I’ll start with this one, a dinner staple around here. It’s quick and tasty. Add a simple salad and a loaf of Italian bread for a great, easy dinner.
Get all this stuff together:
- A pound of linguine. Ronzoni is a habit and easy to keep on hand, although I do use fresh when I think of it.
- A handful of plum tomatoes, or any other tomatoes that look ripe and juicy.
- The better part of a head of garlic.
- Fresh basil. Yes, fresh. Dried just isn’t the same.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red Bell Pepper
- Coarse Sea Salt. I just like this stuff but for this any old salt will do.
- Crushed Red Pepper
Put a large pot of water on to boil. I love this All Clad pot with the pasta insert.
Pour just enough olive oil into a large saute pan to generously cover the bottom of the pan but don’t turn it on yet. (Another plug for All Clad
On to the produce…
I collect produce stickers on the front of the fridge. They’re taking over.
I’ve tried a bunch of different garlic presses but I always go back to my knife and cutting board. Using the blade of a wide chef’s knife, crush the cloves.
The peel should slip off easily.
Cut tomatoes into quarters.
Cut the red pepper in half, stem to bottom. Remove seeds and the
white stuff then slice into strips.
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat for a minute or two or three.
Just until you can smell the fragrance. If it starts to smoke, it’s way too hot!
Add the garlic and start stirring immediately. Don’t let it turn brown! Take it off the heat for a minute or two if necessary.
Stir in tomatoes and peppers. Add crushed red pepper (I like a lot!) and salt.
Stir well and reduce heat to low.
Surely the water is boiling by now. Add linguine, stirring so it all sinks. Cook until it’s not quite as soft as you like it. I like it a little firm, or al dente.
Now, if you haven’t already done so, pour yourself a glass of wine IMMEDIATELY!
Meanwhile, crush the tomatoes a bit with the back of the spoon.
Turn off the heat. Tear basil leaves over the tomatoes. Tearing is just a lot faster and easier than snipping for this kind of thing.
By now, the pasta is probably done. Drain it well, then dump it
into the saute pan, along with the tomato mixture. Turn the heat back on to
medium-low and stir for a few minutes, just until it’s all mixed well.
Dump the whole thing into a big serving bowl and take it to the table!
Don’t forget the cheese! This just isn’t the same without good, fresh Parmesan or Asiago. That stuff that comes in a green can is NOT cheese!