Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Farfalle with Tomatoes and Basil

This one is sooo much tastier and healthier than mac-n-cheese but takes hardly any extra time or effort. I promise, you can even ask Anne. Sometimes we make it with chicken and sometimes without. Anne says she like it just as well without--I think I agree.
The amounts I have here are for four adult servings:
Cook 1/2 lb. of farfalle (bowties) according to the package instructions. Make sure you generously salt the water. If the package says "10-12 minutes" cook them for 10. By the time everything's finished, they'll be perfect.
While the pasta is cooking,
in a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan,
then add:
1/2 onion--chopped finely
once the onion is soft and translucent, add
6 roma tomatoes, diced (I almost always cook with romas becasue they're easy to cut and usually the cheapest)
Cook the onions and tomatoes on medium-high heat until the tomato pieces have turned into sauce. You want to cook out a lot of the water.
Your pasta probably needs to be drained sometime in here, but scoop out a mug full of the pasta water before you drain it. I'll explain later.
Add about 1 tsp. of salt (make sure to taste it because seasoning is personal), 2 tsp. of sugar, some black pepper, and some red pepper flakes if you like a little spice.
Dump the pasta into the sauce and stir in 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 8-10 chopped basil leaves, and 1 chopped, grilled chicken breast or leftover chopped up chicken (if you want it).
Now is when you use the reserved pasta water to control the texture. I'm sure that sometimes you've cooked, or been served pasta that is dry and stuck together and just not perfect. Well, you can avoid that with the addition of a little pasta water. It works best becasue it's salted so it won't dilute the sauce, it's hot, so it won't make the dish cold, and it has some starch that the pasta abandoned during cooking so it won't make the sauce too thin.
Add a little water and stir it in until the pasta is covered in perfectly textured, shiny sauce.
Do it again when you come back for a second serving and the pasta looks all dried out.
Also, whenever you're reheating pasta, add a little water before putting it into the microwave.


Anne said...

I'm obsessed with this dish! I am here to testify that even I have mastered it--it's that easy! Taylor created this little number last summer when we had fresh garden tomatoes and basil--yummo! I also would like to add that it's worth it to buy the real parmesan cheese. It lasts so long that really it's no more expensive than the green can, but sooooo much more divine!

kate said...

I love this dish! Ever since you taught me to make it, it's part of my line-up! It's SOOOO easy and SOOOO delish and SOOO light and tasty! I am obsessed too! Obsessed I say! I want some right now! Too bad it's 12:30 pm... maybe tomorrow for dinner!

Once again Taylor, great tips and I learned a lot! and your pictures are fabulous!!!

Katrina said...

This looks so yummy and easy and right up our (mostly) vegetarian alley! I know Anne via Emily and have checked your blog a few times. I'm very impressed! And my husband, who is also the better cook in our house, is even more impressed! Thanks for all the ideas...

Sarah said...

We have been on a Taylor kick for the past couple of days. Yesterday we made the risotto from your first post (we finally got the corkscrew!), and today we made the farfalle. All was delicious! Now, if you could just publish a weekly menu with shopping list, it would make my job much, much easier!

The Ramptons said...

Tay, We just had people over for dinner tonight, and I made this yummy dish with a great salad and delicious bread. It was a hit. I don't think it looked as good as yours, but it tasted good. All my friends are going to be regulars on your blog. Notice I try EVERYTHING you write about! Love it!

lori said...

just made this at my parent's house! Delicious!

Dee and DeAnna said...

Lori's mom here.... Yes, the dish was delicious. What a find your blog is. You are a marvel--I am switching from "Food Network" to YOU! Thanks for sharing!!
DeAnna...a somewhat-silent fan.

Joan Koplin said...

As if you didn't have enough fans!?
I was just browsing for meal ideas and this one is next on my dinner list.
You are SERIOUSLY talented Tay...not only in the food dept. But I am a huge fan of the food. Thank you for sharing your fabulous talent with all of us.
Your Admiring Cousin: Bone

Joan Koplin said...

Okay, I made it tonight for dinner. Four words: "too much red pepper." Woooeeee! It had more bite than I anticipated but all in all it was great. I added ricotta to it as well b/c well you can never have too much cheese! Thanks, Tay!

Autumn said...

Made it twice this week. Very much prefer it with the chicken. MMM. Thanks for sharing.