Flavia's Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

      Flavia's Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes Serves 4
      This recipe courtesy of Grazia Solazzi. For more recipes and suggestions about choosing traditional Italian ingredients, visit her website.

      This Pasta dish is named after my friend Flavia, who gave me this recipe. She claims she doesn't like to cook, and maybe need is indeed the master of all inventions. In fact, she is very creative at finding shortcuts and getting dinner ready in minutes, with minimal cleanup time!!! And, yes, this pasta dish is simply Exquisite.

      • 1 lb. dried pasta, any shape

      • 2 cups, fresh cherry tomatoes (about 10 oz.)

      • 1 garlic clove, minced

      • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

      • 4-5 basil leaves

      • 1/2 tsp. salt

      • 4-6 Tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

      1. Heat the oven to 400F.

      2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender but still al dente, or firm to the bite. Time the pasta to be done at the same time as the sauce (approximately 20 minutes).

      3. Meanwhile, line the baking pan with one sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them face up on the baking pan.

      4. Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, mince the clove of garlic and the basil leaves.

      5. Sprinkle the tomatoes in the baking pan with the garlic and basil.

      6. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Then place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

      7. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup water. Return the pasta to the cooking pot.

      8. Carefully pick up the aluminum foil (or parchment paper), and with the help of a spoon, gently ease the sauce into the pot containing the pasta. Mix well, adding some of the reserved pasta water if the dish seems too dry.

      9. Serve hot, passing the grated cheese at the table to sprinkle on top.