This 20 Minute Cherry Tomato and Basil Angel Hair Pasta comes together in a jiffy, and will satisfy the whole family, even the kids!
Once the end of summer come around, I’m immediately drawn to a simpler way of cooking – lighter, healthier meals, fresh ingredients, less ingredients, and just an all around relaxed attitude. I don’t like anything too fussy or involved, and this 20 Minute Cherry Tomato and Basil Angel Hair pasta is the perfect example of what you might find on our dinner table this month.
Cooking Class in Italy
I’ve made a variation of this sauce for years – ever since I studied abroad in Italy. On the back end of my trip, my family came over, and my Mom and I took a cooking class for four days on the Amalfi coast in a little town called Positano. We learned the basics of Italian cooking – how to make the best margarita pizza with only the freshest ingredients, how to make pasta dough with our bare hands, and how to make a killer tomato sauce using only cherry tomatoes, olive oil and garlic.
I can still remember closing my eyes while I ate, and wondering if I’d ever taste something as delicious as that sauce back at home – or if I’d even come close to being able replicate it myself.
Less Than 30 Minute Dinner Recipe
Since then, I’ve made a bazillion different variations, all equally as delicious as they were in Italy. I’ve used it as a topping on fish or grilled chicken, slathered it on garlic-rubbed crostinis and tossed it with scrambled eggs, but I think today’s version may be my favorite adaptation yet. Not only because it’s simple and delicious, but because the cooking time from start to finish is less than 30 minutes – pure gold in my book.
20 Minute Cherry Tomato and Basil Angel Hair Pasta
The sauce starts with a small army of thinly sliced garlic that take a bath in hot, but not screaming hot olive oil. Two pounds of cherry (or grape) tomatoes are then thrown in, the heat is cranked up, and you just watch as the hot oil works it’s magic on the tomatoes, making them blister and explode as they cook.
Simple Tomato Sauce
I like to help the process along a little bit by adding a ladle full of starchy pasta water and a good amount of kosher salt. The sauce simmers for a few minutes, and then slightly undercooked angel hair is tossed with the burst tomatoes. Since the pasta is just slightly underdone, it finishes cooking in the sauce, infusing SO much flavor into each strand of pasta.
Once everything is melded together, I toss in a good handful of parmesan cheese, about a cup of fresh basil and more pasta water if need be.
Simple. Fresh. And seriously delicious.
What is the Difference Between Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
I used to think that small red tomatoes were all cherry tomatoes. I didn’t really take the time to notice that some were more oval and that they tasted slightly different. But they are different and I’m a grape tomato fan.
If you don’t like one tomato you may like the other, so let’s take a look at what is the difference between cherry and grape tomatoes.
Grape tomatoes are oblong and shaped like, well like grapes. They’re about half the size of cherry tomatoes, with thicker skins. Grape tomatoes aren’t as sweet as cherry tomatoes, but they still have that great tomato flavor, and their flesh is meatier and less watery.
We especially like that they are less watery as it’s more about the flavor than all of those clear juices running out.
20 minute cherry tomato and basil angel hair pasta
Angel Hair Pasta
Angel hair pasta is a little different than your typical pasta as it’s very thin and happens to be our preferred pasta. We like how light the pasta is and it allows whatever ingredients you add to it to really shine versus a heavier spaghetti.
How Much Spaghetti Noodles Per Person
The general rule is 2 ounces per person, so if you have the package and it’s usually 16 ounces a package then you can half it, split that into quarters and you’ve got 2 ounces but if you’re like me and end up with pasta in containers it can be tricky.
I grew up learning the finger method for measuring pasta which I think works pretty well. You can watch how to measure dry pasta with this video.
20 Minute Cherry Tomato and Basil Angel Hair Pasta
- 1/2 pound angel hair
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 cup loosely packed basil, roughly chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Add in a good handful of salt. Add pasta. Cook aldente or until pasta is slightly undercooked.
- Using tongs remove pasta from water into a colander. Reserve cooking liquid.
- While pasta is cooking, add garlic and olive oil to a very large skillet.
- Turn the heat on medium and cook until garlic becomes soft, about two minutes.
- Turn the heat to a medium-high and add tomatoes and salt. Cook two minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of starchy cooking liquid leftover from pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer for five minutes — the tomatoes should be starting to burst. If they haven’t gently push on them using the back of a wooden spoon. You only want about half to burst.
- Add pasta, cook another two minutes.
- Turn the heat off, add basil and parmesan cheese.
- Toss to coat.
- If needed add more starchy pasta water.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 349 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 721mg Carbohydrates: 57g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 30g Protein: 10g
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