Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe from Mario Batali is from the afore mentioned Bon Appetit article Pasta Perfect, and I have to say it was slightly disappointing. It wasn't terrible, but it also didn't blow me out of the water like Mark Ladner's Cacio e Pepe recipe did (my roommates confirmed this opinion). The tomatoes took over the dish and overwhelmed the pasta with an acidic taste that was just a little too much. However, if you really love tomatoes perhaps you'd still enjoy it. Also, if anyone would like to alter the recipe to make the sauce less overwhelming, please feel free to send me a new recipe to try!

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 oz spaghetti
3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan
8 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, season with salt and cook, covered slightly and swirling pan often, until tomatoes blister and burst. Press down on tomatoes to release their juices. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil and season with 3 Tbsp salt. Cook for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package, and reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water when draining.

Transfer pasta to saute pan with tomatoes and set over high heat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and cook, stirring and tossing often, until the sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta. Stir in remaining oil, cheese, and half the basil and toss until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry). Add remaining basil, and season with salt.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to making Parisian Macarons! I've also been soaking dandelions my friend Cody and I picked from the yard in preparation for starting up a batch of dandelion wine on Monday. The flowers need to soak for 2 days before you begin, so if you'd like to make a batch with me get pickin'! I'm going to be trying out a few variations of the recipe this year. Last year I felt the finished dandelion wine was a little too sweet for my taste, so I'm going to fiddle with it a little and see how some of the variations turn out. The entire process will take 7 months, between fermentation, racking, and aging, so it will be a while before we know how they turn out. It is definitely worth it though, the recipe makes a large amount of wine and it's very cheap and easy to make.

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