Dinner in a flash....this is where the quality of your ingredients can make or break the meal. Use the freshest, juiciest tomatoes you can find--heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes would be the best. Only fresh herbs will do. And, sorry but it's just not the same if you use Parmesan cheese that's powdery from a plastic container. Do yourself a favor and use the real stuff.
Also, my recipe is heavy on the "sauce" and light on the pasta--a bit healthier than the traditional recipes. But you can always add more or use non-whole grain pasta--truth be told, I think it tastes a bit better with regular white flour pasta--but hey, can't say I didn't try....
This is an awesome meal for a hot summer night.
2 tomatoes, cored & chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
1/2 package of whole wheat angel hair pasta (8 oz.)
1/2 medium onion
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or as much as your conscience will allow)
In a medium bowl, gently toss the chopped tomatoes with the basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper (and crushed red pepper and/or vinegar, if using). Let the mixture sit and marinate at room temperature so all the flavors can blend.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 9 minutes, or until "al dente"--or cooked to still have a bit of a firm texture. Drain. Reserve a bit of pasta water, if possible.
In a medium pan, saute the onion in the olive oil for a few minutes. Then add the garlic. Continue to saute until lightly browned. Some people like to saute the tomatoes as well, but I think you don't need to if you use really good tomatoes--if you have winter tomatoes, go ahead and saute them.
Add the pasta and Parmesan cheese to the tomato mixture and combine. If mixture seems to dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Taste and season accordingly.
Pasta is best served with a bit more cheese sprinkled on top of each portion.
Makes approximately 4 portions if serving with a salad or vegetable on the side. Otherwise, you can consider it 2 "restaurant" portions.