The Simply Luxurious Life®: Dinner in Fifteen  

February 19, 2010

Dinner in Fifteen

Friday has arrived!  Hopefully it finds you reflecting on a productive week and getting giddy about the weekend ahead. I don’t know about you, but more often than not, I am in the mood to stay in, cook a great meal and enjoy some good company.  The only catch is that I want a delicious meal, something that preferably pairs well with a glass of wine.  Come to think of it, what doesn’t pair well with wine?  Oh, I’m sure there’s something.  Back to what to cook.

Last week, I was flipping through the latest issue of House Beautiful magazine, with whom Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) is a contributor, and I came across her recipe Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil (recipe below).  Count me in!  I quickly made a list of what I didn’t already have in the house and dashed to the grocery store. Total time in the kitchen – fifteen minutes.  One tip, splurge on quality Parmesan.  The rest of the ingredients are fairly inexpensive, and it really strengthens the dish.  

It was exactly what I was craving, and the red pepper flakes add just enough heat (feel free to not include them if you are a fan of milder flavors, the dish will still be delicious).  I cannot wait to make this in the summer with fresh off the vine cherry tomatoes, I have a feeling the flavor will be all the more flavorful. 

Oh, and as far as wine to pair it with, I poured a glass of Isenhower Cellars’ Rara Avis Grenache which also has a spicy kick to it to complement the pasta.

Have a wonderful Friday staying in if that is what your plans allow, and if a night on the town is calling your name, keep this recipe in mind for a busy week night go-to meal. Enjoy!
(House Beautiful for both images)


Serves 6
½ cup good olive oil, plus extra for the pasta pot
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
4 pints small cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
18 large basil leaves, julienned
2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ pound dried capellini or angel hair pasta
1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra chopped basil and grated Parmesan for serving

1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add two tablespoons of salt and a splash of oil to the pot.

2 Meanwhile, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, two teaspoons salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for five to seven minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don't break up.

3 While the tomatoes are cooking, add the capellini to the pot of boiling water and cook for two minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.

4 Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the tomatoes and Parmesan, and toss well. Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. Serve large bowls of pasta with extra basil sprinkled on top and a big bowl of extra Parmesan on the side.

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At February 19, 2010 at 6:09 AM , Blogger escapade said...

This looks delicious - and perfect for a casual, weekend dinner.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

At February 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM , Blogger SogniSorrisi said...

Looks good. Happy weekend!

At February 19, 2010 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Couture Carrie said...

Yummy recipe!
Hope you have a fab weekend, too!


At July 23, 2010 at 9:46 AM , Blogger THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Oh I just came across this now on the newsletter. So excited I want to make this tonight. I just got fresh basil & cherry tomatoes from my food share yesterday. Thanks!


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