We have a basil plant. It needed pinching back (heh heh). We had a pint of grape tomatoes that were quickly approaching the soggy side of questionable. Likewise with a couple of garlic cloves that were going to head to Funkytown soon and never return. And from those humble beginnings, this genius dish was born:
Yeah, I didn't take a picture of dinner tonight. Instead, enjoy this picture of heaven, which the dish tasted a lot like. Also, I served it with chicken, which MUST taste something like heavenly seagull.
Me Show Genius Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Pinched-off (heh heh) Basil
(Quantities, as usual, are approximate).
* 3 tablespoon olive oil
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
*.25 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
*1 T balsamic vinegar
*1/3 cup chicken stock
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*.5 teaspoon dried basil
*.25 teaspoon sugar
*.25 cup basil chiffonade
*salt and pepper to taste
*half a package spaghetti, cooked al dente
*Parmesan cheese (NOT from a green can, you taste bud-hating imbecile)
1. Sautee the minced garlic in olive oil over low heat with the red pepper flakes. The idea is to cook the garlic gently and to infuse the oil. When garlic starts to brown, dump in the halved tomatoes and a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
2. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the tomatoes, squishing them with the back of a spoon as they soften. You want them to give up all of their juices to form the substance of your tomato sauce. Add the dried oregano and dried basil and cook until the tomato juices are bubbling.
3. Add the balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup chicken stock, and sugar. Stir into tomato mixture and cover the pan. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until it starts to look like a chunky, "rustica" tomato sauce.
4. Remove lid. If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining .25 cup stock. If it is too thin, let it cook for a minute or two with the lid off. Stir in fresh basil and taste for seasoning.
5. Stir in pasta and a little of the pasta cooking liquid so that the starch can bind the sauce to the pasta.
6. Add as much Parmesan as you like.
7. Snarf with abandon.
Weekend gloating and Livy Lee exploiting soon, I promise. Until then, chow down, chowhounds.