Angel Hair with Tomatoes and Basil

Adapted from Bon Appetit (May 2011)

If you are familiar with the about page, it says that dishes only occasionally resemble pasta and sauce. I would like to request that this dish not be included as one of those occasions. Though it is indeed pasta with a sauce, I would argue this dish is an echelon above and that using fresh tomatoes and basil changes it completely. When I tasted the result, it reminded me of something I’d get at a good Italian restaurant. I serve this more like a side than a main course, so the portions here are on the lighter side. Add a big green salad or a steamed vegetable and you are set.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 oz. sweet campari tomatoes ( about 8 )
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 oz. fresh angel hair
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 8 large basil leaves, torn
  • In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes (whole), garlic, crushed red pepper and salt. Stir occasionally and continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to blister and break down, about 6 minutes. Smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon and cook for another few minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of generously salted water to a rapid boil. Add the angel hair and cook according to package directions for al dente. For the angel hair I used, the cooking time was only one minute, so you may need to work quickly. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the tomato mixture, return it to the burner and turn the heat to high. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved water and toss gently until a sauce begins to form. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the cheese and half of the basil leaves. Toss. If the mixture seems dry, add more of the reserved cooking water.
  • Garnish with the remaining basil leaves and serve.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. This recipe called for Sun Gold tomatoes, which hadn’t yet hit the market when I made this. I will make this again in another few weeks when they are in season. I used sweet campari tomatoes in their place.
  • 2. For a bit of crunch, add toasted breadcrumbs.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


3 responses to “Angel Hair with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil”

  1. Megan says:

    This is delicious! I made it with home grown orange heirloom tomatoes- fabulous! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Alicia says:

      So glad you enjoyed this, Megan! I am intrigued by your home grown tomato success. I’ve just planted my first tomatoes and for anyone that is offering, I’m taking tips for success…

  2. Linda says:

    I tried this recipe this past weekend – delicious! So simple, and so good. I grew basil on my terrace this summer, and I used some in this recipe which made it even better. Thanks for the recipe, and I really enjoy your blog.

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