Pasta Pomodoro

In a Hurry?
  • Cook pasta
  • Dice tomatoes, mozarella, onions
  • Cut basil
  • Mix, add olive oil, balsamico, pepper, salt
  • Pour over pasta

Many years back, I spent a month in summer in Sicily, invited by an Italian family. Among the greatest things I remember where the meals on the big table on the front porch. Of course, there were plenty of dishes I had never seen and the potential to learn a lot. But who knew that I needed those 30 years later or that I would even talk about them. One of the surprising dishes was pasta with fresh tomatoes. The tomatoes, balsamico and the basil gave the dish a light and refreshing flavor. A great meal for a summer day.

There are many variations of pasta pomodoro on the internet. Some of them are asking to heat up the tomatoes together with the onions, but using the fresh tomatoes is exactly what makes this dish a great dish to eat on a summer night on your porch. If you are feeling adventurous, don’t even saute the onions and the garlic, just add them raw. That makes it taste sharper, which might take the romance out of the meal, but it’s certainly tasty as well.

Recipe: Pasta Pomodoro
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of pasta, spaghetti, penne, farfalle, your pick
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, cut into strips
  • 5-8 oz mozarella (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamico
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta
  2. Dice the onion
  3. Peel the garlic
  4. Saute the onions lightly and add the garlic using a garlic press
  5. Dice the tomatoes
  6. Cut the basil leaves into strips
  7. Pull the mozarella into chunks
  8. Put tomatoes, onions, basil and mozarella together in a mixing bowl
  9. Add the balsamico, olive oil
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Mix well
  12. Drain the pasta and let it sit for a moment.
  13. Serve the pasta in a bowl and top it with the pomodoro mix
Notes
If you don't have mozarella at hand, leave it out of the base mix and just add grated parmesan when the dish is served.

 

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Pesto Genovese

I saw and tasted pesto for the first time in college. My mom didn’t make it and the Italian restaurants in my area didn’t offer it. Or I just ignored it, because I didn’t know about it. A group of students studying German stayed in the dorm for the summer. Some of them were Italian and occasionally cooked for the people who spent their summer there as well. I was among them. And they offered me some dark green mass to go with my pasta. Of course I had to taste it. Wow. It was a very intense and wonderful taste. I didn’t really know fresh basil until then either. I was impressed and eventually tried to find out how to make it. Here’s the result:

Recipe: Pesto Genovese
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of basil leaves
  • ¼ cup of nuts (pistachio, pine nuts, even cashew or walnuts)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
Instructions
  1. Put the nuts and the garlic cloves into a small food chopper
  2. Pulse it a couple of times and start adding the basil leaves
  3. Add olive oil until it becomes a paste
  4. Add the grated cheese
  5. Add pepper and salt to taste.

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Eggplant Pasta

It can’t get any easier than that. What do you do if your wife loves eggplant parmiggiano, but you really hate the breading and frying part of it? Here’s the answer. Just dice the eggplant already, fry them in the pan in oil and cover it in the same pasta sauce you’d be using for eggplant parmiggiano. Et Voila. You see, I speak multiple languages.

Oh, some trick in preparing eggplant. Follow the link.

Recipe: Eggplant Pasta
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
An easy variation on pasta and pre-made sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 pound of pasta (spaghetti, penne, you name it)
  • 1 pound of pasta sauce
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350-375 F
  2. Peel and dice the eggplant.
  3. Roast the diced eggplant in a pan.
  4. Transfer the eggplant into a fireproof dish.
  5. Add the pasta sauce.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta in parallel

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