Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fresh Tomato Bow Tie Pasta - Ungirdled Recipe Of The Week!

This recipe is an easy, quick throw-it-together thing (meaning SUPER UNGIRDLED) you can tinker with to your liking.  We make it all the time and everyone always wants the recipe, even though there really isn’t one, but here is how it’s thrown together:

  1 lb. box of bow tie pasta

  10 teaspoons (or 3.5 TBS) of chicken bouillon

  1 pint or more of grape tomatoes or an equal amount of whatever variety of fresh tomatoes you have on hand (more is better if you have it.  I always like using grape tomatoes.  They’re easy and the flavor is always nice and sweet.)*

  8 ounce block of feta cheese, crumbled (I like to get a big ol’ tub of it from the wholesale club)

  Extra virgin olive oil

  5-6 cloves fresh garlic minced*

  Handful of fresh basil*

  Shredded parmesan

  Red pepper flakes

Bring 10 cups water and 10 teaspoons of chicken bouillon to a rapid boil.  Add the bow ties and cook per package directions (about 11-12 minutes).  Meanwhile, pour about two tablespoons olive oil in a bowl and add half the garlic to it.  Cut grape tomatoes in half (or cut whatever type of tomatoes you’re using in small chunks – if you have large tomatoes, you’ll want to seed them) and add to the bowl.  Cut basil leaves into thin ribbons over tomatoes.  Toss all together.  Just before the pasta is to be drained, reserve about 2/3 cup of the pasta water and set aside.  Drain pasta, pour about two tablespoons of olive oil in the warm pan and place it back on the burner you’ve turned to low.  Toss the rest of the garlic in the pot, stir and cook for about a minute.  Pour in pasta water (this starchy water makes the pasta creamy) and a handful of the crumbled feta and stir.  Add the pasta and turn to coat.  Add the tomato mixture and the remaining feta and gently toss.  Serve immediately with parmesan cheese and red pepper on the side. 

We serve this with flank steak (see last Tuesday’s post), salad and crusty bread for a really Ungirdled, yummy, casual dinner party.  Enjoy!

* I like to save slicing tomatoes, mincing garlic and cutting basil for my guests to do.  I want them to feel at home, and more importantly, this frees my hands for drinking.  If you don’t grow your own basil in the summer, you really should.  It’s easy and grows like a weed and saves you lots of money.  Just pinch off the tops of your basil plants as they start to flower and water frequently, and you should have basil all summer long!

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