cherry-tomato-based sauce, including some from my favs (Giada’s linguine with shrimp, cherry tomatoes and asparagus or Ina’s summer garden pasta). I try not to be as pour-happy with the olive oil as Ina, and compensate the sparseness of the ingredients with the slow, careful nurturing of the complimenting flavors: garlic and red pepper flakes. Come to think of it, it is really a twist on the italian classic spaghetti con aglio, olio e peperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes).
Whatever it resembles, wherever it came from – it’s good. Try it.
- 1 pound spaghettini (or any other long, thin pasta)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- handful of basil
Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Set aside in a big bowl while reserving some pasta water.
In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil over low heat. Slice the garlic and add to the oil, letting it infuse. Discard when the garlic becomes fragrant, but not brown. Increase the heat to medium and add the cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt to the garlic infused oil. Cook until the tomatoes are just bursting (about 5-7 minutes). Add in the cooked pasta, parmesan and julienned (rolled up like a cigar and sliced thinly) basil all into the skillet. Give it a big toss. Add a ladle or two of the pasta water to help bring everything together.