Monday, September 15, 2014

The Best Summer Pasta You Have Ever Had

While the calendar may read mid-September, the weather here in Southern California has been as hot as ever. It is rather hard to start burning pumpkin scented candles and dreaming of a nostalgic autumn experience when it is literally 100 degrees outside and flip flops and opened toed heels are still the shoe of choice. That being said, I have absolutely no reservations whatsoever about posting this phenomenally fresh recipe of what my family has affectionately referred to as "Summer Pasta" for the past thirteen years.

 My parents and I originally tried this dish years ago at a dinner hosted by very sweet family friend of ours. We have gone on to tweak the recipe a bit and make this deliciously easy pasta dish for years since. It is a household favorite and is incredibly easy to whip up on a hot evening when you want to eat something light, yet satisfying without having to turn on a hot oven.

My absolute favorite part about preparing this meal is that there are no official measurements for it. It is simply prepared by eying the amount of ingredients you wish to use based on the type of flavor you are looking for. I have never been one who likes to follow recipes when I cook. I love to get creative, mix lots of different ingredients together, and simply taste test as I go along when I am cooking; therefore, in my mind, it does not get better or easier than this recipe. The size of the dish can also easily be adjusted based on the amount of the people you are planning to serve. Only looking to serve dinner for two? Simply cut the amount of ingredients listed below in half.

Enjoy this delectible pasta with just six simple ingredents:

1 box of traditional angel hair pasta (gluten free angel hair can also be used)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium sized pack fresh cherry tomatoes (organic)
Handful of fresh basil (organic)
Approximately one tablespoon of fresh minced garlic (preferably organic)
Feta cheese


After washing your cherry tomatoes, slice each tomato into quarters.

 Place your sliced tomatoes in a medium sized ceramic bowl and fill it up about half way with olive oil. Grab a handful of fresh basil and wash and dry completely.

Slice up the basil and mix it into your tomato and olive oil sauce. Add about a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic to the tomatoes and olive oil (you can mince your own, but I think buying a jar of freshly minced garlic is much easier and less time consuming--plus you avoid having garlic hands for the next two days!). Feel free to add additional amounts of garlic based on your taste preference.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let the sauce sit out on the counter and marinate for as long as possible (2-3 hours if possible to get the richest flavor). You can always prepare the sauce earlier in the day and let it marinate for the afternoon to get an extra rich flavor (this also makes this dish fabulously easy for hosting company). While it is not absolutely mandatory to prepare the sauce hours in advance, it does provide the best flavor.

Cook your choice of angel hair pasta in boiling water for just a few minutes until it is slightly al dente. Drain and allow the pasta to cool for a few minutes. Pour the pasta into an extra large ceramic serviing bowl. Pour the olive oil sauce over the angel hair and toss well. Sprinkle a generous amount of feta cheese and continue to toss. Garnish with some extra feta crumbled on top and serve. Add any additional salt and pepper to taste.

This pasta pairs exceptionally well with a slightly dry white wine, such as a chardonnay or pinot grigio. I chose to pair mine with a 2012 Sterling Chardonney and it really hit the spot.

You can enjoy this pasta the next day either reheated or served cold as a pasta salad.

Bon appetite! 

How about you? Do you have a go-to dish that you love to make when it is scorching hot outside? Would love to hear from you.

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