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Super fresh summer pasta with show-stopping good looks that are sure to impress!

I found this recipe online the other day from Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa. I am sure you have all heard of Ina, or even watched her cooking shows on the Food Network or the Cooking Channel. I love how she makes the most beautiful dishes and makes it so easy for us to make at home. Sometimes home cooks tend to underestimate themselves and think they can’t make restaurant quality dishes, but the secret is, a lot of dishes are really quite simple! So go for it!

Now, back to the pasta… shouldn’t every sentence that way? This recipe is the ultimate summer pasta recipe. It is bursting with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, and garlic, and here is the bonus… it is a no cook sauce!! HA! I love it! Being from Texas, where it is unbearably hot during the summer months, the last thing I want to do is have my stove on for hours and hours while a sauce simmers away. Ugh, I’m getting hot just thinking about it!! So take my advice and try out this recipe.

I am going to add my own “version” since I made a few tweeks, but the majority of this recipe is based off of Ina’s recipe, so I want to give credit where credit is due. You can find Ina’s recipe here.  I have given this recipe to numerous friends in the past weeks and it is a hit every time.  Try it out on your family and friends now before the beautiful summer tomatoes are gone!

Angel Hair with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

Prep time: 4 hours  Cook time: 10 minutes  Serves: 4

-2 pints of fresh cherry tomatoes  (any time will work! if the colorful heirlooms look good at the farmers market that week, get those!!! Beautiful!)

-1 cup of chopped fresh basil (about 20 leaves), plus more for garnish

-2tbls chopped fresh parsley

-3 garlic cloves

-1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

-2tsp salt

-2tsp black pepper

-1tbls crushed red pepper flakes

-1lb angel hair pasta

-1 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan (go for the good stuff here, and grate it yourself, it is worth it!)

-2tbls unsalted butter

 

***Note that the tomatoes need to marinate for about 4 hours, so make sure you have the time!  This is where all the flavor comes from, and cannot be skipped.

Begin by halving the cherry tomatoes and placing them in a medium sized bowl.

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Chiffanade the basil by stacking the leaves, you may need to do this in bunches, then rolling them lengthwise like a cigar, and then slice thinly.  You will end up with basil confetti! Perfect! Add the basil to the tomatoes.

Finely chop the parsley and add to the tomatoes.

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Finely chop the garlic.  You may also grate the cloves right in if you wish, but be warned that this really intensifies the garlic flavor.  If you aren’t a garlic lover, keep to the fine chop.

Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine.

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Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter top at room temperature for about 4 hours.

After 4 hours have passed, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, where it still has a bite and can absorb the tomato/herb marinade.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid before draining.

Drain the pasta and return to pan with stove off.  Add the butter and toss.

Add the tomato, basil, garlic mixture. Toss to combine.

Add the starchy cooking water.  Toss.

Add parmesan. Toss.

Now it’s ready to serve, just like that!  Make sure to top each serving with additional fresh basil and parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

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