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Rigatoni with Fresh Basil, Pear Tomatoes and Garlic

Yvonne Tally
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There is nothing like the perfume of fresh basil growing in your garden or on your grocer’s shelf to announce the arrival of summer! The large smooth leaves that burst with fragrance when picked send the senses into excitement. The time of year for kicking back is here. This recipe will fill your palate with all the taste of summer. As a bonus, serve it chilled or room temperature the next day as part of a summer buffet or light lunch!

6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Level: Novice to Expert
extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup
garlic 6 cloves, fine chop
fresh basil 10-12 large leaves, thin sliced
fresh Italian parsley 3/4 cup chopped
fresh pear tomatoes 2 small baskets (about 40 tomatoes)
fresh buffalo mozzarella 3/4 cup chopped (lima bean size)
grated reggiano parmesan 3/4 cup
fresh rigatoni 3 cups

Pasta

Use a pot large enough for 3 cups of pasta. When water begins to boil, add a bit of olive oil and then the pasta. Cook for about 6 minutes or until al dente. Toss in extra virgin olive oil just enough to coat each noodle so it does not stick. Optional, season with course salt to taste. Cover and set aside off the heat.

Sauce

Begin making the sauce as your water is heating up. Place 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan over med/low heat, simmer garlic in olive oil for 10 minutes being careful not to brown.

Chop tomatoes in half and add to garlic. Season with salt. Simmer low for about 15 minutes. Make sure not to cook too hot otherwise the tomatoes will become mushy. The tomatoes will soften but still hold most of their shape. Add basil and parsley and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add both cheeses and stir. Add pasta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a bit of extra cheese for garnish and coarse black pepper.

Tips:

  • Some say there is no difference between fresh pasta and dried pasta. I think there is and I love fresh pasta for this dish!
  • To reduce fat content replace half of the olive oil with 1 cup chicken stock adding a little bit at a time. If adding stock all at once, the tomatoes will boil and lose their glossy look and al dente texture.
  • When reheating the pasta, add 1/2 cup chicken stock for every 1 1/2 cups pasta or to taste.
  • Serve chilled the next day and if there is any of the hens (see recipe) leftover, remove the meat and toss with a bit of lemon juice and more fresh garlic and basil and wow! You will have a whole new dish!
  • Roma tomatoes may be substituted in place of the pear tomatoes; however, the pear tomatoes are much sweeter and create greater flavor balance with the garlic.
AUTHOR

Yvonne Tally

All stories by: Yvonne Tally

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