Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pasta Pomodoro

Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.  I love tomatoes, and so does my family.  I remember a time when my son was spending the afternoon at a friend's house and they were all working in the garden.  She said that he just picked the biggest beefsteak tomato and sat in the dirt eating it like an apple.  My daughter has been known to finish off an entire plant of cherry tomatoes in one sitting.  We love tomatoes.  We could be the pomodoro family.  (Maybe not, that sounds a little mob-ish.)

We also love all the fresh herbs that are starting to sprout this time of year.  So we went light and fresh for lunch today, and it was a big hit with all the daycare kids and my hubby.  They ate a mountain of it! This is a very quick recipe to make.  It took longer to bring the water up to a boil than to cook the whole meal.  We served ours with garlic bread (made by the girls), pears and carrots with dip.  It was a good lunch!

Keep in mind that this is one of those recipes where fresh ingredients are required--no canned tomatoes or dried herbs.  You could substitute other fresh tomatoes of your choice.   If you don't have fresh basil, try buying the Gourmet Garden herbs.  They are fresh chopped and in a little tube, usually found near the fresh herbs or with the organics.  You just squeeze out what you want and you don't need to worry about fresh herbs wilting and going to waste.  Most importantly, be careful not to overcook your tomatoes and basil in this recipe.  Keep it fresh and bright.  (Some restaurants actually serve the pomodoro sauce cold.  Your choice.)

I attempted to measure and write down how I cooked this.  But my cooking method is to just use what I have.  So I used some cherry tomatoes in with the Romas, and I used precisely "the rest" of my fresh basil. I think I would have added a touch more if I could.  I used about 1/2 t. of crushed red pepper since I was cooking for kids.  I would have added more for the family if this was a dinner meal.  So use seasoning to your taste. Feel free to use this recipe as a guide and make it your own. 


1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat angel hair pasta (or spaghetti or other pasta)
2-3 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 T. white cooking wine (you could use balsamic vinegar is you like)
1 (10.75 ounce) can low-sodium No-Chicken broth or vegetable
½ - 1 t. crushed red pepper (to taste)
½ - 1 t. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
3 T. chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook about 1 minute less than directions call for, and drain. Keep in mind that it will cook a little more in the warm sauce.  If you keep your sauce cold, then cook your pasta to al dente according to the package directions.

Pour olive oil in a large deep skillet over high-heat. Saute garlic until soft.  Add in white wine and broth and cook about 4 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, red pepper, black pepper, basil and cooked pasta, tossing thoroughly with sauce. Simmer for 1-2 more minutes.  You only want to heat the tomatoes and basil through, but you don’t want them to cook and wilt.

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