Margherita Pasta

Garlicky pasta combined with refreshing chiffonade basil and sweet juicy grape tomatoes. A quick and easy yet delicious and healthy recipe that is perfect after a long day.

Margherita Pasta | Cooking with a Wallflower

Have I mentioned that I love pasta? There’s so much you can do with it, and sometimes just switching up the ingredients can have the most amazing results. In this case, I decided that I wanted to do something with grape tomatoes. They were on sale at Grocery Outlet so I bought boxes of them. In the next few posts, you’ll see recipes featuring grape tomatoes, either as part of the main meal or as a side. Either way, they’re delicious and their bright red color will make your food look tasty too.  

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I decided that I wanted to make margherita style pasta using just a few basic ingredients: pasta, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and basil. Most of these ingredients may already be in your kitchen so you won’t even have to run out and buy anything, which was what I really wanted. This recipe is simple and takes about 15-20 minutes to make. It is cheap, yet delicious and healthy so it’s perfect for when you’re on a budget. Especially for college students who have to pay for expensive textbooks.

First, boil the water in a medium or large pot. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, you can start cutting the tomatoes in half. I like cutting them slightly slanted like in the photo below. But you can slice it however you like.

Margherita Pasta | Cooking with a Wallflower

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Once the water boils, add in the pasta and cook according to directions on the pasta box. I cooked mine for about 6-7 minutes. The photo is a little blurry from all the steam coming up from the pot.

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Still keeping an eye on the pasta to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, I decided to use the waiting time to mince the garlic and to chiffonade the basil.

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Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, I reserved about a ½ cup of the pasta water. This water will later be used as part of the sauce.  Then I drained the pasta and ran it through cold water, that way the noodles don’t stick to each other. Set the pasta aside.

In a large skillet, add ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic. Heat them over low heat. You want the heat to be low to draw out the aromatic flavor of the garlic, but you don’t want the heat to be too high because the garlic can become burnt very quickly. It will taste bitter. 

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Once the garlic turns slightly brown, add the pasta and the reserved pasta water. Combine until the garlic is thoroughly mixed with the pasta.

Margherita Pasta | Cooking with a Wallflower

Next, add the chiffonade basil and the chopped tomatoes. Tuck them underneath the pasta so that the tomatoes will cook over the low heat. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften. Mix the tomatoes and basil in with the pasta until it’s evenly combined. Sprinkle on salt and pepper according to taste.

Finally, plate the pasta and top with cheese if you like. Serve cold or warm.

Margherita Pasta | Cooking with a Wallflower

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Click on the image below for an enlarged version of the recipe.

Margherita Pasta | Cooking with a Wallflower

 

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