Monday, September 20, 2010

Cherry Tomatoes with Spaghetti or Bow Ties

1 pound of spaghetti (regular) or bow tie pasta
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 pound bacon or pancetta, cut into small pieces
1 red onion, chopped or sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 c. white wine or chicken broth
2 pts. cherry or grape tomatoes
2/3 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped or add in some dried basil as desired
2/3 c. freshly grated parm cheese
Cook pasta in salt water until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water (you may use less)
Heat olive oil in a  skillet and add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until softened. Stir in white wine and cook about a minute. Add the tomatoes and parsley and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until the tomoatoes burst (about 8-10 minute).
Stir in reserved pasta water (start with half and add more if needed) and then the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Add the basil leaves (fresh or add dried but stir well to blend) and top with the parm cheese.
If you want to prepare the tomatoes in the oven -- just place the onion, garlic and tomatoes in the oven, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook the red pepper with the bacon (until crisp). When tomatoes burst and the onion and garlic are carmelized, place in a big skillet, add the parsley, wine and tomatoes, bacon and red pepper and cook for a few minutes until blended. Add the pasta and pasta water at that point and you basically have the same dish. It all depends if you want to watch the food cook or let the oven basically do the cooking of the veggies. I have done it both ways.
I recommend adding shrimp otherwise (or in addition) to this dish. I also recommend white wine over chicken broth!
This goes great with a fresh garden salad.

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