Monday, June 23, 2008

Recipe: Peasant Pasta

One of my most favorite summer recipes - especially once the tomatoes come on - is this wonderfully simple Italian dish. Tom's sister Jennifer served her mission in Italy, and came home with an amazing assortment of yummy dishes that I haven't tried very hard to learn to make. So instead we just use her as slave labor in the kitchen when she comes to visit, and watch while she does it.

Yo Jennifer! You should post some of these recipes on your blog and then I could just copy and/or link to your blog. That would save me a lot of effort and also ensure that I get it right.

But THIS dish, I know how to make, thanks to Jen's capable tutelage.


6-8 medium tomatoes (or more, if you really really like tomatoes)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the dark green stuff)
1-2 cloves of Garlic
Basil leaves, dried or fresh chopped
1 pound angel hair pasta

This recipe makes a LOT of pasta. The first time or so, until you're confident with it, I'd suggest cutting the quantities in half.

In a very large bowl, combine diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and basil. Add enough basil so that it looks pretty. How's that for exact instructions!! It is possible to add too much basil, but I've never done it. Let your heart be your guide. It will look like this:

Set bowl aside and let the flavors flow together for at least 10 minutes. The longer the better.

I must warn you that the garlic flavor will intensify over time, especially the day after you make it. So unless you really love a lot of garlic, you may want to add just one glove the first time, until you know what works best for you.

Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 Tbsp of salt. This is very important. If you don't add salt to the water, your pasta will taste bland and just wrong. Cook angel hair according to package directions... usually 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook.

Drain, then pour hot pasta over the tomato mixture. Using a pasta scooper-claw thingy, toss the pasta to mix the oil and tomatoes throughout. Add more oil if it seems dry. Gravity being what it is, most of the oily slippery slidey tomatoes will tend to want to hang out at the bottom. You'll have to go hunting for them when serving to plates.

Now I know it doesn't look fancy. But it isn't supposed to be fancy. It's Peasant Pasta after all!

This dish can be eaten warm or cold, but I prefer it warm. It is easily made ahead, and is one of those dishes that actually tastes better the second day. So make it up today, and feel the love, baby!


  1. That looks so good! I am making it today. Hopefully it will turn out better than my stroganoff. I just want to know if that is the technical name,'pasta scooper-claw thingy'?

  2. Yes that is the official name! I only use official, approved titles and labels on this site!

    Do you want that I should blog the stroganoff? Or I can come over and show you how to make it. The night that scottlynn was over it was partciularly good... I'm not sure I can repeat that performance twice in a row!

  3. Please blog about the stroganof. Unless you want to take a trip to Vegas. :)
    Also great directions and I am gladd to have a little bit better recipe to follow.

  4. Also I think the pioneer woman would be proud of this post. :)

  5. Yes I am a bit embarrassed to be such an obvious copycat. But pictures really do help, I think.

    I don't think PW would be proud until I hit the 100+ comment mark. :P

  6. 99 bowls of pasta on the table, 99 bowls of pasta...

    Sing along everyone! Help Lisa's comment count :D

  7. Lol! But seriosly I do think that this stuff is flipping delicious! Its my favorite!

  8. O yeah that is for sure. It goes away too fast though maybe I need my own bowl next time. My own big bowl I mean.

  9. Ok, so I made this for dinner last night and it was INCREDIBLE!!! We are definitely having it for our family reunion next week. It will feed a ton for practically nothing and it is very yummy!!! :) THANKS!!!