Simple & Quick Angel Hair Pasta

Good Monday to you all! Have you been jealously eyeing your friend’s Instagrams of her glorious plates of food from a Italy vacation? Meanwhile, you’re at home doing laundry? Do not fret, you can bring a little Italy to your table tonight with this angel hair pasta recipe. This is a simple meal that makes everyone feel good. It’s pretty kid friendly too, and you’ll only use one pot to cook it all!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Angel hair pasta (fresh if you are feeling fancy, I use boxed most times)

2. Several chopped, fresh tomatoes (*warning tomato tangent* they do not like to be stored in the fridge because the cold damages the membranes. Some of the juiciest store tomatoes are the Campari variety. Don’t be shy about smelling tomatoes before you buy them to choose the tastiest. Look for bright red color and those that slightly yield to the touch. If you do not have fresh tomatoes, use a can of diced tomatoes. No judgement).

3. A tablespoon of tomato paste (groceries now sell tomato paste in a squeeze tube. I’ve been loving this lately because it seems to stay fresher than in a jar, and I wind up with less waste)

4. Two tablespoons of olive oil

5. One or two cloves of minced garlic

6. One handful of fresh, ripped basil  

7. One small hunk of parmesan or pecorino cheese

8. Salt and pepper to taste

 

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Let’s get started.

1. Boil the pasta (put a little salt in the water) according to the directions. Angel Hair takes two to three minutes to be al dente. Before draining, reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Drain and set aside.

2. Using the same pasta pot, put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the pot. Swirl it so it covers the entire pot bottom. Heat the oil gently on low to medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute. Breathe it in!

3. Add chopped tomatoes & tomato water.

4. Add tomato paste, pasta water and the ripped basil (or chiffonade – roll the basil and slice, so it comes out shredded)

5. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Cook for two to three minutes, so all the flavors mingle. Turn off the heat.

7. Put the pasta in a bowl (if it’s sticky you can give it a quick rinse in hot water)

8. Spoon on the tomato yumminess.

9. Grate or sprinkle the cheese on top.

10. You can always drizzle more olive oil on top or add more salt and pepper or more basil.


This can be your entire meal. Or you can serve it up with whatever is green in your refrigerator- a salad or steamed broccoli.

These three things make a difference in this dish –  fresh basil, tasty tomatoes and freshly grated cheese. As for basil, you can buy a live basil plant at the grocery or grow some in a sunny kitchen window. If you don’t have fresh on hand, that’s ok- I just found frozen basil cubes at Traders Joes, you can toss one or two of those, or use prepared basil in oil or even bottled pesto. Remember- you always have options.


Nutritional Facts on Angel Hair Pasta

This comes from a standard box of Angel Hair pasta from Kroger.

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Buon Appetito!


 

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– Kelley Colihan Robertson, E-RYT

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