Capellini Pomodoro

I love a simple pasta dish.  The first few times I tried this recipe, I was unhappy with the final result.  While the flavors were delicious, the parmesan cheese made the pasta sticky and, as the pasta cooled, clumpy.  This meant that I had to eat it quickly, and leftovers were a very strange consistency.  I’d take the pasta out the next day and it would be hardened into a noodle sculpture.  This would not do. 

 Clearly, the parmesan cheese needed to be adjusted.  I tried using less parmesan, chopping it into very small pieces and, instead of adding it right before serving, adding it straight into the simmering sauce.  These modifications all turned out to be the changes I was looking for.  The sauce took on the parmesan flavor and the parmesan didn’t separate from the pasta.  As for the amount of cheese, don’t get too excited and think that more cheese is better, like I did.  Too much parmesan makes the sauce sticky and clumpy.  If you’d like more cheese, simply add it to your bowl, right before you dig in.

After I experimented with the parmesan, I played around with the amount of olive oil and pepper to use, finally settling on the measurements below.  You may season with pepper to your liking.  I also tried adding the basil at different times and felt that the basil was at its best when added near the end.  I found that fresh basil is key – it perks up the tomatoes, and overall, makes the dish very bright and fresh.  A perfect summer meal. 

When I want dinner quickly on the table, this is one of my go-to recipes.  It’s perfect on its own, but it’s also nicely rounded out with garlic bread and salad.

Serves 4.

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cap pom

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