My Recipe Box

Garlicky Angel Hair with Grape Tomatoes

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Serves two as a main dish, or four as a generous side dish.

The most time-consuming step in this dish is broiling the tomatoes to reduce their liquid and intensify their flavor. Since the 20 minutes they need in the oven is hands-off, however, you can easily get the rest of the ingredients ready to go so that the entire dish clocks in at just about 25 minutes.

  • 2 pt. grape tomatoes (about 20 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. plus 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the baking sheet
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large or 5 small cloves garlic
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves
  • 5 oz. dried angel hair pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the broiler to high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and rub it with oil. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tsp. oil and about 1/4 tsp. salt. Spread them on the baking sheet. Broil, shaking the pan occasionally, until they're cracked, very soft, and shrunken, about 20 minutes; they'll be blackened in places.

Meanwhile, chop the garlic and put it in a small saucepan, along with 3 Tbs. oil and the red pepper flakes (see "An easy way to peel a lot of garlic") . Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the garlic just begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let the oil steep.

Stack the basil leaves on top of one another and roll them into a cigar shape. Slice across the cigar to create thin, but not ultra-thin, ribbons (about 1/4 cup).

When the tomatoes are done, cook the pasta until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Immediately toss it with the garlic oil (and the garlic) and 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt. Grind lots of fresh pepper over the pasta, add the broiled tomatoes and the basil, and toss to combine well. Add half the Parmigiano, toss again, and immediately turn out into warm bowls. Top with the remaining cheese.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 280; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 500; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Terrific for a great casual, make-ahead dish. I've made it twice as a main course pasta, but I think it would shine more in smaller portions as a side dish. Definitely a go-to for ease, make-ahead and pantry-friendly (except for grape tomatoes, most everyone will have everything on hand).

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