Posts Tagged ‘capers’

Easiest. Pasta. Ever.

October 30, 2009

Ahhh Friday, how I’ve missed you. You’re so mellow and easygoing; not at all like high-maintenance Monday or party-lush Thursday. And after a week like this, you won’t hold it against me if I just can’t bring myself to dress up for dinner. It’s nights like this that remind me why I love you.

Among the Mediterranean magic conjured from my aunt’s kitchen, Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers is a stand-out solution to an uninspired Friday fix. It’s just as hassle-free and quick to prepare as it sounds – little more than 15 minutes total is all the quality time you’ll be missing out on. But don’t let the simplicity of the ingredients fool you: the sweetly-singed bite of the tomatoes and red pepper flakes combined with the capers’ bright tang is anything but blasé, and packs enough perk-up to get the weekend rolling.

Note: this isn’t an exacting recipe, either – just taste your way through it. If the pan is a little dry, add more oil or hot pasta water. Need more salt? Go for it. Spice it up with more heat from the pepper flakes. Friday won’t mind one bit – promise.

You need:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (fresh is great, dried is fine)
  • spaghetti
  • capers (as desired)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Cook:  Set water to boil over high heat. In separate non-stick pan, add olive oil to coat and heat over medium low.  Slice garlic cloves in half and add to pan, sautéing until fragrant but careful not to burn, about 2-3 mins; remove. Add cherry tomatoes, red pepper, oregano and salt to pan, raising heat to medium; allow tomato sauce to simmer until tomatoes begin to break down, adding oil or hot pasta water as needed to thin sauce, about 7 mins total. While sauce is cooking, boil spaghetti as instructed on packaging until al dente; it should be soft but still somewhat firm. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before straining, then add spaghetti straight into the saucepan with tomatoes. Add capers as desired (I love these little flower buds, so about 2-3 tbs is great, but feel free to use less). Mix sauce and pasta well, thinning with reserved water if needed. Mangia!

PASTA

Simple? Sure - but trust me when I say the flavors are anything but.